Dave Bonta

Mr. Townsend called us up by four o’clock; and by five the three ladies, my wife and I, and Mr. Townsend, his son and daughter, were got to the barge and set out. We walked from Mortlake to Richmond, and so to boat again. And from Teddington to Hampton Court Mr. Townsend and I walked again. And then met the ladies, and were showed the whole house by Mr. Marriott; which is indeed nobly furnished, particularly the Queen’s bed, given her by the States of Holland; a looking-glass sent by the Queenmother from France, hanging in the Queen’s chamber, and many brave pictures.
So to Mr. Marriott’s, and there we rested ourselves and drank. And so to barge again, and there we had good victuals and wine, and were very merry; and got home about eight at night very well. So my wife and I took leave of my Ladies, and home by a hackney-coach, the easiest that ever I met with, and so to bed.

I go to the bar

on a boat
a hole is a looking-glass

the queen moth hanging
in many a Marriott

good wine and merry
got me
the easiest bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 12 May 1662.

(Lord’s day). To our church in the morning, where, our Minister being out of town, a dull, flat Presbiter preached. Dined at home, and my wife’s brother with us, we having a good dish of stewed beef of Jane’s own dressing, which was well done, and a piece of sturgeon of a barrel sent me by Captain Cocke. In the afternoon to White Hall; and there walked an hour or two in the Park, where I saw the King now out of mourning, in a suit laced with gold and silver, which it was said was out of fashion. Thence to the Wardrobe; and there consulted with the ladies about our going to Hampton Court to-morrow, and thence home, and after settled business there my wife and I to the Wardrobe, and there we lay all night in Captain Ferrers’ chambers, but the bed so soft that I could not sleep that hot night.

Church is a dull ache,
having an urge to hit an urn
laced with silver.

War after war
we lay in a bed so soft
I could not sleep.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 11 May 1662.

By myself at the office all the morning drawing up instructions for Portsmouth yard in those things wherein we at our late being there did think fit to reform, and got them signed this morning to send away to-night, the Duke being now there.
At noon to the Wardrobe; there dined. My Lady told me how my Lady Castlemaine do speak of going to lie in at Hampton Court; which she and all our ladies are much troubled at, because of the King’s being forced to show her countenance in the sight of the Queen when she comes. Back to the office and there all afternoon, and in the evening comes Sir G. Carteret, and he and I did hire a ship for Tangier, and other things together; and I find that he do single me out to join with me apart from the rest, which I am much glad of. So home, and after being trimmed, to bed.

Of all the things our ink
signed away,
the peak comes
back in the evening
to rest.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 10 May 1662.

Up and to my office, and so to dinner at home, and then to several places to pay my debts, and then to Westminster to Dr. Castle, who discoursed with me about Privy Seal business, which I do not much mind, it being little worth, but by Watkins’s late sudden death we are like to lose money. Thence to Mr. de Cretz, and there saw some good pieces that he hath copyed of the King’s pieces, some of Raphael and Michael Angelo; and I have borrowed an Elizabeth of his copying to hang up in my house, and sent it home by Will. Thence with Mr. Salisbury, who I met there, into Covent Garden to an alehouse, to see a picture that hangs there, which is offered for 20s., and I offered fourteen — but it is worth much more money — but did not buy it, I having no mind to break my oath. Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw, and great resort of gallants. So to the Temple and by water home, and so walk upon the leads, and in the dark there played upon my flageolette, it being a fine still evening, and so to supper and to bed.
This day I paid Godfrey’s debt of 40 and odd pounds. The Duke of York went last night to Portsmouth; so that I believe the Queen is near.

In several places, the sea—
like money, the copy
of a copy. But having
no mind to break, it is
the best resort of water
on a fine still night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 9 May 1662.

