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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 " he will die as he has lived; they are unaltered. " Some methodists went to him a few days
ago to endeavour to make a convert of him, 66 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 successfully “ 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 misconceiving 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 66 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 principles. He remained at Paris long after Bona
parte rendered himself supreme in the state, “ and spoke as free as ever. 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 IIId, thus rendered, would serve very well for Mr. Paine.
In this small compass tho Paine's ashes lie,