More classics to be soon published are:

Essays of Michel de Montaigne Volume 2

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Volume 2

The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire Volume 2 by Edward Gibbon

The History of Herodotus — Volume 2 by Herodotus

On War — Volume 2 by Carl von Clausewitz

The World as Will and Idea (Vol. 3 of 3) by Arthur Schopenhauer

Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte Volume 2 — Complete by Louis de Bourrienne

Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage

And many more…

The Bedside Classics of World Literature, Philosophy and Psychology

Designed to make all English classic works available to all readers, The Bedside Classics bring you the world’s greatest literature, philosophy, psychology books that have stood the test of time – at specially low prices. These beautifully designed books will be proud addictions to your bookshelf. You’ll want all these time-tested classics for your own reading pleasure. The titles of the sixth set of The Bedside Classics are:

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Vol. I by Edgar Allan Poe   30.00

Common Sense by Thomas Paine               20.00

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky       58.00

Confucian Analects translated by James Legge        38.00

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Vol. I by Edward Gibbon                  28.00

Essays of Mongtaine Complete Vol. I

by Michel de Montaigne                   45.00

Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte — Complete Vol. I

by Louis de Bourrienne                   46.00

Paradise Lost by John Milton                 16.00

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes             35.00

The History of Herodotus – Vol. I by Herodotus        26.00

Jean-Christophe by Romain Rolland (Volume III)      30.00

The Moon and the Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham    16.00

On War by Carl von Clausewitz                20.00

All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare       30.00

The World as Will and Idea by Arthur Schopenhauer

(Volume II)                          28.00

For the online order, please use the 2-dimentional bar code on the back cover. If you have any suggestions, please go to the publisher’s weibo: http:// weibo.com/lrs 2009. Or visit the publisher’s web-side. Or call 024-23284321.

Is This Book for You?常识与革命——“最经典英语文库”第六辑之《常识》导读





托马斯·潘恩在接下来几十年间,居住在法国巴黎。他又对法国大革命产生极大兴趣,并深深地卷入其中。1791年,他写下了另一本名垂史册的册子Rights of Man,旨在捍卫法国大革命,与批评者展开唇枪舌剑的斗争。他因之得罪了很多重要人物,并最终遭到巴黎当局的逮捕。后来,在美国时任总统的干预下,他获得释放。


关于这本小册子的名字,还有个小插曲。开始时,它叫《显而易见的事实》(Plain Truth)。后来,潘恩听取了友人的建议,改以更为朗朗上口的“常识”为书名。结果,这一书名大获成功,它也成为托马斯·潘恩的代名词。



Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (29 January, 1737 - 8 June, 1809) was an English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights.

Virtually every rebel read (or listened to a reading of) his powerful pamphlet Common Sense (1776), proportionally the all-time best-selling American title which crystallized the rebellious demand for independence from Great Britain. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”

"No writer has exceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style, in perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, and in simple and unassuming language."—Thomas Jefferson

"A pamphlet called 'Commonsense' makes a great noise. One of the vilest things that ever was published to the world. Full of false representations, lies, calumny, and treason, whose principles are to subvert all Kingly Governments and erect an Independent Republic."—Nicholas Cresswell

"I dreaded the effect so popular a pamphlet might have among the people, and determined to do all in my Power to counteract the effect of it." —John Adams

"Its effects were sudden and extensive upon the American mind. It was read by public men."—Dr. Benjamin Rush

"Have you read the pamphlet Common Sense? I never saw such a masterful performance.… In short, I own myself convinced, by the arguments, of the necessity of separation."—General Charles Lee

General Preface

Millions of Chinese are learning English to acquire knowledge and skills for communication in a world where English has become the primary language for international discourse. Yet not many learners have come to realize that the command of the English language also enables them to have an easy access to the world literary classics such as Shakespeare's plays, Shelley's poems, mark Twain's novels and Nietzsche's works which are an important part of liberal-arts education. The most important goals of universities are not vocational, that is, not merely the giving of knowledge and the training of skills.

In a broad sense, education aims at broadening young people's mental horizon, cultivating virtues and shaping their character. Lincoln, Mao Zedong and many other great leaders and personages of distinction declared how they drew immense inspiration and strength from literary works. As a matter of fact, many of them had aspired to become writers in their young age. Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) is said to take along with him two things, waking or sleeping: a book and a dagger, and the book is Iliad, a literary classic, by Homer. He would put these two much treasured things under his pillow when he went to bed.

Today, we face an unprecedented complex and changing world. To cope with this rapid changing world requires not only communication skills, but also adequate knowledge of cultures other than our own home culture. Among the most important developments in present-day global culture is the ever increasing cultural exchanges and understanding between different nations and peoples. And one of the best ways to know foreign cultures is to read their literary works, particularly their literary classics, the soul of a country's culture. They also give you the best language and the feeling of sublimity.

Liaoning People's Publishing House is to be congratulated for its foresight and courage in making a new series of world literary classics available to the reading public. It is hoped that people with an adequate command of the English language will read them, like them and keep them as their lifetime companions.

