Dave Bonta

Up and to Sir G. Carteret’s house, and with him by coach to Whitehall. He uses me mighty well to my great joy, and in our discourse took occasion to tell me that as I did desire of him the other day so he desires of me the same favour that we may tell one another at any time any thing that passes among us at the office or elsewhere wherein we are either dissatisfied one with another, and that I should find him in all things as kind and ready to serve me as my own brother. This methinks was very sudden and extraordinary and do please me mightily, and I am resolved by no means ever to lose him again if I can. He told me that he did still observe my care for the King’s service in my office.
He set me down in Fleet Street and thence I by another coach to my Lord Sandwich’s, and there I did present him Mr. Barlow’s “Terella,” with which he was very much pleased, and he did show me great kindnesse, and by other discourse I have reason to think that he is not at all, as I feared he would be, discontented against me more than the trouble of the thing will work upon him. I left him in good humour, and I to White Hall, to the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, and there advised about insuring the hempe ship at 12 per cent., notwithstanding her being come to Newcastle, and I do hope that in all my three places which are now my hopes and supports I may not now fear any thing, but with care, which through the Lord’s blessing I will never more neglect, I don’t doubt but to keep myself up with them all. For in the Duke, and Mr. Coventry, my Lord Sandwich and Sir G. Carteret I place my greatest hopes, and it pleased me yesterday that Mr. Coventry in the coach (he carrying me to the Exchange at noon from the office) did, speaking of Sir W. Batten, say that though there was a difference between them, yet he would embrace any good motion of Sir W. Batten to the King’s advantage as well as of Mr. Pepys’ or any friend he had. And when I talked that I would go about doing something of the Controller’s work when I had time, and that I thought the Controller would not take it ill, he wittily replied that there was nothing in the world so hateful as a dog in the manger.
Back by coach to the Exchange, there spoke with Sir W. Rider about insuring, and spoke with several other persons about business, and shall become pretty well known quickly.
Thence home to dinner with my poor wife, and with great joy to my office, and there all the afternoon about business, and among others Mr. Bland came to me and had good discourse, and he has chose me a referee for him in a business, and anon in the evening comes Sir W. Warren, and he and I had admirable discourse. He advised me in things I desired about, bummary, and other ways of putting out money as in parts of ships, how dangerous they are.
And lastly fell to talk of the Dutch management of the Navy, and I think will helpe me to some accounts of things of the Dutch Admiralty, which I am mighty desirous to know.
He seemed to have been mighty privy with my Lord Albemarle in things before this great turn, and to the King’s dallying with him and others for some years before, but I doubt all was not very true. However, his discourse is very useful in general, though he would seem a little more than ordinary in this.
Late at night home to supper and to bed, my mind in good ease all but my health, of which I am not a little doubtful.

I am resolved to flee
to my sand castle

in which I may not fear anything
but time or anger

I shall be bland
as a discourse on ships

how dangerous it is to dally
with a little doubt

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 25 November 1663.

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon to the ‘Change, where everybody joyed me in our hemp ship’s coming safe, and it seems one man, Middleburgh, did give 20 per cent. in gold last night, three or four minutes before the newes came of her being safe.
Thence with Mr. Deane home and dined, and after dinner and a good deal of discourse of the business of Woolwich Yard, we opened his draught of a ship which he has made for me, and indeed it is a most excellent one and that that I hope will be of good use to me as soon as I get a little time, and much indebted I am to the poor man.
Toward night I by coach to Whitehall to the Tangier committee, and there spoke with my Lord and he seems mighty kind to me, but I will try him to-morrow by a visit to see whether he holds it or no. Then home by coach again and to my office, where late with Captain Miners about the East India business.
So home to supper and to bed, being troubled to find myself so bound as I am, notwithstanding all the physic that I take.
This day our tryall was with Field, and I hear that they have given him 29l. damage more, which is a strange thing, but yet not so much as formerly, nor as I was afeard of.

to see night in a safe
we open it a little

poor old miners
troubled to find no ore

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 24 November 1663.

