AN ANSWER TO Paine's Letter TO GENERAL WASHINGTON: INCLUDING Some Pages of Gratuitous Counsel TO Mr. Erskine.

Impius, ingratusque, audax, scelerumque magister.


PHILADELPHIA: Re-published by William Cobbett, opposite Christ-Church. Jan. 1798.



THIS pamphlet was published in London about four months ago. The infamous Letter of Paine seems to have produced, in Great-Bri­tain, that degree of indignation and abhorrence, which the complica­ted crime of calumny, ingratitude, and perfidy, is calculated to ex­cite in every just and generous mind. This sentiment of the British public, MR. KENNEDY has most forcibly expressed. He has traced the malignant traitor through the labyrinth of his nefarious career, from the first to the last of his publications: he has brought forward many facts not generally known; has proved Paine to have been a hireling of France, from the close of the American revolution; and has ex­hibited, in glaring colours, his abominable ingratitude to GENERAL WASHINGTON, whose character, if it stood in need of defence, has here sound a zealous and able defender.

It must be a pleasure to every good man, and particularly to every good American, to see that all men of talents, honour and honesty, even in foreign countries, feel themselves interested in preserving un­tarnished, the same of the MAN who is the pride of America; and, proportioned to this pleasure, must be the pain, the shame, and the confusion of his unprincipled and viperous enemies.

P. P.


AMID the convulsions, which have for some years unhappily agitated the European world— Amid the horrors of a Revolution, founded on animosities, hatreds, massacres, and blood, in which the human character has been exhibited in all its deformity, no man has laboured more un­ceasingly to unhinge the links of social order—and to overturn Religion, Morality and Government, than the enthusiastic, the depraved, the ungrateful Tom Paine.—

Having developed the inveterate malice, the sub­tle cruelty of his character in a series of wild dis­cussions and dangerous theories, all tending to the overthrow of general prosperity and individual happiness in every country, he has now consum­mated his guilt, and given the most evident proofs of the foulness of his heart, by sacrificing the last little remnant of imputed patriotism, to a faithless and cowardly attack on his early benefactor and friend.

We are not surprised, because we discover plain­ly the immediate cause of the violent change that has dictated the declarations of discontent, and threats of hostility, which continue to fill the co­lumns [Page 4]of the French Journals, against the firm and prudent conduct of the American Congress, aided by their respectable President.—It is the business of the designing, ill-intentioned, ambitious leaders of faction in France, under the cloak of liberty, to practise all the arts of calumny, to mislead the peo­ple, and hurry them into the wildest measures. That Tom Paine should seize with avidity and with an activity, unfortunately in him combined with a most malignant disposition, every channel of in­vective, and abuse and injury against the British Government, we cannot wonder at.—But that he should add to the black catalogue of his crimes, that of deep ingratitude, by aiming to stab the same, to murder the character of the man that cherished his political infancy, and brought him forward into public life, proves that the assumed garb of modern philosophy is but a safer covering for the dagger of the assassin. An enemy of Britain by principles of rebellion, by habits of abuse, by circumstances of political elevation and private interest, we have seen him direct the whole force of his imposing talents, the specious trick of smooth phraseology, the cant of popular prejudices, to discolour, to traduce, the established forms of government and to overthrow the constitution of those kingdoms.—But in his last performance, he far out-does his usual out-doings— he out-strips depravity—and high o'er-leaping over­leaps all bounds,—faithful to his avowed princi­ples of anarchy and commotion, he boldly soars to the last and greatest of crimes, ingratitude, and [Page 5]arraigns the illustrious Washington for his persever­ing and virtuous attachment to the order, the pros­perity of the American States.

In the phrenzy of Gallic zeal, he forgets that he fell a victim in his turn to the fury of faction; and that in despite of his labours for a series of years in the cause of revolutionary government, he was consigned to a dungeon; and eventually rescued from the guillotine, which carried off his fellow-actors on the great revolutionary theatre, after strutting their hour on the bloody stage, only by the generous interference of those peaceful and humane Americans, whom he now loads with re­proach and obloquy, because they will not sacrifice individual virtue, and rational wisdom, to the inso­lent dictation of French partizans, and domestic anarchists.

One would have thought that the situation of distress and suffering, into which Paine was hur­ried, among the other revolutionary heroes of his day, and his narrow escape from the gripe of the guillotine, should have checked the cacoethos scri­bendi, and awed him from meddling further in political affairs. But it seems that confinement tended only to sharpen the edge of calumny, and to point more keenly the shafts of slander against all that men are taught to respect in society—Mo­rality and Religion. The moment of his delive­rance from prison, was like the opening of Pan­dora's box, marked by the issuing forth of a more pestilential vapour than what he had before sent [Page 6]into the world. Religion, that great cement and bond of public order—the gracious harbinger of peace and happiness to mankind, became the ob­ject of his scurrillity and ridicule. Maxims, arrayed in all the false colourings and tinsel glare of subtle attraction, were propagated and diligently spread abroad, to catch the prejudices of the unthinking and ignorant, as well as to gratify the conceits and vanity of the dissolute and profane.

Happily, in this bloated publication, his views have failed; his itch of scribbling, his mania of innovation, outran discretion; and the most zea­lous advocates after reform, the most furious zea­lots for his Rights of Man, were sorely chagrined, vexed, disgusted, and irritated, that he should so soon discover the latitude of their intentions, and expose a system, menacing with absolute destruc­tion, the true basis of liberty and good govern­ment. They confessed that Mr. Paine mistook the British character, when he ushered in, with all the pomp of laboured talent and detailed subtlety, those atheistical tenets which make the Christian revolt from the book and from the man, with honest in­dignation: The political reformers, who looked upon him before as their surest champion, felt how much the public opinion would instantly turn against the author of those atrocious systems which fill the humane and Christian heart with terror and dismay.

