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Paine Quotes


"I never tire of reading Tom Paine." - Abraham Lincoln

"And painefull pleasure turnes to pleasing paine." - Edmund Spenser

"It's more paine to doe nothing then something." - George Herbert

"Well, if they will not march with Paine, they shall march under him." - James Lick

"The scourge of life, and death's extreme disgrace, The smoke of hell, - that monster called Paine." - Philip Sidney

"I think Tom Paine is one of the greatest men that's ever lived." - Richard Attenborough

"In January 1776, Thomas Paine issued 'Common Sense,' advocating independence from Great Britain." - Mike Crapo

"The scourge of life, and death's extreme disgrace, The smoke of hell,-that monster called Paine." - Philip Sidney

"Robert Treat Paine was a signer of the Declaration of Independence." - Treat Williams

"I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles." - Thomas A Edison

"The left no longer stands for common sense, as it did in the days of Tom Paine." - Christopher Lasch

"Thomas Paine needs no monument made with hands; he has erected a monument in the hearts of all lovers of liberty." - Andrew Jackson

"Oft he that doth abide Is cause of his own paine, But he that flieth in good tide Perhaps may fight again." - Anonymous

"Here may thy storme-bett vessell safely ryde; This is the port of rest from troublous toyle, The worlde's sweet inn from paine and wearisome turmoyle." - Edmund Spenser

"My stern chase after time is, to borrow a simile from Tom Paine, like the race of a man with a wooden leg after a horse." - John Quincy Adams

"No society has gone the way of gulags or concentration camps by following the path of Spinoza and Einstein and Jefferson and Thomas Paine" - Christopher Hitchens

"The memory of Tom Paine will outlive all this. No man who helped to lay the foundations of our liberty - who stepped forth as the champion of so difficult a cause - can be permanently obscured by such attacks. Tom Paine should be read by his countrymen. I commend his fame to their hands." - Thomas Edison

"Had it not been for Thomas Paine I could not deliver this lecture here tonight. It is still fashionable to calumniate this man - and yet Channing, Theodore Parker, Longfellow, Emerson, and in fact all the liberal Unitarians and Universalists of the world have adopted the opinions of Thomas Paine." - Robert Green Ingersoll

"Feed him ye must, whose food fills you. And that this pleasure is like raine, Not sent ye for to drowne your paine, But for to make it spring againe." - Robert Herrick

"In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again." - Thomas A Edison

"Dr. Manley Do you believe, or do you wish to believe, that Jesus Christ is the son of God? Thomas Paine I have no wish to believe on that subject." - Thomas Paine

"Is not short paine well borne, that brings long ease, And layes the soul to sleepe in quiet grave? Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life does greatly please." - Edmund Spenser

"Lovers be war and tak gude heid about Quhome that ye lufe, for quhome ye suffer paine. I lat yow wit, thair is richt few thairout Quhome ye may traist to have trew lufe agane." - Robert Henryson

"Is not short paine well borne, that brings long ease,And layes the soul to sleepe in quiet grave?Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas,Ease after warre, death after life does greatly please." - Edmund Spenser

"How I longed to see these things; how I longed to see the Liberty Bell and walk on the streets where Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine and Benjamin Franklin had walked." - Burl Ives

"Louers be war and tak gude heid about Quhome that ye lufe, for quhome ye suffer paine. I lat yow wit, thair is richt few thairout Quhome ye may traist to haue trew lufe agane." - Robert Henryson

"He (Thomas Paine) saw oppression on every hand; injustice everywhere; hypocrisy at the altar; venality on the bench, tyranny on the throne; and with a splendid courage he espoused the cause of the weak against the strong" - Robert Green Ingersoll

"Also, an area that interests me - and it will probably take years to state what I mean - is the period of the rise of democracy, with Tom Paine, which is around the turn of the 18th century into the 19th." - Fiona Shaw

"This is what historians usually do, quibble about cause and effect when the point is, there are times when the world is in flux and the right voice in the right place can move the world. Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin, for instance. Bismark. Lenin." - Orson Scott Card

"Each man too is a tyrant in tendency, because he would impose his idea on others; and their trick is their natural defence. Jesuswould absorb the race; but Tom Paine or the coarsest blasphemer helps humanity by resisting this exuberance of power." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"But you know, where did the Brontes go to college? Where did George Eliot go to college? Where did Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson or George Washington go? Did George Washington go to college? This idea which we now have that people ought to have these credentials is really ridiculous. Where did Homer go to college?" - Jamaica Kincaid

"This huge and terrible industry [the slave trade] was blessed by all churches and for a long time aroused absolutely no religious protest. . . . In the eighteenth century, a few dissenting Mennonites and Quakers in America began to call for abolition, as did some freethinkers like Thomas Paine." - Christopher Hitchens

"I say this often, THINK. There is something in life called common sense. Webster's says common sense is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. Perhaps this is why in 1776, Thomas Paine used these words as a title for the most famous pamphlet ever written." - Jack White

"The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our history abundantly attest." - Charles Evans Hughes

"Many a person who could not comprehend Rousseau, and would be puzzled by Montesquieu, could understand Paine as an open book. He wrote with a clarity, a sharpness of outline and exactness of speech that even a schoolboy should be able to grasp." - Thomas A Edison

"Tom Paine was a great American visionary. His book, Common Sense, sold a couple of hundred thousand copies in a population of four or five million. That means it was a best seller for years. People were thoughtful then. Hope is one thing. But you need to have hope with thought." - Studs Terkel

"There are no words to express the extraordinary strength and character of this breed of people we call American. They are the kind of men and women Tom Paine had in mind when he wrote, during the darkest days of the American Revolution, we have it in our power to begin the world over again." - Ronald Reagan

"The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity, let the blackguard Paine say what he will; it is resignation to God, it is goodness itself to man." - John Adams

"What I say should always be prefaced with this: I'm not really politically articulate. I just try to be like Thomas Paine: what is common sense? So when I say these things to you, I am speaking from a humanist point of view. I just look around and see what's wrong." - Patti Smith

"What created democracy was Thomas Paine and Shays' Rebellion, the suffragists and the abolitionists and on down through the populists and the labor movement, including the Wobblies. Tough, in your face people... Mother Jones, Woody Guthrie... Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez. And now it's down to us." - Jim Hightower

"The crime of ingratitude has not yet stained, and I trust never will stain, our national character. You are considered by them as not only having rendered important service in our own revolution, but as being, on a more extended scale, the friend of human rights, and able advocate of public liberty. To the welfare of Thomas Paine, the Americas are not, nor can they be, indifferent." - James Monroe

"This is the thing to bomb. This is the beginning-from "I" to "we". If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into "I", and cuts you off forever from the "we"." - John Steinbeck

"I actually met Larson [Paine] on Larchmont in Los Angeles. He was eating and he stopped me because I was massaging my larynx. I was doing a show and trying to loosen up my throat. He had sort of this southern vibe about eating alone and talking to people. And it was funny because I had just having eaten with Larry O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin." - Laura Bell Bundy

"I have been lately introduced to the famous Thomas Paine, and like him very well. He is vain beyond all belief, but he has reason to be vain, and for my part I forgive him. He has done wonders for the cause of liberty, both in America and Europe, and I believe him to be conscientiously an honest man. He converses extremely well; and I find him wittier in discourse than in his writings, where his humour is clumsy enough." - Wolfe Tone

"The church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors.... For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! Welcome atheism! Welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by these Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke put together have done!" - Frederick Douglass



Paine, Tom Paine,