Up and to Alderman Backwell’s, where Sir W. Rider, by appointment, met us to consult about the insuring of our hempe ship from Archangell, in which we are all much concerned, by my Lord Treasurer’s command. That being put in a way I went to Mr. Beacham, one of our jury, to confer with him about our business with Field at our trial to-morrow, and thence to St. Paul’s Churchyarde, and there bespoke “Rushworth’s Collections,” and “Scobell’s Acts of the Long Parliament,” &c., which I will make the King pay for as to the office; and so I do not break my vow at all.
Back to the Coffee-house, and then to the ‘Change, where Sir W. Rider and I did bid 15 per cent., and nobody will take it under 20 per cent., and the lowest was 15 per cent. premium, and 15 more to be abated in case of losse, which we did not think fit without order to give, and so we parted, and I home to a speedy, though too good a dinner to eat alone, viz., a good goose and a rare piece of roast beef. Thence to the Temple, but being there too soon and meeting Mr. Moore I took him up and to my Lord Treasurer’s, and thence to Sir Ph. Warwick’s, where I found him and did desire his advice, who left me to do what I thought fit in this business of the insurance, and so back again to the Temple all the way telling Mr. Moore what had passed between my Lord and me yesterday, and indeed my fears do grow that my Lord will not reform as I hoped he would nor have the ingenuity to take my advice as he ought kindly. But however I am satisfied that the one person whom he said he would take leave to except is not Mr. Moore, and so W. Howe I am sure could tell him nothing of my letter that ever he saw it.
Here Mr. Moore and I parted, and I up to the Speaker’s chamber, and there met Mr. Coventry by appointment to discourse about Field’s business, and thence we parting I homewards and called at the Coffeehouse, and there by great accident hear that a letter is come that our ship is safe come to Newcastle. With this news I went like an asse presently to Alderman Backewell and, told him of it, and he and I went to the African House in Broad Street to have spoke with Sir W. Rider to tell him of it, but missed him. Now what an opportunity had I to have concealed this and seemed to have made an insurance and got 100l. with the least trouble and danger in the whole world. This troubles me to think I should be so oversoon.
So back again with Alderman Backewell talking of the new money, which he says will never be counterfeited, he believes; but it is deadly inconvenient for telling, it is so thick, and the edges are made to turn up.
I found him as full of business, and, to speak the truth, he is a very painfull man, and ever was, and now-a-days is well paid for it.
So home and to my office, doing business late in order to the getting a little money, and so home to supper and to bed.

the angel in the yard
will not break

nobody will take her advice
or have the ingenuity to take kindly

I am the one person
who would take nothing of her

art is all accident
like a road with deadly edges

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 23 November 1663.

A spectre is haunting my Instagram page — the spectre of Trumpism. But more cheerful subjects, such as death, imprisonment, and the evolution of teeth, also continue to pop up.

A deflated balloon in the woods with a picture of a baby elephant on it tan the words "baby boy."
The shining lies may seem harmless, but they are indigestible and will cause acute distress to many we never see.


