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Paine in the history of America, and where the amelioration of the human race is so much concerned, is like omitting the name of Newton in writing the history of his philosophy, or that of God when creation is the subject; yet this, Joel Barlow has done, and done so lest the name of Paine combined with his theological opinions should injure the sale of the poem.—Mean and unhandsome conduct!
To remedy this omission, tho not in the fine style of Barlow, the following lines are suggested to be placed at the close of the 425th line in the 5th book, page 157 of his Columbiad:—
A man who honor'd Albion by his birth,
The wisest, brightest, humbles* son of earth;
A man, in every sense that word can mean,
Now started angel-like upon the scene,»
Drew forth his pen of reason, truth, and fire,
The land to animate, the troops inspire;
And called that independent- spirit forth,
Which gives all bliss to man, and constitutes his worth.
'T was he suggested first, 't was he who plann'd
His 'Common Sense' his 'Crisis' led the way,
As Euclid clear his various writings shone,
His pen inspired by glorious truth alone,
O'er all the earth diffusing light and life,
Subduing error, ignorance, and strife;
Raised man to just pursuits, to thinking right,
And yet will free the world from woe and falsehood's night j
To this immortal man, to Paine 'twas given,
To metamorphose earth from hell to heaven.
He usually rose about seven, breakfasted with his friend Choppin, Johnson, and two or three other Englishmen, and a Monsieur La Borde, who had been an officer iu the ci-devant garde du corps, an intolerable aristocrat, but whose skill in mechanics and geometry brought on a friendship between him and Paine: for the undaunted and distinguished ability and firmness with which he ever defended his own opinions when controverted, do not reflect higher honour upon him than that unbounded liberality towards the opinions of others which constituted such a prominent feature in his character, and which never suffered mere difference of sentiment, whether political or religious, to
interrupt the harmonious intercourse of friendship, or impede the interchanges of knowledge and information.
After breakfast he usually strayed an hour or two in the garden, where he one morning pointed out the kind of spider whose web furnished him with the first idea of constructing his iron bridge; a fine model of which, in mahogany, is preserved at Paris.
The little happy circle who lived with him here will ever remember these days with delight: with these select friends he would talk of his boyish days, play at chess, whist, piquet, or cribbage, and enliven the moments by many interesting anecdotes: with these he would play at marbles, scotch hops, battledores, &c. on the broad and fine gravel walk at the upper end of the garden, and then retire to his boudoir, where he was up to his knees in letters and papers of various descriptions. Here he remained till dinner time; and unless he visited Biissot's family, or some particular friend in the evening, which was his frequent custom, he joined again the society of his favorites and fellow-boarders, with whom his conversation was often witty and cheerful, always acute and improving, but never frivolous.
Incorrupt, strait forward, and sincere, he pursued his political course in France, as every where else, let the government or clamor or faction of the day be what it might, with firmness, with clearness, and without a "shadow of turning."
In all Mr. Paine's enquiries and conversations he evinced the strongest attachment to the investigation of truth, and was always for going to the fountain head for information. He often lamented we had no good history of America, and that the letters written by Columbus, the early navigators, and others, to the Spanish court, were inaccessible, and that many valuable documents, collected by Philip the Hd, and deposited with the national archives at Simania, had not yet been promulgated. He used to speak highly of the sentimental parts of Raynal's History.
Jt is not intended to enter into an account of the French revolution, its progress, the different colors it took and aspects it assumed. The history of this most important event may be found at large detailed by French writers as well as those of other nations, and the world is left to judge of it.
It is unfortunate for mankind that Mr. Paine, by imprisonment and the loss of his invaluable papers, was prevented giving the best, most candid and philosophical account of these times. These papers contained the history of the French revolution, and were no doubt a most correct, discriminating, and enlightened detail of the events of that important era. For these papers the historian Gibbon sent to France, and made repeated application, upon a conviction that they would be impartial, profound, and philosophical documents.
It is well known that Mr. Paine ahvavs lamented the turn affairs took in France, and grieved at the period we are now adverting to, when corrupt influence was rapidly infecting every department of the state. He saw the. jealousies and animosities that were breeding,