Tuesday, June 8 1756

This day at the request of Mrs Virgoe I went with her brother to Lewes on foot to know the result of counsellor Humphrey’s opinion on her late husband’s will, which was that by that will’s being badly made she had no power to make one. And he also said Mr Tourle’s mortgage, or as he expressed it, “Tourle was damned bad security.” My brother and I dined at Mr T. Scrase’s on a cold quarter of lamb and green salad. Paid Mr George Verral 8/8 in full for 2 doz soap.

Now what I am a-going to mention makes me shudder with horror at the thought of it. It is I got very much in liquor. But let me not give it so easy a name, but say I was very drunk, and then I must of consequence be no better than a beast. And what is still more terrifying, by committing this enormous crime I plunged myself into still greater; that is, of quarrelling, which was this: my walking yesterday and again today, my feet were very sore; so, meeting with Peter Adams I asked him to carry me home, which he agreed to. I accordingly got on horseback at the Cats after first having some words with a person for no other reason I can think but because he was sober, at least I know it was because I was drunk. We then proceeded on the road home and, as I am since informed, oftentimes finding an opportunity to have words with somebody, and, doubtless as often, giving somebody the opportunity to sneer and ridicule myself, as well in justice they might. And, I suppose to gratify Mr Adams for his trouble, I told him if he would go around by William Dicker’s, I would treat him with a mug of 6d, which he readily accepted of (though he, I understand, was very sober). There we met Mr Laugham and several more, but who I cannot remember, and I suppose also in liquor. Now there was formerly a dispute between Mr Laugham and me about a bill wherein I was used ill. I imagine I must have told him of that. Or whether they, seeing me more in liquor than themselves, put upon me, I do not remember, but Mr Laugham pulled me by the nose and struck at me with his horse-whip and used me very ill, upon which Mr Adams told them he thought there was enough for a joke, upon which they used him very ill and have abused him very much. Then while they were a-fighting, I, free from any hurt, like a true friend and bold hearty fellow, rode away upon poor Peter’s horse leaving him to shift for himself, glad enough I got away with a whole skin. I got home about 10 o’clock. But what can I say in my own behalf for getting drunk? Sure I am a direct fool–so many resolutions as I have made to the contrary, and so much as I am desirous of living a sober life–that I should suffer myself to be so easily deluded away when I know almost the sight of a bottle of wine will make me drunk. But, oh, may the Supreme Director of all events give me grace to be wiser for the future; and as I have in so miraculous, a manner several times been preserved from danger, I hope I shall never more be so weak, but have resolution enough to make this the last time!

My wife in my absence sent Francis Smith by his man 1.12.0… My brother William went away tonight about 9 o’clock… Paid for a coffee-pot 18d. Paid for ½ hundred asparagus 5d.

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