Dave Bonta

Lay till 6 o’clock, and then up and to my office, where all the morning, and at noon to the Exchange, and coming home met Mr. Creed, and took him back, and he dined with me, and by and by came Mr. Moore, whom I supplied with 30l., and then abroad with them by water to Lambeth, expecting to have seen the Archbishop lie in state; but it seems he is not laid out yet. And so over to White Hall, and at the Privy Seal Office examined the books, and found the grant of increase of salary to the principall officers in the year 1639, 300l. among the Controller, Surveyor, and Clerk of the Shippes. Thence to Wilkinson’s after a good walk in the Park, where we met on horseback Captain Ferrers; who tells us that the King of France is well again, and that he saw him train his Guards, all brave men, at Paris; and that when he goes to his mistress, Madame la Valiere, a pretty little woman, now with child by him, he goes with his guards with him publiquely, and his trumpets and kettle-drums with him, who stay before the house while he is with her; and yet he says that, for all this, the Queen do not know of it, for that nobody dares to tell her; but that I dare not believe. Thence I to Wilkinson’s, where we had bespoke a dish of pease, where we eat them very merrily, and there being with us the little gentleman, a friend of Captain Ferrers, that was with my wife and I at a play a little while ago, we went thence to the Rhenish wine-house, where we called for a red Rhenish wine called Bleahard, a pretty wine, and not mixed, as they say.
Here Mr. Moore showed us the French manner, when a health is drunk, to bow to him that drunk to you, and then apply yourself to him, whose lady’s health is drunk, and then to the person that you drink to, which I never knew before; but it seems it is now the fashion.
Thence by water home and to bed, having played out of my chamber window on my pipe before I went to bed, and making Will read a part of a Latin chapter, in which I perceive in a little while he will be pretty ready, if he spends but a little pains in it.

morning laid out
over all the ships

a child drums merrily
on the window


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 19 June 1663.

Up by four o’clock and to my office, where all the morning writing out in my Navy collections the ordinary estimate of the Navy, and did it neatly. Then dined at home alone, my mind pleased with business, but sad for the absence of my wife. After dinner half an hour at my viallin, and then all the afternoon sitting at the office late, and so home and to bed. This morning Mr. Cutler came and sat in my closet half an hour with me, his discourse very excellent, being a wise man, and I do perceive by him as well as many others that my diligence is taken notice of in the world, for which I bless God and hope to continue doing so.
Before I went into my house this night I called at Sir W. Batten’s, where finding some great ladies at table at supper with him and his lady, I retreated and went home, though they called to me again and again, and afterwards sent for me. So I went, and who should it be but Sir Fr. Clerke and his lady and another proper lady at supper there, and great cheer, where I staid till 11 o’clock at night, and so home and to bed.

out of my mind
I sat in my closet

no world called to me
but a clock


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 18 June 1663.

Up before 4 o’clock, which is the hour I intend now to rise at, and to my office a while, and with great pleasure I fell to my business again. Anon went with money to my tar merchant to pay for the tar, which he refuses to sell me; but now the master is come home, and so he speaks very civilly, and I believe we shall have it with peace. I brought back my money to my office, and thence to White Hall, and in the garden spoke to my Lord Sandwich, who is in his gold-buttoned suit, as the mode is, and looks nobly. Captain Ferrers, I see, is come home from France. I only spoke one word to him, my Lord being there. He tells me the young gentlemen are well there; so my Lord went to my Lord Albemarle’s to dinner, and I by water home and dined alone, and at the office (after half an hour’s viallin practice after dinner) till late at night, and so home and to bed.
This day I sent my cozen Edward Pepys his Lady, at my cozen Turner’s, a piece of venison given me yesterday, and Madam Turner I sent for a dozen bottles of her’s, to fill with wine for her.
This day I met with Pierce the surgeon, who tells me that the King has made peace between Mr. Edward Montagu and his father Lord Montagu, and that all is well again; at which; for the family’s sake, I am very glad, but do not think it will hold long.

the pleasure merchant
in his gold-buttoned suit

is only gentle alone late at night
a bottle to fill with wine


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 17 June 1663.

