Dave Bonta

Early with Mr. Moore by coach to Chelsy, to my Lord Privy Seal’s, but have missed of coming time enough; and having taken up Mr. Pargiter, the goldsmith (who is the man of the world that I do most know and believe to be a cheating rogue), we drank our morning draft there together of cake and ale, and did make good sport of his losing so much by the King’s coming in, he having bought much of Crown lands, of which, God forgive me! I am very glad. At Whitehall, at the Privy Seal, did with Sir W. Pen take advice about passing of things of his there that concern his matters of Ireland. Thence to the Wardrobe and dined, and so against my judgment and conscience (which God forgive, for my very heart knows that I offend God in breaking my vows herein) to the Opera, which is now newly begun to act again, after some alteracion of their scene, which do make it very much worse; but the play, “Love and Honour,” being the first time of their acting it, is a very good plot, and well done. So on foot home, and after a little business done in my study and supper, to bed.

“Time enough” is a cheat;
we make good sport
of losing. Give me
the passing of things: heart
breaking in the opera,
a love done
after a little sin.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 21 October 1661.

(Lord’s day). At home in bed all the morning to ease my late tumour, but up to dinner and much offended in mind at a proud trick my man Will hath got, to keep his hat on in the house, but I will not speak of it to him to-day; but I fear I shall be troubled with his pride and laziness, though in other things he is good enough. To church in the afternoon, where a sleepy Presbyter preached, and then to Sir W. Batten who is to go to Portsmouth to-morrow to wait upon the Duke of York, who goes to take possession and to set in order the garrison there. Supped at home and to bed.

A bed in
my mind,
a hat on the house:
I fear a good sleep.
It goes to take
possession and
to sup.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 20 October 1661.

At the office all the morning, and at noon Mr. Coventry, who sat with us all the morning, and Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Pen, and myself, by coach to Captain Marshe’s, at Limehouse, to a house that hath been their ancestors for this 250 years, close by the lime-house which gives the name to the place. Here they have a design to get the King to hire a dock for the herring busses, which is now the great design on foot, to lie up in. We had a very good and handsome dinner, and excellent wine. I not being neat in clothes, which I find a great fault in me, could not be so merry as otherwise, and at all times I am and can be, when I am in good habitt, which makes me remember my father Osborne’s rule for a gentleman to spare in all things rather than in that. So by coach home, and so to write letters by post, and so to bed.

The ancestors give us
a foot, a good hand,
a great fault, all.
I am born
to all things.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 19 October 1661.

To White Hall, to Mr. Montagu’s, where I met with Mr. Pierce, the purser, to advise about the things to be sent to my Lord for the Queen’s provision, and was cleared in it, and now there is all haste made, for the fleet’s going.
At noon to my Lord’s to dinner, and in the afternoon, leaving my wife there, Mr. Moore and I to Mrs. Goldsborough, who sent for a friend to meet with us, and so we were talking about the difference between us till 10 at night. I find it very troublesome, and have brought it into some hopes of an agreement, I offering to forgive her 10l. that is yet due according to my uncle’s accounts to us. So we left her friend to advise about it, and I hope to hear of her, for I would not by any means go to law with a woman of so devilish a tongue as she has.
So to my Lady’s, where I left my wife to lie with Mademoiselle all night, and I by link home and to bed. This night lying alone, and the weather cold, and having this last 7 or 8 days been troubled with a tumor in one of my stones which is now abated by a poultice of a good handful of bran with half a pint of vinegar and a pint of water boiled till it be thick, and then a spoonful of honey put to it and so spread in a cloth and laid to it, I first put on my waistcoat to lie in all night this year, and do not intend to put it off again till spring. I met with complaints at home that my wife left no victuals for them all this day.

My vision is going. I hear
a devilish tongue—
cold as a tumor,
vinegar boiled till thick.
I put on my coat
and do not put it off again till spring.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 18 October 1661.

