Imatges de pÓgina

his plans.


tants had grown tired of staring at Paine of its high-priest. So long as Cheetham and of pelting him with abuse, he betook remained in good standing with the Demhimself to New York. On his


thith- ocrats, Paine and he were fast friends ; er, he met with an adventure which shows but when he became heretical and schisthe kind of martyrdom suffered by this matic on the Embargo question, some political and religious heretic. He had three or four years later, and was forstopped at Bordentown, in New Jersey, mally read out of the party, Paine laid to look at a small place he owned there, the rod across his back with all his reand to visit an old friend and correspond- maining strength. He had vigor enough ent, Colonel Kirkbride. When he de- left, it seems, to make the “ Citizen" parted, the Colonel drove him over to smart, for Cheetham cuts and stabs with Trenton to take the stage-coach. But in a spite which shows that the work was Trenton the Federal and Religious party as agreeable to his feelings as useful to had the upperband, and when Paine ap

His reminiscences must be plied at the booking-office for a seat to read multis cum granis. New York the agent refused to sell him In New York Paine enjoyed the same

Moreover, a crowd collected about kind of second-rate ovation as in Washhis lodgings, who groaned dismally when ington. A great number of persons callhe drove away with his friend, while a ed upon him, but mostly of the laboring band of musicians, provided for the occa- class of emigrants, who had heard of the sion, played the Rogue's March.

· Rights of Man," and, feeling disposed to Among the editorial celebrities of 1803, claim as many rights as possible in their James Cheetham, in New York, was al- new country, looked with reverence upon most as famous as Duane of the “ Auro- the inventor of the system. The Demora." Cheetham, like many of his contem- cratic leaders, with one or two exceptions, poraries, Gray, Carpenter, Callender, and avoided Paine. Respectabilities shunned Duane himself, was a British subject. He him as a contamination. Grant Thorburn: was a batter in his native land ; but a was suspended from church-membership turn for politics ruined his business and for shaking hands with him. To the boys made expatriation convenient. In the he was an object of curious attention ; United States, he had become the editor his nose was the burden of their songs. of the “ American Citizen,” and was at Cheetham carried round a subscriptionthat time busily engaged in attacking the list for a public dinner. Sixty or seventy Federalists and Burr's “ Little Band," for of Paine's admirers attended. It went their supposed attempt to elect Mr. Burr off brilliantly, and was duly reported in in the place of Mr. Jefferson. To Cheet- the “ American Citizen." Then the efham, accordingly, Paine wrote, request- fervescence of New York curiosity subing him to engage lodgings at Lovett's, sided; Paine became an old story. He afterwards the City Hotel. He sent for left Lovett's Hotel for humble lodgings Cheetham, on the evening of his arri- in the house of a free-thinking farrier. val. The journalist obeyed the sum- Thenceforward the tale of his life is soon mons immediately. This was the first told. He went rarely to his farm at New interview between Paine and the man Rochelle ; he disliked the country and who was to hang, draw, and quarter his the trouble of keeping house; and a bulmemory in a biography. This libellous let which whizzed through his window performance was written shortly after one Christmas Eve, narrowly missing his Paine's death. It was intended as a

head, did not add agreeable associations peace-offering to the English govern- to the place. In the city he moved his ment. The ex-batter had made up his quarters from one low boarding-house to mind to return home, and he wished to another, and generally managed to quarprove the sincerity of his conversion from rel with the blacksmiths, bakers, and radicalism by trampling on the remains butchers, his landlords. Unable to en



joy society suited to his abilities and large way,” he said, “to fortify New York will experience of life, Paine called in low be to banish the scoundrels that infest company to help him bear the burden it.” The inhabitants of that city would of existence. To the men who surround- do well, if they could find an engineer ed him, his opinions on all subjects were to fortify their island in this way. conclusive, and his shrewd sayings reve- When the Pennsylvanians called a lations. Among these respectful listen- Convention in 1805 to amend the Coners, he had to fear neither incredulity stitution of the State, Paine addressed nor disputation. Like his friend Elihu them at some length, giving them a sumPalmer, and the celebrated Dr. Priestley, mary of his views on Government, ConPaine would not tolerate contradiction. stitutions, and Charters. The Creoles of To differ with him was, in his eyes, sim- Louisiana sent to Congress a memorial ply to be deficient in understanding. He of their “rights,” in which they included was like the French lady who naïvely the importation of African slaves. Paine told Dr. Franklin, “ Je ne trouve que moi was indignant at this perversion of his qui aie toujours raison.” Professing to favorite specific for all political ailments, adore Reason, he was angry, if anybody and took the Franco-Americans soundly reasoned with him. But herein he was to task:-“ How dare you put up a petino exception to the general rule,—that tion to Heaven for such a power, without we find no persons so intolerant and illib- fearing to be struck from the earth by its eral as men professing liberal principles. justice ?” It is manifest that Paine could