(Lord’s day). Up pretty early, and having last night bespoke a coach, which failed me this morning, I walked as far as the Temple, and there took coach, and to my Lord’s lodgings, whom I found ready to go to chappell; but I coming, he begun, with a very serious countenance, to tell me that he had received my late letter, wherein first he took notice of my care of him and his honour, and did give me thanks for that part of it where I say that from my heart I believe the contrary of what I do there relate to be the discourse of others; but since I intended it not a reproach, but matter of information, and for him to make a judgment of it for his practice, it was necessary for me to tell him the persons of whom I have gathered the several particulars which I there insist on. I would have made excuses in it; but, seeing him so earnest in it, I found myself forced to it, and so did tell him Mr. Pierce; the chyrurgeon, in that of his Lordship’s living being discoursed of at Court; a mayd servant that I kept, that lived at Chelsy school; and also Mr. Pickering, about the report touching the young woman; and also Mr. Hunt, in Axe Yard, near whom she lodged. I told him the whole city do discourse concerning his neglect of business; and so I many times asserting my dutifull intention in all this, and he owning his accepting of it as such. That that troubled me most in particular is, that he did there assert the civility of the people of the house, and the young gentlewoman, for whose reproach he was sorry. His saying that he was resolved how to live, and that though he was taking a house, meaning to live in another manner, yet it was not to please any people, or to stop report, but to please himself, though this I do believe he might say that he might not seem to me to be so much wrought upon by what I have writ; and lastly, and most of all, when I spoke of the tenderness that I have used in declaring this to him, there being nobody privy to it, he told me that I must give him leave to except one. I told him that possibly somebody might know of some thoughts of mine, I having borrowed some intelligence in this matter from them, but nobody could say they knew of the thing itself what I writ. This, I confess, however, do trouble me, for that he seemed to speak it as a quick retort, and it must sure be Will. Howe, who did not see anything of what I writ, though I told him indeed that I would write; but in this, I think, there is no great hurt.
I find him, though he cannot but owne his opinion of my good intentions, and so, he did again and again profess it, that he is troubled in his mind at it; and I confess, I think I may have done myself an injury for his good, which, were it to do again, and that I believed he would take it no better, I think I should sit quietly without taking any notice of it, for I doubt there is no medium between his taking it very well or very ill.
I could not forbear weeping before him at the latter end, which, since, I am ashamed of, though I cannot see what he can take it to proceed from but my tenderness and good will to him.
After this discourse was ended, he began to talk very, cheerfully of other things, and I walked with him to White Hall, and we discoursed of the pictures in the gallery, which, it may be, he might do out of policy, that the boy might not see any, strangeness in him; but I rather think that his mind was somewhat eased, and hope that he will be to me as he was before. But, however, I doubt not when he sees that I follow my business, and become an honour to him, and not to be like to need him, or to be a burden to him, and rather able to serve him than to need him, and if he do continue to follow business, and so come to his right witts again, I do not doubt but he will then consider my faithfulnesse to him, and esteem me as he ought.
At chappell I had room in the Privy Seale pew with other gentlemen, and there heard Dr. Killigrew, preach, but my mind was so, I know not whether troubled, or only full of thoughts of what had passed between my Lord and me that I could not mind it, nor can at this hour remember three words. The anthem was good after sermon, being the fifty-first psalme, made for five voices by one of Captain Cooke’s boys, a pretty boy. And they say there are four or five of them that can do as much. And here I first perceived that the King is a little musicall, and kept good time with his hand all along the anthem.
Up into the gallery after sermon and there I met Creed. We saluted one another and spoke but not one word of what had passed yesterday between us, but told me he was forced to such a place to dinner and so we parted.
Here I met Mr. Povy, who tells me how Tangier had like to have been betrayed, and that one of the King’s officers is come, to whom 8,000 pieces of eight were offered for his part.
Hence I to the King’s Head ordinary, and there dined, good and much company, and a good dinner: most of their discourse was about hunting, in a dialect I understand very little.
Thence by coach to our own church, and there my mind being yet unsettled I could mind nothing, and after sermon home and there told my wife what had passed, and thence to my office, where doing business only to keep my mind employed till late; and so home to supper, to prayers, and to bed.

night is coming
and the whole city is in on it

though nobody told me
I know what I see

I sit quietly with the strangeness
my mind full of voices
like a dialect I understand nothing of

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 22 November 1663.

At the office all the morning and at noon I receive a letter from Mr. Creed, with a token, viz., a very noble parti-coloured Indian gowne for my wife. The letter is oddly writ, over-prizing his present, and little owning any past service of mine, but that this was his genuine respects, and I know not what: I confess I had expectations of a better account from him of my service about his accounts, and so give his boy 12d., and sent it back again, and after having been at the pay of a ship this afternoon at the Treasury, I went by coach to Ludgate, and, by pricing several there, I guess this gowne may be worth about 12l. or 15l. But, however, I expect at least 50l. of him. So in the evening I wrote him a letter telling him clearly my mind, a copy of which I keep and of his letter and so I resolve to have no more such correspondence as I used to have but will have satisfaction of him as I do expect.
So to write my letters, and after all done I went home to supper and to bed, my mind being pretty well at ease from my letter to Creed, and more for my receipt this afternoon of 17l. at the Treasury, for the 17l. paid a year since to the carver for his work at my house, which I did intend to have paid myself, but, finding others to do it, I thought it not amisse to get it too, but I am afeard that we may hear of it to our greater prejudices hereafter.

a letter from the past
respects no expectation of
a better account

so I clear my mind of such

I will have to carve other dice

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 21 November 1663.

