Dave Bonta

Up, and then fell into discourse, my wife and I to Ashwell, and much against my will I am fain to express a willingness to Ashwell that she should go from us, and yet in my mind I am glad of it, to ease me of the charge. So she is to go to her father this day. And leaving my wife and her talking highly, I went away by coach with Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten to St. James’s, and there attended of course the Duke. And so to White Hall, where I met Mr. Moore, and he tells me with great sorrow of my lord’s being debauched he fears by this woman at Chelsey, which I am troubled at, and resolve to speak to him of it if I can seasonably.
Thence home, where I dined, and after dinner comes our old mayde Susan to look for a gorgett that she says she has lost by leaving it here, and by many circumstances it being clear to me that Hannah, our present cook-mayde, not only has it, but had it on upon her necke when Susan came in, and shifted it off presently upon her coming in, I did charge her so home with it (having a mind to have her gone from us), that in a huff she told us she would be gone to-night if I would pay her her wages, which I was glad and my wife of, and so fetched her her wages, and though I am doubtful that she may convey some things away with her clothes, my wife searching them, yet we are glad of her being so gone, and so she went away in a quarter of an hour’s time. Being much amused at this to have never a maid but Ashwell, that we do not intend to keep, nor a boy, and my wife and I being left for an hour, till my brother came in, alone in the house, I grew very melancholy, and so my brother being come in I went forth to Mrs. Holden’s, to whom I formerly spoke about a girle to come to me instead of a boy, and the like I did to Mrs. Standing and also to my brother Tom, whom I found at an alehouse in Popinjay ally drinking, and I standing with him at the gate of the ally, Ashwell came by, and so I left Tom and went almost home with her, talking of her going away. I find that she is willing to go, and told her (though behind my back my wife has told her that it was more my desire than hers that she should go, which was not well), that seeing my wife and she could not agree I did choose rather (was she my sister) have her gone, it would be better for us and for her too. To which she willing agreed, and will not tell me anything but that she do believe that my wife would have some body there that might not be so liable to give me information of things as she takes her to be. But, however, I must labour to prevent all that.
I parted with her near home, agreeing to take no notice of my coming along with her, and so by and by came home after her.
Where I find a sad distracted house, which troubles me. However, to supper and prayers and to bed. And while we were getting to bed my wife began to discourse to her, and plainly asked whether she had got a place or no. And the other answered that she could go if we would to one of our own office, to which we agreed if she would. She thereupon said no; she would not go to any but where she might teach children, because of keeping herself in use of what things she had learned, which she do not here nor will there, but only dressing. By which I perceive the wench is cunning, but one very fit for such a place, and accomplished to be woman to any lady in the land. So quietly to sleep, it being a cold night.
But till my house is settled, I do not see that I can mind my business of the office, which grieves me to the heart. But I hope all will over in a little time, and I hope to the best. This day at Mrs. Holden’s I found my new low crowned beaver according to the present fashion made, and will be sent home to-morrow.

ash for my wages
my being much alone

like any art that children learn
the only business

of the heart will in time be
the present


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 17 August 1663.

(Lord’s day). Up and with my wife to church, and finding her desirous to go to church, I did suspect her meeting of Pembleton, but he was not there, and so I thought my jealousy in vain, and treat the sermon with great quiet. And home to dinner very pleasant, only some angry, notwithstanding my wife could not forbear to give Ashwell, and after dinner to church again, and there, looking up and down, I found Pembleton to stand in the isle against us, he coming too late to get a pew. Which, Lord! into what a sweat did it put me! I do not think my wife did see him, which did a little satisfy me. But it makes me mad to see of what a jealous temper I am and cannot helpe it, though let him do what he can I do not see, as I am going to reduce my family, what hurt he can do me, there being no more occasion now for my wife to learn of him.
Here preached a confident young coxcomb. So home, and I staid a while with Sir J. Minnes, at Mrs. Turner’s, hearing his parrat talk, laugh, and crow, which it do to admiration. So home and with my wife to see Sir W. Pen, and thence to my uncle Wight, and took him at supper and sat down, where methinks my uncle is more kind than he used to be both to me now, and my father tell me to him also, which I am glad at.
After supper home, it being extraordinary dark, and by chance a lanthorn came by, and so we hired it to light us home, otherwise were we no sooner within doors but a great showre fell that had doused us cruelly if we had not been within, it being as dark as pitch.
So to prayers and to bed.

meeting with great quiet
as if in an urn

hearing a crow
took us to the light

wise were we that had
no itch to pray


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 16 August 1663.

