To John King January 3, 1793

From the 1793 pamphlet from London reprinting King’s letter and Paine’s response below.


I don’t know any thing, these many years, that surprised and hurt me more than the sentiments you published in the Courtly HERALD, the 12th December, signed John King, Egham Lodge. You have gone back, from all you ever said.

When I first knew you in Ailiffe-street, an obscure part of the City, a child, without fortune or friends, I noticed you; because I thought I saw in you, young as you was, a bluntness of temper, a boldness of opinion, and an originality of thought, that portended some future good.

I was pleased to discuss with you, under our friend Oliver’s lime-tree, those political notions, which I have since given the world in my “Rights of Man”.

You used to complain of abuses as well as me, and wrote your opinions of them in sore terms — What then means this sudden attachment to Kings? this fondness of the English Government, and hatred of the French? — If you mean to curry favour, by aiding your Government, you are mistaken; they never recompense those who serve it; they buy off those who can annoy it, and let the good that is rendered it be its own reward. Believe me, KING, more is to be obtained by cherishing the rising spirit of the People, than by subduing it. Follow my fortunes, and I will be answerable that you shall make your own.


Paris, January 3, 1793.