The geometer Blaise Pascal confesses in a letter, “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.” He means the letter can be soundly and conservatively abridged; there is some briefer version that preserves its truth and has exactly the same consequences as the original. Under this interpretation, Pascal’s confession implies a contradiction. For one of the consequences of the letter is that there is a further conservative abridgement. Hopes of saving Pascal’s letter from selfcannibalism turn on the deletion test for superfluous premises. These rescues are explored with memories of the verification criterion of meaning, criteria for lawhood, and the paradoxes of confirmation.