Dave Bonta

Up pretty betimes, and after eating something, we set out and I (being willing thereto) went by a mistake with them to St. Ives, and there, it being known that it was their nearer way to London, I took leave of them there, they going straight to London and I to Brampton, where I find my father ill in bed still, and Madam Norbery (whom and her fair daughter and sister I was ashamed to kiss, but did, my lip being sore with riding in the wind and bit with the gnatts), lately come to town, come to see my father and mother, and they after a little stay being gone, I told my father my success. And after dinner my wife and I took horse, and rode with marvellous, and the first and only hour of, pleasure, that ever I had in this estate since I had to do with it, to Brampton woods; and through the wood rode, and gathered nuts in my way, and then at Graffam to an old woman’s house to drink, where my wife used to go; and being in all circumstances highly pleased, and in my wife’s riding and good company at this time, I rode, and she showed me the river behind my father’s house, which is very pleasant, and so saw her home, and I straight to Huntingdon, and there met Mr. Shepley and to the Crown (having sent home my horse by Stankes), and there a barber came and trimmed me, and thence walked to Hinchingbroke, where my Lord and ladies all are just alighted. And so I in among them, and my Lord glad to see me, and the whole company. Here I staid and supped with them, and after a good stay talking, but yet observing my Lord not to be so mightily ingulphed in his pleasure in the country as I expected and hoped, I took leave of them, and after a walk in the courtyard in the dark with Mr. Howe, who tells me that my Lord do not enjoy himself and please himself as he used to do, but will hasten up to London, and that he is resolved to go to Chelsey again, which we are heartily grieved for and studious how to prevent if it be possible, I took horse, there being one appointed for me, and a groom to attend me, and so home, where my wife staid up and sister for me, and so to bed, troubled for what I hear of my Lord.

a moth in the woods is her own light

serving not the expected dark joy

but haste and a heart studious to be a room


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 19 September 1663.

Up, and got our people together as soon as we could; and after eating a dish of cold cream, which was my supper last night too, we took leave of our beggarly company, though they seem good people, too; and over most sad Fenns, all the way observing the sad life which the people of the place which if they be born there, they do call the Breedlings’ of the place, do live, sometimes rowing from one spot to another, and then wadeing, to Wisbeach, a pretty town, and a fine church and library, where sundry very old abbey manuscripts; and a fine house, built on the church ground by Secretary Thurlow, and a fine gallery built for him in the church, but now all in the Bishop of Ely’s hands. After visiting the church, &c., we went out of the towne, by the help of a stranger, to find out one Blinkhorne, a miller, of whom we might inquire something of old Day’s disposal of his estate, and in whose hands it now is; and by great chance we met him, and brought him to our inn to dinner; and instead of being informed in his estate by this fellow, we find that he is the next heir to the estate, which was matter, of great sport to my cozen Thomas and me, to see such a fellow prevent us in our hopes, he being Day’s brother’s, daughter’s son, whereas we are but his sister’s sons and grandsons; so that, after all, we were fain to propose our matter to him, and to get him to give us leave to look after the business, and so he to have one-third part, and we two to have the other two-third parts, of what should be recovered of the estate, which he consented to; and after some discourse and paying the reckoning, we mounted again, and rode, being very merry at our defeat, to Chatteris, my uncle very weary, and after supper, and my telling of three stories, to their good liking, of spirits, we all three in a chamber went to bed.

a beggar in the library
dry old manuscripts of hands

in the church of no chance
we find him telling stories to the spirits


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 18 September 1663.

