Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from The Writings of Thomas Paine, Vol. 2: 1779-1792
A piece of very extraordinary complexion made its appearance in your last paper, under the signature of Americanus, and what is equally as extraordinary, I have not yet met with one advocate in its favour. To write under the curse of universal reprobation is hard indeed, and proves that either the writer is too honest for the world he lives in, or the world, bad as it is, too honest for him to write in.
Some time last winter a worthy member of the Assembly of this State put into my hands, with some expressions of surprize, a motion which he had copied from an original shewn to him by another member, who intended to move it in the House. The purport of that, and the doctrine of Americanus, bear such strong resemblance to each other, that I make no hesitation in believing them both generated from the same parents. The intended motion, however, withered without being put, and Americanus, by venturing into being, has exposed himself to a less tranquil exit.
Whether Americanus sits in Congress or not, may be the subject of future enquiry; at present I shall content myself with making some strictures on what he advances.
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