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or public
affairs. Vainly have the friends of reform protested their attachment
to the Constitution. Vainly they declare that they desire to demand
nothing, to obtain nothing, save in lawful ways. They are persistently
disbelieved. Payne alone is seen in all their movements; and this author
has not, like Mackintosh, rendered imposing his refutation of Burke. The
members of the Association, although very different in principles, find
themselves involved in the now almost general disgrace of Payne."

M. NoŽl writes from London, November 2, 1792, to the republican
Minister, Le Brun, concerning the approaching trial of Paine, which had
been fixed for December 18th.

"This matter above all excites the liveliest interest. People desire
to know whether they live in a free country, where criticism even of
government is a right of every citizen. Whatever may be the decision in
this interesting trial, the result can only be fortunate for the cause
of liberty. But the government cannot conceal from itself that it is
suspended over a volcano. The wild dissipations of the King's sons
add to the discontent, and if something is overlooked in the Prince of
Wales, who is loved enough, it is not so with the Duke of York, who
has few friends. The latter has so many debts that at this moment the
receivers are in his house, and the creditors wish even his bed to be
seized. You perceive, Citizen, what a text fruitful in reflexions this
conduct presents to a people groaning under the weight of taxes for the
support of such whelps (_louvetaux_)."

Under date of December 22, 1792, M. NoŽl writes:

"London is perfectly tranquil. The arbitrary measures taken by the
government in advance [of Paine's trial] cause no anxiety to the mass
of the nation about its liberties. Some dear-headed people see well that
the royal prerogative will gain in this crisis, and that it is dangerous
to leave executive power to become arbitrary at pleasure; but this very
small number groan in silence, and dare not speak for fear of seeing
their property pillaged or burned by what the miserable hirelings
of government call 'Loyal Mob,' or 'Church and King Mob.' To the
'Addressers,' of whom I wrote you, are added the associations for
maintaining the Constitution they are doing all they can to destroy.
There is no corporation, no parish, which is not mustered for this
object. All have assembled, one on the other, to press against
those whom they call 'The Republicans and the Levellers,' the most
inquisitorial measures. Among other parishes, one (S. James' Vestry
Room) distinguishes itself by a decree worthy of the sixteenth century.
It promises twenty guineas reward to any one who shall denounce those
who in conversation or otherwise propagate opinions contrary to the
public tranquillity, and places the denouncer under protection of the
parish. The inhabitants of London are now placed under a new kind of
_Test_, and those who refuse it will undoubtedly be persecuted. Meantime
these papers are carried from house to house to be signed, especially by
those lodging as strangers. This _Test_ causes murmurs, and some try to
evade signature, but the number is few. The example of the capital is
generally followed. The trial of Payne, which at one time seemed likely
to cause events, has ended in the most peaceful way. Erskine has been
borne to his house by people shouting _God Save the King! Erskine
forever!_ The friends of liberty generally are much dissatisfied with
the way in which he has defended his client. They find that he threw
himself into commonplaces which could make his eloquence shine, but
guarded himself well from going to the bottom of the question. Vane
especially, a distinguished advocate and zealous democrat, is furious
against Erskine. It is now for Payne to defend himself. But whatever
he does, he will have trouble enough to reverse the opinion. The Jury's
verdict is generally applauded: a mortal blow is dealt to freedom of
thought. People sing in the streets, even at midnight, _God save the
King and damn Tom Payne!_" (1)

1 The despatches from which these translations are made are
in the Archives of the Department of State at Paris, series
marked _Angleterre_ vol. 581.

The student of that period will find some instruction in a collection,
now in the British Museum, of coins and medals mostly struck after the
trial and outlawry of Paine. A halfpenny, January 21,1793: _obverse_,
a man hanging on a gibbet, with church in the distance; motto "End of
Pain"; _reverse_, open book inscribed "The Wrongs of Man." A token: bust
of Paine, with his name; _reverse_, "The Mountain in Labour, 1793."
Farthing: Paine gibbeted; _reverse_, breeches burning, legend,
"Pandora's breeches"; beneath, serpent decapitated by a dagger,
the severed head that of Paine. Similar farthing, but _reverse_,
combustibles intermixed with labels issuing from a globe marked
"Fraternity"; the labels inscribed "Regicide," "Robbery," "Falsity,"
"Requisition"; legend, "French Reforms, 1797"; near by, a church with
flag, on it a cross. Half-penny without date, but no doubt struck in
1794, when a rumor reached London that Paine had been guillotined:
Paine gibbeted; above, devil smoking a pipe; _reverse_, monkey dancing;
legend, "We dance, Paine swings." Farthing: three men hanging on a
gallows; "The three Thomases, 1796." _Reverse_, "May the three knaves
of Jacobin Clubs never get a trick." The three Thomases were Thomas
Paine, Thomas Muir, and Thomas Spence. In 1794 Spence was imprisoned
seven months for publishing some of Paine's works at his so-called
"Hive of Liberty." Muir, a Scotch lawyer, was banished to Botany Bay for
fourteen years for having got up in Edinburgh (1792) a "Convention," in
imitation of that just opened in Paris; two years later he escaped from
Botany Bay on an American ship, and found his way to Paine in Paris.
Among these coins there are two of opposite character. A farthing
represents Pitt on a gibbet, against which rests a ladder; inscription,
"End of P [here an eye] T." _Reverse_, face of Pitt conjoined with that
of the devil, and legend, "Even Fellows." Another farthing like the
last, except an added legend, "Such is the reward of tyrants, 1796."
These anti-Pitt farthings were struck by Thomas Spence.

