writer in the full ripeness of his intellect, and the beginning of an unceasing brilliant literary life at its meridian, are mysteries, save in this instance, unknown to history. COMMON SENSE is a child of mystery. It is the best of this great author's productions. He himself so considered it, for he directs that his tombstone shall bear the simple inscription, THOMAS PAINE, AUTHOR OF COMMON SENSE.
That Thomas Paine should have lived an easy, idle life, without any great effort in thought, study, or composition, for fifteen years immediately preceding the appearance of COMMON SENSE, is what no writer, or thinker, or student, or statesman will believe. Great works of genius do not come in this way, much less profound political writings. Even inspiration would desert the connection. And that the proud, ambitious, literary adventurer, who shall dedicate his life to the good of mankind, who shall wrest the power from priests and the scepter from kings, should content himself to fill a poor and pe
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