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Excerpt from Life and Writings of Thomas Paine: Containing a Biography by Thomas Clio Rickman and Appreciations by Leslie Stephen, Lord Erskine, Paul Desjardins, Robert G. Ingersoll, Elbert Hubbard and Marilla M. RickerWhatever the form or constitution of gov ernment may be, it ought to have no other obj ect than the general happiness. When, instead of this, it Operates to create and increase wretched ness in any of the parts of society, it is on a wrong system, and reformation is necessary. Customary language has classed the condi tion of man under the two descriptions of civil ized and uncivilized life. To the one it has ascribed felicity and afﬂuence; to the other hard ship and want. But, however our imagination may be impressed by painting and comparison, it is nevertheless true, that a great portion of mankind in what are called civilized countries, are in a state of poverty and wretchedness, far below the condition of an Indian. I speak not of one country, but of all. It is so in England, it is so all over Europe. Let us inquire into the cause. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at ... This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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