In the winter of 1792-3 the only Reign of Terror was in England. The
Ministry had replied to Paine's "Rights of Man" by a royal proclamation
against seditious literature, surrounding London with militia, and
calling a meeting of Parliament (December, 1792) out of season.
Even before the trial of Paine his case was prejudged by the royal
proclamation, and by the Addresses got up throughout the country in
response,--documents which elicited Paine's Address to the Addressers,
chapter IX. in this volume. The Tory gentry employed roughs to burn
Paine in effigy throughout the country, and to harry the Nonconformists.
Dr. Priestley's house was gutted. Mr. Fox (December 14, 1792) reminded
the House of Commons that all the mobs had "Church and King" for their
watchword, no mob having been heard of for "The Rights of Man"; and
he vainly appealed to the government to prosecute the dangerous libels
against Dissenters as they were prosecuting Paine's work. Burke, who in
the extra session of Parliament for the first time took his seat on the
Treasury Bench, was reminded that he had once "exulted at the victories
of that rebel Washington," and welcomed Franklin. "Franklin," he said,
"was a native of America; Paine was born in England, and lived under the
protection of our laws; but, instigated by his evil genius, he conspired
against the very country which gave him birth, by attempting to
introduce the new and pernicious doctrines of republicans."

In the course of the same harangue, Burke alluded to the English and
Irish deputations, then in Paris, which had congratulated the Convention
on the defeat of the invaders of the Republic. Among them he named
Lord Semphill, John Frost, D. Adams, and "Joel--Joel the Prophet" (Joel
Barlow). These men were among those who, towards the close of 1792,
formed a sort of Paine Club at "Philadelphia House"--as White's Hotel
was now called. The men gathered around Paine, as the exponent of
republican principles, were animated by a passion for liberty which
withheld no sacrifice. Some of them threw away wealth and rank as
trifles. At a banquet of the Club, at Philadelphia House, November 18,
1792, where Paine presided, Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Sir Robert Smyth,
Baronet, formally renounced their titles. Sir Robert proposed the toast,
"A speedy abolition of all hereditary titles and feudal distinctions."
Another toast was, "Paine--and the new way of making good books known by
a Royal proclamation and a King's Bench prosecution."

There was also Franklin's friend, Benjamin Vaughan, Member of
Parliament, who, compromised by an intercepted letter, took refuge in
Paris under the name of Jean Martin. Other Englishmen were Rev. Jeremiah
Joyce, a Unitarian minister and author (coadjutor of Dr. Gregory in
his "Cyclopaedia "); Henry Redhead Yorke, a West Indian with some negro
blood (afterwards an agent of Pitt, under whom he had been imprisoned);
Robert Merry, husband of the actress "Miss Brunton"; Sayer, Rayment,
Macdonald, Perry.

Sampson Perry of London, having attacked the government in his journal,
"The Argus," fled from an indictment, and reached Paris in January,
1793. These men, who for a time formed at Philadelphia House their
Parliament of Man, were dashed by swift storms on their several rocks.
Sir Robert Smyth was long a prisoner under the Reign of Terror, and died
(1802) of the illness thereby contracted. Lord Edward Fitzgerald was
slain while trying to kindle a revolution in Ireland. Perry was a
prisoner in the Luxembourg, and afterwards in London. John Frost, a
lawyer (struck off the roll), ventured back to London, where he was
imprisoned six months in Newgate, sitting in the pillory at Charing
Cross one hour per day. Robert Merry went to Baltimore, where he died
in 1798. Nearly all of these men suffered griefs known only to the "man
without a country."

Sampson Perry, who in 1796 published an interesting "History of the
French Revolution," has left an account of his visit to Paine in
January, 1793:

"I breakfasted with Paine about this time at the Philadelphia Hotel, and
asked him which province in America he conceived the best calculated
for a fugitive to settle in, and, as it were, to begin the world with no
other means or pretensions than common sense and common honesty.



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