Dave Bonta

Up early, this morning, and my people are taking down the hangings and things in my house because of the great dust that is already made by the pulling down of Sir W. Batten’s house, and will be by my own when I come to it. To my office, and there hard at work all the morning. At noon to the Exchange to meet Dr. Williams, who sent me this morning notice of his going into the country tomorrow, but could not find him, but meeting with Frank Moore, my Lord Lambeth’s man formerly, we, and two or three friends of his did go to a tavern, and there they drank, but I nothing but small beer. In the next room one was playing very finely of the dulcimer, which well played I like well, but one of our own company, a talking fellow, did in discourse say much of this Act against Seamen,1 for their being brought to account; and that it was made on purpose for my Lord Sandwich, who was in debt 100,000l., and hath been forced to have pardon oftentimes from Oliver for the same: at which I was vexed at him, but thought it not worth my trouble to oppose what he said, but took leave and went home, and after a little dinner to my office again, and in the evening Sir W. Warren came to me about business, and that being done, discoursing of deals, I did offer to go along with him among his deal ships, which we did to half a score, where he showed me the difference between Dram, Swinsound, Christiania, and others, and told me many pleasant notions concerning their manner of cutting and sawing them by watermills, and the reason how deals become dearer and cheaper, among others, when the snow is not so great as to fill up the vallys that they may pass from hill to hill over the snow, then it is dear carriage. From on board he took me to his yard, where vast and many places of deals, sparrs, and bulks, &c., the difference between which I never knew before, and indeed am very proud of this evening’s work. He had me into his house, which is most pretty and neat and well furnished. After a glass, not of wine, for I would not be tempted to drink any, but a glass of mum, I well home by water, but it being late was forced to land at the Custom House, and so home and to bed, and after I was a-bed, letters came from the Duke for the fitting out of four ships forthwith from Portsmouth (I know not yet for what) so I was forced to make Will get them wrote, and signed them in bed and sent them away by express. And so to sleep.

this great dust is made
in the country

there is no cheaper
to fill up the house and urn

with I know not yet
what sleep


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 23 June 1662.

(Lord’s day). This day I first put on my slasht doublet, which I like very well. Mr. Shepley came to me in the morning, telling me that he and my Lord came to town from Hinchinbroke last night. He and I spend an hour in looking over his account, and then walked to the Wardrobe, all the way discoursing of my Lord’s business. He tells me to my great wonder that Mr. Barnwell is dead 500l. in debt to my Lord.
By and by my Lord came from church, and I dined, with some others, with him, he very merry, and after dinner took me aside and talked of state and other matters. By and by to my brother Tom’s and took him out with me homewards (calling at the Wardrobe to talk a little with Mr. Moore), and so to my house, where I paid him all I owed him, and did make the 20l. I lately lent him up to 40l., for which he shall give bond to Mr. Shepley, for it is his money.
So my wife and I to walk in the garden, where all our talk was against Sir W. Pen, against whom I have lately had cause to be much prejudiced. By and by he and his daughter came out to walk, so we took no notice of them a great while, at last in going home spoke a word or two, and so good night, and to bed. This day I am told of a Portugall lady, at Hampton Court, that hath dropped a child already since the Queen’s coming, but the king would not have them searched whose it is; and so it is not commonly known yet. Coming home to-night, I met with Will. Swan, who do talk as high for the Fanatiques as ever he did in his life; and do pity my Lord Sandwich and me that we should be given up to the wickedness of the world; and that a fall is coming upon us all; for he finds that he and his company are the true spirit of the nation, and the greater part of the nation too, who will have liberty of conscience in spite of this “Act of Uniformity,” or they will die; and if they may not preach abroad, they will preach in their own houses. He told me that certainly Sir H. Vane must be gone to Heaven, for he died as much a martyr and saint as ever man did; and that the King hath lost more by that man’s death, than he will get again a good while. At all which I know not what to think; but, I confess, I do think that the Bishops will never be able to carry it so high as they do.

Lord’s day
is the Lord’s business;
my church is the known world.
On the road, they told me
that heaven died as much
as man did,
and bishops will never
be able to carry it
so high.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 22 June 1662.

Up about four o’clock, and settled some private business of my own, then made me ready and to the office to prepare things for our meeting to-day.
By and by we met, and at noon Sir W. Pen and I to the Trinity House; where was a feast made by the Wardens, when great good cheer, and much, but ordinary company. The Lieutenant of the Tower, upon my demanding how Sir H. Vane died, told me that he died in a passion; but all confess with so much courage as never man died. Thence to the office, where Sir W. Rider, Capt. Cocke, and Mr. Cutler came by appointment to meet me to confer about the contract between us and them for 500 tons of hemp. That being done, I did other business and so went home, and there found Mr. Creed, who staid talking with my wife and me an hour or two, and I put on my riding cloth suit, only for him to see how it is, and I think it will do very well. He being gone, and I hearing from my wife and the maids’ complaints made of the boy, I called him up, and with my whip did whip him till I was not able to stir, and yet I could not make him confess any of the lies that they tax him with. At last, not willing to let him go away a conqueror, I took him in task again, and pulled off his frock to his shirt, and whipped him till he did confess that he did drink the whey, which he had denied, and pulled a pink, and above all did lay the candlestick upon the ground in his chamber, which he had denied this quarter of a year. I confess it is one of the greatest wonders that ever I met with that such a little boy as he could possibly be able to suffer half so much as he did to maintain a lie. I think I must be forced to put him away. So to bed, with my arm very weary.