Every man attached to the Christian dispensation saw clearly that there was some latent design, some [Page 7]secret purpose, some soul intention of public mis­chief, in an open attack upon religion; because every thinking man is fully convinced that an at­tempt to overthrow religious principles, evinces a disposition hostile to all restraints of law and social order, and inimical to that salutary doctrine, which inculcates peace on earth, and good-will among men.

Mr. Paine, in the full career of vanity, and ela­ted by the support his former ostentatious produc­tions had met with, from the agitators of sedition, proudly imagined that public opinion would be al­ways at his command; that a people deluded for a while by the sophistry, the specious embellish­ments of fantastic novelty, and prepared by the in­trigue of itinerant declaimers and active partizans, would embrace, with ardour, any system promul­gated by him, however inconsistent or diseased.— He flattered himself that the momentary celebrity of the Rights of Man, would establish his Age of Reason; and the name of Tom Paine triumph over the mild doctrines of the Christian dispensa­tion.

In his strenuous efforts to promote irreligion and immorality, and to inculcate a contempt of the most sacred obligations, he takes care to call up the pre­judices of the vulgar, by levelling the artillery of his slander against the Clergy: Judging with acute cunning, that to relax and undermine the obser­vances and ties of religion, the best method is to begin by lessening that awe and respect, which we [Page 8]ought to [...]tertain for a body of men, who are paticularly appointed to instruct us in the ways of true piety and virtue, and who, in general, de­serve from us the utmost regard.

It is to be lamented, that men often pervert ta­lents to the worst of purposes—

Ingeniis male usi—
et facundi malo publico.

They labour to darken and corrupt the minds of others, with unremitting earnestness; they seduce the multitude to their views by shattering their pas­sions —by dressing up falsehood in the colours of truth, and vice in the garb of virtue. The wise and good may look with contempt and indigna­tion on the endeavours of such men; but, unhap­pily, they are too apt to gain credit and estima­tion with the greater number.

Happily for mankind, the Age of Reason be­came the antidote to the poison of the Rights of Man. Paine's most zealous advocates were cover­ed with shame and mortification at the total disre­gard of religious character and public opinion, in their favourite hero of liberty.—The democratic scribes were obliged to abandon his defence for the time, and even to confess the folly, the wick­edness of his attack upon religion.—While, on the other hand, all men of sober reflexion saw in that publication the extreme licentionsness over atten­dant on the extreme freedom of the press; where opinions are hazarded, and doctrines introduced, [Page 9]subversive of all those relative duties, which unite Men in Society.

It is a maxim, founded on truth, that Religion is the firmest foundation of honour and true hap­piness in every state; and the most permanent pil­lar and strongest support in every form of govern­ment. A cursory view of the annals of former ages will sufficiently convince us, that every State and Kingdom flourished or decayed, were happy or convulsed, in proportion as they were more or less religious. The reason is plain. Individuals will certainly be punished or rewarded in another life according to their actions here—but public communities and states, as such, can only be re­warded or punished in this world; and, therefore, national wickedness must ever expect public and national punishment.

This should be a lesson to all who are placed in high stations, and fill the feat of power, to exhibit the brightest examples of truth and justice, of ho­nour and religion. The examples of the great will induce more to tread the paths of virtue than the instructions of the most eloquent preacher, or the most finished essays of the finest writer.

In our own most gracious Sovereign, and in his Royal Confort, we behold bright cramples of moral excellence and virtuous life. We glory in a monarch whose sole aim and study is to establish law and religion, in their full and offential force, against a tide of innovadon and danger to public happiness. And surely, we may truly pronounce [Page 10]that for such gracious purposes, "the powers that be, are ordained of God."—When power and virtue are thus united for the public good, what can be more just and beneficial?

The conduct, the speeches, the letters of Gene­ral Washington, have ever manifested a strong sense of religion and virtue.—That great Man has ever evinced his conviction of this truth—viz.

We may pain the beauties of virtue and reli­gion in the most alluring colours; but it is exam­ple alone that must prevail over the multitude, and teach the ignorant and thoughtless, wisdom. We must practically adore our Creator, love our fel­low-creatures, and obey the dictates of conscience, that faithful monitor, placed by Omnipotence in the human breast. We profess Christianity—be­cause in it we find every precept necessary to raise and elevate human nature to perfection; and, at the same time, the pleasing assurance of an atone­ment and propitiation for the transgressions and imperfections of the human race. The more this religion is examined, the more we are convinced of its divine original: Time, the unerring touch­stone of truth, confirms its verity and proclaims its power.

If there is any foundation in the above observa­tions,

"And that there is, all Nature speaks aloud"— How dreadful must be the terrors of Tom Paine, if conscience is ever awakened in such breasts? How fearful the representation of the wide and [Page 11]horrible waste, which his guilty mind would spread among mankind—as the immediate consequence of his infernal Gallic creed—Death is an eternal sleep.

While we reprobate and detest the impious sys­tems promulgated in the Age of Reason; while we consign to merited contempt its daring author, we must not omit paying the just tribute of acknow­ledgement to the abilities of a prelate, who has [...] well deserved of mankind by his clear argu­mentative and highly impressive refutation of the impious doctrines of the maniac Paine. With great perspicuity, precision, and an eminent display of learning, the right reverend divine improves the understanding of the reader, corrects the aber­rations of disordered imagination, and in the most convincing manner unfolds the sacred truths of the Christian Dispensation. With an even flow of strong reasoning and good humour, he tempers severity of reprehension, by an animated earnest­ness to recal the Atheist from the impiety of his ways; and leads the reader smiling and pleased over the rocks and sands of irreligion, into the paths of knowledge, virtue, law and government.

