portrait of Thomas Paine
1880 portrait in oil based on an engraving based on 1792 original by George Romney

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Quotes of the Day for 29 January 2004 – Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine, my favorite firebrand of the American Revolution, was born at Thetford, Norfolk, England on this day in 1737. After meeting Ben Franklin at London, young Paine was convinced to go to the colonies, where he began to write, publish, and stir things up.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

Character is much easier kept than recovered.

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best stage, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

These are times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country.
     - All from Thomas Paine, 1737 - 1809

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