His occupation and amusement was to not be a Democrat in good standing now. write for the papers articles of a some- Mingled with these graver topics were what caustic and personal nature. What- side-blows at the emissary Cullen, alias ever subject occupied the public mind Carpenter, an Englishman, who edited interested Paine and provoked his re- a Federal paper,- replies to Cheetham, marks. He was bitter in his attacks upon reprimands to Cheetham, and threats to the Federalists and Burrites for attempt- prosecute Cheetham for lying, “ unless ing to jockey Jefferson out of the Presi- he makes a public apology,”—and three dency. Later, when Burr was acquitted letters to Governor Morgan Lewis, who of treason, Paine found fault with Chief- bad incensed Paine by bringing an acJustice Marshall for his rulings during tion for political libel against a Mr. the trial, and gave him notice, that he Thomas Fariner, laying his damages at (Marshall) was “a suspected character.” one hundred thousand dollars. He also requested Dr. Mitchell, then Among his last productions wer two United States Senator for New York, to memorials to the House of Representapropose an amendment to the Constitu- tives. One can see in these papers that tion, authorizing the President to remove old age had weakened his mind, and that a judge, on the address of a majority of harsh treatment had soured his feelings both houses of Congress, for reasonable towards the land of his adoption. cause, when sufficient grounds for im- “Ma république à jamais grande et libre, peachment might not exist. General Cette terre d'amour et d'égalité," Miranda's filibustering expedition against no longer seemed to him as lovely as when Caracas, a greater failure even than the he composed these verses for a FourthLopez raid on Cuba, furnished Paine of-July dinner in Paris. He claimed with a theme. He wrote a sensible pa- compensation for his services in Colonel per on the yellow fever, by request of Laurens's mission to France in 1781. For Jefferson, and one or two on his iron his works he asked no reward.

4 All bridge. He was ardent in the defence the civilized world knows,” he writes, of Mr. Jefferson's pet scheme of a gun- “I have been of great service to the boat navy, and ridiculed the idea of United States, and have generously givfortifying New York. “ The cheapest en away talents that would have made


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me a fortune. The country has been en and kindred clergymen, who “ knew benefited, and I make myself happy in no way to bring home a wandering sheep the knowledge of it. It is, however, but by worrying him to death,” gathered proper for me to add, that the mere in- together about his bed. Even his physidependence of America, were it to have cian joined in the hue-and-cry. It was been followed by a system of government a scene of the Inquisition adapted to modelled after the corrupt system of the North America, - a Protestant auto da English government, would not have in- fé. The victim lay helpless before his terested me with the unabated ardor it persecutors; the agonies of disease supdid.” “ It will be convenient to me to plied the place of rack and fagot. But know what Congress will decide on, be- nothing like a recantation could be wrung cause it will determine me, whether, after from him. And so his tormentors left him 80 many years of generous services and alone to die, and his freethinking smiths that in the most perilous times, and after and cobblers rejoiced over his fidelity to seventy years of age, I shall continue in

the cause. this country, or offer my services to some He was buried on his farm at New other country. It will not be to Eng- Rochelle, according to his latest wishes. land, unless there should be a revolu- “ Thomas Paine. Author of Common tion."