But to return to the immediate subject of his let­ter. Mr. Paine, with the usual good intention towards the British government and British admi­nistration, recurs in many pages to his old habits of abuse of our constitution—he vomits up his gall [Page 12]on that subject with drunken* eructation, and gives us large doses of his former libellous animadver­sions on our happy combination of king, lords, and commons—while writing professedly to Gene­ral Washington, he allows himself to be transpor­ted into a long strain of invective, and re-asserts, with his usual vehemence of aggravating stile, that every thing is slavery which restrains men in any part of their freedom: but we see, by too near an instance, what is to be gained by this doctrine—by an intemperate uncontroulable lust of domi­nion, the French have depopulated their own once-fertile and happy provinces, spread devasta­tion over the neighbouring countries; and their present attempts aim to impart to our prosperous country the fraternizing law of desolation and massacre. Nor does the melancholy experience they have had in attempting an invasion of Ire­land, deter them from holding out similar threats against the shores of Britain, throughout our whole line of coast.

May I ask, what are the causes that thus give the temptation to our furious Gallic neighbours to [Page 13]attempt to destroy us?—It is in them then a vile jealousy of our national prosperity, of our domes­tic comforts, of our commercial enterprise, of our constitution, and of our laws. Without a regula­ted system of government, men cannot enjoy what belongs to each in particular; nor can a nation be secure, or preserve itself in general. While subjects live in a competent share of freedom, it is surely unnatural to have public harmony and symmetry of law interrupted by means that were originally made use of to attain it. In despite of the male­dictory comments of maddened Paine, while our cities are populous, thriving and great, our com­merce extensive and flourishing, our constitution envied and admired, I am not ashamed to own my low-spirited frailty in preferring such a model of government as affords reasonable enjoyment to a free people, before that by which empire is to be founded at home in blood, and extended abroad by a profusion of millions of lives.

Besides, however, men may differ on various political questions, there is an argument in this case which precludes any answer—it is this—we could not subsist under the despotism of one, or the tyranny of many. As a great writer observes, we are to consider that we are a very little spot in the map of the world, and make a very great figure only by trade, which is the creature of li­berty. One destroyed, the other falls to the ground [Page 14]by a natural consequence that will not admit a dis­pute.

If we would be measured solely by our acres, we are a poor inconsiderable people: we are exalted above our natural bounds by our good government and excellent laws.

We should be no more a people, nor could England longer keep its name, commerce and wealth, from the moment that the revolutionary movements of innovation and anarchy took place. The vital strength that supports us being with­drawn, we should be no more than the carcase of a nation, with no better security than that of pil­lage and murder: and subsisting upon no other terms than the unbridled ferocity of successive fac­tions, alternately rioting in blood. In the judgment, therefore, of moderate men, there is such a short decision to be made on this subject, that in rela­tion to those kingdoms, and the same will hold good of the American States, any reform of Gal­lic complexion is as dangerous a thing to be wished, as I hope is will be impossible to be attained—Eng­land is the natural ally of America.

The animosities of the American revolution having long since subsided, and melted into a cur­rent of philanthropy, mutual good will and com­mercial intercourse; the bon [...] of old attachment, I will say, of old relationship living happily reno­vated by the late commercial treaty, and cemented [Page 15]by community of manners, of industry, of lan­guage, of good faith; it is no wonder that the heart of envy is embittered, and the demon of discord conjured up by a foul factor of sedition whom no country will acknowledge, protect, or cherish.

The rattlesnake, compared with Tom Paine, is an innocent animal. The rattlesnake will bask in sunshine of its native fields—spread its volumi­nous body out at length to the genial heat—and man, woman and child may pass uninjured by. It is only when trodden upon or attacked by scythe, sickle or stick, that it is roused to rage, to coil up its variety of folds, to hiss horror, and sound its multitudinuous rattles, and to prepare for defence, in consequence of offence—the bite is poison, the poison is death. Follow up the comparison.

Tom Paine is a pest in society. His first political efforts were directed against the country that gave him birth. With more acrimony of invective, with more eagerness of fiery zeal than the public men in America approved, he attacked the monarchy, the constitution of England; and reviled the pru­dent caution of those states, that wished to open a channel of accommodation and reconciliation with Britain, before a formal and final separation was proclaimed. After the declaration of indepen­dence, I forbear to comment on his writings; he avowed himself a renegado from British govern­ment, [Page 16]and boasted his citizenship in America. But why, after the peace; why, after a full acknow­ledgment of the independence of America—after a commencement was made of mutual confidence, harmony, and commerce, why still cherish a latent poison, an unforgiving enmity towards the country that gave him birth? Nay, more; why relinquish the adopted soil of liberty, and return to Europe to disturb the peace, the government of a country he had abjured? Why sit down, in sullen silent disaffection, to spread his pestilential vapours throughout Britain; and to sap the foundation of all law, human and divine? Why continue the destructive tenor of his evil ways, to point the dagger of malevolence at the breast of his former patron, benefactor, and friend, and aim to wound the unsullied, unruffled bosom of a Washington? After these short observations, look to the rattle­snake, look to Tom Paine—which is the more dangerous, the more destructive animal?

Here I beg leave to call the reader's attention to a circumstance that tends strongly to elucidate and explain this settled, subtle, enthusiastic ran­cour in this man-snake, against general Washing­ton, and the other elevated characters of America, against whom he largely deals out his frothy pages of abuse. 'Tis a circumstance not known in Eu­rope, perhaps forgotten in America along with the individual, but not the less true, nor, at this [Page 17]time, less worthy of elucidation. I appeal to the recollection of the American gentlemen now in London; I appeal to the people of Philadelphia, and New-York, who particularly witnessed the transaction; I appeal to Tom Paine himself; be­cause the retrospect must harrow up his soul to a horrific sense of his restless, unceasing animosity, to all that is British, to all that borders on modera­tion, loyalty, humanity, and honour.