Lay pretty long in bed, being a little troubled with some pain got by wind and cold, and so up with good peace of mind, hoping that my wife will mind her house and servants, and so to the office, and being too soon to sit walked to my viall, which is well nigh done, and I believe I may have it home to my mind next week. So back to my office, and there we sat all the morning, I till 2 o’clock before I could go to dinner again.
After dinner walked forth to my instrument maker, and there had my rule he made me lay now so perfected, that I think in all points I have never need or desire a better, or think that any man yet had one so good in all the several points of it for my use. So by water down to Deptford, taking into my boat with me Mr. Palmer, one whom I knew and his wife when I was first married, being an acquaintance of my wife’s and her friends lodging at Charing Cross during our differences. He joyed me in my condition, and himself it seems is forced to follow the law in a common ordinary way, but seems to do well, and is a sober man, enough by his discourse. He landed with me at Deptford, where he saw by the officers’ respect to me a piece of my command, and took notice of it, though God knows I hope I shall not be elated with that, but rather desire to be known for serving the King well, and doing my duty.
He gone I walked up and down the yard a while discoursing with the officers, and so by water home meditating on my new Rule with great pleasure. So to my office, and there by candle light doing business, and so home to supper and to bed.

wind and cold
I never need better friends
meditating by candlelight


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 15 August 1663.

Awake, and to chide my wife again, and I find that my wife has got too great head to be brought down soon, nor is it possible with any convenience to keep Ashwell longer, my wife is so set and convinced, as she was in Sarah, to make her appear a Lyer in every small thing that we shall have no peace while she stays. So I up and to my office doing several businesses in my study, and so home to dinner. The time having outslipt me and my stomach, it being past, two aclock, and yet before we could sit down to dinner Mrs. Harper and her cousin Jane came, and we treated and discoursed long about her coming to my wife for a chamber mayd, and I think she will do well. So they went away expecting notice when she shall come, and so we sat down to dinner at four aclock almost, and then I walked forth to my brother’s, where I found my father very discontented, and has no mind to come to my house, and would have begun some of the differences between my wife and him, but I desired to hear none of them, and am sorry at my folly in forcing it and theirs in not telling me of it at the beginning, and therefore am resolved to make the best of a bad market, and to bring my wife to herself again as soon and as well as I can. So we parted very kindly, and he will dine with me to-morrow or next day. Thence walked home, doing several errands by the way, and at home took my wife to visit Sir W. Pen, who is still lame, and after an hour with him went home and supped, and with great content to bed.

I find great convenience
in having my stomach
as a clock

for a clock is a gun
for heirs to make
the best of a bad market

so we part very kindly
and I dine at home


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 14 August 1663.

Lay long in bed with my wife talking of family matters, and so up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, and after dinner my wife and I to talk again about getting of a couple of good mayds and to part with Ashwell, which troubles me for her father’s sake, though I shall be glad to have the charge taken away of keeping a woman. Thence a little to the office, and so abroad with my wife by water to White Hall, and there at my Lord’s lodgings met my Lady Jemimah, with whom we staid a good while. Thence to Mrs. Hunt’s, where I left my wife, and I to walk a little in St. James’s Park, while Mrs. Harper might come home, with whom we came to speak about her kinswoman Jane Gentleman to come and live with us as a chamber mayde, and there met with Mr. Hoole my old acquaintance of Magdalen, and walked with him an hour in the Parke, discoursing chiefly of Sir Samuel Morland, whose lady is gone into France. It seems he buys ground and a farm in the country, and lays out money upon building, and God knows what! so that most of the money he sold his pension of 500l. per annum for, to Sir Arthur Slingsby, is believed is gone. It seems he hath very great promises from the King, and Hoole hath seen some of the King’s letters, under his own hand, to Morland, promising him great things (and among others, the order of the Garter, as Sir Samuel says); but his lady thought it below her to ask any thing at the King’s first coming, believing the King would do it of himself, when as Hoole do really think if he had asked to be Secretary of State at the King’s first coming, he might have had it. And the other day at her going into France, she did speak largely to the King herself, how her husband hath failed of what his Majesty had promised, and she was sure intended him; and the King did promise still, as he is a King and a gentleman, to be as good as his word in a little time, to a tittle: but I never believe it.
Here in the Park I met with Mr. Coventry, where he sent for a letter he had newly writ to me, wherein he had enclosed one from Commissioner Pett complaining of his being defeated in his attempt to suspend two pursers, wherein the manner of his doing it, and complaint of our seeing him (contrary to our promises the other day), deserted, did make us laugh mightily, and was good sport to think how awkwardly he goes about a thing that he has no courage of his own nor mind to do. Mr. Coventry answered it very handsomely, but I perceive Pett has left off his corresponding with me any more.
Thence to fetch my wife from Mrs. Hunt’s, where now he was come in, and we eat and drunk, and so away (their child being at home, a very lively, but not pretty at all), by water to Mrs. Turner’s, and there made a short visit, and so home by coach, and after supper to prayers and to bed, and before going to bed Ashwell began to make her complaint, and by her I do perceive that she has received most base usage from my wife, which my wife sillily denies, but it is impossible the wench could invent words and matter so particularly, against which my wife has nothing to say but flatly to deny, which I am sorry to see, and blows to have past, and high words even at Hinchinbrooke House among my Lady’s people, of which I am mightily ashamed.
I said nothing to either of them, but let them talk till she was gone and left us abed, and then I told my wife my mind with great sobriety of grief, and so to sleep.

