At home all day… In the afternoon wrote out Mr Piper’s bill. In the evening read 2 of Tillotson’s sermons. Paid 5d for 10 whiting bought today. In the evening Master Paris came to me and begged I would draw up a petition in behalf of his sons for them to endeavor to ask some relief of their neighbors, upon which I drew up the following petition:
“Whereas Francis and John Paris having formerly through mistaken Notions followed that unwarrantable Practice of Smuggling tho’ for a considerable time past being convinced of the mischievous Consequences of such a Practice (to the British Nation in General as well as to every individual thereof), have intirely refrain’d from the said practice, but as they who have once ventured on such an illegal course may Years after become subject to the Law (as many unhappy instances too justly testifie) and which is now become the case of those unhappy Men who have lately been sworn against in his Majesties Court of Exchequer for a very considerable Sum. Which if the Law is executed against them in the most rigorous manner they must be obliged to abandon their native Country and that which is still more dear to them their Family and relations, But as they have some prospect and hopes to believe the said affair may be made up for a small sum in proportion to so great a one which they are sworn for, tho’ still so a great that they are unable to raise the same from their affects. They therefore humbly implore the Assistance of their Neighbours and acquaintance hopeing they will commiserate their unhappy affair and Yeild them some relief and succour in this their day of adversity and trouble and they will ever (as bound in duty) thankfully acknowledge the favours they shall be pleased to confer upon Them.”
I gave the man 2/6 for his sons–not that I did it so as much from principle of charity as self-interest, having formerly bought some brandy of them. I could not tell but their poverty might induce them to do that for me which another has done for them, in order to clear themselves.