After the ratification of the treaty of indepen­dence and peace with America; after the evacua­tion of the American States by the British troops, in the lapse of a few months, the memory of the past disasters and calamities of war began to soften down. Men of the first abilities, both in the Ame­rican field and in the American cabinet, soon des­cried the crooked policy, the haughty intent of France, by a magisterial boast of their aid and con­sequence, to bow down the American spirit to a servile dependence on French councils and French friendship, by fettering the intercourse with Great Britain. For this purpose, French adventurers poured in on all quarters: Tom Paine was em­ployed by French agents to brandish his goose­quill, in order to cherish the memory of past scenes of battle and devastation, and to plant an incura­ble hatred between the two countries. With his usual alacrity in the cause of discord and disunion, this dark conspirator against the peace of mankind, [Page 18]began his virulent attacks in the public papers, un­der an old Roman name: obstinate and vain of his pen, he began by loading with foul reproach of dangerous designs, those who had remained at their homes, and who were supposed to be at­tached, during the war, to the British cause. He secretly set forward the violent partizans of the French faction in the great cities, to mortify, by sarcastic sheers on every occasion, those supposed royalists and their advocates. At length, he openly accused [...] bring America back [...] the yoke of Britain, and paving the way for the introduction of the whole of the American royal­ists from Britain and other countries, to invalidate and subvert the revolution, the labour of so many years, and of so arduous a contest: nay, such was the depravity of his character and writings, that he openly promulgated the doctrine, the necessity of further persecution and proscription; and, insis­ted, that all who had been aiding or assisting to the British troops with money or provisions, should be banished, and their property confiscated* Such publications were read, we may suppose, by the violent and the vulgar, with avidity: but the wise, [Page 19]and the good, looked to the terms of the treaty of peace, to the laws of national good faith, and in­violate honour, more especially essential in the in­fancy of an independent empire.

But where was the man to be found to enter the lists against this popular writer? It required a prudent skill to wield the pen at such a crisis; to rescue, from reproach and prejudices, an industri­ous body of men, who had remained quietly at their homes to escape the storm of war,—to undertake the cause of injured innocence, it required the most delicate expression, the most benevolent exertion of philanthropy. That man appeared; and, un­der a Roman signature, with manly firmness, but, in temperate language and sound argument, con­troverted the violent invectives of Mr. Paine, re­butted the foul accusations of intrigue and danger from British loyalists, or British intercourse; and, by pointing out the community of commercial in­terests, shewing the utility of an extensive trade with British merchants, whose solid capitals, good faith, and extensive manufactures, were the su­rest earnest of future and permanent prosperity to young America, he gradually smoothed and har­monized the public mind, and levelled to the ground the baseless fabric of prejudice and hatred, conjured up by the emissaries of France—with Tom Paine at their head.

The obstinate and vain partizan cannot bear the opposition of good sense, sound policy, and fair reasoning.—The selfish arrogance of the ple­beian [Page 20]scribe, was wounded by the respectability, the credit, the plain undeviating arguments of a writer, who sought not a contest with Tom Paine;—but with the alacrity and zeal of an honest man and a steady politician, undertook the cause of an injured, traduced people: and pleaded the tri­umph of America, in her display of moderation, humanity and good faith.—The reader, no doubt, anticipates the consequences—The irritated Paine launched out into oblique hints and illusive per­sonalities against his antagonist—Soured by the de­cay of credit to his vehement, long-winded periods, his personal allusions and asperity daily increased.—Losing both in public estimation and in private friendship by the violence of his publications, and depravity of soul, his essays sunk into a gloomy strain of disappoitment, cruelty and vexation, which precluded reply—all his labours to sow the the seeds, to open the sources of national antipa­thy at the very dawn of American Independence, were frustrated by the generous energy and truly­patriotic spirit of a man, who has since proved him­self well skilled in the arcana of government, the elements of finance, and the true channels of commercial prosperity.

It is needless to mention the name of this great man—the picture I have drawn points him out suf­ficiently—he served in the field by the side of Washington—He has lent his assisting hand and counsel to the virtuous President of the States from the establishment of the present enviable Constitu­tion: [Page 21]and his labours to lead a young people by the [...] of rational freedom and regulated systems, into the ways of tranquility and wealth, will be recorded in America in after-times, when the per­nicious doctrines of Tom Paine shall fill the soul with terror, and be execrated as the worst of monsters, for the purpose of general anarchy and butchery among mankind.

The reader will naturally ask, what became of this celebrated champion of anarchy? I will answer by a question—what brought the demon of discord back into Europe? The contempt he fell into, the total disregard and abhorrence which he experi­enced among the circles of the great and good in America, manifested his state of public degrada­tion; the malevolence of his mind, suggested the application of his talents to the embroiling the European continent; and the inauspicious winds wafted him, alas! too safely, to our shores, to sharpen the dagger of rebellion, and to try to plunge a nation of freemen into a multitude of assassins.

May I here be allowed a few words on our re­lative condition.

When we contemplate our real situation, the fertility of our soil, the constitution of our go­vernment, and the many other blessings peculiar to ourselves, we have reason to thank Heaven that we were born in so happy a country. But, un­happily, the restless mind of man always wanders abroad, seeking some fanciful of distant scene of [Page 22]felicity, while the happiness in possession is faint­ly enjoyed or lost in insensibility, or disquietude.