Up, and as soon as I could to my Lord Sandwich’s lodgings, but he was gone out before, and so I am defeated of my expectation of being eased one way or other in the business of my Lord. But I went up to Mr. Howe, who I saw this day the first time in a periwigg, which becomes him very well, and discoursed with him. He tells me that my Lord is of a sudden much changed, and he do believe that he do take my letter well. However, we do both bless God that it hath so good an effect upon him. Thence I home again, calling at the Wardrobe, where I found my Lord, but so busy with Mr. Townsend making up accounts there that I was unwilling to trouble him, and so went away. By and by to the Exchange, and there met by agreement Mr. Howe, and took him with a barrel of oysters home to dinner, where we were very merry, and indeed I observe him to be a very hopeful young man, but only a little conceited.
After dinner I took him and my wife, and setting her in Covent Garden at her mother’s, he and I to my Lord’s, and thence I with Mr. Moore to White Hall, there the King and Council being close, and I thinking it an improper place to meet my Lord first upon the business; I took coach, and calling my wife went home, setting Mr. Moore down by the way, and having been late at the office alone looking over some plates of the Northern seas, the White seas, and Archangell river, I went home, and, after supper, to bed.
My wife tells me that she and her brother have had a great falling out to-night, he taking upon him to challenge great obligation upon her, and taxing her for not being so as she ought to be to her friends, and that she can do more with me than she pretends, and I know not what, but God be thanked she cannot.
A great talke there is today of a crush between some of the Fanatiques up in arms, and the King’s men in the North; but whether true I know not yet.

I am defeated and changed
believe less and hope little

my wife in her garden
and I to my thinking place

down by the sea
the sea

an angel falling into being

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 20 November 1663.

Up, and to the office, where (Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten being gone this morning to Portsmouth) the rest of us met, and rose at noon. So I to the ‘Change, where little business, and so home to dinner, and being at dinner Mr. Creed in and dined with us, and after dinner Mr. Gentleman, my Jane’s father, to see us and her. And after a little stay with them, I was sent for by Sir G. Carteret by agreement, and so left them, and to him and with him by coach to my Lord Treasurer, to discourse with him about Mr. Gauden’s having of money, and to offer to him whether it would not be necessary, Mr. Gauden’s credit being so low as it is, to take security of him if he demands any great sum, such as 20,000l., which now ought to be paid him upon his next year’s declaration. Which is a sad thing, that being reduced to this by us, we should be the first to doubt his credit; but so it is. However, it will be managed with great tenderness to him. My Lord Treasurer we found in his bed-chamber, being laid up of the goute. I find him a very ready man, and certainly a brave servant to the King: he spoke so quick and sensibly of the King’s charge. Nothing displeased me in him but his long nails, which he lets grow upon a pretty thick white short hand, that it troubled me to see them.
Thence with Sir G. Carteret by coach, and he set me down at the New Exchange. In our way he told me there is no such thing likely yet as a Dutch war, neither they nor we being in condition for it, though it will come certainly to that in some time, our interests lying the same way, that is to say, in trade. But not yet.
Thence to the Temple, and there visited my cozen Roger Pepys and his brother Dr. John, a couple, methinks, of very ordinary men, and thence to speak [with] Mr. Moore, and met him by the way, who tells me, to my great content, that he believes my letter to my Lord Sandwich hath wrought well upon him, and that he will look after himself and his business upon it, for he begins already to do so. But I dare not conclude anything till I see him, which shall be to-morrow morning, that I may be out of my pain to know how he takes it of me.
He and I to the Coffee-house, and there drank and talked a little, and so I home, and after a little at my office home to supper and to bed, not knowing how to avoid hopes from Mr. Moore’s words to-night, and yet I am fearful of the worst.

his mouth rose at noon
a red sad thing

we should be the first to doubt him
lord of nothing

his thick white short hand
like a letter to the void

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 19 November 1663.

