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Excerpt from Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers: Thomas Paine
In England, Franklin was accused of being the author, and he neither denied nor admitted'it. But when a lady reproached him for having used the fine alliterative phrase, applied to the king, That Royal British Brute, he smiled and said blandly, Madame, I would never have been as disrespectfulto the brute creation as that.' Sense struck the keynote of popular feeling, and the accusation of treason, hurled at it from many sources, only served to advertise it 3 It supplied the common people with reasons, and gave statesmen arguments. The legislature of Pennsylvania voted Paine an honorarium of five hundred pounds, and the University of Pennsylvania awarded him the degree of Master of Arts, in recognition of eminent services to literature and human rights. John Quincy Adams said, Paine's pamphlet, 'common Sense, ' crystallized public Opinion and was the first factor in bringing about the Revolution.
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