Monday, May 22 1758

In the morning as soon as I had breakfasted I set out for Lewes in order for to commit the management of the debt due from Master Darby to me into the hands of Mr Rideout, but when I came to Lewes Mr Rideout was not at home; and fearing a delay in the affair might prove of a dangerous consequence (I mean as to my getting of the debt), I therefore committed the same into the care of Mr Burtenshaw, attorney at law, who proposes to send for a writ this day and to arrest him on Saturday next. The debt I swore to be due to me is £17 though I am pretty confident it is more than £18.

Oh, what a confusion and tumult there is in my breast about this affair! To think what a terrible thing it is to arrest a person, for by this means he may be entirely torn to pieces, who might otherwise recover himself and pay everyone their own. But then on the other hand let me consider some of this debt has been standing above 4 years, and the greatest part of it above three years. I have tried very hard to get it these two years and cannot get one farthing. They have almost quite forsaken my shop, buying nothing of me that amounts to any value, but every time they want anything of value, they go to Lewes. And I have just reason to suspect they must be deep in debt at other places, for undoubtedly no people of £200 a year go gayer than Mrs Darby and her two daughters. So I greatly fear they, instead of getting out of debt, go farther in. And as I at this time am so oppressed for want of money that I know not which way to turn, it makes me more eager to get it. For I really and sincerely have no other motive in doing this but to secure my just due, and I think there is no probability of ever getting it but by doing this (and I really am afraid I shall never have it at all).

I called at Mr Bennett’s, Mr Thomas Scrase’s and Mr Madgwick’s. I ate some bread and cheese at Mr Scrase’s. My wife at home dined on some baked roach. Paid Mr Sam Newell 10/- in full. I came from Lewes by Bayley’s Lane where I called at Mr Crowhurst’s and bought some earthenware for myself and mother. I came home thank God very safe and sober about 7 o’clock. Spent today as under:

To the turnpike0.0.2
Horse, hay, Oats and ostler0.0.5½
Gave away to two children0.0.1

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