Dave Bonta

At the Privy Seal, where we had a seal this morning. Then met with Ned Pickering, and walked with him into St. James’s Park (where I had not been a great while), and there found great and very noble alterations. And, in our discourse, he was very forward to complain and to speak loud of the lewdness and beggary of the Court, which I am sorry to hear, and which I am afeard will bring all to ruin again. So he and I to the Wardrobe to dinner, and after dinner Captain Ferrers and I to the Opera, and saw “The Witts” again, which I like exceedingly. The Queen of Bohemia was here, brought by my Lord Craven.
So the Captain and I and another to the Devil tavern and drank, and so by coach home. Troubled in mind that I cannot bring myself to mind my business, but to be so much in love of plays.
We have been at a great loss a great while for a vessel that I sent about a month ago with things of my Lord’s to Lynn, and cannot till now hear of them, but now we are told that they are put into Soale Bay, but to what purpose I know not.

At the park, a loud beggar
like the queen of Bohemia—
raven at play.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 17 August 1661.

At the office all the morning, though little to be done; because all our clerks are gone to the buriall of Tom Whitton, one of the Controller’s clerks, a very ingenious, and a likely young man to live, as any in the Office. But it is such a sickly time both in City and country every where (of a sort of fever), that never was heard of almost, unless it was in a plague-time.
Among others, the famous Tom Fuller is dead of it; and Dr. Nichols, Dean of Paul’s; and my Lord General Monk is very dangerously ill.
Dined at home with the children and were merry, and my father with me; who after dinner he and I went forth about business. Among other things we found one Dr. John Williams at an alehouse, where we staid till past nine at night, in Shoe Lane, talking about our country business, and I found him so well acquainted with the matters of Gravely that I expect he will be of great use to me. So by link home. I understand my Aunt Fenner is upon the point of death.

Clerks go to burial
like any other full
or ill business.
We talk gravely,
eat ink and point.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 16 August 1661.

To the Privy Seal and Whitehall, up and down, and at noon Sir W. Pen carried me to Paul’s, and so I walked to the Wardrobe and dined with my Lady, and there told her, of my Lord’s sickness (of which though it hath been the town-talk this fortnight, she had heard nothing) and recovery, of which she was glad, though hardly persuaded of the latter. I found my Lord Hinchingbroke better and better, and the worst past. Thence to the Opera, which begins again to-day with “The Witts,” never acted yet with scenes; and the King and Duke and Duchess were there (who dined to-day with Sir H. Finch, reader at the Temple, in great state); and indeed it is a most excellent play, and admirable scenes.
So home and was overtaken by Sir W. Pen in his coach, who has been this afternoon with my Lady Batten, &c., at the Theatre.
So I followed him to the Dolphin, where Sir W. Batten was, and there we sat awhile, and so home after we had made shift to fuddle Mr. Falconer of Woolwich.
So home.

Sick of the town-
talk, I hear
nothing hard,
my wits never
overtaken by
a fuddle of wool.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 15 August 1661.

This morning Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen and I waited upon the Duke of York in his chamber, to give him an account of the condition of the Navy for lack of money, and how our own very bills are offered upon the Exchange, to be sold at 20 in the 100 loss. He is much troubled at it, and will speak to the King and Council of it this morning.
So I went to my Lady’s and dined with her, and found my Lord Hinchingbroke somewhat better.
After dinner Captain Ferrers and I to the Theatre, and there saw “The Alchymist;” and there I saw Sir W. Pen, who took us when the play was done and carried the Captain to Paul’s and set him down, and me home with him, and he and I to the Dolphin, but not finding Sir W. Batten there, we went and carried a bottle of wine to his house, and there sat a while and talked, and so home to bed.
At home I found a letter from Mr. Creed of the 15th of July last, that tells me that my Lord is rid of his pain (which was wind got into the muscles of his right side) and his feaver, and is now in hopes to go aboard in a day or two, which do give me mighty great comfort.

I dined with her and found
what heat the alchemist
took home in a bottle:
a letter from July,
wind and fever.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 14 August 1661.

To the Privy Seal in the morning, then to the Wardrobe to dinner, where I met my wife, and found my young Lord very ill. So my Lady intends to send her other three sons, Sidney, Oliver, and John, to my house, for fear of the small-pox. After dinner I went to my father’s, where I found him within, and went up to him, and there found him settling his papers against his removal, and I took some old papers of difference between me and my wife and took them away. After that Pall being there I spoke to my father about my intention not to keep her longer for such and such reasons, which troubled him and me also, and had like to have come to some high words between my mother and me, who is become a very simple woman.
By and by comes in Mrs. Cordery to take her leave of my father, thinking he was to go presently into the country, and will have us to come and see her before he do go.
Then my father and I went forth to Mr. Rawlinson’s, where afterwards comes my uncle Thomas and his two sons, and then my uncle Wight by appointment of us all, and there we read the will and told them how things are, and what our thoughts are of kindness to my uncle Thomas if he do carry himself peaceable, but otherwise if he persist to keep his caveat up against us. So he promised to withdraw it, and seemed to be very well contented with things as they are.
After a while drinking, we paid all and parted, and so I home, and there found my Lady’s three sons come, of which I am glad that I am in condition to do her and my Lord any service in this kind, but my mind is yet very much troubled about my Lord of Sandwich’s health, which I am afeard of.

