Dave Bonta

Up very early, and got a-top of my house, seeing the design of my work, and like it very well, and it comes into my head to have my dining-room wainscoated, which will be very pretty. By-and-by by water to Deptford, to put several things in order, being myself now only left in town, and so back again to the office, and there doing business all the morning and the afternoon also till night, and then comes Cooper for my mathematiques, but, in good earnest, my head is so full of business that I cannot understand it as otherwise I should do.
At night to bed, being much troubled at the rain coming into my house, the top being open.

up early
like water
being myself only
(a mathematics
that I cannot understand)
being the rain coming into my house
being open


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 18 July 1662.

To my office, and by and by to our sitting; where much business. Mr. Coventry took his leave, being to go with the Duke over for the Queen-Mother. I dined at home, and so to my Lord’s, where I presented him with a true state of all his accounts to last Monday, being the 14th of July, which did please him, and to my great joy I continue in his great esteem and opinion. I this day took a general acquittance from my Lord to the same day. So that now I have but very few persons to deal withall for money in the world.
Home and found much business to be upon my hands, and was late at the office writing letters by candle light, which is rare at this time of the year, but I do it with much content and joy, and then I do please me to see that I begin to have people direct themselves to me in all businesses.
Very late I was forced to send for Mr. Turner, Smith, Young, about things to be sent down early to-morrow on board the King’s pleasure boat, and so to bed with my head full of business, but well contented in mind as ever in my life.

Our oven mother
of great esteem
and general acquittance,
let a light rare as gin
direct me in all
late things
with my head full of if.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 17 July 1662.

In the morning I found all my ceilings, spoiled with rain last night, so that I fear they must be all new whited when the work is done.
Made me ready and to my office, and by and by came Mr. Moore to me, and so I went home and consulted about drawing up a fair state of all my Lord’s accounts, which being settled, he went away, and I fell to writing of it very neatly, and it was very handsome and concisely done. At noon to my Lord’s with it, but found him at dinner, and some great company with him, Mr. Edward Montagu and his brother, and Mr. Coventry, and after dinner he went out with them, and so I lost my labour; but dined with Mr. Moore and the people below, who after dinner fell to talk of Portugall rings, and Captain Ferrers offered five or six to sell, and I seeming to like a ring made of a coco-nutt with a stone done in it, he did offer and would give it me. By and by we went to Mr. Creed’s lodging, and there got a dish or two of sweetmeats, and I seeing a very neat leaden standish to carry papers, pen, and ink in when one travels I also got that of him, and that done I went home by water and to finish some of my Lord’s business, and so early to bed.
This day I was told that my Lady Castlemaine (being quite fallen out with her husband) did yesterday go away from him, with all her plate, jewels, and other best things; and is gone to Richmond to a brother of her’s; which, I am apt to think, was a design to get out of town, that the King might come at her the better. But strange it is how for her beauty I am willing to construe all this to the best and to pity her wherein it is to her hurt, though I know well enough she is a whore.

my fear is
ready to hand
and concise

like a stone
to carry when
one travels

or a castle of ink
for the best
pit I know


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 July 1662.

Up by 4 o’clock and to my arithmetique, and so to my office till 8, then to Thames Street along with old Mr. Green, among the tarr-men, and did instruct myself in the nature and prices of tarr, but could not get Stockholm for the use of the office under 10l. 15s. per last, which is a great price. So home, and at noon Dr. T. Pepys came to me, and he and I to the Exchequer, and so back to dinner, where by chance comes Mr. Pierce, the chyrurgeon, and then Mr. Battersby, the minister, and then Mr. Dun, and it happened that I had a haunch of venison boiled, and so they were very wellcome and merry; but my simple Dr. do talk so like a fool that I am weary of him. They being gone, to my office again, and there all the afternoon, and at night home and took a few turns with my wife in the garden and so to bed. My house being this day almost quite untiled in order to its rising higher. This night I began to put on my waistcoat also. I found the pageant in Cornhill taken down, which was pretty strange.

Among the tar-men
I instruct myself
in the nature of tar:
a great batter, boiled
and simple like a fool.
The night took
a few turns in my coat.
I found the pageant strange.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 14 July 1662.

(Lord’s day) Having by some mischance hurt my cods. I had my old pain all yesterday and this morning, and so kept my bed all this morning. So up and after dinner and some of my people to church, I set about taking down my books and papers and making my chamber fit against to-morrow to have the people come to work in pulling down the top of my house. In the evening I walked to the garden and sent for Mr. Turner (who yesterday did give me occasion of speaking to him about the difference between him and me), and I told him my whole mind, and how it was in my power to do him a discourtesy about his place of petty purveyance, and at last did make him see (I think) that it was his concernment to be friendly to me and what belongs to me. After speaking my mind to him and he to me, we walked down and took boat at the Tower and to Deptford, on purpose to sign and seal a couple of warrants, as justice of peace in Kent, against one Annis, who is to be tried next Tuesday, at Maidstone assizes, for stealing some lead out of Woolwich Yard. Going and coming I did discourse with Mr. Turner about the faults of our management of the business of our office, of which he is sensible, but I believe is a very knave. Come home I found a rabbit at the fire, and so supped well, and so to my journall and to bed.

having a fit in the garden
my whole mind against
one stone
a rabbit at the fire


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 13 July 1662.

Up by five o’clock, and put things in my house in order to be laid up, against my workmen come on Monday to take down the top of my house, which trouble I must go through now, but it troubles me much to think of it. So to my office, where till noon we sat, and then I to dinner and to the office all the afternoon with much business. At night with Cooper at arithmetique, and then came Mr. Creed about my Lord’s accounts to even them, and he gone I to supper and to bed.

I lock my use up in work
to own the top troubles.
Think of my office:
an all-afternoon coop.
I count to go to bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 12 July 1662.

Up by four o’clock, and hard at my multiplicacion-table, which I am now almost master of, and so made me ready and to my office, where by and by comes Mr. Pett, and then a messenger from Mr. Coventry, who stays in his boat at the Tower for us. So we to him, and down to Deptford first, and there viewed some deals lately served in at a low price, which our officers, like knaves, would untruly value in their worth, but we found them good. Then to Woolwich, and viewed well all the houses and stores there, which lie in very great confusion for want of storehouses, and then to Mr. Ackworth’s and Sheldon’s to view their books, which we found not to answer the King’s service and security at all as to the stores. Then to the Ropeyard, and there viewed the hemp, wherein we found great corruption, and then saw a trial between Sir R. Ford’s yarn and our own, and found great odds. So by water back again. About five in the afternoon to Whitehall, and so to St. James’s; and at Mr. Coventry’s chamber, which is very neat and fine, we had a pretty neat dinner, and after dinner fell to discourse of business and regulation, and do think of many things that will put matters into better order, and upon the whole my heart rejoices to see Mr. Coventry so ingenious, and able, and studious to do good, and with much frankness and respect to Mr. Pett and myself particularly. About 9 o’clock we broke up after much discourse and many things agreed on in order to our business of regulation, and so by water (landing Mr. Pett at the Temple) I went home and to bed.

Found: good view, in a book.

Found: no answer at all. Rope.

Found: a Ford (our own).

Found: great odds. A fine thing.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 11 July 1662.