Up, but not so early as I intend now, and to my office, where doing business all the morning. At noon by desire I dined with Sir W. Batten, who tells me that the House have voted the supply, intended for the King, shall be by subsidy. After dinner with Sir J. Minnes to see some pictures at Brewer’s, said to be of good hands, but I do not like them. So I to the office and thence to Stacy’s, his Tar merchant, whose servant with whom I agreed yesterday for some tar do by combination with Bowyer and Hill fall from our agreement, which vexes us all at the office, even Sir W. Batten, who was so earnest for it. So to the office, where we sat all the afternoon till night, and then to Sir W. Pen, who continues ill, and so to bed about 10 o’clock.

I tend to my desire
with pictures of hands

like a tar merchant
greedy for the night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 16 June 1663.

Up betimes, and anon my wife rose and did give me her keys, and put other things in order and herself against going this morning into the country. I was forced to go to Thames Street and strike up a bargain for some tarr, to prevent being abused therein by Hill, who was with me this morning, and is mightily surprised that I should tell him what I can have the same tarr with his for. Thence home, but finding my wife gone, I took coach and after her to her inn, where I am troubled to see her forced to sit in the back of the coach, though pleased to see her company none but women and one parson; she I find is not troubled at all, and I seemed to make a promise to get a horse and ride after them; and so, kissing her often, and Ashwell once, I bid them adieu. So home by coach, and thence by water to Deptford to the Trinity House, where I came a little late; but I found them reading their charter, which they did like fools, only reading here and there a bit, whereas they ought to do it all, every word, and then proceeded to the election of a maister, which was Sir W. Batten, without any control, who made a heavy, short speech to them, moving them to give thanks to the late Maister for his pains, which he said was very great, and giving them thanks for their choice of him, wherein he would serve them to the best of his power. Then to the choice of their assistants and wardens, and so rose. I might have received 2s. 6d. as a younger Brother, but I directed one of the servants of the House to receive it and keep it.
Thence to church, where Dr. Britton preached a sermon full of words against the Nonconformists, but no great matter in it, nor proper for the day at all. His text was, “With one mind and one mouth give glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
That done, by water, I in the barge with the Maister, to the Trinity House at London; where, among others, I found my Lords Sandwich and Craven, and my cousin Roger Pepys, and Sir Wm. Wheeler. Anon we sat down to dinner, which was very great, as they always have. Great variety of talk. Mr. Prin, among many, had a pretty tale of one that brought in a bill in parliament for the empowering him to dispose his land to such children as he should have that should bear the name of his wife. It was in Queen Elizabeth’s time. One replied that there are many species of creatures where the male gives the denomination to both sexes, as swan and woodcock, but not above one where the female do, and that is a goose.
Both at and after dinner we had great discourses of the nature and power of spirits, and whether they can animate dead bodies; in all which, as of the general appearance of spirits, my Lord Sandwich is very scepticall. He says the greatest warrants that ever he had to believe any, is the present appearing of the Devil in Wiltshire, much of late talked of, who beats a drum up and down. There are books of it, and, they say, very true; but my Lord observes, that though he do answer to any tune that you will play to him upon another drum, yet one tune he tried to play and could not; which makes him suspect the whole; and I think it is a good argument.
Sometimes they talked of handsome women, and Sir J. Minnes saying that there was no beauty like what he sees in the country-markets, and specially at Bury, in which I will agree with him that there is a prettiest women I ever saw. My Lord replied thus: “Sir John, what do you think of your neighbour’s wife?” looking upon me. “Do you not think that he hath a great beauty to his wife? Upon my word he hath.” Which I was not a little proud of.
Thence by barge with my Lord to Blackfriars, where we landed and I thence walked home, where vexed to find my boy (whom I boxed at his coming for it) and Will abroad, though he was but upon Tower Hill a very little while.
My head akeing with the healths I was forced to drink to-day I sent for the barber, and he having done, I up to my wife’s closett, and there played on my viallin a good while, and without supper anon to bed, sad for want of my wife, whom I love with all my heart, though of late she has given me some troubled thoughts.

in order to prevent surprise
we read like fools
only here and there a bit

and without moving
to give thanks for pain
or the power of a rose

preach a sermon full of rope
text with one mind
and one mouth

give glory
to the great variety of creatures
that animate dead bodies

ants like little friars
where I walk head aching
with the healths I was forced to drink


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 15 June 1663.