I am convinced that the series will make an important contribution to the literary education of the young people in China. At a time when the whole country is emphasizing "spiritual civilization", it is certainly a very timely venture to put out the series of literary classics for literary and cultural education.Zhang ZhongzaiProfessorBeijing Foreign Studies UniversityJuly, 2013 Beijing








辽宁人民出版社及时并隆重推出“最经典英语文库”系列丛书,是具有远见与卓识的出版行为。我相信,这套既可供阅读,同时也具收藏价值的英语原版经典作品系列丛书,在帮助人们了解什么才是经典作品的同时,也一定会成为广大英语爱好者、大中学生以及学生家长们挚爱的“最经典英语文库”。北京外国语大学英语学院北外公共外交研究中心欧美文学研究中心主任全国英国文学学会名誉会长张中载 教授2013年7月于北京PREFACELife of Thomas Paine by Richard Carlile

The present Memoir is not written as a thing altogether necessary, or what was much wanted, but because it is usual and fitting in all collections of the writings of the same Author to accompany them with a brief account of his life; so that the reader might at the same time be furnished with a key to the Author's mind, principles, and works, as the best general preface. On such an occasion it does not become the Compiler to seek after the adulation of friends, or the slander of enemies; it is equally unnecessary to please or perplex the reader with either; for when an author has passed the bar of nature, it behoves us not to listen to any tales about what he was, or what he did, but to form our judgments of the utility or non-utility of his life, by the writings he has left behind him. Our business is with the spirit or immortal part of the man. If his writings be calculated to render him immortal, we have nothing to do with the body that is earthly and corruptible, and which passes away into the common mass of regenerating matter. Whilst the man is living, we are justified in prying into his actions to see whether his example corresponds with his precept, but when dead, his writings must stand or fall by the test of reason and itsinfluence on public opinion. The excess of admiration and vituperation has gone forth against the name and memory of the Author of "Rights of Man," and "Age of Reason," but it shall be the endeavour of the present Compiler to steer clear of both, and to draw from the reader an acknowledgement that here the Life and Character of Paine is fairly stated, and that here the enquirer after truth may find that which he most desires—an unvarnished statement.

Thomas Paine was born at Thetford, in the county of Norfolk, in England, on the 29th of January, 1737. He received such education as the town could afford him, until he was thirteen years of age, when his father, who was a staymaker, took him upon the shop-board. Before his twentieth year, he set out for London to work as a journeyman, and from London to the coast of Kent. Here he became inflamed with the desire of a trip to sea, and he accordingly served in two privateers, but was prevailed upon by the affectionate remonstrances of his father, who had been bred a Quaker, to relinquish the sea-faring life. He then set up as a master stay maker at Sandwich, in the county of Kent, when he was about twenty-three years of age. It appears that he had a thorough distaste for this trade, and having married the daughter of an exciseman, he soon began to turn his attention to that office. Having qualified himself he soon got appointed, but from some unknown cause his commission scarcely exceeded a year. He then filled the office of an usher at two different schools in the suburbs of London, and by his assiduous application to study, and by his regular attendance at certain astronomical and mathematical lectures in London, he became a proficient in those sciences, and from this moment his mind, which was correct and sound, began to expand, and here that lustre began to sparkle, which subsequently burst into a blaze, and gave light both to America and Europe.

He again obtained an appointment in the Excise,and was stationed at Lewes, in Sussex, and in this town the first known production of his pen was printed and published. He had displayed considerable ability in two or three poetical compositions, and his fame beginning to spread in this neighbourhood, he was selected by the whole body of excisemen to draw up a case in support of a petition they were about to present to Parliament for an increase of salary. This task he performed in a most able and satisfactory manner, and although this incident drew forth his first essay at prose composition, it would have done honour to the first literary character in the country; and it did not fail to obtain for Mr. Paine universal approbation. The "Case of the Officers of Excise" is so temperately stated, the propriety of increasing their salaries, which were then but small, urged with such powerful reasons and striking convictions, that although we might abhor such an inquisitorial system of excise as has long disgraced this country, we cannot fail to admire the arguments and abilities of Mr. Paine, who was then an exciseman, in an endeavour to increase their salaries. He was evidently the child of nature from the beginning, and the success of his writings was mainly attributable to his never losing sight of this infallible guide. In his recommendation to Government to increase the salaries of excisemen, he argues from natural feelings, and shews the absolute necessity of placing a man beyond the reach of want, if honesty be expected in a place of trust, and that the strongest inducement to honesty is to raise the spirit of a man, by enabling and encouraging him to make a respectable appearance.

This "Case of the Officers of Excise" procured Mr. Paine an introduction to Oliver Goldsmith, with whom he continued on terms of intimacy during his stay in England. His English poetical productions consisted of "The Death of Wolfe," a song; and the humourous narrative, about "The Three Justices andFarmer Short's Dog." At least, these two pieces are all that we now have in print. I have concisely stated Mr. Paine's advance to manhood and fame considering the act but infantile in being elaborate upon the infancy and youth of a public character who displays nothing extraordinary until he reaches manhood. My object here is not to make a volume, but to compress all that is desirable to be known of the Author, in as small a compass as possible. Mr. Paine was twice married, but obtained no children: his first wife he enjoyed but a short time, and his second he never enjoyed at all, as they never cohabited, and before Mr. Paine left England they separated by mutual consent, and by articles of agreement. Mr. Paine often said, that he found sufficient cause for this curious incident, but he never divulged the particulars to any person, and, when pressed to the point, he would say that it was nobody's business but his own.

