Friday, June 30 1758

In the forenoon rode down to John Cayley’s to buy a tub of butter, but be could not assure me to put one up for me. I called at Mr John Vine’s and looked at his wool and left word with Mrs Vine I would give 7d per 1b for it.

I think I have a very great dread upon my spirits about tonight’s entertainment, for as I drink anything strong so seldom, I am thoroughly sensible a very little will make me drunk. Oh, a melancholy thing to deprive oneself of reason and even to render ourselves beasts! But what can I do in this affair? If I stay at home, I shall be stigmatized with the name of being a poor proud ill-natured wretch, and perhaps disoblige Mr Coates. And if I go, I must drink just as they please, or otherwise I shall be called a poor singular fellow; so I must be guilty of an indecency to please the multitude…

Paid Mr Ben Shelley in cash 1.14.5, it being for the same sum which he paid in London for me this week… In the afternoon my wife went up to Mr Piper’s with a gown for Mrs Piper, and about 5:20 I went down to Halland where, after casting up a large account of wood, faggots etc. for Mr Coates, I entered the list of drinkers. Our company were Mr Coates, the Rev Mr Porter, the Rev Mr Fletcher, Mr Robert Turner, Mr Will Shoesmith, Mr James Shoesmith, Mr Sam Gibbs, Mr John Goldsmith, Mr Robert Saxby, Mr Jeremiah French, Mr Joseph Fuller, Mr Thomas Fuller, Mr Will Piper, Mr Joseph Burgess, Mr John Clinch, Mr Calverley, Mr Francis Elless, Mr Richard Bridgman, Joseph Durrant and myself. We supped with Mr Coates on two pieces of cold roast beef, a cold roast [rib] of lamb, a cold chicken pasty and green salad. We drank health and success to his Majesty and the royal family, the King of Prussia, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, Lord Anson, his Grace the Duke of Newcastle and his duchess, Lord Abergavenny, Admiral Boscawen, Mr Pelham of Stanmer, the Earl of Ancram, the Earl of Ashburnham, Lord Gage, Marshal Keith and several more loyal healths. But about 10:10, finding myself to begin to be in liquor, and finding it impossible to sit there without drinking off bumpers as fast as could well be poured out, I deserted and came safe home, but, to my shame do I mention it, very much in liquor; though I have this to extenuate my crime, that it was with greatest reluctance I entered the list, and nothing but the fear of disobliging could ever have prevailed on me to have gone. And I think I made all the efforts I could to evade drinking, though all proved ineffectual. Before I came away I think I my say there was not one sober person in company, though some more so than others, for I was the fifth that deserted.

Now let us seriously reflect upon this transaction and look upon things in their proper light. I doubt not but we shall find it a very improper way of rejoicing, for instead of rejoicing in spirit and giving thanks and praises to Him that has given our armies success in battle, we have, as it must appear to any considerate person, been endeavoring to draw down vengeance and misfortunes from heaven upon our armies. For if there is a God (as undoubtedly there is), and one who delights in that which is good, then the crime of drunkenness and the many oaths and execrations that often resounded from all sides of the table could never be pleasing in his sight. Oh, the depravity of human nature! When will poor mortal man learn to be wise and think justly of his latter end? Sure the degeneracy of this present age must almost startle anyone that would but make a stop and consider duly the eternal torments which are pronounced against wickedness and impiety.

Rec’d back by the carrier a receipt from Mr Allen Chatfield in lieu of the money sent him the 27th on account of Mrs Mills for Mr Piper. Sent Mr Piper the receipt, but have not had my note.

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