Up, and my father being gone to bed ill last night and continuing so this morning, I was forced to come to a new consideration, whether it was fit for to let my uncle and his son go to Wisbeach about my uncle Day’s estate alone or no, and concluded it unfit; and so resolved to go with them myself, leaving my wife there, I begun a journey with them, and with much ado, through the fens, along dikes, where sometimes we were ready to have our horses sink to the belly, we got by night, with great deal of stir and hard riding, to Parson’s Drove, a heathen place, where I found my uncle and aunt Perkins, and their daughters, poor wretches! in a sad, poor thatched cottage, like a poor barn, or stable, peeling of hemp, in which I did give myself good content to see their manner of preparing of hemp; and in a poor condition of habitt took them to our miserable inn, and there, after long stay, and hearing of Frank, their son, the miller, play, upon his treble, as he calls it, with which he earns part of his living, and singing of a country bawdy song, we sat down to supper; the whole crew, and Frank’s wife and child, a sad company, of which I was ashamed, supped with us. And after supper I, talking with my aunt about her report concerning my uncle Day’s will and surrender, I found her in such different reports from what she writes and says to the people, and short of what I expected, that I fear little will be done of good in it. By and by newes is brought to us that one of our horses is stole out of the stable, which proves my uncle’s, at which I am inwardly glad — I mean, that it was not mine; and at this we were at a great loss; and they doubting a person that lay at next door, a Londoner, some lawyer’s clerk, we caused him to be secured in his bed, and other care to be taken to seize the horse; and so about twelve at night or more, to bed in a sad, cold, nasty chamber, only the mayde was indifferent handsome, and so I had a kiss or two of her, and I to bed, and a little after I was asleep they waked me to tell me that the horse was found, which was good newes, and so to sleep till the morning, but was bit cruelly, and nobody else of our company, which I wonder at, by the gnatts.

I come with my gun
and the belly of a heathen

hatch like a sad will
in some lawyer’s indifferent hands

kiss her and go to sleep
bit cruelly by gnats


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 17 September 1663.

Up betimes, and with my wife to Hinchingbroke to see my Lady, she being to go to my Lord this morning, and there I left her, and so back to the Court, and heard Sir R. Bernard’s charges to the Courts Baron and Leete, which took up till noon, and were worth hearing, and after putting my business into some way, went home to my father’s to dinner, and after dinner to the Court, where Sir Robert and his son came again by and by, and then to our business, and my father and I having given bond to him for the 21l. Piggott owed him, my uncle Thomas did quietly admit himself and surrender to us the lands first mortgaged for our whole debt, and Sir Robert added to it what makes it up 209l., to be paid in six months. But when I came to give him an account of more lands to be surrendered to us, wherein Piggott’s wife was concerned, and she there to give her consent, Sir Robert would not hear of it, but began to talk very high that we were very cruel, and we had caution enough for our money, and he could not in conscience let the woman do it, and reproached my uncle, both he and his son, with taking use upon use for this money. To all which I did give him such answers and spoke so well, and kept him so to it, that all the Court was silent to hear us, and by report since do confess they did never hear the like in the place. But he by a wile had got our bond, and I was content to have as much as I could though I could not get all, and so took Piggott’s surrender of them without his wife, and by Sir Robert’s own consent did tell the Court that if the money were not paid in the time, and the security prove not sufficient, I would conclude myself wronged by Sir Robert, which he granted I should do.
This kept us till night, but am heartily glad it ended so well on my uncle’s part, he doing that and Prior’s little house very willingly. So the Court broke up, and my father and Mr. Shepley and I to Gorrum’s to drink, and then I left them, and to the Bull, where my uncle was to hear what he and the people said of our business, and here nothing but what liked me very well. So by and by home and to supper, and with my mind in pretty good quiett, to bed.

morning put me into debt
I surrendered my answers

silent as money this heart
little bull in a well


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 16 September 1663.