In despite of the high colourings, and false im­posing lustre of our modern reformers, whose de­clamatory pages are hurried through the chemical laboratory of multitudinous editions, to catch the gape, and stare of the vulgar, when we sit down dispassionately to compare our condition with that of most other countries of Europe, the comparison ought to insire us with gratitude to our rulers, with fortitude and resolute union to meet the necessary burdens, for the more firm enjoyment of domestic security and family com­forts. In most parts of France, and throughout the countries they have invaded, we see numerous provinces groaning under the weight of French tyranny and oppression; and, as an increase of re­volutionary wretchedness, we behold the capital exposed to all the calamities of latent conspiracies:—We see the inhabitants of the different great ci­ties plundered by alternate depredators, or slaugh­tered with wanton cruelty. Surely, to be free from all the various scenes of misery, which ren­der great part of the Continent a spectacle of woe and horror;—to be secure from the deplorable, melancholy, and affecting state of subjection and pillage, which, at this moment, overwhelm the rich provinces of Italy,—must make a deep im­pression on our minds, and rouse us to utmost ex­ertion, to co-operate by the free tender of our lives and fortunes, to avert similar dangers from [Page 23]our shores. Why is it, then, that we still find among us individuals, who, witnessing those dread­ful convulsions, and all the rage of civil discord and commotion abroad, seem, by their writings and declamatory vehemence, in and out of cer­tain doors, to wish, to invite, and encourage an experiment of those terrors, desolation and wretch­edness, the recital of which is shocking to hu­manity? Why is it that a lust of power, a selfish ambition, will labour to instigate, to inflame a giddy multitude? Why is it that men of abilities, of fortune, of rank, forgetting their quality, for­getting the sad tale of French massacre and blood­shed, ever inseparable from actual treason, assume the vile form of seditious declaimers, and re-echo the doctrines of inebriated Paine, and his sangui­nary Republicanism.

Let me offer a word of advice to those splendid reformers, the mendacious treachery of whose la­boured writings is but too successful a bait to an unthinking and too credulous multitude. They know well that the passions of the human heart hold close correspondence with each other; and the progress from one violent affection to another is often rapid and involuntary. If we give way to habits of approbation—to expressions of admira­tion of those systems of proscription and murder, which follow Revolutionary Government, our ap­plause will operate gradually, so forcibly on our minds, that we imbibe the same cruel and unrelent­ing sentiments: while we are palliating the profli­gate [Page 24]vices, the wicked intrigues, the bloody plots of successive factions in France, and urging simi­lar horrors among ourselves, under the soft [...] of Reform, we are hardening our minds to the same savage and barbarous systems; and proving to the world, that for the accomplishment of pri­vate ambition and power, we would hazard the perils of insurrection, rebellion, and their acco­mitant horrors.

But, however obstinately a band of pretended patriots may attempt to palliate the motives of hor­rid assassinations, and to persuade the world, that the perpetrators of such foul crimes were moved by just principles of liberty, to take those bloody methods of avenging their wrongs:—However perversely our p—y declaimers may endeavour, under colour of reform, to justify their unnatural predilection and propensity for Gallic Revolution, I trust they never will be able so far to impose upon the understanding and virtue of sensible and re­flecting Britons.

The last revolutionary writer, whose editions have been largely multiplied by magic process, to dazzle the public eye, is the grand supporter of the chief of his party, and contends, by a mocke­ry of argument, as insulting to the good sense of Englishmen, as it is injurious to truth and fact, that Mr. Fox alone can administer the Govern­ment at this time with effect. That is, the doc­trine of faction supports itself now, as it has always done, on the supposed incapacity of the present [Page 25]Ministers, and their utter incapability of conduct­ing the state affairs.—This is the old cant, to in­troduce themselves by vilifying and abusing others with systematic scurrility;—By applauding the en­ergies of the enemy, while they fetter and clog the operations and powers of our own Government—thus widening the chasm of public difficulty, in­stead of hastening to lend a friendly hand to fill it up and smooth it over. Surely, if certain men have no method to support a consequence, but by rai­sing a cloud of doubt and embarrassing gloom over the public mind, their procedure and associ­ated affiliation must appear solely directed to serve the purposes of a mystery or craft against the pub­lic welfare.

Whoever contemplates, with philanthropic and British feelings, those heats that are every day in­creasing in the very bosom of Society, from the enthusiastic rancour that fills the pages of the par­ty-writers, must shudder at the consequences; and must plainly see, that the most terrible events are to be averted only by introducing and diffusing the salutary doctrines of truth and law, in opposition to ingenious falshood; and by opposing the prac­tice of national virtue and the communication of national happiness, to loose and fanciful systems of innovation.

The gentlemen-reformers, of ourday, have shewn themselves accesary to raising a spirit of turbu­lence. They have laboured to flatter the passions of the people, and by doing so, have induced a [Page 26]strong suspicion, that they are not averse to that ex­treme reform, which is attainable only through the horrors of Revolution. I fear some are going far­ther and deeper, and regardless of any extremity, have united to calumniate the conduct, and blast the fair fame, the honest intentions of the present Ministers, in order to appear the defenders of the people, and to cast themselves on the notice of the populace for their own aggrandizement. If there are any of this description, who practise opposition to British Constitution, in favour on French Re­publicanism, I pray that such may obtain the re­ward of their duplicity and evil-doings from the Justice of their Country.

The present crisis is allowed to be alarming— The enemy, as ferocious and implacable, as they are active and prodigal of blood, threaten our shores—What then should be the conduct of those few firm associates in opposition?—I will tell them in a few words of gratuitous counsel to the Au­thor of "The Cause and Consequences."—Cease the cant of Reform.—There is a necessity at this time for the talents and exertions of all men.— Let a suspension of opposition spring out of that necessity. Make that necessity habitual among all over whom you possess influence.—Give this happy turn to your powers, rouse the indolent virtues of all within your sphere of persuasion, by inspiring them with that love of their country, which knows no party or diversity of sentiment when the state is in danger.—Make the high term—UNANIMITY [Page 27]agitate the minds, and interest the hearts of all men, to strive manfully together.—When Minis­ters come forward with a statement of their further wants for the public service, at this momentous crisis, aid their proposition and plans by advice best adapted to the occasion.—Hasten to kindle an emulation of this kind in every town throughout the Kingdom—proclaim this honest truth, that parsimony in war is often productive of the most serious mischiefs—and that when an enemy threa­tens our shores, our properties, our families, all that we hold dear,—the scale of expense should be ample and co-extensive with the necessity of the time.—Such a conduct will be truly political, po­pular and liberal in its spirit, and will not fail to endear you to every man in the nation.

