<< Citizenship Compendium

“These are the times that try men’s souls”

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

My brave fellows. On our recent march through Jersey from New York, one of our own, Thomas Paine, aide-de-camp to Gen’l Greene, penned by firelight a tract which captures the essence of our present situation. Permit me to share with you a few lines…

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot, will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered: yet we have this consolation with us — that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods: and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

Address of General George Washington to his troops, Christmas Day 1776

AEI