The Life of Thomas Paine: With a History of His Literary, Political, and Religious Career in America, France, and England - Vol. 2

The Life of Thomas Paine: With a History of His Literary, Political, and Religious Career in America, France, and England - Vol. 2

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The Life of Thomas Paine: With a History of His Literary, Political, and Religious Career in America, France, and England - Vol. 2

The Life of Thomas Paine: With a History of His Literary, Political, and Religious Career in America, France, and England - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Dumas' hero, Dr. Gilbert (in “Ange Pitou “), an idealization of Paine, interprets his hopes and horrors on the opening of the fateful year 1793. Dr. Gilbert’s pamphlets had helped to found liberty in. the New World, but sees that it may prove the germ of total ruin to the Old World.

“A new world,” repeated Gilbert; “that is to say, a vast
open space, a clear table to work upon,—no laws, but no
abuses; no ideas, but no prejudices. In France, thirty
thousand square leagues of territory for thirty millions of
people; that is to say, should the space be equally divided,
scarcely room for a cradle or a grave for each. Out yonder,
in America, two hundred thousand square leagues for three
millions of people; frontiers which are ideal, for they border
on the desert, which is to say, immensity. In those two
hundred thousand leagues, navigable rivers, having a course
of a thousand leagues; virgin forests, of which God alone
knows the limits,—that is to say, all the elements of life,
of civilization, and of a brilliant future. Oh, how easy it is,
Billot, when a man is called Lafayette, and is accustomed to
wield a sword; when a man is called Washington, and is
accustomed to reflect deeply,—how easy is it to combat
against walls of wood, of earth, of stone, of human flesh! But

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