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed. So up and to church. Then to dinner, and Tom dined with me, who I think grows a very thriving man, as he himself tells me.
He tells me that his man John has got a wife, and for that he intends to part with him, which I am sorry for, and then that Mr. Armiger comes to be a constant lodger at his house, and he says has money in his purse and will be a good paymaster, but I do much doubt it.
He being gone, I up and sending my people to church, my wife and I did even our reckonings, and had a great deal of serious talk, wherein I took occasion to give her hints of the necessity of our saving all we can. I do see great cause every day to curse the time that ever I did give way to the taking of a woman for her, though I could never have had a better, and also the letting of her learn to dance, by both which her mind is so devilishly taken off her business and minding her occasions, and besides has got such an opinion in her of my being jealous, that it is never to be removed, I fear, nor hardly my trouble that attends it; but I must have patience.
I did give her 40s. to carry into the country tomorrow with her, whereof 15s. is to go for the coach-hire for her and Ashwell, there being 20s. paid here already in earnest.
In the evening our discourse turned to great content and love, and I hope that after a little forgetting our late differences, and being a while absent one from another, we shall come to agree as well as ever.
So to Sir W. Pen’s to visit him, and finding him alone, sent for my wife, who is in her riding-suit, to see him, which she hath not done these many months I think. By and by in comes Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, and so we sat talking. Among other things, Sir J. Minnes brought many fine expressions of Chaucer, which he doats on mightily, and without doubt he is a very fine poet.
Sir W. Pen continues lame of the gout, that he cannot rise from his chair. So after staying an hour with him, we went home and to supper, and so to prayers and bed.

as constant as doubt
the necessity of an everyday curse

though the devil must have patience
tomorrow is for ash and forgetting

and being a poet
he cannot stay an hour


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 14 June 1663.

Up and betimes to Thames Street among the tarr men, to look the price of tarr and so by water to Whitehall thinking to speak with Sir G. Carteret, but he lying in the city all night, and meeting with Mr. Cutler the merchant, I with him in his coach into the city to Sir G. Carteret, but missing him there, he and I walked to find him at Sir Tho. Allen’s in Bread Street, where not finding him he and I walked towards our office, he discoursing well of the business of the Navy, and particularly of the victualling, in which he was once I perceive concerned, and he and I parted and I to the office and there had a difference with Sir W. Batten about Mr. Bowyer’s tarr, which I am resolved to cross, though he sent me last night, as a bribe, a barrel of sturgeon, which, it may be, I shall send back, for I will not have the King abused so abominably in the price of what we buy, by Sir W. Batten’s corruption and underhand dealing. So from the office, Mr. Wayth with me, to the Parliament House, and there I spoke and told Sir G. Carteret all, with which he is well pleased, and do recall his willingness yesterday, it seems, to Sir W. Batten, that we should buy a great quantity of tarr, being abused by him.
Thence with Mr. Wayth after drinking a cupp of ale at the Swan, talking of the corruption of the Navy, by water. I landed him at Whitefriars, and I to the Exchange, and so home to dinner, where I found my wife’s brother, and thence after dinner by water to the Royall Theatre, where I resolved to bid farewell, as shall appear by my oaths tomorrow against all plays either at publique houses or Court till Christmas be over.
Here we saw “The Faithfull Sheepheardesse,” a most simple thing, and yet much thronged after, and often shown, but it is only for the scenes’ sake, which is very fine indeed and worth seeing; but I am quite out of opinion with any of their actings, but Lacy’s, compared with the other house.
Thence to see Mrs. Hunt, which we did and were much made of; and in our way saw my Lady Castlemaine, who, I fear, is not so handsome as I have taken her for, and now she begins to decay something. This is my wife’s opinion also, for which I am sorry. Thence by coach, with a mad coachman, that drove like mad, and down byeways, through Bucklersbury home, everybody through the street cursing him, being ready to run over them. So home, and after writing letters by the post, home to supper and bed.
Yesterday, upon conference with the King in the Banqueting House, the Parliament did agree with much ado, it being carried but by forty-two voices, that they would supply him with a sum of money; but what and how is not yet known, but expected to be done with great disputes the next week. But if done at all, it is well.

in the city is a city missing bread
for the swan on the water

but the other made of fear
begins to decay like mad

the street cursing in 42 voices
that money is not to eat


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 13 June 1663.