Up, and after being ready, and done a little business at the office, I and Mr. Hater by water to Redriffe, and so walked to Deptford, where I have not been a very great, while, and there paid off the Milford in very good order, and all respect showed me in the office as much as there used to be to any of the rest or the whole board. That done at noon I took Captain Terne, and there coming in by chance Captain Berkeley, him also to dinner with me to the Globe. Captain Berkeley, who was lately come from Algier, did give us a good account of the place, and how the Basha there do live like a prisoner, being at the mercy of the soldiers and officers, so that there is nothing but a great confusion there.
After dinner came Sir W. Batten, and I left him to pay off another ship, and I walked home again reading of a little book of new poems of Cowley’s, given me by his brother. Abraham do lie, it seems, very sicke, still, but like to recover.
At my office till late, and then came Mr. Hollyard so full of discourse and Latin that I think he hath got a cupp, but I do not know; but full of talke he is in defence of Calvin and Luther. He begun this night the fomentation to my wife, and I hope it will do well with her. He gone, I to the office again a little, and so to bed.
This morning I sent Will with my great letter of reproof to my Lord Sandwich, who did give it into his owne hand. I pray God give a blessing to it, but confess I am afeard what the consequence may be to me of good or bad, which is according to the ingenuity that he do receive it with. However, I am satisfied that it will do him good, and that he needs it:
I do verily hope that neither the manner nor matter of this advice will be condemned by your Lordship, when for my defence in the first I shall alledge my double attempt, since your return from Hinchinbroke, of doing it personally, in both of which your Lordship’s occasions, no doubtfulnesse of mine, prevented me, and that being now fearful of a sudden summons to Portsmouth, for the discharge of some ships there, I judge it very unbecoming the duty which every bit of bread I eat tells me I owe to your Lordship to expose the safety of your honour to the uncertainty of my return. For the matter, my Lord, it is such as could I in any measure think safe to conceal from, or likely to be discovered to you by any other hand, I should not have dared so far to owne what from my heart I believe is false, as to make myself but the relater of other’s discourse; but, sir, your Lordship’s honour being such as I ought to value it to be, and finding both in city and court that discourses pass to your prejudice, too generally for mine or any man’s controllings but your Lordship’s, I shall, my Lord, without the least greatening or lessening the matter, do my duty in laying it shortly before you.
People of all conditions, my Lord, raise matter of wonder from your Lordship’s so little appearance at Court: some concluding thence their disfavour thereby, to which purpose I have had questions asked me, and endeavouring to put off such insinuations by asserting the contrary, they have replied, that your Lordship’s living so beneath your quality, out of the way, and declining of Court attendance, hath been more than once discoursed about the King.
Others, my Lord, when the chief ministers of State, and those most active of the Council have been reckoned up, wherein your Lordship never used to want an eminent place, have said, touching your Lordship, that now your turn was served, and the King had given you a good estate, you left him to stand or fall as he would, and, particularly in that of the Navy, have enlarged upon your letting fall all service there.
Another sort, and those the most, insist upon the bad report of the house wherein your Lordship, now observed in perfect health again, continues to sojourne, and by name have charged one of the daughters for a common courtizan, alledging both places and persons where and with whom she hath been too well known, and how much her wantonnesse occasions, though unjustly, scandal to your Lordship, and that as well to gratifying of some enemies as to the wounding of more friends I am not able to tell.
Lastly, my Lord, I find a general coldness in all persons towards your Lordship, such as, from my first dependance on you, I never yet knew, wherein I shall not offer to interpose any thoughts or advice of mine, well knowing your Lordship needs not any. But with a most faithful assurance that no person nor papers under Heaven is privy to what I here write, besides myself and this, which I shall be careful to have put into your owne hands, I rest confident of your Lordship’s just construction of my dutifull intents herein, and in all humility take leave.
May it please your Lordship,
Your Lordship’s most obedient Servant,
S. P.
The foregoing letter was sealed up, and enclosed in this that follows
If this finds your Lordship either not alone, or not at leisure, I beg the suspending your opening of the enclosed till you shall have both, the matter very well bearing such a delay, and in all humility remain.
May it please your Lordship,
Your Lordship’s most obedient Servant,
S. P.
November 17, 1663.
My servant hath my directions to put this into your Lordship’s owne hand, but not to stay for any answer.