Up pretty betimes and rode as far as Godmanchester, Mr. Moore having two falls, once in water and another in dirt, and there ‘light and eat and drunk, being all of us very weary, but especially my uncle and wife. Thence to Brampton to my father’s, and there found all well, but not sensible how they ought to treat my uncle and his son, at least till the Court be over, which vexed me, but on my counsel they carried it fair to them; and so my father, cozen Thomas, and I up to Hinchingbroke, where I find my Lord and his company gone to Boughton, which vexed me; but there I find my Lady and the young ladies, and there I alone with my Lady two hours, she carrying me through every part of the house and gardens, which are, and will be, mighty noble indeed. Here I saw Mrs. Betty Pickering, who is a very well-bred and comely lady, but very fat. Thence, without so much as drinking, home with my father and cozen, who staid for me, and to a good supper; after I had had an hour’s talk with my father abroad in the fields, wherein he begun to talk very highly of my promises to him of giving him the profits of Sturtlow, as if it were nothing that I give him out of my purse, and that he would have me to give this also from myself to my brothers and sister; I mean Brampton and all, I think: I confess I was angry to hear him talk in that manner, and took him up roundly in it, and advised him if he could not live upon 50l. per ann., which was another part of his discourse, that he would think to come and live at Tom’s again, where 50l. per ann. will be a good addition to Tom’s trade, and I think that must be done when all is done. But my father spoke nothing more of it all the time I was in the country, though at the time he seemed to like it well enough. I also spoke with Piggott too this evening before I went in to supper, and doubt that I shall meet with some knots in my business to-morrow before I can do it at the Court, but I shall do my best.
After supper my uncle and his son to Stankes’s to bed, which troubles me, all our father’s beds being lent to Hinchingbroke, and so my wife and I to bed, she very weary.

dirt-drunk I find company
in the fields

giving nothing roundly
I live like a pig or a knot


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 15 September 1663.

Up betimes, and my wife’s mind and mine holding for her going, so she to get her ready, and I abroad to do the like for myself, and so home, and after setting every thing at my office and at home in order, by coach to Bishop’s Gate, it being a very promising fair day. There at the Dolphin we met my uncle Thomas and his son-in-law, which seems a very sober man, and Mr. Moore. So Mr. Moore and my wife set out before, and my uncle and I staid for his son Thomas, who, by a sudden resolution, is preparing to go with us, which makes me fear something of mischief which they design to do us. He staying a great while, the old man and I before, and about eight miles off, his son comes after us, and about six miles further we overtake Mr. Moore and my wife, which makes me mightily consider what a great deal of ground is lost in a little time, when it is to be got up again by another, that is to go his own ground and the other’s too; and so after a little bayte (I paying all the reckonings the whole journey) at Ware, to Buntingford, where my wife, by drinking some cold beer, being hot herself, presently after ‘lighting, begins to be sick, and became so pale, and I alone with her in a great chamber there, that I thought she would have died, and so in great horror, and having a great tryall of my true love and passion for her, called the mayds and mistresse of the house, and so with some strong water, and after a little vomit, she came to be pretty well again; and so to bed, and I having put her to bed with great content, I called in my company, and supped in the chamber by her, and being very merry in talk, supped and then parted, and I to bed and lay very well. This day my cozen Thomas dropped his hanger, and it was lost.

old like a gate is old
miles of ground lost to it

reckoning the whole hot present
a trial of little art


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 14 September 1663.

…so that Griffin was fain to carry it to Westminster to go by express, and my other letters of import to my father and elsewhere could not go at all. To bed between one and two and slept till 8, and lay talking till 9 with great pleasure with my wife. So up and put my clothes in order against tomorrow’s journey, and then at noon at dinner, and all the afternoon almost playing and discoursing with my wife with great content, and then to my office there to put papers in order against my going. And by and by comes my uncle Wight to bid us to dinner to-morrow to a haunch of venison I sent them yesterday, given me by Mr. Povy, but I cannot go, but my wife will.
Then into the garden to read my weekly vows, and then home, where at supper saying to my wife, in ordinary fondness, “Well! shall you and I never travel together again?” she took me up and offered and desired to go along with me. I thinking by that means to have her safe from harm’s way at home here, was willing enough to feign, and after some difficulties made did send about for a horse and other things, and so I think she will go. So, in a hurry getting myself and her things ready, to bed.

west of elsewhere
slept in my clothes

a journey on paper where
I travel along harm’s way

feign difficulties and hurry
myself to bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 13 September 1663.

