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He is not affected by the reality of distress touching his heart, but by the showy resemblance of it striking his imagination. He pities the plumage, but forgets the dying bird.

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A bit about Thomas Paine ...

Thomas Paine (Thetford, England, 29 January 1737 - 8 June 1809, New York City, USA) was a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical intellectual, and deist. Born in Great Britain, he lived in America, having migrated to the American colonies just in time to take part in the American Revolution, mainly as the author of the powerful, widely-read pamphlet, Common Sense (1776), advocating independence for the American Colonies from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

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