Imágenes de página

the means. He then turned up a newspaper, which had recently been established at New York, and, after reading several paragraphs, he ob. served that he could not understand what the editor was driving at. He pretended to be a great friend of Britain, and yet he was constantly writing against peace, and the best interests of the country; and in place of being guided by the plain dictates of common sense, he aimed at flowery, embellished language, and glided away into the airy regions of speculative nonsense, more like a madman than the editor of a newspaper. After a good deal of general conversation, we took our leave.

A few days after this, his friend handed me a piece in MS., intended for the newspapers; and requested me to copy it, and keep the original; and as Paine has made a great noise in the world, I shall here insert it, as a relic of an extraordinary political character, and as a very good specimen of the acuteness of his mind, and his turn for wit, at the advanced age of 70.


"It must be a great consolation to poor Mr. -'s friends, if he has any, to hear that his insanity increases beyond all hopes of a recovery. His case is truly pitiable; he works hard at the trade of mischief-making; but he is not a good hand at it, for the case is, the more he labors, the more he is laughed at, and his malady increases with every laugh.

"In his paper of Thursday, September 18th, the spirit of prophecy seizes him, and he leaps from the earth, gets astride of a cloud, and predicts universal darkness to the inhabitants of this lower world.

[ocr errors]

Speaking of the rumors of peace between France and England, he says, we will not believe it till we see it gazetted (meaning in the London Gazette), and then,' says he,' we will aver, that the sun which dawns upon that event will be the darkest that ever rose since the transgression of our first parents brought sin into the world.' This is the first time we ever heard of the sun shining darkness. But darkness or light, sense or nonsense, sunshine or moonshine, are all alike to a lunatic. He then goes on: 'In a continuance,' says he, of war only can Britain look for salvation. That star once distinguished, all will be darkness and eternal night over the face of the creation.' The devil it will! And pray, Mr. will the moon shine darkness too? and will all the stars twinkle darkness? If that should be the case, you had better sell your press, and set up tallow-chandler There will be more demand for candles than for newspapers, when those dark days


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

แ But as you are a man that write for a livelihood, and I suppose you find it hard work to rub on, I would advise you, as a friend, not to lay out all your cash upon candle-making, for my opinion is, that, whether England make peace or not, or whether she is conquered or not conquered, the sun will rise as glorious, and shine as bright on that day, as if no such trifling things had happened."

It appeared in the sequel, that Paine was correct in his opinion, and the editor was gratified in his wish-thoro was no peace.

[graphic][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]




« AnteriorContinuar »