these are the times that try men's souls

Cultural Dictionary

These are the times that try men's souls definition

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.”

Note: Paine's words are still quoted occasionally in troublesome situations.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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