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Paine, a pious deist, of deep research, laborious enquiry, and critical examination, are the most likely from disinterested motives to adopt opinions, and of course the least likely to relinquish them.
Before I quit the subject I give the following authentic document in a letter from New York:
"I witnessed a scene last night which 'occasioned sensations only to be felt, not to 'be described; the scene I allude to Was no 'less extraordinary than the beholding the well'known Thomas Paine struggling to retain a 'little longer in connection his soul and body. 'For near an hour I sat by the bedside of that 'well-known character^ to whom I was intro'duced by one of his friends. Could the me'mory have retained the suggestions of my 'mind in the moments when I was reviewing 'the pallid looks of him who had attempted 'to overthrow kingdoms and monarchies, of 'him who has astonished the world with the 'fruits of a vast mind, whose works have "caused a great part of mankind to think and "feel as they never did before, such suggestions "would not be uninteresting to you. I could not "contemplate the approaching dissolution of "such a man, see him gasping for breath, with"out feelings of a peculiar nature. Poor Paine's "body has given way before his mind which "is yet firm; mortification seems to have taken "up its dwelling in his frame, and he will soon "be no more. With respect to his principles c< he will die as he has lived; they are unaltered. c' Some methodists went to him a few days "ago to endeavour to make a convert of him, "but he would not listen to their entreaties."
Soon after Mr. Paine's death the following character of him and his writings appeared in a London news-paper, written by a gentleman well acquainted with him and them:
"He was in his youth of a strong resolution "and constant temper. He had from his in"fancy adopted the opinions he so successfullv "promulgated in his manhood. All his literary "productions evince an acute, profound, and "determined mind. His language is simple "and nervous, adapted to all capacities, and so "pointed and unequivocal that there is no misu conceiving it. He is sententious, his axioms "are incontrovertible and self-evident, and their "impressions are indelible.
"No human being's efforts have done more "for liberty. He has made more converts than "Sydney and Russell. His 'Common Sense' "enfranchised America. America was divided "between two parties; the arguments of this "little pamphlet decided the contest. His "glorious 'Rights of Man'had nearly a similar "effect in England. Innumerable replies have "been made against it, but so weak and futile as "to injure the cause they were meant to sustain. "He reasoned from facts, and his diction was "irresistible.
"He pours down like a torrent and bears "every thing before him. He was prosecuted "for his works, but they were so admired that "they were in every library. He seemed stern "and morose, but he was lenient, friendly, and "benevolent.
"He instanced his humanity by his resolute
"vote to save the king of France, and the san"guinary Robespierre never forgave him, and "in the reign of terror imprisoned him; but "this apostle of liberty, though in such eminent "danger, never retracted his opinions, nor im"plored mercy. It pleased Providence that he "should escape this monster. Bold, manly, and "fearless, he never concealed his sentiments; '* positive and inflexible, they never varied, "being founded on conviction and pure prin"ciples. He remained at Paris long after Bona"parte rendered himself supreme in the state, "and spoke as free as eyer. In 1802, he de"parted from Paris for his admired America; "the only true birth-place of liberty, where he "finished his days in 1809, June 8, at New"York, aged 73,
His ashes there,
The following advertisement appeared in the New York Advertiser, June 9, 1809:
"Mr. Thomas Paine.
"Thy spirit, independence, let me share.
"With heart-felt sorrow and poignant regret we are compelled to announce to the world that Mr. Thomas Paine is no more.
"This distinguished philanthropist, whose life was devoted to the cause of humanity, departed this life yesterday morning; and if any man's memory deserved a place in the breast of a freeman, it is that of the deceased, for
'take him for all in all 'We ne'er shall look upon his like again.'
"The friends of the deceased are invited to attend his funeral by 9 o'clock in the morning, from his late residence at Greenwich, from whence his corpse will be conveyed to New Rochelle for interment;
'His ashes there, His fame every where.*'"
* This quotation, which is a translation from a Latin epitaph on Frederick Hid, thus rendered, would serve very well for Mr. Paine.
In this small compass tho Paine's ashes lie,