Old papers trouble me,
like some high country
where all are peaceable
but against us. I draw
things as they are, glad
that my mind is troubled.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 13 August 1661.

At the office this morning. At home in the afternoon, and had notice that my Lord Hinchingbroke is fallen ill, which I fear is with the fruit that I did give them on Saturday last at my house: so in the evening I went thither and there found him very ill, and in great fear of the smallpox. I supped with my Lady, and did consult about him, but we find it best to let him lie where he do; and so I went home with my heart full of trouble for my Lord Hinchingbroke’s sickness, and more for my Lord Sandwich’s himself, whom we are now confirmed is sick ashore at Alicante, who, if he should miscarry, God knows in what condition would his family be.
I dined to-day with my Lord Crew, who is now at Sir H. Wright’s, while his new house is making fit for him, and he is much troubled also at these things.

This fallen fruit:
a small heart
full of sickness,
my sandwich’s god.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 12 August 1661.

(Lord’s day). To our own church in the forenoon, and in the afternoon to Clerkenwell Church, only to see the two fayre Botelers; and I happened to be placed in the pew where they afterwards came to sit, but the pew by their coming being too full, I went out into the next, and there sat, and had my full view of them both, but I am out of conceit now with them, Colonel Dillon being come back from Ireland again, and do still court them, and comes to church with them, which makes me think they are not honest. Hence to Graye’s-Inn walks, and there staid a good while; where I met with Ned Pickering, who told me what a great match of hunting of a stagg the King had yesterday; and how the King tired all their horses, and come home with not above two or three able to keep pace with him. So to my father’s, and there supped, and so home.

Too full, I went out
into the full land

and stayed to eat
a tired horse

not able to keep pace
with my fat.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 11 August 1661.

This morning came the maid that my wife hath lately hired for a chamber maid. She is very ugly, so that I cannot care for her, but otherwise she seems very good. But however she do come about three weeks hence, when my wife comes back from Brampton, if she go with my father.
By and by came my father to my house, and so he and I went and found out my uncle Wight at the Coffee House, and there did agree with him to meet the next week with my uncle Thomas and read over the Captain’s will before them both for their satisfaction.
Having done with him I went to my Lady’s and dined with her, and after dinner took the two young gentlemen and the two ladies and carried them and Captain Ferrers to the Theatre, and shewed them “The merry Devill of Edmunton,” which is a very merry play, the first time I ever saw it, which pleased me well. And that being done I took them all home by coach to my house and there gave them fruit to eat and wine. So by water home with them, and so home myself.

Ugly as a faction,
I took to the heat
and the devil saw me.
He gave me
myself.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 10 August 1661.

To the office, where word is brought me by a son-in-law of Mr. Pierces; the purser, that his father is a dying and that he desires that I would come to him before he dies. So I rose from the table and went, where I found him not so ill as I thought that he had been ill. So I did promise to be a friend to his wife and family if he should die, which was all he desired of me, but I do believe he will recover.
Back again to the office, where I found Sir G. Carteret had a day or two ago invited some of the officers to dinner to-day at Deptford. So at noon, when I heard that he was a-coming, I went out, because I would see whether he would send to me or no to go with them; but he did not, which do a little trouble me till I see how it comes to pass. Although in other things I am glad of it because of my going again to-day to the Privy Seal.
I dined at home, and having dined news is brought by Mr. Hater that his wife is now falling into labour, so he is come for my wife, who presently went with him.
I to White Hall, where, after four o’clock, comes my Lord Privy Seal, and so we went up to his chamber over the gate at White Hall, where he asked me what deputacon I had from My Lord. I told him none; but that I am sworn my Lord’s deputy by both of the Secretarys, which did satisfy him. So he caused Mr. Moore to read over all the bills as is the manner, and all ended very well. So that I see the Lyon is not so fierce as he is painted.
That being done Mons. Eschar (who all this afternoon had been waiting at the Privy Seal for the Warrant for 5,000l. for my Lord of Sandwich’s preparation for Portugal) and I took some wine with us and went to visit la belle Pierce, who we find very big with child, and a pretty lady, one Mrs. Clifford, with her, where we staid and were extraordinary merry. From thence I took coach to my father’s, where I found him come home this day from Brampton (as I expected) very well, and after some discourse about business and it being very late I took coach again home, where I hear by my wife that Mrs. Hater is not yet delivered, but continues in her pains.
So to bed.

Dying
and desire
come to me
in other things.
I am falling into
a white sea, I am
fierce as ivy and very
big with child.
I expect to live
but continue
in pain.
So.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 9 August 1661.

Early in the morning to Whitehall, but my Lord Privy Seal came not all the morning. At noon Mr. Moore and I to the Wardrobe to dinner, where my Lady and all merry and well. Back again to the Privy Seal; but my Lord comes not all the afternoon, which made me mad and gives all the world reason to talk of his delaying of business, as well as of his severity and ill using of the Clerks of the Privy Seal. In the evening I took Mons. Eschar and Mr. Moore and Dr. Pierce’s brother (the souldier) to the tavern next the Savoy, and there staid and drank with them. Here I met with Mr. Mage, and discoursing of musique Mons. Eschar spoke so much against the English and in praise of the French that made him mad, and so he went away. After a stay with them a little longer we parted and I home.

War gives the world an ill music
in praise of the mad.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 8 August 1661.