At the office all the morning doing business alone, and then to the Wardrobe, where my Lady going out with the children to dinner I staid not, but returned home, and was overtaken in St. Paul’s Churchyard by Sir G. Carteret in his coach, and so he carried me to the Exchange, where I staid awhile. He told me that the Queen and the fleet were in Mount’s Bay on Monday last, and that the Queen endures her sickness pretty well. He also told me how Sir John Lawson hath done some execution upon the Turks in the Straight, of which I am glad, and told the news the first on the Exchange, and was much followed by merchants to tell it. So home and to dinner, and by and by to the office, and after the rest gone (my Lady Albemarle being this day at dinner at Sir W. Batten’s) Sir G. Carteret comes, and he and I walked in the garden, and, among other discourse, tells me that it is Mr. Coventry that is to come to us as a Commissioner of the Navy; at which he is much vexed, and cries out upon Sir W. Pen, and threatens him highly. And looking upon his lodgings, which are now enlarging, he in passion cried, “Guarda mi spada; for, by God, I may chance to keep him in Ireland, when he is there:for Sir W. Pen is going thither with my Lord Lieutenant. But it is my design to keep much in with Sir George; and I think I have begun very well towards it. So to the office, and was there late doing business, and so with my head full of business I to bed.

A child overtaken by change
endures her sickness
in the garden,
tells me
the navy may land there,
for pen and ink have begun
to do business.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 8 May 1662.

Walked to Westminster; where I understand the news that Mr. Montagu is this last night come to the King with news, that he left the Queen and fleet in the Bay of Biscay, coming this wayward; and that he believes she is now at the Isle of Scilly. So at noon to my Lord Crew’s and there dined, and after dinner Sir Thos. Crew and I talked together, and among other instances of the simple light discourse that sometimes is in the Parliament House, he told me how in the late business of Chymny money, when all occupiers were to pay, it was questioned whether women were under that name to pay, and somebody rose and said that they were not occupiers, but occupied.
Thence to Paul’s Church Yard; where seeing my Lady’s Sandwich and Carteret, and my wife (who this day made a visit the first time to my Lady Carteret), come by coach, and going to Hide Park, I was resolved to follow them; and so went to Mrs. Turner’s: and thence found her out at the Theatre, where I saw the last act of the “Knight of the Burning Pestle,” which pleased me not at all. And so after the play done, she and The. Turner and Mrs. Lucin and I, in her coach to the Park; and there found them out, and spoke to them; and observed many fine ladies, and staid till all were gone almost. And so to Mrs. Turner’s, and there supped, and so walked home, and by and by comes my wife home, brought by my Lady Carteret to the gate, and so to bed.

Where the news is
is the news:
the fleet in the bay,
this wayward isle of noon,
a dinner of simple light.
Sometimes the parliament,
when all question whether
to pay some rose,
is found burning.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 7 May 1662.

This morning I got my seat set up on the leads, which pleases me well. So to the office, and thence to the Change, but could not meet with my uncle Wight. So home to dinner and then out again to several places to pay money and to understand my debts, and so home and walked with my wife on the leads, and so to supper and to bed.
I find it a hard matter to settle to business after so much leisure and pleasure.

My seat
pleases me, but not
to stand and walk.
A hard matter
is pleasure.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 6 May 1662.

(Lord’s day). Lay long talking with my wife, then Mr. Holliard came to me and let me blood, about sixteen ounces, I being exceedingly full of blood and very good. I begun to be sick; but lying upon my back I was presently well again, and did give him 5s. for his pains, and so we parted, and I, to my chamber to write down my journall from the beginning of my late journey to this house.
Dined well, and after dinner, my arm tied up with a black ribbon, I walked with my wife to my brother Tom’s; our boy waiting on us with his sword, which this day he begins to wear, to outdo Sir W. Pen’s boy, who this day, and Sir W. Batten’s too, begin to wear new livery; but I do take mine to be the neatest of them all.
I led my wife to Mrs. Turner’s pew, and the church being full, it being to hear a Doctor who is to preach a probacion sermon, I went out to the Temple and there walked, and so when church was done went to Mrs. Turner’s, and after a stay there, my wife and I walked to Grays Inn, to observe fashions of the ladies, because of my wife’s making some clothes. Thence homewards, and called in at Antony Joyce’s, where we found his wife brought home sick from church, and was in a convulsion fit. So home and to Sir W. Pen’s and there supped, and so to prayers at home and to bed.

long in my blood
full of blood sick
lying on my back
in pain my arm tied up
my waiting word

and I hear a doctor
reach out and turn
to ash


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 4 May 1662.

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