Ho! Anthony! what Anthony!
That knocks so loudly & disturbs my prayers?
I. Satan. let me in.
Back to thy hell
Son of perdition!
Fair words Anthony!
I come to have some sober talk. thou knowst
That if I pleasd, ere thou couldst cross thyself
I should be thro the door. lift up the latch
And let me enter with civility.
Father of lies! what wouldst thou?
I have business,
A case of conscience. lift the latch I say.
But art thou in a decent shape, & fit
For a Monks eyes to view?
Just to his taste,
Horns, cloven feet, blue lips & brimstone breath.
Hast left thy whip behind thee?
What – old boy?
Does thy back smart then? aye aye I am come
On friendly terms; so keep me here no longer.
This night wind’s somewhat cold to one like me
Used to a hotter climate.
May I trust thee?
Art thou indeed in thy own decent shape?
My honour – Anthony!
And without the whip?
My honour – Anthony!
St Anthony. opening the door.
Then in Gods name
What is thy business Satan?
Under correction father, that you hold
Falshood & calumny two grievous sins.
Father of Sins thou knowst it. thou hast sown
The seeds with liberal hand, & Hell has reapd
A harvest plentiful.
I am most wickedly calumniated!
St Anthony –
St Anthony –
There’s not a prayer put up to Heaven
But bears a curse on Satan! not a sin
Done in all Xtendom but Satan bears
And you complain?
Father I do.
Why thou old Serpent!
Thou spawner of all crimes! thou who hast fly-blown
The earth with thy corruptions, who canst breathe
Nothing but blasphemy, think nought but lies,
Speak nought but what is damnable to hear –
Father, forbearance is a Xtian virtue
I am but young in practising. I came
To argue; if you will have open war,
Speak, – & I fetch the whip.
Why then I say
All wretchedness, all sin, proceed from thee.
One instance Anthony. bring home one charge,
One solitary crime.
That dreadful battle
Last week whose hideous carnage has oerfeasted
The flesh-birds. whence but from thy agency
Arose that evil?
Father I heard the Monks
Singing the Te deum for the victory,
And they give God the glory.
The righteous cause has triumphd.
The other side
Humble themselves in fasting & in prayer
And own their sins deserved the wrath of heaven.
Aye – twas a wholesome chastisement. but Satan
Twas for the Kings offence the people died,
His crime the cause & thou the cause of all.
I pray you father is he my vicegerent,
And my anointed?
Thou wert in his councils.
Thou in his heart didst plant the love of blood,
The greediness of gain, the lust of power.
Look how the miserable people groan
Beneath his tyranny & pray to heaven
For mercy & relief!
Tis their own fault
To pray & pray & make no effort else!
The Pagans had a speedier remedy,
Harmodious, Father, & the Bruti 
You deem them damn’d?
He must be damnd who doubts it.
The circumcised people of the Lord
They fought with carnal weapons. was not she
Honourd & hymnd who stole upon the sleep
Of Sisera? 
& she whose daring
Smote Holofornes on his drunken couch? 
Is not her name among the people held
Holy? – when Ehud 
with his daggers
Delivered Israel from her miseries,
Was it from Satan, father, that she bore
The message to the King?
Jews – Satan, Jews!
It might be right in them. obedience – patience –
These are the Xtian virtues.
If, as you say, I cause the Kings misdeeds,
These give occasion for the bright display
Of patience & long-suffering; so am I
The cause of Xtian virtue.
I who by day & night have sufferd from thee
All fierce temptations! who have felt thy whip
Laid on so lustily that it has left me
in my own
blood! who have had my cell
Filld with thy imps all breathing brimstone at me
Swarming around me thicker than the gnats
In the summer marsh, & buzzing blasphemy –
Most thankless Anthony!
Hast thou not stood all night before my eyes,
Yea, thro my close-squeezd eyelids made me see
In harlot nakedness?
Yes spotless father!
Right manfully thy skin & bone withstood
The flesh & blood temptations. thence arose
Thy virtue & thy glory, I the cause.
Most impudent Devil!
This to thy best friend,
Me who have honourd thee among the people!
O thou old Dragon! twas thy motive too
To honour that most miserable Monk,
That father Ludovico who committed
The deadly sin, & with a Nun! - how now
Thou subtle one? wilt thou deny the fact?
Thinkest thou the bare idea of such guilt
Could spring from ought but thee?
Was it I who led
The Monk & Nun to make their vows? was it I
Who made him man? was it I who gave to her
Black eyes, & blooming cheeks, & ruddy lips,
Lips of such sweet temptation –
Hold hold – Satan!
Then her neck so smooth!
But hear me Anthony!
I’ll shower upon thee
Tempests of holy water –
Ill brain thee with the crucifix.
I’ll touch thee with these relics into torture! –
The whip! the whip!
St Anthony –
Out out thou cursed one. 
I was called upon, on Saturday last, to make affidavit to those
deeds which I & Burnett
witnessd for you, as they were going to America. Of America we have sad accounts
here. the English emigrants complain bitterly. that they should feel the want of
cultivated society is not to be wondered at, but it is their own fault that they
do not cluster together. there Priestley writes
that he is to the full as obnoxious to the people there as ever he was in
England.  their sedition bill  had for its
first clause, that all persons who had fled their country on charges of treason
or sedition & taken refuge in the United States should be delivered back to
their respective governments. the clause was indeed thrown it, but what a spirit
does it show when it could be proposed! England is certainly the best place now
– it is the man with a growing stone in his bladder. Germany – Prussia &c
have the stone very bad indeed – & the revolutionary countries have not yet
recovered from being cut. On my <own> account I am sorry for the Monthly
Review.  the others are good for little,
& that will sink to their level. they treat me in the Critical in the manner
you complain of: but my review are written with so little expence of time &
thought that I am indifferent. who corrects me & tames me & qualifies me
into insipidity I know not. I give praise to a good book with as much pleasure
as the Author will receive it: to a moderate one I am merciful, & that must
be very bad indeed that provokes severity. On anything bad in its aristocracy as
well as in its composition I have no mercy.
God bless you.
March 18. 99.