Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

6

[ocr errors]

of an attorney at Thetford, and of the established 6 Church.'

' By some accident, probably arising from the disagreement of his parents in their religious sentiments, the son was never baptized. He was, however, confirmed at the usual age, by the Bishop of Norwich, through the care of his aunt, Mistress Cocke.'

* At the free-school of Thetford, under Mr. * Knowles, young Paine was instructed in reading, * wiiting, and arithmetic. The expense of his edu'cation was defrayed by his father, with some as

sistance from his mother's relations. At the age of thirteen, he became his father's apprentice, in the trade of a staymaker. At this employment he continued for five years ; although

he, himself, forgetful or regardless of the truth, 'has, in the second part of his Rights of Man, • related, that he entered, at the age of sixteen, , ' on board the Terrible privateer, Captain Death;

which was not fitted out till some years after6 wards.'

' He went, at the age of nineteen, to try his fortune in London; where he worked for some time ' with Mr. Morris, an eminent staymaker in Hano

ver-street, Long-Acre. After a very short stay in " this situation, he repaired to Dover; and there

obtained employment with Mr. Grace, a respecta· ble staymaker. While Paine remained here, an

attachment began between him and Miss Grace, ' his master's daughter: in consequence of which,

Mr. Grace was induced to lend our adventurer ç ten pounds. to enable him to settle as a masterstaymaker at Sandwich.'

He settled at Sandwich in April, 1759; but forgot to repay the ten pounds, or to fulfil the mar

riage, in expectation of which the money had ç been advanced to him.--Here, it seems, he took

6

up

6

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

up his lodging in the market place; and forined a little congregation, to whom he preached, in his lodging, as an independent minister. • In the mean time, he fell in love with a pretty, modest, young woman, Mary Lambert, daughter ' of James Lambert; who, with his wife Mary, had

come to Sitting bourne as an exciseman, before the year 1736; but, having been dismissed for misconduct, had opened a shop, and acted, besides,

as bum-bailiff of Sittingbourne. Both father and " mother were by this tinie dead, in indigent cir

cumstances; and the daughter was now waiting

woman to Mrs. Solly, wife of Richard Solly, an eminent woollen-draper at Sandwich.—Mary

Lambert and Thomas Paine were married on the ' 27th of September, 1759. Although he was on

ly twenty-two, and she twenty-one years of age, yet, by the scars of disease, or by the native harshness of his features, he appeared at the time r of the marriage so much older than she, that

the good women of Sandwich expressed their astonishment, that so fine a girl should marry so old a fellow.'

• Thomas, soon after the marriage, finding him' self somehow disappointed, began to maltreat his ( wife. Little more than two months had passed, " when this became visible to the whole town. By ' Mrs. Solly's aid, their poverty was occasionally * relieved. From the furnished lodging in which " Paine had hitherto lived, the young couple soon

removed to a house, for which they, with some ' difficulty, obtained furniture upon credit. But ' he having contracted debts which he was unable

to discharge, our adventurer, with his wife, found

[ocr errors]

6

theinseives obliged to take what is called in Scot' land, a moonlight flitting ; and, on the night, be• tween the seventh and eighth of April, 1760, they set out from Sandwich to Margate; Thomas car

6

rying with him the furniture which he had pur

chased on credit, a stove belonging to his house, ' and the stays of a customer. The stays were re

covered from him by a timeful claim. He sold • the furniture by auction at Margate.-The sale • of goods obtained upon credit on a false pretext,

is a crime that was formerly punished by expo.

sure on the pillory, which has since been changed • for transportation.

At this place, the reader will undoubtedly call to mind Paine's vehement sallies against the English penal code. All the patriots look upon law-givers, judges, juries, and the whole suite of justice, as their mortal enemies. « Inhunian wretches," says Tom, “ that are leagued together to rob man of his

Rights, and with them of his existence.” This is like the thief, who, when about to receive sentence of death, protested he would swear the peace against the judge, for that he verily believed he had a design upon his life.-Reader, while you live suspect those tender-hearted fellows who shudder at the name of the gallows. When you hear a man loud against the severity of the laws, set him down for a rogue.