At the office all the morning, at noon my wife being gone to my coz Snow’s with Dr. Thomas Pepys and my brother Tom to a venison pasty (which proved a pasty of salted pork); by appointment I went with Captain David Lambert to the Exchequer, and from thence by appointment he and I were to meet at a cook’s shop to dine. But before I went to him Captain Cock, a merchant I had not long known, took me to the Sun tavern and gave me a glass of sack, and being a man of great observation and repute, did tell me that he was confident that the Parliament, when it comes the next month to sit again, would bring trouble with it, and enquire how the King had disposed of offices and money, before they will raise more; which, I fear, will bring all things to ruin again. Thence to the Cook’s and there dined with Captain Lambert and his father-in-law, and had much talk of Portugall; from whence he is lately come, and he tells me it is a very poor dirty place; I mean the City and Court of Lisbon; that the King is a very rude and simple fellow; and, for reviling of somebody a little while ago, and calling of him cuckold, was run into … with a sword and had been killed, had he not told them that he was their king. That there are there no glass windows, nor will they have any; which makes sport among our merchants there to talk of an English factor that, being newly come thither, writ into England that glass would be a good commodity to send thither, &c. That the King has his meat sent up by a dozen of lazy guards and in pipkins, sometimes, to his own table; and sometimes nothing but fruits, and, now and then, half a hen. And now that the Infanta is become our Queen, she is come to have a whole hen or goose to her table, which is not ordinary. So home and to look over my papers that concern the difference between Mrs. Goldsborough and us; which cost me much pains, but contented me much after it was done. So at home all the evening and to supper and to bed.

In the glass city there are
no glass windows,
the king is kin to his own nothing
and the queen is a whole table:
so the difference between
gold and evening.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 17 October 1661.

In bed till 12 o’clock. This morning came several maids to my wife to be hired, and at last she pitched upon one Nell, whose mother, an old woman, came along with her, but would not be hired under half a year, which I am pleased at their drollness. This day dined by appointment with me, Dr. Thos. Pepys and my Coz: Snow, and my brother Tom, upon a fin of ling and some sounds, neither of which did I ever know before, but most excellent meat they are both, that in all my life I never eat the like fish. So after dinner came in W. Joyce and eat and drank and were merry. So up to my chamber, and put all my papers, at rights, and in the evening our maid Mary (who was with us upon trial for a month) did take leave of us, going as we suppose to be married, for the maid liked us and we her, but all she said was that she had a mind to live in a tradesman’s house where there was but one maid. So to supper and to bed.

In the old snow, a fin,
a life-like fish.
I am my papers, like a house
where there was but
one supper.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 October 1661.

At the office all the morning, and in the afternoon to Paul’s Churchyard to a blind place, where Mrs. Goldsborough was to meet me (who dare not be known where she lives) to treat about the difference which remains between my uncle and her. But, Lord! to hear how she talks and how she rails against my uncle would make one mad. But I seemed not to be troubled at it, but would indeed gladly have an agreement with her. So I appoint Mr. Moore and she another against Friday next to look into our papers and to see what can be done to conclude the matter. So home in much pain by walking too much yesterday I have made my testicle to swell again, which much troubles me.

A blind place
where the rails have an agreement
not to conclude—


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 15 October 1661.

This morning I ventured by water abroad to Westminster, but lost my labour, for Mr. Montagu was not in town. So to the Wardrobe, and there dined with my Lady, which is the first time I have seen her dine abroad since her being brought to bed of my Lady Katherine. In the afternoon Captain Ferrers and I walked abroad to several places, among others to Mr. Pim’s, my Lord’s Taylour’s, and there he went out with us to the Fountain tavern and did give us store of wine, and it being the Duke of York’s birthday, we drank the more to his health. But, Lord! what a sad story he makes of his being abused by a Dr. of Physique who is in one part of the tenement wherein he dwells. It would make one laugh, though I see he is under a great trouble in it. Thence home by link and found a good answer from my father that Sir R. Bernard do clear all things as to us and our title to Brampton, which puts my heart in great ease and quiet.

I lost my labor to the war,
my time to bed, my place
to a store of wine.
What a sad story!
I make one good thing:
a great quiet.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 14 October 1661.