Dave Bonta

After musique-practice, to White Hall, and thence to Westminster, in my way calling at Mr. George Montagu’s, to condole him the loss of his son, who was a fine gentleman, and it is no doubt a great discomfort to our two young gentlemen, his companions in France. After this discourse he told me, among other news, the great jealousys that are now in the Parliament House. The Lord Chancellor, it seems, taking occasion from this late plot to raise fears in the people, did project the raising of an army forthwith, besides the constant militia, thinking to make the Duke of York General thereof. But the House did, in very open terms, say, they were grown too wise to be fooled again into another army; and said they had found how that man that hath the command of an army is not beholden to any body to make him King. There are factions (private ones at Court) about Madam Palmer; but what it is about I know not. But it is something about the King’s favour to her now that the Queen is coming.
He told me, too, what sport the King and Court do make at Mr. Edward Montagu’s leaving his things behind him. But the Chancellor (taking it a little more seriously) did openly say to my Lord Chamberlain, that had it been such a gallant as my Lord Mandeville his son, it might have; been taken as a frolique; but for him that would be thought a grave coxcomb, it was very strange.
Thence to the Hall, where I heard the House had ordered all the King’s murderers, that remain, to be executed, but Fleetwood and Downes.
So to the Wardrobe and there dined, meeting my wife there, who went after dinner with my Lady to see Mr. George Montagu’s lady, and I to have a meeting by appointment with Tho. Trice and Dr. Williams in order to a treating about the difference between us, but I find there is no hopes of ending it but by law, and so after a pint or two of wine we parted.
So to the Wardrobe for my wife again, and so home, and after writing and doing some things to bed.

I practice loss,
lousy as a fool in
the king’s favor leaving
his things in
an open grave.
Strange to hear all
the murderers of a pint
part for home.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 22 January 1661/62.

To Westminster with Mr. Moore, and there, after several walks up and down to hear news, I met with Lany, the Frenchman, who told me that he had a letter from France last night, that tells him that my Lord Hinchingbroke is dead, and that he did die yesterday was se’nnight, which do surprise me exceedingly (though we know that he hath been sick these two months), so I hardly ever was in my life; but being fearfull that my Lady should come to hear it too suddenly, he and I went up to my Lord Crew’s, and there I dined with him, and after dinner we told him, and the whole family is much disturbed by it: so we consulted what to do to tell my Lady of it; and at last we thought of my going first to Mr. George Montagu’s to hear whether he had any news of it, which I did, and there found all his house in great heaviness for the death of his son, Mr. George Montagu, who did go with our young gentlemen into France, and that they hear nothing at all of our young Lord; so believing that thence comes the mistake, I returned to my Lord Crew (in my way in the Piazza seeing a house on fire, and all the streets full of people to quench it), and told them of it, which they are much glad of, and conclude, and so I hope, that my Lord is well; and so I went to my Lady Sandwich, and told her all, and after much talk I parted thence with my wife, who had been there all the day, and so home to my musique, and then to bed.

After several walks
up and down, I met
with the dead.
Night is now too sudden—
an old hole.
What news of death?
They hear nothing at all,
believing that a house on fire
is home to music.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 17 January 1661/62.

This morning Mr. Berkenshaw came again, and after he had examined me and taught me something in my work, he and I went to breakfast in my chamber upon a collar of brawn, and after we had eaten, asked me whether we had not committed a fault in eating to-day; telling me that it is a fast day ordered by the Parliament, to pray for more seasonable weather; it having hitherto been summer weather, that it is, both as to warmth and every other thing, just as if it were the middle of May or June, which do threaten a plague (as all men think) to follow, for so it was almost the last winter; and the whole year after hath been a very sickly time to this day. I did not stir out of my house all day, but conned my musique, and at night after supper to bed.

This mine I work
and break upon—
we pray for it.
The weather is
as warm as an ear
after a day of music.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 15 January 1661/62.

Our family photo albums are like a lot of family photo albums, I suppose: pictures of birthday parties, babies in the bathtub, Christmas with the grandparents, etc. But one thing sets my parents’ snapshots apart: the vast majority of them were taken outside. As soon after my February birth as it became possible, I was taken out to explore.

on the lake shore, 1966

Of course, it wasn’t unusual for kids to play outside back in the 60s and 70s. But since my parents never bought a TV, we had even less reason than most kids to stay indoors. (more…)