like a prisoner reading
a poem in his own hand

fearful of a sudden summons
or of becoming the bread I eat

I make myself but the relater
of others’ wonder

I have questions about that wound
we know as heaven

which I confide in
as an open ear

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 18 November 1663.

Up, and while I am dressing myself, Mr. Deane of Woolwich came to me, and I did tell him what had happened to him last Saturday in the office, but did encourage him to make no matter of it, for that I did not fear but he would in a little time be master of his enemies as much as they think to master him, and so he did tell me many instances of the abominable dealings of Mr. Pett of Woolwich towards him. So we broke up, and I to the office, where we sat all the forenoon doing several businesses, and at noon I to the ‘Change where Mr. Moore came to me, and by and by Tom Trice and my uncle Wight, and so we out to a taverne (the New Exchange taverne over against the ‘Change where I never was before, and I found my old playfellow Ben Stanley master of it), and thence to a scrivener to draw up a bond, and to another tavern (the King’s Head) we went, and calling on my cozen Angier at the India House there we eat a bit of pork from a cookes together, and after dinner did seal the bond, and I did take up the old bond of my uncle’s to my aunt, and here T. Trice before them do own all matters in difference between us is clear as to this business, and that he will in six days give me it under the hand of his attorney that there is no judgment against the bond that may give me any future trouble, and also a copy of their letters of his Administration to Godfrey, as much of it as concerns me to have.
All this being done towards night we broke up, and so I home and with Mr. Moore to my office, and there I read to him the letter I have wrote to send to my Lord to give him an account how the world, both city and court, do talk of him and his living as he do there in such a poor and bad house so much to his disgrace. Which Mr. Moore do conclude so well drawn: that he would not have me by any means to neglect sending it, assuring me in the best of his judgment that it cannot but endear me to my Lord instead of what I fear of getting his offence, and did offer to take the same words and send them as from, him with his hand to him, which I am not unwilling should come (if they are at all fit to go) from any body but myself, and so, he being gone, I did take a copy of it to keep by me in shorthand, and sealed them up to send to-morrow by my Will. So home, Mr. Hollyard being come to my wife, and there she being in bed, he and I alone to look again upon her parts, and there he do find that, though it would not be much pain, yet she is so fearful, and the thing will be somewhat painful in the tending, which I shall not be able to look after, but must require a nurse and people about her; so that upon second thoughts he believes that a fomentation will do as well, and though it will be troublesome yet no pain, and what her mayd will be able to do without knowing directly what it is for, but only that it may be for the piles. For though it be nothing but what is fiery honest, yet my wife is loth to give occasion of discourse concerning it. By this my mind and my wife’s is much eased, for I confess I should have been troubled to have had my wife cut before my face, I could not have borne to have seen it. I had great discourse with him about my disease. He tells me again that I must eat in a morning some loosening gruel, and at night roasted apples, that I must drink now and then ale with my wine, and eat bread and butter and honey, and rye bread if I can endure it, it being loosening. I must also take once a week a clyster of his last prescription, only honey now and then instead of butter, which things I am now resolved to apply myself to. He being gone I to my office again to a little business, and then home to supper and to bed, being in, a little pain by drinking of cold small beer to-day and being in a cold room at the Taverne I believe.

I dress myself in rage
at abominable dealings

I eat a bad apple a day
in a cold tavern

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 November 1663.