Dave Bonta

Up and to my office, at noon (after having at an alehouse hard by discoursed with one Mr. Tyler, a neighbour, and one Captain Sanders about the discovery of some pursers that have sold their provisions) I to my Lord Sandwich, thinking to have dined there, but they not dining at home, I with Captain Ferrers to Mr. Barwell the King’s Squire Sadler, where about this time twelvemonths I dined before at a good venison pasty. The like we had now, and very good company, Mr. Tresham and others.
Thence to White Hall to the Fishery, and there did little. So by water home, and there met Lanyon, &c., about Tangier matters, and so late to my office, and thence home and to bed.
Mr. Moore was with me late to desire me to come to my Lord Sandwich tomorrow morning, which I shall, but I wonder what my business is.

about the discovery of sand
the captain like any fish
did little but wonder


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 13 July 1664.

And so rose, called up by my Lord Peterborough’s gentleman about getting his Lord’s money to-day of Mr. Povy, wherein I took such order, that it was paid, and I had my 50l. brought me, which comforts my heart.
We sat at the office all the morning, then at home. Dined alone; sad for want of company and not being very well, and know not how to eat alone. After dinner down with Sir G. Carteret, Sir J. Minnes, and Sir W. Batten to view, and did like a place by Deptford yard to lay masts in. By and by comes Mr. Coventry, and after a little stay he and I down to Blackwall, he having a mind to see the yarde, which we did, and fine storehouses there are and good docks, but of no great profit to him that oweth them for ought we see.
So home by water with him, having good discourse by the way, and so I to the office a while, and late home to supper and to bed.

a rough gentleman
paid me for my heart

we sat alone and not alone
like a place to lay a wall


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 12 July 1664.

But betimes up this morning, and, getting ready, we by coach to Holborne, where, at nine o’clock, they set out, and I and my man Will on horseback, by my wife, to Barnett; a very pleasant day; and there dined with her company, which was very good; a pretty gentlewoman with her, that goes but to Huntington, and a neighbour to us in towne. Here we staid two hours and then parted for all together, and my poor wife I shall soon want I am sure.
Thence I and Will to see the Wells, half a mile off, and there I drank three glasses, and went and walked and came back and drunk two more; the woman would have had me drink three more; but I could not, my belly being full, but this wrought very well, and so we rode home, round by Kingsland, Hackney, and Mile End till we were quite weary, and my water working at least 7 or 8 times upon the road, which pleased me well, and so home weary, and not being very well, I betimes to bed.
And there fell into a most mighty sweat in the night, about eleven o’clock, and there, knowing what money I have in the house and hearing a noyse, I begun to sweat worse and worse, till I melted almost to water. I rung, and could not in half an houre make either of the wenches hear me, and this made me fear the more, lest they might be gag’d; and then I begun to think that there was some design in a stone being flung at the window over our stayres this evening, by which the thiefes meant to try what looking there would be after them and know our company. These thoughts and fears I had, and do hence apprehend the fears of all rich men that are covetous and have much money by them. At last Jane rose, and then I understand it was only the dogg wants a lodging and so made a noyse. So to bed, but hardly slept, at last did, and so till morning.

where will I go to hunt
our own hour together

I fell into the night
and melted almost to water

I could not hear and this made me fear
that there was some thief of noise


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 11 July 1664.

(Lord’s day). Up and by water, towards noon, to Somersett House, and walked to my Lord Sandwich’s, and there dined with my Lady and the children. And after some ordinary discourse with my Lady, after dinner took our leaves and my wife hers, in order to her going to the country to-morrow. But my Lord took not occasion to speak one word of my father or mother about the children at all, which I wonder at, and begin I will not.
Here my Lady showed us my Lady Castlemayne’s picture, finely done; given my Lord; and a most beautiful picture it is.
Thence with my Lady Jemimah and Mr. Sidney to St. Gyles’s Church, and there heard a long, poore sermon. Thence set them down and in their coach to Kate Joyce’s christening, where much company, good service of sweetmeates; and after an houre’s stay, left them, and in my Lord’s coach — his noble, rich coach — home, and there my wife fell to putting things in order against her going to-morrow, and I to read, and so to bed, where I not well, and so had no pleasure at all with my poor wife.

at war with the ordinary
with leaves and order

I wonder how poor Christ left the rich
to put things in order and so
to be so poor


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 10 July 1664.

Up, and at the office all the morning. In the afternoon by coach with Sir J. Minnes to White Hall, and there to a Committee for Fishing; but the first thing was swearing to be true to the Company, and we were all sworne; but a great dispute we had, which, methought, is very ominous to the Company; some, that we should swear to be true to the best of our power, and others to the best of our understanding; and carried in the last, though in that we are the least able to serve the Company, because we would not be obliged to attend the business when we can, but when we list. This consideration did displease me, but it was voted and so went.
We did nothing else, but broke up till a Committee of Guinny was set and ended, and then met again for Tangier, and there I did my business about my Lord Peterborough’s order and my own for my expenses for the garrison lately. So home, by the way calling for my Chaucer and other books, and that is well done to my mind, which pleased me well. So to my office till late writing letters, and so home to my wife to supper and bed, where we have not lain together because of the heat of the weather a good while, but now against her going into the country.

swearing to be true to the best of our power
we voted and did nothing else
we have not lain together
because of the heat
of her country


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 9 July 1664.

