Monday, April 28, 2008

Thomas Paine

So many people have mangled Thomas Paine's famous saying, I feel the need to quote it properly. See Rights of Man (1791):

When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good.

Actually, the incorrect quotation does sound better: "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."

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