Encourage by your zeal and example the mili­tary enthusiasm spread abroad by the armed Yeo­manry, and Volunteer associations. The military ardour which such institutions inspire, has a dou­ble good effect, by connecting the public interest with an honest personal ambition, and by shewing the foe what reception they may expect from an armed and united people.

You are too well versed in law and politics, not to be sensible of this truth, that he who endea­vours not to serve the State at an eventful period; who applies not his powers and abilities to the im­mediate advantage and glory of the nation, who acts not in every instance, as if animated with the wish to preserve the Constitution of the country, can [Page 28]scarcely be supposed to be a member of that commu­nity, whose interest appear, as it were, foreign to him.

The exertions of a great body of the people, which is the stamen of every state, will be but slow and languid, while they can find in the clamours of op­position a sort of reason and excuse for their tor­pitude and disaffection.

I have put before you a plain statement, not obscured by mystery, or entangled by terms of art—and I shall only add, that while you boast your knowledge of the Rights of Man, you ought not to forget the duties of the individual.

I shall hope soon to witness that noble prompti­tude of spirit, that affectionate alacrity, that high policy of unanimity which disdains niggardliness of purse or of person, when the State calls for both— I hope to witness that liberality of conduct, that [...]nly unison of sentiment, which the Salus Populi imperiously demands; and which will establish the public safety upon a rock, against which the winds and waves of French threats and French in­vasion shall beat in vain.

Should my eager hopes of such an happy con­summation fail, I think all men must be convinced more and more of the strong truths uttered by one of the greatest men in our age—that there is a ma­lignant conspiracy in this country. I will not point to the persons most deeply, most seriously implica­ted in it. But it appears a conspiracy of talents ge­nerated from the lust of power, casting themselves [Page 29]on the vicious propensities of the multitude; a con­spiracy, equally unprincipled and sanguinary, equal­ly ferocious and cunning, as any plot of the Ro­berspierian faction in France.

From this digression against modern reform­ers and Gallic scholiasts, and having settled curso­rily the account with Mr. Paine, for his attacks against established Governments and Religion, I now proceed to examine the character of that great and amiable man, whose former marks of friend­ship (while he appeared worthy of friendship) could not suffice to melt the heart of this tyger, or pre­vent him from drenching the dagger of calumny in the admired character of his benefactor.

It is a lamentable reflection on human nature, that so much ingratitude and baseness is to be found in man.—When the American Fabius was cherish­ing to his bosom, and conferring marks of favour on this miscreant, he little thought he was warm­ing the viper to turn against himself, and to emit his worst poison upon his protector.—He little thought that the abilities which he encouraged in the writer of Common Sense, would be made sub­servient to revolutionary ambition and French in­trigue against America.—He little imagined that the pamphleteer Paine, a desperate adventurer, without friends or fortune, should rise to be the greatest monster of wickedness that ever disgraced humanity:—He dreamed not of giving his consi­dence to a Journalist intriguer, an hypocritical vil­lain, ready, under the baneful influence of mad [Page 30]enthusiasm and new philosophy, to load his patron with falshood and defamation:—But as he had just before abjured God, and reviled the holy or­dinances of religion, what better return could be expected?

It has ever been the wish and the labour of wise and good men, to lay up a stock of character and of reputable competence in life—for the purpose of the Poet— ‘Senes ut in otia tuta recedant.—’

But Mr. Paine disdains the common rules of life, and has rushed precipitately forward into the ex­tremes of turpitude and baseness.

What an awful lesson to men in society to find that there are amongst them, those who, rising by fortuitous circumstances from low situations, only become more furious in their pursuits, intractable and insatiable in their ambition, and dark assassins of the very bosoms that gave them consequence?

History records an individual, who, to attain the reputation of having atchieved the most splendidly atrocious act of consummate villainy, set fire to the Temple of Diana, at Ephesus, and destroyed that chef-d'oeuvre of human ingenuity:—One of the si­nest monuments of art, as well for its magnitude and the lostiness of its architecture, as the quan­tity and excellence of the works of sculpture, with which it was enriched by those eminent artists who gave life to marble, if we may be allowed the ex­presson: So, Tom Paine, emulous of the renown­ed infamy of the Ephesian incendiary, not only la­bours [Page 31]to spread the conflagration of anarchy and atheism over the world, and to overwhelm the asto­nishing fabric of British Constitution and Ameri­can liberty, by the poisonous effluvia of his perni­cious doctrines; but, as if something was still wanting to his public infamy, he opens his battery of slander upon the amiable President of the Uni­ted States.—

Quo non proestantior alter
pietate, virtute et meritis.

However enormous and destructive the publica­tions, rushing from the pen of Tom Paine, one would imagine, that he wanted to out-do himself in this atrocious Letter—It would in fact seem, that after many years labours happily unsuccessful against Britain, he thought he should more easily obtain the palm, the apex of infamy, by means equally shocking to honour and gratitude, as in­consistent with truth and decency. What must be our opinion of the presumption of an individual, known only by his crimes, who arrogantly arraigns the man to whom Europe has long since conceded the merit of consummate wisdom, the wreathe of mi­litary merit, obtained by the exertion of abilities, and by the noblest instances of prudential caution and firmness. With petulant affection of military skill and criticism, this little Ingrate dares to mea­sure the campaigns of the American war, and to controvert those brilliant and distinguished traits of heroism, which British generals of long experi­ence, [Page 32]acknowledged with a kind of terrisic appro­bation, and which the great Frederic, who knew how to appreciate military exploits, confessed his surprize and admiration—If the old hero of Prus­sia expressed such estimation for the commander, and glowed with love to the man;—If all Europe confessed the superiority of American enterprize and exertion, amid a thousand difficulties: If Washington established a character that can ne­ver die, or be obscured by the vapour of slander; If, by the most compassionate endearments and ten­derness for his troops, in want of necessary cloath­ing, stockings, and shoes, he was able to reconcile them to their distresses, to animate them in a virtu­ous perseverance in the cause of their country: if his comprehensive mind was able to defeat the best conserted plans of his adversaries in the field: If his wisdom, fertile in expedients, was capable of forming the vast project of capturing a whole ar­my: If, by a variety of skilful manoeuvres, invio­lable secrecy, he concealed the magnitude of the undertaking, till the various combinations of ar­tillery, of vessels, and provisions, were prepared to carry his plan into execution, by the most rapid and unexpected movements:—If such military operations place a general in the most distinguished point of view, surely all men must admire the cou­rage and conduct of the American commander in chief.