I have an old acquaintance
with the ground

go to the desert to think
awkwardly
sillily

I am low and high
with great sobriety of grief


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 13 August 1663.

A little to my office, to put down my yesterday’s journall, and so abroad to buy a bedstead and do other things.
So home again, and having put up the bedstead and done other things in order to my wife’s coming, I went out to several places and to Mrs. Turner’s, she inviting me last night, and there dined; with her and Madam Morrice and a stranger we were very merry and had a fine dinner, and thence I took leave and to White Hall, where my Lords Sandwich, Peterborough, and others made a Tangier Committee; spent the afternoon in reading and ordering with a great deal of alteration, and yet methinks never a whit the better, of a letter drawn by Creed to my Lord Rutherford. The Lords being against anything that looked to be rough, though it was in matter of money and accounts, wherein their courtship may cost the King dear. Only I do see by them, that speaking in matters distasteful to him that we write to, it is best to do it in the plainest way and without ambages or reasoning, but only say matters of fact, and leave the party to collect your meaning.
Thence by water to my brother’s, and there I hear my wife is come and gone home, and my father is come to town also, at which I wondered. But I discern it is to give my brother advice about his business, and it may be to pacify me about the differences that have been between my wife and him and my mother at her late being with them. Though by and by he coming to Mr. Holden’s (where I was buying a hat) he took no notice to me of anything. I talked to him a little while and left him to lie at the end of the town, and I home, where methought I found my wife strange, not knowing, I believe, in what temper she could expect me to be in, but I fell to kind words, and so we were very kind, only she could not forbear telling me how she had been used by them and her mayde, Ashwell, in the country, but I find it will be best not to examine it, for I doubt she’s in fault too, and therefore I seek to put it off from my hearing, and so to bed and there entertained her with great content, and so to sleep.

I am a stranger to the committee
against anything distasteful

an old hat left to lie
at the end of town

I believe in doubt
and seek to be content


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 12 August 1663.

