CHAPTER XIII THE GREAT CONVENTION. I.
THE proceedings of the Convention were ordered to be kept secret, so that the members might deliberate uninfluenced by outside applause or criticism, and the people were not permitted to take part in shaping the Convention's work. Of that work Madison imposed upon himself the task of being the reporter. His object, as he stated many years afterwards, was to preserve "the history of a Constitution on which would be staked the happiness of a people great even in its infancy, and possibly the cause of liberty throughout the world." He chose a seat in front of the presiding officer, with the members to the right and left of him, where he could hear all that was said, and he took down each speech on the spot, using abbreviations and a few arbitrary characters of his own. He wrote out his notes each day at his lodgings, being aided in his task by a knowledge of the style of most of the speakers, whom he had heard speak in the Congress. Franklin's speeches were nearly all written, and his colleague, Wilson, read them, Franklin himself being too feeble to stand the fatigue of delivering them himself. They were handed to Madison after delivery and copied by him. When he was writing out Hamilton's chief speech the latter happened to enter his room and reading it pronounced it to be correct. Gouverneur Morris saw Madison's report of one of his speeches and made no changes in it. Not a single day of the sittings of the Convention did Madison miss, and his report was as complete as one man could make it.* It is a remarkable example of____________________