My ready rage, a creed
I put on to see
how it is: thin whip, rock
and candle on the ground.
Denied wonder, I suffer
to maintain a lie.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 21 June 1662.

Up by four or five o’clock, and to the office, and there drew up the agreement between the King and Sir John Winter about the Forrest of Deane; and having done it, he came himself (I did not know him to be the Queen’s Secretary before, but observed him to be a man of fine parts); and we read it, and both liked it well. That done, I turned to the Forrest of Deane, in Speede’s Mapps, and there he showed me how it lies; and the Lea-bayly, with the great charge of carrying it to Lydny, and many other things worth my knowing; and I do perceive that I am very short in my business by not knowing many times the geographical part of my business.
At my office till Mr. Moore took me out and at my house looked over our papers again, and upon our evening accounts did give full discharges one to the other, and in his and many other accounts I perceive I shall be better able to give a true balance of my estate to myself within a day or two than I have been this twelve months.
Then he and I to Alderman Backwell’s and did the like there, and I gave one receipt for all the money I have received thence upon the receipt of my Lord’s crusados. Then I went to the Exchange, and hear that the merchants have a great fear of a breach with the Spaniard; for they think he will not brook our having Tangier, Dunkirk, and Jamaica; and our merchants begin to draw home their estates as fast as they can. Then to Pope’s Head Ally, and there bought me a pair of tweezers, cost me 14s., the first thing like a bawble I have bought a good while, but I do it with some trouble of mind, though my conscience tells me that I do it with an apprehension of service in my office to have a book to write memorandums in, and a pair of compasses in it; but I confess myself the willinger to do it because I perceive by my accounts that I shall be better by 30l. than I expected to be. But by tomorrow night I intend to see to the bottom of all my accounts. Then home to dinner, where Mr. Moore met me. Then he went away, and I to the office and dispatch much business. So in the evening, my wife and I and Jane over the water to the Halfway-house, a pretty, pleasant walk, but the wind high. So home again and to bed.

We turn to the forest
(and other things

worth knowing
by not knowing)

to look our full
at all we fear,

our estate like a bauble
bought with trouble,

mind a pair of compasses
to walk home.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 20 June 1662.

Up by five o’clock, and while my man Will was getting himself ready to come up to me I took and played upon my lute a little.
So to dress myself, and to my office to prepare things against we meet this morning.
We sat long to-day, and had a great private business before us about contracting with Sir W. Rider, Mr. Cutler, and Captain Cocke, for 500 ton of hemp, which we went through, and I am to draw up the conditions.
Home to dinner, where I found Mr. Moore, and he and I cast up our accounts together and evened them, and then with the last chest of crusados to Alderman Backwell’s, by the same token his lady going to take coach stood in the shop, and having a gilded glassfull of perfumed comfits given her by Don Duarte de Silva, the Portugall merchant, that is come over with the Queen, I did offer at a taste, and so she poured some out into my hand, and, though good, yet pleased me the better coming from a pretty lady.
So home and at the office preparing papers and things, and indeed my head has not been so full of business a great while, and with so much pleasure, for I begin to see the pleasure it gives. God give me health. So to bed.

I ready myself for
a ride in rough conditions
with a chest of glass,
my hand leased
from a pretty lady
and a paper head so full of sin
I begin to see God.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 19 June 1662.

Up early; and after reading a little in Cicero, I made me ready and to my office, where all the morning very busy. At noon Mr. Creed came to me about business, and he and I walked as far as Lincoln’s Inn Fields together. After a turn or two in the walks we parted, and I to my Lord Crew’s and dined with him; where I hear the courage of Sir H. Vane at his death is talked on every where as a miracle.
Thence to Somerset House to Sir J. Winter’s chamber by appointment, and met Mr. Pett, where he and I read over his last contract with the King for the Forest of Dean, whereof I took notes because of this new one that he is now in making. That done he and I walked to Lilly’s, the painter’s, where we saw among other rare things, the Duchess of York, her whole body, sitting instate in a chair, in white sattin, and another of the King, that is not finished; most rare things. I did give the fellow something that showed them us, and promised to come some other time, and he would show me Lady Castlemaine’s, which I could not then see, it being locked up! Thence to Wright’s, the painter’s: but, Lord! the difference that is between their two works. Thence to the Temple, and there spoke with my cozen Roger, who gives me little hopes in the business between my Uncle Tom and us. So Mr. Pett (who staid at his son’s chamber) and I by coach to the old Exchange, and there parted, and I home and at the office till night. My windows at my office are made clean to-day and a casement in my closet. So home, and after some merry discourse in the kitchen with my wife and maids as I now-a-days often do, I being well pleased with both my maids, to bed.

death is a miracle
making in the body (that is not finished)
most rare things

how could it be locked up
between two hopes


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 18 June 1662.

Up, and Mr. Mayland comes to me and borrowed 30s. of me to be paid again out of the money coming to him in the James and Charles for his late voyage. So to the office, where all the morning. So home to dinner, my wife not being well, but however dined with me.
So to the office, and at Sir W. Batten’s, where we all met by chance and talked, and they drank wine; but I forebore all their healths. Sir John Minnes, I perceive, is most excellent company. So home and to bed betimes by daylight.

A borrowed voyage:
we dine and talk
and the wine is
excellent company.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 June 1662.