Up and to my office, whither, by and by, my brother Tom came, and I did soundly rattle him for his neglecting to see and please the Joyces as he has of late done. I confess I do fear that he do not understand his business, nor will do any good in his trade, though he tells me that he do please every body and that he gets money, but I shall not believe it till I see a state of his accounts, which I have ordered him to bring me before he sees me any more.
We met and sat at the office all the morning, and at noon I to the ‘Change, where I met Dr. Pierce, who tells me that the King comes to towne this day, from Tunbridge, to stay a day or two, and then fetch the Queen from thence, who he says is grown a very debonnaire lady, and now hugs him, and meets him gallopping upon the road, and all the actions of a fond and pleasant lady that can be, that he believes has a chat now and then of Mrs. Stewart, but that there is no great danger of her, she being only an innocent, young, raw girl; but my Lady Castlemaine, who rules the King in matters of state, and do what she list with him, he believes is now falling quite out of favour. After the Queen is come back she goes to the Bath; and so to Oxford, where great entertainments are making for her.
This day I am told that my Lord Bristoll hath warrants issued out against him, to have carried him to the Tower; but he is fled away, or hid himself. So much the Chancellor hath got the better of him.
Upon the ‘Change my brother, and Will bring me word that Madam Turner would come and dine with me to-day, so I hasted home and found her and Mrs. Morrice there (The. Joyce being gone into the country), which is the reason of the mother rambling. I got a dinner for them, and after dinner my uncle Thomas and aunt Bell came and saw me, and I made them almost foxed with wine till they were very kind (but I did not carry them up to my ladies). So they went away, and so my two ladies and I in Mrs. Turner’s coach to Mr. Povy’s, who being not within, we went in and there shewed Mrs. Turner his perspective and volary, and the fine things that he is building of now, which is a most neat thing. Thence to the Temple and by water to Westminster; and there Morrice and I went to Sir R. Long’s to have fetched a niece of his, but she was not within, and so we went to boat again and then down to the bridge, and there tried to find a sister of Mrs. Morrice’s, but she was not within neither, and so we went through bridge, and I carried them on board the King’s pleasure-boat, all the way reading in a book of Receipts of making fine meats and sweetmeats, among others to make my own sweet water, which made us good sport.
So I landed them at Greenwich, and there to a garden, and gave them fruit and wine, and so to boat again, and finally, in the cool of the evening, to Lyon Kee, the tide against us, and so landed and walked to the Bridge, and there took a coach by chance passing by, and so I saw them home, and there eat some cold venison with them, and drunk and bade them good night, having been mighty merry with them, and I think it is not amiss to preserve, though it cost me a little, such a friend as Mrs. Turner. So home and to bed, my head running upon what to do to-morrow to fit things against my wife’s coming, as to buy a bedstead, because my brother John is here, and I have now no more beds than are used.

the rattle of fear
in every one of his rants

foxed with wine
I make my own water

in the cool of the evening
against the bridge


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 11 August 1663.

Up, though not so early this summer as I did all the last, for which I am sorry, and though late am resolved to get up betimes before the season of rising be quite past. To my office to fit myself to wait on the Duke this day.
By and by by water to White Hall, and so to St. James’s, and anon called into the Duke’s chamber, and being dressed we were all as usual taken in with him and discoursed of our matters, and that being done, he walked, and I in the company with him, to White Hall, and there he took barge for Woolwich, and, I up to the Committee of Tangier, where my Lord Sandwich, my Lord Peterborough, (whom I have not seen before since his coming back,) Sir W. Compton, and Mr. Povy. Our discourse about supplying my Lord Teviott with money, wherein I am sorry to see, though they do not care for him, yet they are willing to let him for civility and compliment only have money almost without expecting any account of it; but by this means, he being such a cunning fellow as he is, the King is like to pay dear for our courtiers’ ceremony. Thence by coach with my Lords Peterborough and Sandwich to my Lord Peterborough’s house; and there, after an hour’s looking over some fine books of the Italian buildings, with fine cuts; and also my Lord Peterborough’s bowes and arrows, of which he is a great lover, we sat down to dinner, my Lady coming down to dinner also, and there being Mr. Williamson, that belongs to Sir H. Bennet, whom I find a pretty understanding and accomplished man, but a little conceited.
After dinner I took leave and went to Greatorex’s, whom I found in his garden, and set him to work upon my ruler, to engrave an almanac and other things upon the brasses of it, which a little before night he did, but the latter part he slubbered over, that I must get him to do it over better, or else I shall not fancy my rule, which is such a folly that I am come to now, that whereas before my delight was in multitude of books, and spending money in that and buying alway of other things, now that I am become a better husband, and have left off buying, now my delight is in the neatness of everything, and so cannot be pleased with anything unless it be very neat, which is a strange folly.
Hither came W. Howe about business, and he and I had a great deal of discourse about my Lord Sandwich, and I find by him that my Lord do dote upon one of the daughters of Mrs. [Becke] where he lies, so that he spends his time and money upon her. He tells me she is a woman of a very bad fame and very impudent, and has told my Lord so, yet for all that my Lord do spend all his evenings with her, though he be at court in the day time, and that the world do take notice of it, and that Pickering is only there as a blind, that the world may think that my Lord spends his time with him when he do worse, and that hence it is that my Lord has no more mind to go into the country than he has. In fine, I perceive my Lord is dabbling with this wench, for which I am sorry, though I do not wonder at it, being a man amorous enough, and now begins to allow himself the liberty that he says every body else at Court takes.
Here I am told that my Lord Bristoll is either fled or concealed himself; having been sent for to the King, it is believed to be sent to the Tower, but he is gone out of the way.
Yesterday, I am told also, that Sir J. Lenthall, in Southwarke, did apprehend about one hundred Quakers, and other such people, and hath sent some of them to the gaole at Kingston, it being now the time of the Assizes.
Hence home and examined a piece of, Latin of Will’s with my brother, and so to prayers and to bed.
This evening I had a letter from my father that says that my wife will come to town this week, at which I wonder that she should come to town without my knowing more of it. But I find they have lived very ill together since she went, and I must use all the brains I have to bring her to any good when she do come home, which I fear will be hard to do, and do much disgust me the thoughts of it.