Who, that reads the valedictory addresses of Gen. Washington to the people of America, can doubt the probity and excellence of the heart that dictated [Page 33]such humane and benevolent sentiments? Every Briton that in the war felt the courage of the hand that wrote it; every man that heard of the at­chievements of a Washington, must read, with a generous concern and regret, the farewel address of an illustrious chief magistrate; who, after the labours of a difficult and successful war; after the severities of long and dangerous campaigns, for­sook the bed of ease and domestic comfort, of whom the Americans may, with exultation, pronounce, in the words of Seneca— ‘Unus cunctando, nobis restituit rem,’ to secure to his country the happy possession and permanency of an established government of com­merce, internal harmony, and federal union.— Thus great and glorious to the end of his political career, how much must the grateful citizens of America, how much must posterity, admire his long laborious services, and unsullied virtue; and, to crown all, the steady attachment of his soul to his country's welfare, by his manly opposition to those factious demagogues, who would risk nation­al happiness for the accomplishment of their des­tructive and flagitious designs in favour of Gallic re­publicanism. The valedictory address of the imma­culate Washington, has made a serious and lasting impression on the public mind in this country, as in America. In that honest plain production, we dis­cover the abilities of the consummate statesman, the wisdom of the just legislator, the affectionate advice of the parent, anxious for the welfare of his [Page 34]children, and concerned for the aberrations and indiscretions of a part of his family.—We discover the tender sympathy of a mind anxious and ea­ger at an eventful crisis, to perform the utmost pos­sible service to his country.—We admire that emi­nent display of political knowledge, in which he offers, with energy and freedom, his last advice towards preserving that vigorous union and form of government, under which the country had pros­pered in wealth and commerce, the reins of which he was about to resign into other hands.—He takes an ample survey of the relative situation of America and Europe, and delineates the beauties and defects of the several component parts of the several go­vernments.—He points out, with honest zeal and firmness, the shelves and rocks of disunion, on which those who have been at the helm of a neigh­bouring revolution have ran; and, with glowing pencil, paints the advantages of a political and commercial connection with England, as the palla­dium of peace, liberty, and prosperity to America.

It is an agreeable entertainment and consolation for the great and comprehensive mind of a Wash­ington, to look to the work of his hands.—He has raised an infant empire; he has brought numerous and discordant colonial interests into union and foederal harmony;—he has stood at the helm, till their defence has been compleated against all the inclemencies and storms which agitate the Europe­an continent;—he has witnessed the rapid progress of improvement and seen the empire great in agri­culture, [Page 35]flourishing in commerce, and directed by the well-regulated policy of peace with all the world. It is surely a rich repast for the mind of the wise and good to contemplate such a picture—here we can furnish our minds with true ideas of beau­ty and deformity, when we see one man thus great­ly contributing to the happiness of the whole, by a conduct formed on prineiples of wisdom and virtue, which never fail to render individuals, as well as communities, happy and prosperous.

And why is it that Mr. Paine emits his bile in such quantity, and labours to assail the character and conduct of one of the worthiest and best of men?

It is because the great and revered Washington wishes to avert the pernicious and pestilential in­fluence of Gallic incendiaries from the peaceful shores of America.—It is, because he has had dis­cernment to discover that selfishness and violence in the Councils of France, which would establish its power on the ruins, and at the expense of others; that would sacrifice the interests of its nearest allies to public plunder and devastation.

It is because he sees in the conduct of the French leaders, an encouragement of anarchy in other states, and a desire of revolutionizing other Gover­ments, as ambition and avarice point the way.— It is because, instead of constitutional harmony and union for the public good, mutual hatred and mutual distrust still agitate their councils; faction [Page 36]is plotting against faction: and party-marks and party names point the dagger of the assassin night­ly in the public streets.

It is because the enlightened Statesman have reprobated, in forcible terms, the multitude of European ruffians and agitators, who have spread themselves throughout the states, poisoning the public mind with foul calumnies, and preaching the doctrines of commotion and discord.—

Away, then, vile Paine! hide thy infamous head in merited obscurity! nor attempt again to sully the virgin paper with they corrupt gall. Thy writings smell strongly of the eructations of drun­kenness; and like stinkpots, are solely remarka­ble for their pestiferous odours.

But it is reported the abusive letter to General Washington is the work of dire necessity, to gain a pittance of favour from the Directory, even on the ground of hunger, and pecuniary distress: how low and degraded must that man's feelings be, who would stoop to such servile adulation, and Judas-like, sell his benefactor for a few pieces of silver?

Quid non mortalia pectora cogis
Auri sacra fames!

The late strange behaviour and threats of the French, point out more clearly the true princi­ples and policy of that nation.—It is plainly conformable to their general views, of inter­meddling in every government, and engrossing an influence in every country; and as this cannot [Page 37]be done on principles of trade or equity, they regard not the method, provided they can succeed in their darling schemes. The insolence of the French Envoy in America,—his busy, restless, nay, factious interference, is not disowned, but defended by the Directory; instead of calling him back in disgrace to Europe, to suffer for his atrocious offence against the laws of America, and of nations, they countenance his intrigues, and vindicate his arrogance, against all principles of political justice and plomatic faith.

