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These are the times that try men's souls

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The opening words of the series of pamphlets The American Crisis, by Thomas Paine, begun in late 1776. Paine, seeking to stir up revolutionary spirit in the colonies, continues, “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot may, 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.”

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notes for These are the times that try men's souls

Paine's words are still quoted occasionally in troublesome situations.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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