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country first read your “Rights of Man,” they were naturally flattered with your complinents to their wisdom. To have formed a government, “the “ admiration and model of the world,” and to be held up to the imitation of their rivals in freedom, merited a return of applause ; and they were astonished and offended to find, that the English refused to be instructed. Hence the appellations of “ British tyrant,” and “willing slaves;” and all the acrimonious and disdainful language that was for a long time held towards that nation. But now, when they perceive that their flatterer is become an assailant, and that their “admiration and model of “ the world,” is no more than a mere “copy, not
“ quite so base as the original, of the British govern
“ ment,” they will begin to think that the people of England were not so foolish ; that they still are free men, and worthy of their friendship and affeótion.
An attack on the conduct and charaćier of General JWashington naturally follows the Federal Consti£ut 10n.
PAINE. PA1 Ne.
Letter to Gen. Isashington. Common Sense.
When we speak of military
charaćter, something more is understood than constancy;
and something more ought to be understood than the Fabian system of doing nothing. The nothing part can be done by any body. Old Mrs. Thompson, the house-keeper of headquarters (who threatened to make the sun and the wind shine through Rivington of New York), could have done it as well as Mr. Washington. Deborah would have been as good as Barak. The success
Voltaire has remarked, that King William never appeared to full advantage but in difficulties and in action; the same remark may be made on General Washington, for the character fits him. There is a na
tural firmness in some minds . which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude; and I reckon if among those kind of public blessings, which we do not immediately see, that GOD hath blessed him with uninterrupted Letter to Gen. Washington.
ful skirmishes at the close of one campaign, matters that would scarcely be noticed in a better state of things, make the brilliant exploits of General Washington's seven campaigns.—No wonder we see so much pusillanimity in the President when we see so little enterprise in the General.
Elevated to the chair of the Presidency, you assumed the merit of every thing to yourself, and the natural ingrati. tude of your constitution began to appear. You commenced your presidential career by encouraging and swallowing the grossest adulation, and you travelled America from one end to the other, to put yourself in the way of receiving it. You have as many addresses in your chest as James the IId. Monopolies of every kind marked your administration almost in the moment of its commencement. The lands obtained by the revolution were lawished upon partisans; the interest of the disbanded soldier was sold to the speculator; injustice was a&ted under the pretence of faith ; and the
chief of the army became the
patron of the fraud.
ed health, and given him a mind that can even flourish upon care.
Rights of Man, Part 2d.
I presume, that no man in his sober senses will compare the charaćter of any of the kings of Europe with that of General Washington.
As soon as nine states had concurred (and the rest followed in the order their conventions were elected), the old fabric of the federal government was taken down, and the new one erected, of which General Washington is president. —In this place I cannot help remarking, that the chara&ier and services of this gentleman are sufficient to put all those men called kings to shame. While they are receiving from the sweat and labours of mankind, a prodigality of pay, to which neither their abilities nor their services can entitle them, he is rendering every service in his power, and refusing every pecuniary reward. He accepted no pay as commander in chief; he accepts none as president of the United States.
Letter to Gen. Washington.
And as to you, Sir, treacherous in private friendship, and a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide, whether you are an apostate or an imposter; whether you have abandoned good principles, or whether you ever bad
Dedication to the 1st Part of the
SIR, I present you a small treatise in defence of those principles of freedom which your exemplary virtue has so eminently contributed to establisb. That the Rights of Man may be
any A come as universal as your benevolence can wish, and that you may enjoy the happiness of seeing the new world regenerate the old, is the prayer of,
Your most obliged, and
Now, atrocious, infamous miscreant, “ look on “ this pićture, and on this.” I would call on you to blush, but the rust of villainy has eaten your cheek to the bone, and dried up the source of suffusion. Are these the proofs of your disinterestedness and consistency Is it thus that you are always the same, and that you “preserve through “ life the right-angled charaćter of MAN ?”. The object of your masters, in having recourse to you on this occasion, is evident to every one. Your letter was written at the time they were passing the decree for authorizing the violation of their treaty with America. To prevent the people here from resenting the injury, it was necessary to persuade them that it was owing to the mal-administration of their own government, and this could not be done without undermining the charaćter of him who presided over it. It was thought that you yet possessed influence enough to effect this, and therefore the prostituted pen of the revolutionary ruffian was put in a state of requisition. Your. Your tyrants are completely baffled. The effeóts of your letter are exactly the contrary to what it was intended to produce. Your brutal attempt to blacken this chara&ter was all that was wanted to crown his honour and your infamy. You were before sunk to a level with the damned, but now you are plunged beneath them. The vile democrats, nay even Franklin Bache, with whom you boast of being in close correspondence, can say not a word in its defence. All the apology for you is, that you wrote at the instigation of the despots of Paris. Thus the great “Rights of Man,” the sworn foe of corruption, and the reformer of nations, winds up his patriotic career : his being bribed is pleaded as an alleviation of his crimes.