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finite pains, but I am amply compensated by the occasion which it has afforded me, of becoming acquainted with many of the persons whom I have named; and it is but a tribute of justice which every man owes to superiour genius to declare, that in point of real science, or experimental philosophy, FRANCE IS WITHOUT A RIVAL.

1.

LETTER LETTER XLIII.

Thomas Paine-Joel Barlow The Abbé Casti

Dr. Suedaeur.

The name of Thomas Paine is so familiar to every one, that had we not been previously acquainted with each other, I should have contrived to have had an interview with him, during my residence in Paris. Nearly ten years had elapsed since we were last together, and I felt deeply interested in learning his opinions concerning the French revolution, after all the experience, which so long a period of uninterrupted storms and convulsion, must necessarily have afforded him. Accordingly, he was amongst the first on whom I called, and I have since been frequently in his company

It was not without considerable difficulty that I discovered his residence, for the name of Thomas Paine is now as odious in France as it is in England, perhaps more so. A bookseller's shop in the Palais Royale appeared the most likely place to inquire, and thither I immediately repaired. But I had no sooner mentioned his name, than the bookseller, his wife, his son, and a bye-stander, fell upon me in such an unmerciful mamer, callYOL. II,

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ing Paine scelerat, bandit, coquin, and ascribing to him, the resistance which Leclerc had experienced from the negroes of St. Domingo, of which they had just received intelligence, that I found it necessary to decamp without losing a moment of time. Being at a loss how to proceed, I determined to betake myself to the hotel of the American minister, and as I was passing through the Rue des Petits Pères, I saw over the gateway of White's, in large letters, hotel de Philadelphie; in 'consequence of which, I entered and enquired for Thomas Paine. The 'master told me that he never came there now, but that he was sometimes to be found at 'the adjoining coffee house. Thus far, I was making some progress. On applying where I had been directed, I was informed, that he had not been there for several days, but that he lived at a bookseller's in the Rue du Theatre Français. A bookseller! after the dressing I had just received, a bookseller's shop sounded very terrific in my ears.

However, I was resolved, and set off with a good heart, being persuaded that if Paine lived there, neither the bookseller, his wife, his son, 'nor a bye-stander, would eat me. I took the precaution as soon as I had reached the street, to inquire how many booksellers lived in it, and the immediate answer was, that an American bookseller inhabited No. 4. After having mounted to the second story, I rang at the bell, and on a jolly looking woman'opening

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the door, I asked in a meck and humble tone (for the reception I had met with at the Palais Royale was still in my mind) whether Mr. Paine lived there ? After having surveyed me from head to feet, she answered in the affirmative, but said she believed he was not at home, and requested me to enter. As soon as I had walked into her apartment, she held the candle pretty close to my face, and said, “Do you wish to see Mr. Paine?” to which I instantly replied, “I am just come from England, and am extremely anxious to see him, as I am an old acquaintance whom he has not seen these ten years.” Even as the sun dispels the mist, so did this well-timed declaration change the features of her countenance, which now became nothing but smiles and joy. She continued ; "He is taking a nap; but I'll go and wake him.”

In two minutes she returned, and ushered me into a little dirty room, containing a small wooden table, and two chairs. " This,” said she, “is Mr. Paine's room !" I never sat down in such a filthy apartment in the whole course of my life. The chimney hearth was an heap of dirt; there was not a speck of cleanliness to be seen; three shelves were filled with pasteboard boxes, each labelled after the manner of a minister of foreign affairs, correspondance Americaine, Britannique; Française; Notices politiques; Le citoyen Français, &c. In one corner of the room z 2

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stood several huge bars of iron, curiously shaped, and two large trunks; opposite the fire place, a board covered with pamphlets and journals, having more the appearance of a dresser in a scullery than a side-board. Such was the wretched habitation of Thomas Paine, one of the founders of American Independence; whose extraordinary genius must ever command attention; and whose writings have summoned to action the minds of the most enlightened politicians of Europe ! How different the humble dwelling of this Apostle of Freedom, from those gorgeous mansions tenanted by the founders of the French Republic !

After I had waited a short time, Mr. Paine came down stairs, and entered the room, dressed in a long flannel gown. I was forcibly struck with his altered appearance. Time seemed to have made dreadful ravages over his whole frame, and a settled melancholy was visible on his countenance. He desired me to be seated, and although he did not recollect me for a considerable time, he conversed with his usual affability. I confess I felt extremely surprised that he should have forgotten me; hut I resolved not to make myself known to him, as long as it could be avoided with propriety. In order to

I referred to a number of circumstances, which had occurred while we were in company, but carefully abstained from hinting that we had ever lived together. He would fre

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his memory,

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