41. Eugenio
Massachusetts Centinel, 31 October 1787

AN EPISTLE.

DEAR PAT,

I find you lik’d my former letter(a),

And, to speak truth, I like you for’t the better;

For notwithstanding what dull scribblers say,

No men on earth love flatt’ry more than they.

I wish, indeed, the scrawl which you’ve commended,

Had been corrected, as was once intended;

Then the erratum which I here subjoin,

Had not been needed at the sixteenth line;

After the fifteenth terminates in “whips,”

Pray read “For all the antifederal ships.”

I find a Lapwing, of the inky tribe,

Whose oddities no language can describe,

In Monday’s paper, and bombastick style,

Attempts your friend, EUGENIO, to revile:

Let him rail on; events may one day prove

Which of us best deserves our country’s love.

While party-disappointment’s keenest smart

Corrodes that worthless thing, his rage-swol’n heart,

I can forgive his taunts, o’erlook his failings,

And with contemptuous smiles repay his railings.

What if the tow’ring tale of P—CE be true,

And all this varnish to his merit due?

Yet if it now be clearly understood

He holds his will above his country’s good;

If he can countenance those hateful crimes

Which bring an odium on the present times;

If he can openly espouse the cause

Of rebels who presume to spurn the laws;

If when the wisdom of the realm collected,

Has form’d a mode of government, respected

By most good men, who only wish to see

Their neighbours happy, and their country free;—

If at this crisis, lost to fear and shame,

He to oppose these views should madly aim;

If blind thro’ prejudice, and weak thro’ passion,

He strive to bring old Anarchy in fashion,

And with a blast of pestilential breath

Scatter fierce fire-brands, arrows, missive death;

Like a right-hand or eye offensive grown,

Cast it away—its loss will ne’er be known;

The joy of being clear from such a nuisance

Will amply compensate each man of true sense.

The panygerist, and this man of mettle,

May now permit their frantick brains to settle.

To prove that he’s an antifed’ral man,

And strives to serve th’ insurgents all he can,

One need not(b)draw his sword to set aside

The new form’d government—our country’s pride!

The other need not draw his quill again

To prove himself a villain or insane.

(a) See the last Saturday’s Centinel.

(b) Alluding to a publick threat of Mr. P. contained in these words.