Thomas Paine, “The Crisis” (December 23, 1776)
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by 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 every thing its value.
Note: Most of these Who Said It posts have focused on the words of American presidents. This quote from Thomas Paine is a shift to quotes from other key figures in American History. Learn more about Thomas Paine’s life at the Thomas Paine Society.