You'd have thought they caught Maxwell Perkins rewriting the first paragraph of "Look Homeward, Angel" to judge from the cat fight that erupted among members of the advisory council to the National Endowment for the Humanities at its quarterly meeting last week. A committee chairman had tried to get the full council to approve some allegedly insignificant changes in a document, but without passing out copies of the changed document. "Mr. Chairman, I would like to see it , even if it's just a matter of codification. I don't know what subtleties creep in!" said one member, Leon Stein. "What I'm hearing is, 'It's our committee, it's none of your business!' " said another, Jacob Neusner, a professor of religious studies at Brown. Endowment Chairman William J. Bennett tried to cut the discussion off: "There's nothing hidden about these documents!" Despite this, much work was done in two days of meetings. There was debate over the endowment's role in the nation's bicentennial celebration of the Constitution. Bennett wants it to be known the endowment will fund Constitution-related projects, then wait and see what proposals come in, while several members pressed for a more active role. One problem: The constitutional convention met in 1787, ratification was in 1788 and the wheels of government got rolling with Washington's inauguration in 1789. "I think we're going to celebrate it throughout the entire period," said council member Mary Beth Norton, a professor of American history at Cornell.