Dave Bonta

(Lord’s day). Did not stir out all day, but rose and dined below, and this day left off half skirts and put on a wastecoate, and my false taby wastecoate with gold lace; and in the evening there came Sir W. Batten to see me, and sat and supped very kindly with me, and so to prayers and to bed.

No stir out of half skirts
and false lace—
an evening bat.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 13 October 1661.

In bed the greatest part of this day also, and my swelling in some measure gone. I received a letter this day from my father, that Sir R. Bernard do a little fear that my uncle has not observed exactly the custom of Brampton in his will about his lands there, which puts me to a great trouble in mind, and at night wrote to him and to my father about it, being much troubled at it.

In bed, swelling,
I measure a little fear,
observe exactly
the custom of
the mind at night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 12 October 1661.

At the office all the morning; dined at home, and after dinner Sir W. Pen and my wife and I to the Theatre (she first going into Covent Garden to speak a word with a woman to enquire of her mother, and I in the meantime with Sir W. Pen’s coach staying at W. Joyce’s), where the King came to-day, and there was “The Traytor” most admirably acted; and a most excellent play it is. So home, and intended to be merry, it being my sixth wedding night; but by a late bruise in one of my testicles. I am in so much pain that I eat my supper and in pain to bed, yet my wife and I pretty merry.

After dinner to the garden
to speak a word
into the night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 10 October 1661.

This morning went out about my affairs, among others to put my Theorbo out to be mended, and then at noon home again, thinking to go with Sir Williams both to dinner by invitation to Sir W. Rider’s, but at home I found Mrs. Pierce, la belle, and Madam Clifford, with whom I was forced to stay, and made them the most welcome I could; and I was (God knows) very well pleased with their beautiful company, and after dinner took them to the Theatre, and shewed them “The Chances;” and so saw them both at home and back to the Fleece tavern, in Covent Garden, where Luellin and Blurton, and my old friend Frank Bagge, was to meet me, and there staid till late very merry. Frank Bagge tells me a story of Mrs. Pepys that lived with my Lady Harvy, Mr. Montagu’s sister, a good woman; that she had been very ill, and often asked for me; that she is in good condition, and that nobody could get her to make her will; but that she did still enquire for me, and that now she is well she desires to have a chamber at my house. Now I do not know whether this is a trick of Bagge’s, or a good will of hers to do something for me; but I will not trust her, but told him I should be glad to see her, and that I would be sure to do all that I could to provide a place for her. So by coach home late.

I went among others
to be mended. But
their beautiful company

showed me an old bag—
my ill condition. Nobody
could make me desire to be.

I do not know
the trick of trust.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 October 1661.

At the office all the morning. After office done, went and eat some Colchester oysters with Sir W. Batten at his house, and there, with some company; dined and staid there talking all the afternoon; and late after dinner took Mrs. Martha out by coach, and carried her to the Theatre in a frolique, to my great expense, and there shewed her part of the “Beggar’s Bush,without much pleasure, but only for a frolique, and so home again.

We eat late, after
the heat in my
part of the bush,
with pleasure for
a home.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 October 1661.

Up in the morning and to my uncle Fenner’s, thinking to have met Peg Kite about her business but she comes not, so I went to Dr. Williams, where I found him sick in bed and was sorry for it. So about business all day, troubled in my mind till I can hear from Brampton, how things go on at Sturtlow, at the Court, which I was cleared in at night by a letter, which tells me that my cozen Tom was there to be admitted, in his father’s name, as heir-at-law, but that he was opposed, and I was admitted by proxy, which put me out of great trouble of mind.

My thinking, sick
and sorry all day,
cleared at night.

Tell me my name
and put me
out of mind.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 7 October 1661.

(Lord’s day). To church in the morning; Mr. Mills preached, who, I expect, should take in snuffe that my wife not come to his child’s christening the other day. The winter coming on, many of parish ladies are come home and appear at church again; among others, the three sisters the Thornbury’s, a very fine, and the most zealous people that ever I saw in my life, even to admiration, if it were true zeal. There was also my pretty black girl, Mrs. Dekins, and Mrs. Margaret Pen, this day come to church in a new flowered satin suit that my wife helped to buy her the other day.
So home to dinner, and to church in the afternoon to St. Gregory’s, by Paul’s, where I saw Mr. Moore in the gallery and went up to him and heard a good sermon of Dr. Buck’s, one I never heard before, a very able man. So home, and in the evening I went to my Valentine, her father and mother being out of town, to fetch her to supper to my house, and then came Sir W. Pen and would have her to his, so with much sport I got them all to mine, and we were merry, and so broke up and to bed.

I preach the winter
coming on, the thorn in life.
A black flower went to
my Valentine—
we were merry and broke.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 6 October 1661.

At the office all the morning, then dined at home, and so staid at home all the afternoon putting up my Lord’s model of the Royal James, which I borrowed of him long ago to hang up in my room. And at night Sir W. Pen and I alone to the Dolphin, and there eat some bloat-herrings and drank good sack. Then came in Sir W. Warren and another and staid a while with us, and then Sir Arnold Brames, with whom we staid late and till we had drank too much wine. So home and I to bed pleased at my afternoon’s work in hanging up the shipp. So to bed.

All afternoon I row alone
in rings
in too much wine.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 5 October 1661.