The wicked will be continually watching: consequently you will be undone. Where are your checks? You have no hereditary nobility — an order of men to whom human eyes can be cast up for relief; for, says the Constitution, there is no title of nobility to be granted — which, by the by, would not have been so dangerous as the perilous cession of powers contained in this paper; because, as Montesquieu says, when you give titles of nobility, you know what you give; but when you give power, you know not what you give. If you say that, out of this depraved mass, you can collect luminous characters, it will not avail, unless this luminous breed will be propagated from generation to generation; and even then, if the number of vicious characters will preponderate, you are undone.
— Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 9, 1778.