In the autumn of 1774, being then out of the Excise, he was introduced to the celebrated Dr. Franklin, then on an embassy to England respecting the dispute with the Colonies, and the Doctor was so much pleased with Mr. Paine, that he pointed his attention to America as the best mart for his talents and principles, and gave him letters of recommendation to several friends. Mr. Paine took his voyage immediately, and reached Philadelphia just before Christmas. In January he had become acquainted with a Mr. Aitkin, a bookseller, who it appears started a magazine for the purpose of availing himself of Mr. Paine's talents. It was called the Pennsylvania Magazine, and, from our Author's abilities, soon obtained a currency that exceeded any other work of the kind in America. Many of Mr. Paine's productions in the papers and magazines of America have never reached this country so as to be republished, but such as we have are extremely beautiful, and compel us to admit, that his literary productions are as admirable for style, as hispolitical and theological are for principle.

From his connection with the leading characters at Philadelphia, Mr. Paine immediately took a part in the politics of the Colonies, and being a staunch friend to the general freedom and happiness of the human race, he was the first to advise the Americans to assert their independence. This he did in his famous pamphlet, intitled "Common Sense," which for its consequences and rapid effect was the most important production that ever issued from the press. This pamphlet appeared at the commencement of the year 1776, and it electrified the minds of the oppressed Americans. They had not ventured to harbour the idea of independence, and they dreaded war so much as to be anxious for reconciliation with Britain. One incident which gave a stimulus to the pamphlet "Common Sense" was, that it happened to appear on the very day that the King of England's speech reached the United States, in which the Americans were denounced as rebels and traitors, and in which speech it was asserted to be the right of the Legislature of England to bind the Colonies in all cases whatsoever! Such menace and assertion as this could not fail to kindle the ire of the Americans, and "Common Sense" came forward to touch their feelings with the spirit of independence in the very nick of time.

On the 4th of July, in the same year, the independence of the United States was declared, and Paine had then become so much an object of esteem, that he joined the army, and was with it a considerable time. He was the common favourite of all the officers, and every other liberal-minded man, that advocated the independence of his country, and preferred liberty to slavery. It does not appear that Paine held any rank in the army, but merely assisted with his advice and presence as a private individual. Whilst with the army, he began, in December of the same year, to publish his papers intitled "The Crisis." These came out as smallpamphlets and appeared in the newspapers, they were written occasionally, as circumstances required. The chief object of these seems to have been to encourage the Americans, to stimulate them to exertion in support and defence of their independence, and to rouse their spirits after any little disaster or defeat. Those papers, which also bore the signature of Common Sense, were continued every three or four months until the struggle was over.

In the year 1777, Mr. Paine was called away from the army by an unexpected appointment to fill the office of Secretary to the Committee for Foreign Affairs. In this office, as all foreign correspondence passed through his hands, he obtained an insight into the mode of transacting business in the different Courts of Europe, and imbibed much important information. He did not continue in it above two years, and the circumstance of his resignation seems to have been much to his honour as an honest man. It was in consequence of some peculation discovered to have been committed by one Silas Deane who had been a commissioner from the United States to some part of Europe. The discovery was made by Mr. Paine, and he immediately published it in the papers, which gave offence to certain members of the Congress, and in consequence of some threat of Silas Deane, the Congress shewed a disposition to censure Mr. Paine without giving him a hearing, who immediately protested against such a proceeding, and resigned his situation. However, he carried no pique with him into his retirement, but was as ardent as ever in the cause of independence and a total separation from Britain. He published several plans for an equal system of taxation to enable the Congress to recruit the finances and to reinforce the army, and in the most clear and pointed manner, held out to the inhabitants of the United States, the important advantages they would gain by a cheerful contribution towards the exigencies of thetimes, and at once to make themselves sufficiently formidable, not only to cope with, but to defeat the enemy. He reasoned with them on the impossibility of any army that Britain could send against them, being sufficient to conquer the Continent of America. He again and again explained to them that nothing but fortitude and exertion was necessary on their part to annihilate in one campaign the forces of Britain, and put a stop to the war. It is evident, and admitted on all sides, that these writings of Mr. Paine became the main spring of action in procuring independence to the United States.

Notwithstanding the little disagreement he had with the Congress, it was ready at the close of the war to acknowledge his services by a grant of three thousand dollars, and he also obtained from the State of New York, the confiscated estate of some slavish lory and royalist, situate at New Rochelle. This estate contained three hundred acres of highly, cultivated land, and a large and substantial stone built house. The State of Pennsylvania, in which he first published "Common Sense" and "The Crisis," presented him with £500 sterling; and the





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