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sectarians and all believers are infidels to their opposing doctrines.
As it may amuse the reader to see Mr. Paine's style while editor of the Pennsylvanian Magazine, the following extract is given from one of his essays on the riches of the earth and the diligence necessary to discover them:
Tho Nature is gay, polite, and generous abroad, she is sullen, rude, and niggardly “ at home. Return the visit, and she admits
you with all the suspicion of a miser, and all “ the reluctance of an antiquated beauty retired “ to replenish her charms. Bred up in antide“ luvian notions, she has not yet acquired the “ european taste of receiving visits in her dress
ing room; she locks and bolts up her private recesses with extraordinary care, as if not
only determined to preserve her hoards, but “ to conceal lier age, and hide the remains of a “ face that was young and lovely before the
days of Adam. He that would view Nature “ in her undress, and partake of her internal
treasures, must proceed with the resolution " of a robber, if not a ravisher : she gives no
« invitations to follow her to the cavern. The " external earth makes no proclamation of the “ interior stores, but leaves to chance and in
dustry the discovery of the whole. In such
gifts as nature can annually recreate she is “ noble and profuse, and entertains the whole “ world with the interests of her fortunes, but “ watches over the capital with the care of a “ miser. Her gold and jewels lie concealed in the
earth, in caves of utter darkness; the hoards of “ wealth moulder in the chests, like the riches of “ the necromancer's cell. It must be very plea
sant to an adventurous speculatist to make " excursions into these gothic regions : in his “ travels he may possibly come to a cabinet “ locked up in some rocky vault whose treasures
might reward his toil and enable him to shine on his return as splendidly as Nature herself.”
Soon after his return to America, as foreign supplies of gunpowder were stopt, he turned his attention to chemistry, and set his fertile talents to work in endeavouring to discover some cheap and expeditious method of furnishing Congress with saltpetre ; and he proposed in the Pennsylvanian Journal, Nov. 2, 1775, the plan of a saltpetre association for voluntarily supplying the national magazines with gunpowder.
His popularity in America now increased daily, and from this era he became a great public character and an object of interest and attention to the world.
In 1776, on the 10th of January he published the celebrated and powerfully discriminating pamphlet Common Sense.'
Perhaps the greatest compliment that can be paid to this work is the effect it so rapidly had on the people, who had before no predisposition towards its principles, as may be gathered from Mr. Paine's own words.
“ I found the disposition of the people such, " that they might have been led by a thread « and governed by a reed. Their attachment
to Britain was obstinate, and it was at that “ time a kind of treason to speak against it;
they disliked the ministry but they esteemed “ the nation. Their idea of grievance operated
“ without resentment, and their single object
was reconciliation.”-Crisis, No. 7.
“ Independence was a doctrine scarce and rare, even towards the conclusion of the year 1775. All our politics had been founded on the hope or expectation of making the
matter up, a hope which though general on the “ side of America, had never entered the head
or heart of the British court.”—Crisis, No. 3.
Even Mr. Cheetham, whom no one will suspect of flattering Mr. Paine, thus forcibly describes the effects of Common Sense' on the people of America.
“ This pamphlet of forty octavo pages, holding out relief by proposing independence to an oppressed and despairing people, was published in January 1776; speaking a language which the colonists had felt, but not thought of. Its popularity, terrible in its consequences to the parent country, was unexampled in the history of the press.
* “Nothing could be better timed than this performance;
« At first involving the colonists it was thought “ in the crime of rebellion, and pointing to a “ road leading inevitably to ruin, it was read “ with indignation and alarm ; but when the “ reader, and every body read it, recovering “ the first shock, re-perused it, its arguments
nourishing his feelings and appealing to his pride, re-animated his hopes, and satisfied his understanding, that ' Common Sense,' backed by the resources and force of the colonies, poor and feeble as they were, could alone rescue them from the unqualified oppression
In union with the feelings and sentiments of the people it produced surprising effects, - many thousands were convinced, and led to approve, and long for separation from the mother country; tho that measure was not only a few months before foreign to their wishes, but the object of their abhorrence, the current suddenly became so much in its favour, that it bore down all before it.”-Rumsay's Rev. vol. 1. page 367, London, 1793.
“ The publications which have appeared, have greatly promoted the spirit of independency, but no one so much as the pamphlet under the signature of Common Sense,' written by Mr. Thomas Paine, an Englishman. Nothing could have been better timed than this performance: it has produced most astonishing effects." - Gordon's Rer, vol. 2. page 78, New York, 179*.