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Beelzebub to General Arnold

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

A correspondent, in a letter to the printer of the Pennsylvania Packet, referring to the foregoing, says:—”I was sorry to see that in your last paper, giving an account of the funeral of Benedict Arnold, you take but little notice of the letter written to him by his master. As I am very curious of these original pieces, I took a copy of it, and I beg you to publish it in your next:

“‘A letter from his Infernal Majesty Burlatarra Beelzebub, to Alan Buzrael, commonly called Benedict Arnold, a true copy of the original which he had in his hand before he was burnt, in Philadelphia, September 30, 1780.

“‘Faithful Buzrael,—You remember that before we sent you into the world to prepare the ruin of America, (the worthy object of our indignation being by its situation capable of more virtue than any country in the world,) we ordered you to begin by great exertions- of bravery, to gain the affections of the inhabitants, and bestow on yourself their confidence and their friendship. You succeeded very well in this business, and you were even skilful enough to seduce and associate to your operations some powerful citizens of their country, whom we shall reward in time for their great achievements. We assure you of our royal satisfaction in this particular, and we are glad to see that you obtained the title of a general, in which dignity you may be able to do more mischief than in any other. But we cannot approve of the choice you made of your face, which has something roguish in it, and does not quite inspire all that confidence we expected. We understand, by some savages, both English and Americans, lately arrived in our dominions, that what they call the virtuous citizens of America suspect you very much of being an enemy to their country. We see with great abhorrence, that, notwithstanding all your secret intrigues to ruin the country, the independence of America acquires every day more strength and solidity; their commerce is flourishing more than ever, their country affords them every kind of provisions, their patriotism grows more and more invincible. We deplore with our friends in England the good condition of their army, and the bravery of their soldiers. Our kingdom trembles at the very name of Washington, and we detest him as much as he is adored by his countrymen. We expect that you will find some effectual means to deliver us from this powerful enemy, but particularly to put an end, by a capital stroke, to all the pretensions of that people, and we flatter ourselves that after their subjection they will be in a few years as corrupted, as wicked, as cruel as their mother country. We rely entirely upon your abilities, but at the same time we require a prompt execution of our orders: your affectionate King, Beelzebub.'”1


1 Pennsylvania Packet, October 7.