So many of Paine’s words still have meaning and resonance for us today, I’ve decided to add a new regular feature to this blog: weekly quotations from the man himself, most of which require very little explanation. Here’s the first:

“Let them call me rebel, and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one, whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow and the slain of America.”

— from The American Crisis 1, December 1776

Paine, of course, is referring to George III, but his words may conjure a more familiar figure, or that of any dictator.