Up and called out by my Lord Peterborough’s gentleman to Mr. Povy’s to discourse about getting of his money, wherein I am concerned in hopes of the 50l. my Lord hath promised me, but I dare not reckon myself sure of it till I have it in my mind, for these Lords are hard to be trusted. Though I well deserve it. I staid at Povy’s for his coming in, and there looked over his stables and every thing, but notwithstanding all the times I have been there I do yet find many fine things to look on.
Thence to White Hall a little, to hear how the King do, he not having been well these three days. I find that he is pretty well again. So to Paul’s Churchyarde about my books, and to the binder’s and directed the doing of my Chaucer, though they were not full neate enough for me, but pretty well it is; and thence to the clasp-maker’s to have it clasped and bossed. So to the ‘Change and home to dinner, and so to my office till 5 o’clock, and then came Mr. Hill and Andrews, and we sung an houre or two. Then broke up and Mr. Alsop and his company came and consulted about our Tangier victualling and brought it to a good head. So they parted, and I to supper and to bed.

I dare not reckon myself sure
till I have it in my mind

the rusted table not pretty
my books not neat

the clasp of an hour or two
is brought to a head


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 8 July 1664.

Up, and this day begun, the first day this year, to put off my linnen waistcoat, but it happening to be a cool day I was afraid of taking cold, which troubles me, and is the greatest pain I have in the world to think of my bad temper of my health.
At the office all the morning. Dined at home, to my office to prepare some things against a Committee of Tangier this afternoon. So to White Hall, and there found the Duke and twenty more reading their commission (of which I am, and was also sent to, to come) for the Royall Fishery, which is very large, and a very serious charter it is; but the company generally so ill fitted for so serious a worke that I do much fear it will come to little.
That being done, and not being able to do any thing for lacke of an oathe for the Governor and Assistants to take, we rose.
Then our Committee for the Tangier victualling met and did a little, and so up, and I and Mr. Coventry walked in the garden half an hour, talking of the business of our masts, and thence away and with Creed walked half an hour or more in the Park, and thence to the New Exchange to drink some creame, but missed it and so parted, and I home, calling by the way for my new bookes, viz., Sir H. Spillman’s “Whole Glossary,” “Scapula’s Lexicon,” and Shakespeare’s plays, which I have got money out of my stationer’s bills to pay for. So home and to my office a while, and then home and to bed, finding myself pretty well for all my waistecoate being put off to-day.
The king is pretty well to-day, though let blood the night before yesterday.

this gun is afraid
of trouble and pain
my bad temper
reading and art
the company of a rose

I talk with it in a whole lexicon of blood


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 7 July 1664.

Up very betimes, and my wife also, and got us ready; and about eight o’clock, having got some bottles of wine and beer and neat’s tongues, we went to our barge at the Towre, where Mr. Pierce and his wife, and a kinswoman and his sister, and Mrs. Clerke and her sister and cozen were to expect us; and so set out for the Hope, all the way down playing at cards and other sports, spending our time pretty merry. Come to the Hope about one and there showed them all the ships, and had a collacion of anchovies, gammon, &c., and after an houre’s stay or more, embarked again for home; and so to cards and other sports till we came to Greenwich, and there Mrs. Clerke and my wife and I on shore to an alehouse, for them to do their business, and so to the barge again, having shown them the King’s pleasure boat; and so home to the Bridge, bringing night home with us; and it rained hard, but we got them on foot to the Beare, and there put them into a boat, and I back to my wife in the barge, and so to the Tower Wharf and home, being very well pleased today with the company, especially Mrs. Pierce, who continues her complexion as well as ever, and hath, at this day, I think, the best complexion that ever I saw on any woman, young or old, or child either, all days of my life. Also Mrs. Clerke’s kinswoman sings very prettily, but is very confident in it; Mrs. Clerke herself witty, but spoils all in being so conceited and making so great a flutter with a few fine clothes and some bad tawdry things worne with them.
But the charge of the barge lies heavy upon me, which troubles me, but it is but once, and I may make Pierce do me some courtesy as great.
Being come home, I weary to bed with sitting. The reason of Dr. Clerke’s not being here was the King’s being sicke last night and let blood, and so he durst not come away to-day.

wine tongues
bringing night home
in our blood


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 6 July 1664.

Up and to the office, where all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change a little, then with W. Howe home and dined. So after dinner to my office, and there busy till late at night, having had among other things much discourse with young Gregory about the Chest business, wherein Sir W. Batten is so great a knave, and also with Alsop and Lanyon about the Tangier victualling, wherein I hope to get something for myself.
Late home to supper and to bed, being full of thoughts of a sudden resolution this day taken upon the ‘Change of going down to-morrow to the Hope.

after dinner
having had a gory victual

I hope to get thin
being full of solution


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 5 July 1664.

Up, and many people with me about business, and then out to several places, and so at noon to my Lord Crew’s, and there dined and very much made of there by him. He offered me the selling of some land of his in Cambridgeshire, a purchase of about 1000l., and if I can compass it I will. After dinner I walked homeward, still doing business by the way, and at home find my wife this day of her owne accord to have lain out 25s. upon a pair of pendantes for her eares, which did vex me and brought both me and her to very high and very foule words from her to me, such as trouble me to think she should have in her mouth, and reflecting upon our old differences, which I hate to have remembered. I vowed to breake them, or that she should go and get what she could for them again. I went with that resolution out of doors; the poor wretch afterwards in a little while did send out to change them for her money again. I followed Besse her messenger at the ‘Change, and there did consult and sent her back; I would not have them changed, being satisfied that she yielded. So went home, and friends again as to that business; but the words I could not get out of my mind, and so went to bed at night discontented, and she came to bed to me, but all would not make me friends, but sleep and rise in the morning angry.
This day the King and the Queene went to visit my Lord Sandwich and the fleete, going forth in the Hope.

places made of bridges and old differences
I remember them afterwards

I have no friends but sleep
and the morning sand


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 4 July 1664.