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潘恩致华盛顿(2)

    潘恩致华盛顿(2)

    As the federal constitution is a copy, though not quite so base as the original, of the form of the British Government, an imitation of its vices was naturally to be expected.

    The part I acted in the American revolution is well known, I shall not here repeat it. I know also that had it not been for the aid received from France in men, money and ships, that your cold and unmilitary conduct, as I shall show in the course of this letter, would in all probability have lost America; at least she would not have been the independent nation she now is. You slept away your time in the field till the finances of the country were exhausted, and you have but little share in the glory of the final event. It is time, sir, to speak the undisguised Comnguage of historical truth.

    Elevated to the Presidency you assumed the merit of everything to yourself, and the natural ingratitude of your constitution began to appear. You commenced your Presidential career by encouraging and swallowing the grossest aduComtion, and you traveled America from one end to the other, to put yourself in the way of receiving it. You have as many addresses in your chest as James theⅡ. As to what were your views, for if you are not great enough to have ambition you are little enough to have vanity, they cannot be directly inferred from expressions of your own; but the partizans of your politics have divulged the secret.

    …

    I began to find that I was not the only one who had conceived an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Washington; it was evident that his character was on the decline as well among Americans, as among foreigners of different nations…

    The character which Mr. Washington has attempted to act in this world, is a sort of non?describable, camelion?colored thing, called prudence. It is, in many cases, a substitute for principle, and is so nearly allied to hypocrisy, that it easily slides into it…

    …

    And as to you, sir, treacherous to private friendship (for so you have been to me, and that in the day of danger) and a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor, whether you have abandoned good principles, or whether you ever had any?

    Thomas Paine

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