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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

"The Rights of Man."

"The Rights of Man."

This work should be read by every man and woman. It is concise, accurate, rational, convincing, and unanswerable. It shows great thought, an intimate knowledge of the various forms of government, deep insight into the very springs of human action, and a courage that compels respect and admiration. The most difficult political problems are solved in a few sentences. The venerable arguments in favour of wrong are refuted with a question—answered with a word. For forcible illustration, apt comparison, accuracy and clearness of statement, and absolute thoroughness it has never been excelled.

The fears of the administration were aroused, and Paine was prosecuted for libel and found guilty; and yet there is no sentiment in the entire work that will not challenge the admiration of every civilised man. It is a magazine of political wisdom, an arsenal of ideas, and an honour not only page 4 to Thomas Paine but to human nature itself. It could have been written only by the man who had the generosity, the exalted patriotism, the goodness to say—"The world is my country, and to do good my religion."

There is in all the utterances of the world no grander, no sublimer sentiment. There is no creed that can be compared with it for a moment. It should be wrought in gold, adorned with jewels, and impressed upon every human heart.