From Margate, Paine returned to London. · His wife set out with him : but her subsequent • fate is not well known. Some say that she perished • on the road, by ill usage and a premature birth : ' others, in consequence of diligent inquiry,, be"lieve her to be still alive ; although the obscurity • of her retreat prevents ready discovery.'

Now, who that reads this, does not feel a desire to kick the scoundrel of a staymaker, for exclainaing against aristocracy, because as he pretends its laws and customs are cruel and unnatural ?“ With whatokind of parental reflections,” says the hypocrite in his Rights of Man, “ can the fa“ther and mother contemplate their tender off

“ spring?

“ spring ?- To restore parents to their children, “ and children to their parents, relations to each “ other, and man to society, the French Constitu“ tion has destroyed the law of primogenitureship.”

- Is not this fine cant to entrap the unsuspecting vulgar? Who would not imagine that the soul which pours itself forth in joy for the restoration of all these dear relatives to each other, was made up

of constancy and tenderness ? Who would suspect the man whose benevolence is thus extended to foreigners, whom he never saw, of being a brutal and savage husband, and an unnatural father?-Do you ask, “ with what kind of parental reflections the “ father and mother can contemplate their tender " offspring ?”—Hypocritical monster! with what kind of reflections did you contemplate the last agonies of a poor, weak, credulous woman, who had braved the scoffs of the world, who had abandoned every thing for your sake, had put her all in your possession, and who looked up to you, and you alone, for support?

Paine's humanity, like that of all the reforming philosophers of the present enlightened day, is of the speculative kind. It never breaks out into action. Hear these people, and you would think them overflowing with the milk of human kindness. They stretch their benevolence to the extremities of the globe : it embraces every living creature-except those who have the misfortune to come in contact with them. They are all citizens of the world : country, and friends and relations are unwortly the attention of men who are occupied in rendering all mankind happy and free.

I ever suspect the sincerity of a man whose discourse abounds in expressions of universal philanthrophy. Nothing is easier than for a person of some imagination to raise himself to a swell of sentiment, without the aid of one single feeling of the

heart.

heart. Rousseau, for instance, is everlastingly babbling about his genre humain (human race) and his coeur aimant et tendre(tender and loving heart). He writes for the human race, his heart bieeds for the distresses of the human race, and in the midst of all this he sends his unfortunate bastards to the poor-house, the receptacle of misery! Virtuous and tender-hearted and sympathetic Rousseau ! Certainly nothing is so disgusting as this, except it be to see the humane and sentimental Sterne wiping away a tear at the sight of a dead jack-ass, while his injured wife and child were pining away their days in a nunnery, and while he was debauching the wife of his friend. *

" In July, 1761, Thomas returned, without her, - to his father's house.--Having been unsuccess

ful in the business of a stay-maker, he was now willing to leave it for the Excise. In the Excise, after fourteen months of study and trials, he was established on the 1st of December 1762, at the age of twenty-five. The kindness of Mr. Cocksedge, recorder of Thetford, procured for him this appointment. He was sent, as a supernumerary, first to Grantham ; and on the 8th of Au

gust 1764, to Alford.-Being detected in some · misconduct, he was, on the 27th of August 1765, dismissed from his office.' - In this state of wretchedness and disgrace, he

* Sterne's writings are most admirably calculated to destroy the morals of the youth of both sexes; but it was reserved for some of the printers in the United States to give those writings the finishing touch. What the lewd author was ashamed to do, they have done for him. They have explained bis double entendres and fillhy inuendos by a set of the most bawdy cuts that, ever disgraced the pencil.-I was shown a copy of the Sentimental Journey in this style at the shop of Citizen Thomas Bradford of Philadelphia, ibe only place in the city, I believe, where it is to be had.

· repaired

« НазадПродовжити »