Sense,'” the epitaph he had fixed upon, The memorial was referred to the Com- was carved upon his tomb. A better one mittee on Claims. When Paine heard of exists from an unknown hand, which tells, its fate, he addressed an indignant letter in a jesting way, the secret of the sorrows to the Speaker of the House. “I know of his later life : not who the Committee on Claims are;

" Here lies Tom Paine, who wrote in liberty's but if they were men of

younger stand

defence, ing than the times that tried men's souls,' And in his • Age of Reason’ lost his . Comand consequently too young to know

mon Sense.'” what the condition of the country was at Ten years after, William Cobbett, who the time I published • Common Sense,' had left England in a fit of political dis—for I do not believe that independence gust and had settled himself on Long would have been declared, had it not been Island to raise hogs and ruta-bagas, refor the effect of that work,--they are not solved to go home again. Cobbett had capable of judging of the whole of the ser- become an admirer, almost a disciple of vices of Thomas Paine. If my memorial Paine. The “ Constitution-grinder” of was referred to the Committee on Claims '96 was now " a truly great man, a truly for the purpose of losing it, it is unmanly philosophical politician, a mind as far supolicy. After so many years of service, perior to Pitt and Burke as the light of a heart grows

cold towards America." flambeau is superior to that of a rushHis heart was soon to grow cold to all light.” Above all, Paine had been Cobthe world. In the spring of 1809, it be- bett's teacher on financial questions. In came evident to Paine's attendants that 1803, Cobbett read his “ Decline and his end was approaching. As death drew Fall of the English System,” and then near, the memories of early youth arose “ saw the whole matter in its true light; vividly in his mind. He wished to be and neither pamphleteers nor speechburied in the cemetery of the Quakers, makers were after that able to raise a in whose principles his father had edu- momentary puzzle in his mind.” Percated him. He sent for a leading mem- haps Cobbett thought he might excite a ber of the sect to ask a resting-place for sensation in England and rally about his body in their ground. The request him the followers of Paine, or it may was refused.

be that he wished to repair the gross inWhen the news got abroad that the justice he had done him by some open act Arch-Infidel was dying, foolish old wom- of adherence; at all events, he exhumed



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Paine's body and took the bones home want of skill, industry, and thrift has prowith him in 1819, with the avowed in- duced the usual results,-have erected an tention of erecting a magnificent monu- altar to Thomas Paine, and, on the anment to his memory by subscription. In niversary of his birth, go through with a the same manner, about two thousand pointless celebration, which passes unno two hundred and fifty years ago, the ticed, unless in an out-of-the-way corner bones of Theseus, the mythical hero of of some newspaper. In this class of per Democracy, were brought from Skyros to sons, irreligion is a mere form of disconAthens by some Attic Kob3émns. The de- tent. They have no other reason to give scription of the arrival in England we for the faith which is not in them. They quote from a Liverpool journal of the like to ascribe their want of success in day :-“When his last trunk was opened life to something out of joint in the at the Custom-House, Cobbett observed thoughts and customs of society, rather to the surrounding spectators, who had than to their own shortcomings or incaassembled in great numbers,— Here are pacity. In France, such persons would the bones of the late Thomas Paine.' be Socialists and Rouges ; in this country, This declaration excited a visible sen

where the better classes only have any sation, and the crowd pressed forward to reason to rebel, they cannot well consee the contents of the package. Cob- spire against government, but attack rebett remarked, — Great, indeed, must ligion instead, and pride themselves on that man have been whose very bones their exemption from prejudice. The attract such attention!' The officer took Age of Reason” is their manual. Its up the coffin-plate inscribed, • Thomas bold, clear, simple statements they can Paine, Aged 72. Died January 8, 1809, understand; its shallowness they are too and, having lifted up several of the bones, ignorant to perceive; its coarseness is in replaced the whole and passed them. unison with their manners. Thus the They have since been forwarded from author has become the Apostle of Freethis town to London."

thinking tinkers and the Patron Saint of At a public dinner given to Cobbett unwashed Infidelity. in Liverpool, Paine was toasted as “ the To this generation at large, he is onNoble of Nature, the Child of the Lower ly an indistinct shadow,-a faint reminis Orders”;

but the monument was never cence of a red nose, -an ill-Havored name, raised, and no one knows where his bones redolent of brandy and of brimstone, his found their last resting-place.

beverage in life and his well-earned punCobbett himself gained nothing by this ishment in eternity, which suggests to resurrectionist performance, except an the serious mind dirt, drunkenness, and additional couplet in the party-songs of hopeless damnation. Mere worldlings the day :

call him “ Tom Paine,” in a tone which

combines derision and contempt. A bust Let Cobbett of borough-corruption com

of him, by Jarvis, in the possession of the plain,

New York Historical Society, is kept unAnd go to the De'il with the bones of Tom Paine."

