Dave Bonta

This morning came Mr. Child to see me, and set me something to my Theorbo, and by and by come letters from Tangier from my Lord, telling me how, upon a great defete given to the Portuguese there by the Moors, he had put in 300 men into the town, and so he is in possession, of which we are very glad, because now the Spaniard’s designs of hindering our getting the place are frustrated. I went with the letter inclosed to my Lord Chancellor to the House of Lords, and did give it him in the House. And thence to the Wardrobe with my Ladys, and there could not stay dinner, but went by promise to Mr. Savill’s, and there sat the first time for my picture in little, which pleaseth me well. So to the office till night and then home.

Morning on the moor:
the town is in possession
of no place, enclosed it
and could not stay
the night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 20 February 1661/62.

Musique practice: thence to the Trinity House to conclude upon our report of Sir N. Crisp’s project, who came to us to answer objections, but we did give him no ear, but are resolved to stand to our report; though I could wish we had shewn him more justice and had heard him.
Thence to the Wardrobe and dined with my Lady, and talked after dinner as I used to do, and so home and up to my chamber to put things in order to my good content, and so to musique practice.

I practice objection,
give ear
to an ear
to the war—
a din after dinner.
I put things in order,
content
to practice.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 19 February 1661/62.

Lay long in bed, then up to the office (we having changed our days to Tuesday and Saturday in the morning and Thursday at night), and by and by with Sir W. Pen, Mr. Kennard, and others to survey his house again, and to contrive for the alterations there, which will be handsome I think.
After we had done at the office, I walked to the Wardrobe, where with Mr. Moore and Mr. Lewis Phillips after dinner we did agree upon the agreement between us and Prior and I did seal and sign it.
Having agreed with Sir Wm. Pen and my wife to meet them at the Opera, and finding by my walking in the streets, which were every where full of brick-battes and tyles flung down by the extraordinary wind the last night (such as hath not been in memory before, unless at the death of the late Protector), that it was dangerous to go out of doors; and hearing how several persons had been killed to-day by the fall of things in the streets, and that the pageant in Fleetstreet is most of it blown down, and hath broke down part of several houses, among others Dick Brigden’s; and that one Lady Sanderson, a person of quality in Covent Garden, was killed by the fall of the house, in her bed, last night; I sent my boy home to forbid them to go forth. But he bringing me word that they are gone, I went thither and there saw “The Law against Lovers,” a good play and well performed, especially the little girl’s (whom I never saw act before) dancing and singing; and were it not for her, the loss of Roxalana would spoil the house. So home and to musique, and so to bed.

We change our days to night
and survey the alterations:
war into opera,
streets into dangerous doors
and blown sand into the word Love,
for dancing and singing
would spoil the music.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 18 February 1661/62.

This morning, both Sir Williams, myself, and Captain Cocke and Captain Tinker of the Convertine, which we are going to look upon (being intended to go with these ships fitting for the East Indys), down to Deptford; and thence, after being on shipboard, to Woolwich, and there eat something. The Sir Williams being unwilling to eat flesh, Captain Cocke and I had a breast of veal roasted. And here I drank wine upon necessity, being ill for want of it, and I find reason to fear that by my too sudden leaving off wine, I do contract many evils upon myself.
Going and coming we played at gleeke, and I won 9s. 6d. clear, the most that ever I won in my life. I pray God it may not tempt me to play again.
Being come home again we went to the Dolphin, where Mr. Alcock and my Lady and Mrs. Martha Batten came to us, and after them many others (as it always is where Sir W. Batten goes), and there we had some pullets to supper. I eat though I was not very well, and after that left them, and so home and to bed.

Look upon
these hips fit
for a board
and eat.
Unwilling flesh,
breast of necessity—
being ill for
want of it
I fear a clear life,
pray it may
not tempt me
to eat not.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 17 February 1661/62.

(Lord’s day). To church this morning, and so home and to dinner. In the afternoon I walked to St. Bride’s to church, to hear Dr. Jacomb preach upon the recovery, and at the request of Mrs. Turner, who came abroad this day, the first time since her long sickness. He preached upon David’s words, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord,” and made a pretty good sermon, though not extraordinary. After sermon I led her home, and sat with her, and there was the Dr. got before us; but strange what a command he hath got over Mrs. Turner, who was so carefull to get him what he would, after his preaching, to drink, and he, with a cunning gravity, knows how to command, and had it, and among other things told us that he heard more of the Common Prayer this afternoon (while he stood in the vestry, before he went up into the pulpitt) than he had heard this twenty years.
Thence to my uncle Wight to meet my wife, and with other friends of hers and his met by chance we were very merry, and supped, and so home, not being very well through my usual pain got by cold.
So to prayers and to bed, and there had a good draft of mulled ale brought me.

I hear the first words die
with a strange turn
into thin ear.

The common years we were merry in
go cold—prayers
to be mulled.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 16 February 1661/62.

With the two Sir Williams to the Trinity-house; and there in their society had the business debated of Sir Nicholas Crisp’s sasse at Deptford. Then to dinner, and after dinner I was sworn a Younger Brother; Sir W. Rider being Deputy Master for my Lord of Sandwich; and after I was sworn, all the Elder Brothers shake me by the hand: it is their custom, it seems.
Hence to the office, and so to Sir Wm. Batten’s all three, and there we staid till late talking together in complaint of the Treasurer’s instruments. Above all Mr. Waith, at whose child’s christening our wives and we should have been to-day, but none of them went and I am glad of it, for he is a very rogue, So home, and drew up our report for Sir N. Crispe’s sasse, and so to bed. No news yet of our fleet gone to Tangier, which we now begin to think long.

I am a society
of worn instruments,
a should-have-been,
a rogue fleet gone
into ink.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 15 February 1661/62.

After musique comes my cozen Tom Pepys the executor, and he did stay with me above two hours discoursing about the difference between my uncle Thomas and me, and what way there may be to make it up, and I have hopes we may do good of it for all this. Then to dinner, and then came Mr. Kennard, and he and I and Sir W. Pen went up and down his house to view what may be the contrivance and alterations there to the best advantage.
So home, where Mr. Blackburne (whom I have not seen a long time) was come to speak with me, and among other discourse he do tell me plain of the corruption of all our Treasurer’s officers, and that they hardly pay any money under ten per cent.; and that the other day, for a mere assignation of 200l. to some counties, they took 15l. which is very strange. So to the office till night, and then home and to write by the post about many businesses, and so to bed. Last night died the Queen of Bohemia.

My Zen is
about difference:
a way to make
it up.
I have hopes
to burn. I have
seen the Queen
of Bohemia.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 February 1661/62.

This morning, till four in the afternoon, I spent abroad, doing of many and considerable businesses at Mr. Phillips the lawyer, with Prior, Westminster, my Lord Crew’s, Wardrobe, &c., and so home about the time of day to dinner with my mind very highly contented with my day’s work, wishing I could do so every day. Then to my chamber drawing up writings, in expectation of my uncle Thomas coming. So to my musique and then to bed.
This night I had half a 100 poor Jack sent me by Mr. Adis.

On a road
of many lips,
the war
is every raw
expectation of
a poor Jack.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 12 February 1661/62.