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“ tween the timidity of some who are so afraid “ of doing wrong that they never do right, the " puny judgment of others, and the despicable “ craft of preferring expedient to right, as if “ the world was a world of babies in leading
strings, I should get forward with nothing.
" My path is a right line, as strait and “ clear to me as a ray of light. The boldness
(if they will have it so) with which I speak
on any subject is a compliment to the person “ I address; it is like saying to him, I treat you
as a man and not as a child. With respect to any worldly object, as it is impossible to discover any
in me, therefore what I do, and my manner of doing it, ought to be ascribed to a good motive.
In a great affair, where the good of man is at stake, I love to work for nothing; and so fully am I under the influence of this principle, that I should lose the
spirit, the pride, and the pleasure of it, were “ I conscious that I looked for reward.”
In the course of this year, 1776, Mr. Paine accompanied the army with General Washington, and was with him in his retreat from Hudson's River to the Delaware. At this period our author stood undismayed, amid a flying congress, and the general terror of the land. The Americans, he loudly asserted, were in possession of resources sufficient to authorize hope, and he laboured to inspire others with the same sentiments, which animated himself.
To effect this, on the 19th of December he published · The Crisis,' wherein with a masterly hand he stated every reason for hope, and examined all the motives for apprehension.
This work he continued at various intervals, till the revolution was completely established : the last number appeared on the 19th of April, 1783, the same day a cessation of hostilities was proclaimed.
In 1777, congress unanimously and unknown to Mr. Paine, appointed him secretary in the foreign department; and from this time a close friendship continued between him and Dr. Franklin.
From his office went all letters that were officially written by congress : and the corre
spondence of congress rested afterwards in his hands.
This appointment gave Mr. Paine an opportunity of seeing into foreign courts, and their manner of doing business and conducting themselves. In this office which obliged him to reside with congress wherever it fled, or however it was situated, Mr. Paine deserved the highest praise for the clearness, firmness, and magnanimity of his conduct. rightness and entire fitness for this office did not however prevent intrigue and interestedness, or defeat cabal; for a difference being fomented between congress and him, respecting one of their commissioners then in Europe, (Mr. Silas Deane) he resigned his secretaryship on the 8th of January, 1779, and declined, at the same time, the pecuniary offers made him by the ministers of France and Spain, M. Gerrard and Don Juan Mirralles.
This resignation of, or dismissal from his situation as secretary for foreign affairs, has been so variously mentioned and argued upon, that the reader is referred to the tedious detail of it in the journals of the day, if he has patience to wade thro so much American temporary, and party political gossip. Mr. Paine's own account in his letter to congress shortly is, “I prevented Deane's fraudulent “ demand being paid, and so far the country “ is obliged to me, but I became the victim “ of my integrity.”
The party junto against him say he' was guilty of a violation of his official duty, &c.
And here I shall leave it, as the bickerings of parties in America, in the year 1779, cannot be worth an European’s attention; and as to the Americans themselves they have various means by their legislatural records, registers of the day, and pamphlets, then and since, to go into the subject if they think it of importance enough.
About this time Mr. Paine had the degree of master of arts conferred on him by the university of Philadelphia; and in 1780, was chosen a member of the American Phi.
losophical Society, when it was revived by the legislature of the province of Pennsylvania,
In February 1781 Colonel Laurens, amidst the financial distress of America, was sent on a mission to France in order to obtain a loan, and Mr. Paine, at the solicitation of the colonel, accompanied him.
Mr. Paine, in his letter to congress, intimates that this mission originated with himself, and takes upon himself the credit of it.
They arrived in France the following month, obtained a loan of ten millions of livres, and a present of six millions, and landed in America the succeeding · August with two millions and a half in silver. His value, his firmness, his independence, as a political character were now universally acknowledged; his great talents, and the high purposes to which he devoted them, made him generally sought after and looked up to; and General Washington was foremost to express the great sense he had of the excellence of his character, and the importance of his services; and would himself have pro