Up and my office, there conning my measuring Ruler, which I shall grow a master of in a very little time. At noon to the Exchange and so home to dinner, and abroad with my wife by water to the Royall Theatre; and there saw “The Committee,” a merry but indifferent play, only Lacey’s part, an Irish footman, is beyond imagination. Here I saw my Lord Falconbridge, and his Lady, my Lady Mary Cromwell, who looks as well as I have known her, and well clad; but when the House began to fill she put on her vizard, and so kept it on all the play; which of late is become a great fashion among the ladies, which hides their whole face.
So to the Exchange, to buy things with my wife; among others, a vizard for herself. And so by water home and to my office to do a little business, and so to see Sir W. Pen, but being going to bed and not well I could not see him. So home and to supper and bed, being mightily troubled all night and next morning with the palate of my mouth being down from some cold I took to-day sitting sweating in the playhouse, and the wind blowing through the windows upon my head.

looks hide the whole face
but in bed we could see

and all night a cold wind
blowing through the windows


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 12 June 1663.

Up and spent most of the morning upon my measuring Ruler and with great pleasure I have found out some things myself of great dispatch, more than my book teaches me, which pleases me mightily. Sent my wife’s things and the wine to-day by the carrier to my father’s, but staid my boy from a letter of my father’s, wherein he desires that he may not come to trouble his family as he did the last year.
Dined at home and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and at night home and spent the evening with my wife, and she and I did jangle mightily about her cushions that she wrought with worsteds the last year, which are too little for any use, but were good friends by and by again. But one thing I must confess I do observe, which I did not before, which is, that I cannot blame my wife to be now in a worse humour than she used to be, for I am taken up in my talk with Ashwell, who is a very witty girl, that I am not so fond of her as I used and ought to be, which now I do perceive I will remedy, but I would to the Lord I had never taken any, though I cannot have a better than her. To supper and to bed. The consideration that this is the longest day in the year is very unpleasant to me. This afternoon my wife had a visit from my Lady Jeminah and Mr. Ferrers.

measuring pleasure I have found
thin things and fat

let desires not trouble me
which are too little for any use

but I must not blame now for never
the longest unpleasant afternoon


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 11 June 1663.

Up and all the morning helping my wife to put up her things towards her going into the country and drawing the wine out of my vessel to send.
This morning came my cozen Thomas Pepys to desire me to furnish him with some money, which I could not do till his father has wrote to Piggott his consent to the sale of his lands, so by and by we parted and I to the Exchange a while and so home and to dinner, and thence to the Royal Theatre by water, and landing, met with Captain Ferrers his friend, the little man that used to be with him, and he with us, and sat by us while we saw “Love in a Maze.” The play is pretty good, but the life of the play is Lacy’s part, the clown, which is most admirable; but for the rest, which are counted such old and excellent actors, in my life I never heard both men and women so ill pronounce their parts, even to my making myself sick therewith.
Thence, Creed happening to be with us, we four to the Half-Moon Tavern, I buying some sugar and carrying it with me, which we drank with wine and thence to the whay-house, and drank a great deal of whay, and so by water home, and thence to see Sir W. Pen, who is not in much pain, but his legs swell and so immoveable that he cannot stir them, but as they are lifted by other people and I doubt will have another fit of his late pain. Played a little at cards with him and his daughter, who is grown every day a finer and finer lady, and so home to supper and to bed.
When my wife and I came first home we took Ashwell and all the rest below in the cellar with the vintner drawing out my wine, which I blamed Ashwell much for and told her my mind that I would not endure it, nor was it fit for her to make herself equal with the ordinary servants of the house.

going into the country
we land in a maze

the good life is admirable
but for the old and ill

even the half-moon
cannot fit in

grown every day
below in the cellar


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 10 June 1663.