der lock and key, because it was defaced

and defiled by visitors, while a dozen othThe two were classed together by Eng- er plaster worthies that decorate the inlish Conservatives, as "pestilent fellows stitution remained intact. Nevertheless, and“ promoters of sedition."

we suspect that most of our readers, if It is now fifty years since Paine died; they cannot date back to the first decade but the nil de mortuis is no rule in his of the century, will find, when they sift case. The evil associations of his later their information, that they have only days have pursued him beyond the grave. a speaking acquaintance with Thomas A small and threadbare sect of “liberals," Paine, and can give no good reason for as they call themselves,-men in whom their dislike of him.


And it is not easy for the general read- ing him cautiously, has dropped him like er to become intimate with him. He will some unclean and noxious animal. find him, of course, in Biographical Dic- Sixty years ago, Paine's friends used tionaries, Directories of the City of the to say, that, “in spite of some indiscreet Great Dead, which only tell you where writings on the subject of religion,” he men lived, and what they did to deserve deserved the respect and thanks of Amera place in the volume; but as to a life icans for his services. We think that he of him, strictly speaking, there is none. deserves something more at the present Oldys and Cobbett tried to flay him alive day than this absolute neglect. There is in pamphlets; Sherwin and Clio Rickman stuff enough in him for one volume at were prejudiced friends and published least. His career was wonderful, even only panegyrics. All are out of print for the age of miraculous events he lived and difficult to find. Cheetham's work in. In America, he was a Revolutionary is a political libel; and the attempt of Mr. hero of the first rank, who carried letters Vail of the “ Beacon" to canonize him in in his pocket from George Wasbington, the “Infidel's Calendar,” cannot be recom- thanking him for his services. And he mended to intelligent persons. We might managed besides to write his radical expect to meet with him in those books name in large letters in the History of of lives so common with us,-collections England and of France. As a mere in which a certain number of deceased literary workman, his productions degentlemen are bound up together, so re- serve notice. In mechanics, he invented sembling each other in feature that one and put up the first iron bridge of large might suppose the narratives ground out span in England; the boldness of the atby some obituary-machine and labelled tempt still excites the admiration of engiafterward to suit purchasers. Even this neers. He may urge, too, another claim "sign-post biography,” as the “Quarter- to our attention. In the legion of "most ly” calls it, Paine has escaped. He was remarkable men” these United States not a marketable commodity. There was have produced or imported, only three no demand for him in polite circles. The have achieved infamy: Arnold, Burr, implacable hand of outraged orthodoxy and Paine. What are Paine's titles to ! was against him. Hence his memory belong to this trio of disreputables ? Onhas lain in the gutter. Even his friend ly these three : he wrote the “Age of ReaJoel Barlow left him out of the “ Colum- son"; was a Democrat, perhaps an unusubiad,” to the great disgust of Clio Rick- ally dirty one ; and drank more brandy man, who thought his name should have than was good for him. The “ Age of appeared in the Fifth Book between Reason” is a shallow deistical essay, in Washington and Franklin. Surely Bar- which the author's opinions are set forth, low might have found room for him in it is true, in a most offensive and irrevthe following “ Epic List of Heroes”: erent style. As Dr. Hopkins wrote of

Ethan Allen,“Wythe, Mason, Pendleton, with Henry joined,

“ One hand was clenched to batter noses, Rush, Rodney, Langdon, friends of human

While t'other scrawled 'gainst Paul and kind,

Moses." Persuasive Dickinson, the farmer's boast, Recording Thompson, pride of all the host, But who reads it now? On the other Nash, Jay, the Livingstons, in council great,

hand, no one who has studied Paine's Rutledge and Laurens, held the rolls of fate."

career can deny his honesty and his disBut no! Neither author nor authorling interestedness; and every unprejudiced liked to have his name seen in company

reader of his works must admit not merewith Thomas Paine. And when a cu- ly his great ability in urging his opinions, rious compiler has taken him up, he has but that he sincerely believed all he held him at arm's length, and, after eye- wrote. Let us, then, try to forget the


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