Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from The Writings of Thomas Paine, Vol. 3: 1791-1804
In a letter of Lafayette to Washington ("Paris, 12 Jan., 1790") he writes: "Common Sense is writing for you a brochure where you will see a part of my adventures." It thus appears that the narrative embodied in the reply to Burke ("Rights of Man," Part I.), dedicated to Washington, was begun with Lafayette's collaboration fourteen months before its publication (March 13, 1791).
In another letter of Lafayette to Washington (March 17, 1790) he writes:
"To Mr. Paine, who leaves for London, I entrust the care of sending you my news... Permit me, my dear General, to offer you a picture representing the Bastille as it was some days after I gave the order for its demolition. I also pay you the homage of sending you the principal Key of that fortress of despotism. It is a tribute I owe as a son to my adoptive father, as aide-de-camp to my General, as a missionary of liberty to his Patriarch."
The Key was entrusted to Paine, and by him to J. Rutledge, Jr., who sailed from London in May. I have found in the manuscript despatches of Louis Otto, Charge d' Affaires, several amusing paragraphs, addressed to his government at Paris, about this Key.
"August 4, 1790. In attending yesterday the public audience of the President, I was surprised by a question from the Chief Magistrate, 'whether I would like to see the Key of the Bastille?' One of his secretaries showed me at the same moment a large Key, which had been sent to the President by desire of the Marquis de la Fayette.
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