Happily, indeed, these intriguing manoeuvres have given to the Americans no favourable idea of their pretended friends: the French have been long developing their true character even in America,—but never before dared to speak in so outrageous a manner with regard to the Con­gress: and Tom Paine has the daring to echo their vengeful animadversions on the public coun­sels of America.—The bold cant of Paine, the common topic of the Paris coffee-house politicians is daily this—"Did not France purchase with the blood of her subjects the independence of America, and the security she enjoys? Did not France snatch them from the trammels of Britain, by coming to their aid, when they were at the alternative of unconditional submission? Did not France do all this for America?"—I deny the pre­mises. France fought not for America,—she fought in America, and with the aid and provi­sions of America, against Great-Britain, she little [Page 38]regarded America,—the depression of England was the object.—She sought from America a mo­nopoly of the most advantageous branches of her commerce, in order to deprive the English of all intercourse and share in the trade of that great Continent.—She fettered America with restric­tive clauses respecting a Navy, and prescribed regulations in the West-India trade, totally in­consistent with friendship and protection. She now proceeds to criminate the public act and terms of a treaty made by two independent na­tions, with a reciprocal relation to their great commercial interests, and encourages to insurrec­tion the enthusiastic rancour of a little Gallic fac­tion in a few towns of the Continent.

Are these the transactions of friendship? Are these the suggestions of sound policy? I will only remark on this subject, that the honour of Great-Britain and America, as powerful independent States, is concerned in procuring full and ample justice for such hostile intrigues—otherwise Ame­rica may expect, the first opportunity, to see the sequel, to the overthrow of the Netherlands, and to the subjugation of Holland.

Let France then consider what she has to ex­pect from such a friend as Paine? Let French­men judge whether such a man, in case he could accomplish the ruin of his native country, and an insurrection in America would not extend his nox­ious views further, and in order to consummate the character of infamy, seek to continue and to [Page 39]multiply those calamities into which France has been plunged for years past.

But Providence, which hath lately so eminently defeated the projects of this insidious pamphleteer, and which has recently humbled the pride of our open enemy, by defeating their boasted invasion, will still manifest its goodness by throwing shame on the evil doing of the arch-fiend Paine. We must hope, that by its assistance, England and America, now combined in mutual relations of commerce and prosperity, will defend themselves successfully against the league formed for their injury and ruin, by the insinuations and intrigues of French emissaries. All the efforts of a suborned Paine, cannot prevent the most distant posterity from acknowledging General Washington to have been the defender of the liberties of America against the secret agency of French counsels and French gold.*

But while we offer the merited tribute of praise to the illustrious Washington, let us rejoice in making a just application at home—Let us seri­ously consider the duty we owe to our beloved Monarch, who is the instrument in the hands of Providence to preserve us from the horrors of li­centiousness [Page 40]and revolutionary equality. While irreligion and pernicious doctrines are abroad, conscience, gratitude, and even self-love should prompt us to support the dignity of the Crown, and to co-operate, by every means in our power, to maintain the cause of pure religion and virtue; of just government and regulated liberty, in op­position to those fanciful schemes, and innovating systems, which ravage and desolate a once-flou­rishing and civilized country.

To conclude—and happily the argument is ap­plicable to the Government of those kingdoms, as to America—The merit of a wise and prosperous Administration must certainly redound to the ho­nour of the personage, who is placed at the head of affairs. The divine prerogative of communi­cating happiness and glory to a great and numerous people, of nourishing them "with a true and faithful heart, and ruling them prudently with all his powers," must surely fill the mind of the chief magistrate with conscious satisfaction, be­cause the general utility is to the people; and, however he may partake of their felicity, the difficulty, the disquietude, the constant care lie upon the person, who administers the Govern­ment.

Every considerate man must be sensible of the weight of the reins of Government, and every honest man, far from opposing, will endeavour to support the hand that bears it. To be acquain­ted with the connexions and dependencies of pow­er; [Page 41]to look to their force and consequences; to protect a nation from foreign injury, and crush domestic disorder; to execute law, to exercise authority, and secure obedience by an uniform and well-tempered system of mercy and goodness, of justice and impartiality, of allegiance and pro­tection, are matters of no ordinary skill and ma­nagement. Solid principles of wisdom, enlarged views, a discerning spirit, strength and presence of mind, with constant application and watchful­ness, are required to keep the sources pure, from which slow the benefits of civil Government and Order.

It is the purpose of Providence, that the Chief Magistrate should bear the weight of Govern­ment, in order that the subjects may live easy under it.—He avails himself of his prerogative to resist the machinations of turbulent spirits; and exerts his powers to act up to the glory and pros­perity of the people, that their security, tranquil­ity, and happiness, may be settled, strengthened, and established, beyond the reach of disaffection and malice from within, and of invasion from abroad.

In a word, when we look to the wisdom of our present councils, to the vigour of our prepara­tions—with a force of well disciplined troops to guard our coasts, and an additional body of brave and loyal men, training to arms, to be ready, on an emergency, to go out in defence of their pro­perty and families: When we behold Ministers [Page 42]employed in giving such substantial and permanent security to the country, as will put it out of the power of the foe to injure us to any extent, I humbly think that, instead of yielding to the gloom of disquietude or despondency, we ought to look up to our danger with life and spirit, and without any of those apprehensions, which pervade too many at this time.

Our various operations, it must be owned, are attended with great, very great expenses:—But which is the man that will not acknowledge, 'tis better to make our utmost efforts, by money and men, to avert a threatened danger, than to sink into a state of apathy, or pusillanimity at an ardu­ous moment, and endanger the public safety by a cowardly parsimony and degenerate niggardliness.

Rouse, then, Britons—re-assume your wonted spi­rit—do not think it so easy a thing, to run upon our coasts, and make a descent of any magnitude on armed shores. The abilities, the wisdom, the vigilance of Ministers are directed to the proper points of national utility;—and whatever may be the demands for the exigencies of the war, be as­sured, you will eventually have a good account of your millions, by the defeat of the enemy's mad projects, and by a final happy issue to the war.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.