Up betimes, and by water to White Hall; and thence to Sir Philip Warwick, and there had half an hour’s private discourse with him; and did give him some good satisfaction in our Navy matters, and he also me, as to the money paid and due to the Navy; so as he makes me assured by particulars, that Sir G. Carteret is paid within 80,000l. every farthing that we to this day, nay to Michaelmas day next have demanded; and that, I am sure, is above 50,000l. more than truly our expenses have been, whatever is become of the money.
Home with great content that I have thus begun an acquaintance with him, who is a great man, and a man of as much business as any man in England; which I will endeavour to deserve and keep.
Thence by water to my office, in here all the morning, and so to the ‘Change at noon, and there by appointment met and bring home my uncle Thomas, who resolves to go with me to Brampton on Monday next. I wish he may hold his mind. I do not tell him, and yet he believes that there is a Court to be that he is to do some business for us there. The truth is I do find him a much more cunning fellow than I ever took him for, nay in his very drink he has his wits about him.
I took him home to dinner, and after dinner he began, after a glass of wine or two, to exclaim against Sir G. Carteret and his family in Jersey, bidding me to have a care of him, and how high, proud, false, and politique a fellow he is, and how low he has been under his command in the island.
After dinner, and long discourse, he went away to meet on Monday morning, and I to my office, and thence by water to White Hall and Westminster Hall about several businesses, and so home, and to my office writing a laborious letter about our last account to my Lord Treasurer, which took me to one o’clock in the morning,

private as a fart
this man of money

to keep his wit in
an after-dinner glass

and his family in a false
laborious account


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 12 September 1663.

This morning, about two or three o’clock, knocked up in our back yard, and rising to the window, being moonshine, I found it was the constable and his watch, who had found our back yard door open, and so came in to see what the matter was. So I desired them to shut the door, and bid them good night, and so to bed again, and at 6 o’clock up and a while to my vyall, and then to the office, where all the morning upon the victualler’s accounts, and then with him to dinner at the Dolphin, where I eat well but drank no wine neither; which keeps me in such good order that I am mightily pleased with myself for it. Hither Mr. Moore came to me, and he and I home and advised about business, and so after an hour’s examining the state of the Navy debts lately cast up, I took coach to Sir Philip Warwick’s, but finding Sir G. Carteret there I did not go in, but directly home, again, it raining hard, having first of all been with Creed and Mrs. Harper about a cook maid, and am like to have one from Creed’s lodging. In my way home visited my Lord Crew and Sir Thomas, thinking they might have enquired by the by of me touching my Lord’s matters at Chelsey, but they said nothing, and so after some slight common talk I bid them good night.
At home to my office, and after a while doing business home to supper and bed.

knocked up
rising to the window
moon
shine on her lip like
a light supper


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 11 September 1663.

Up betimes and to my office, and there sat all the morning making a great contract with Sir W. Warren for 3,000l. worth of masts; but, good God! to see what a man might do, were I a knave, the whole business from beginning to end being done by me out of the office, and signed to by them upon the once reading of it to them, without the least care or consultation either of quality, price, number, or need of them, only in general that it was good to have a store. But I hope my pains was such, as the King has the best bargain of masts has been bought these 27 years in this office.
Dined at home and then to my office again, many people about business with me, and then stepped a little abroad about business to the Wardrobe, but missed Mr. Moore, and elswhere, and in my way met Mr. Moore, who tells me of the good peace that is made at Tangier with the Moores, but to continue but from six months to six months, and that the Mole is laid out, and likely to be done with great ease and successe, we to have a quantity of ground for our cattle about the town to our use.
To my office late, and then home to supper, after writing letters, and to bed.
This day our cook maid (we having no luck in maids now-adays), which was likely to prove a good servant, though none of the best cooks, fell sick and is gone to her friends, having been with us but 4 days.

what might I sign to once
without the least care or need

it was good to have an office
many people to moo

and my way laid out
like ground for cattle to use


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 10 September 1663.