summer is past
I fit myself to the white sand
like a lover

I long for a multitude
of books and evenings
when the amorous rains come


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 10 August 1663.

(Lord’s day). Up, and leaving my brother John to go somewhere else, I to church, and heard Mr. Mills (who is lately returned out of the country, and it seems was fetched in by many of the parishioners, with great state,) preach upon the authority of the ministers, upon these words, “We are therefore embassadors of Christ.” Wherein, among other high expressions, he said, that such a learned man used to say, that if a minister of the word and an angell should meet him together, he would salute the minister first; which methought was a little too high. This day I begun to make use of the silver pen (Mr. Coventry did give me) in writing of this sermon, taking only the heads of it in Latin, which I shall, I think, continue to do. So home and at my office reading my vowes, and so to Sir W. Batten to dinner, being invited and sent for, and being willing to hear how they left things at Portsmouth, which I found but ill enough, and are mightily for a Commissioner to be at seat there to keep the yard in order.
Thence in the afternoon with my Lady Batten, leading her through the streets by the hand to St. Dunstan’s Church, hard by us (where by Mrs. Russell’s means we were set well), and heard an excellent sermon of one Mr. Gifford, the parson there, upon “Remember Lot’s wife.” So from thence walked back to Mrs. Russell’s, and there drank and sat talking a great while. Among other things talked of young Dawes that married the great fortune, who it seems has a Baronet’s patent given him, and is now Sir Thos. Dawes, and a very fine bred man they say he is. Thence home, and my brother being abroad I walked to my uncle Wight’s and there staid, though with little pleasure, and supped, there being the husband of Mrs. Anne Wight, who it seems is lately married to one Mr. Bentley, a Norwich factor. Home, and staid up a good while examining Will in his Latin below, and my brother along with him in his Greeke, and so to prayers and to bed.
This afternoon I was amused at the tune set to the Psalm by the Clerke of the parish, and thought at first that he was out, but I find him to be a good songster, and the parish could sing it very well, and was a good tune. But I wonder that there should be a tune in the Psalms that I never heard of.

if an angel should get
a little too high

I shall lead her through
the streets by the hand

and remember Lot’s wife
who stayed married to wonder

her tune
never heard


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 9 August 1663.

Up and to my office, whither I search for Brown the mathematical instrument maker, who now brought me a ruler for measuring timber and other things so well done and in all things to my mind that I do set up my trust upon it that I cannot have a better, nor any man else have so good for this purpose, this being of my own ordering. By and by we sat all the morning dispatching of business, and then at noon rose, and I with Mr. Coventry down to the water-side, talking, wherein I see so much goodness and endeavours of doing the King service, that I do more and more admire him. It being the greatest trouble to me, he says, in the world to see not only in the Navy, but in the greatest matters of State, where he can lay his finger upon the soare (meaning this man’s faults, and this man’s office the fault lies in), and yet dare or can not remedy matters.
Thence to the Exchange about several businesses, and so home to dinner, and in the afternoon took my brother John and Will down to Woolwich by water, and after being there a good while, and eating of fruit in Sheldon’s garden, we began our walk back again, I asking many things in physiques of my brother John, to which he gives me so bad or no answer at all, as in the regions of the ayre he told me that he knew of no such thing, for he never read Aristotle’s philosophy and Des Cartes ownes no such thing, which vexed me to hear him say. But I shall call him to task, and see what it is that he has studied since his going to the University.
It was late before we could get from Greenwich to London by water, the tide being against us and almost past, so that to save time and to be clear of anchors I landed at Wapping, and so walked home weary enough, walking over the stones.
This night Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes returned [from] Portsmouth, but I did not go see them.

an instrument to set
my trust upon

I cannot have a better
world to finger

asking many things of it
green as an anchor

apping over the stones
I did not go see


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 8 August 1663.