Dave Bonta

Up very early, and up about seeing how my work proceeds, and am pretty well pleased therewith; especially my wife’s closet will be very pretty. So to the office and there very busy, and many people coming to me. At noon to the Change, and there hear of some Quakers that are seized on, that would have blown up the prison in Southwark where they are put. So to the Swan, in Old Fish Street, where Mr. Brigden and his father-in-law, Blackbury, of whom we had bought timber in the office, but have not dealt well with us, did make me a fine dinner only to myself; and after dinner comes in a jugler, which shewed us very pretty tricks. I seemed very pleasant, but am no friend to the man’s dealings with us in the office. After an hour or two sitting after dinner talking about office business, where I had not spent any time a great while, I went to Paul’s Church Yard to my bookseller’s; and there I hear that next Sunday will be the last of a great many Presbyterian ministers in town, who, I hear, will give up all. I pray God the issue may be good, for the discontent is great. Home and to my office till 9 at night doing business, and so to bed. My mind well pleased with a letter I found at home from Mr. Coventry, expressing his satisfaction in a letter I writ last night, and sent him this morning, to be corrected by him in order to its sending down to all the Yards as a charge to them.

an old fish
I have my dinner in a jug

talking about ice
and who will give up all
for the oven


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 15 August 1662.

Up early and to look on my works, and find my house to go on apace. So to my office to prepare business, and then we met and sat till noon, and then Commissioner Pett and I being invited, went by Sir John Winter’s coach sent for us, to the Mitre, in Fenchurch street, to a venison-pasty; where I found him a very worthy man; and good discourse. Most of which was concerning the Forest of Dean, and the timber there, and iron-workes with their great antiquity, and the vast heaps of cinders which they find, and are now of great value, being necessary for the making of iron at this day; and without which they cannot work: with the age of many trees there left at a great fall in Edward the Third’s time, by the name of forbid-trees, which at this day are called vorbid trees.
Thence to my office about business till late, and so home and to bed.

winter forest—
the vast iron-work of time called trees


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 14 August 1662.

Up early, and to my office, where people come to me about business, and by and by we met on purpose to enquire into the business of the flag-makers, where I am the person that do chiefly manage the business against them on the King’s part; and I do find it the greatest cheat that I have yet found; they having eightpence per yard allowed them by pretence of a contract, where no such thing appears; and it is threepence more than was formerly paid, and than I now offer the Board to have them done. We did not fully end it, but refer it to another time.
At noon Commr. Pett and I by water to Greenwich, and on board the pleasure-boats to see what they wanted, they being ordered to sea, and very pretty things I still find them, and so on shore and at the Shipp had a bit of meat and dined, there waiting upon us a barber of Mr. Pett’s acquaintance that plays very well upon the viollin. Thence to Lambeth; and there saw the little pleasure-boat in building by the King, my Lord Brunkard, and the virtuosoes of the town, according to new lines, which Mr. Pett cries up mightily, but how it will prove we shall soon see.
So by water home, and busy at my study late, drawing a letter to the yards of reprehension and direction for the board to sign, in which I took great pains. So home and to bed.

the flag-makers manage
a great cheat

nothing appears
but sea and shore

in the virtuoso lines
drawing yards of pain


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 13 August 1662.

Up early at my office, and I find all people beginning to come to me. Among others Mr. Deane, the Assistant of Woolwich, who I find will discover to me the whole abuse that his Majesty suffers in the measuring of timber, of which I shall be glad. He promises me also a modell of a ship, which will please me exceedingly, for I do want one of my own. By and by we sat, and among other things Sir W. Batten and I had a difference about his clerk’s making a warrant for a Maister, which I would not suffer, but got another signed, which he desires may be referred to a full board, and I am willing to it. But though I did get another signed of my own clerk’s, yet I will give it to his clerk, because I would not be judged unkind, and though I will stand upon my privilege. At noon home and to dinner alone, and so to the office again where busy all the afternoon till 10 o’clock at night, and so to supper and to bed, my mind being a little disquieted about Sir W. Batten’s dispute to-day, though this afternoon I did speak with his man Norman at last, and told him the reason of my claim.

I discover in the timber
a ship of my own

full of night
quiet and old


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 12 August 1662.

(Lord’s day). Being to dine at my brother’s, I walked to St. Dunstan’s, the church being now finished; and here I heard Dr. Bates, who made a most eloquent sermon; and I am sorry I have hitherto had so low an opinion of the man, for I have not heard a neater sermon a great while, and more to my content. So to Tom’s, where Dr. Fairebrother, newly come from Cambridge, met me, and Dr. Thomas Pepys. I framed myself as pleasant as I could, but my mind was another way. Hither came my uncle Fenner, hearing that I was here, and spoke to me about Pegg Kite’s business of her portion, which her husband demands, but I will have nothing to do with it. I believe he has no mind to part with the money out of his hands, but let him do what he will with it. He told me the new service-book (which is now lately come forth) was laid upon their deske at St. Sepulchre’s for Mr. Gouge to read; but he laid it aside, and would not meddle with it: and I perceive the Presbyters do all prepare to give over all against Bartholomew-tide.
Mr. Herring, being lately turned out at St. Bride’s, did read the psalm to the people while they sung at Dr. Bates’s, which methought is a strange turn.
After dinner to St. Bride’s, and there heard one Carpenter, an old man, who, they say, hath been a Jesuit priest, and is come over to us; but he preaches very well. So home with Mrs. Turner, and there hear that Mr. Calamy hath taken his farewell this day of his people, and that others will do so the next Sunday. Mr. Turner, the draper, I hear, is knighted, made Alderman, and pricked for Sheriffe, with Sir Thomas Bluddel, for the next year, by the King, and so are called with great honour the King’s Sheriffes.
Thence walked home, meeting Mr. Moore by the way, and he home with me and walked till it was dark in the garden, and so good night, and I to my closet in my office to perfect my Journall and to read my solemn vows, and so to bed.

My mind was
another ear
with no one
to read to it,
an ache taken
for a walk.

It was dark
in my closet.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 10 August 1662.

Up by four o’clock or a little after, and to my office, whither by and by comes Cooper, to whom I told my getting for him the Reserve, for which he was very thankful, and fell to work upon our modell, and did a good morning’s work upon the rigging, and am very sorry that I must lose him so soon. By and by comes Mr. Coventry, and he and I alone sat at the office all the morning upon business. And so to dinner to Trinity House, and thence by his coach towards White Hall; but there being a stop at the Savoy, we ‘light and took water, and my Lord Sandwich being out of town, we parted there, all the way having good discourse, and in short I find him the most ingenuous person I ever found in my life, and am happy in his acquaintance and my interest in him. Home by water, and did business at my office. Writing a letter to my brother John to dissuade him from being Moderator of his year, which I hear is proffered him, of which I am very glad. By and by comes Cooper, and he and I by candlelight at my modell, being willing to learn as much of him as is possible before he goes.
So home and to bed.

Up by four o’clock,
a little office out of town—
writing by candlelight
my ode to as much as possible.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 9 August 1662.

Up by four o’clock in the morning, and at five by water to Woolwich, there to see the manner of tarring, and all the morning looking to see the several proceedings in making of cordage, and other things relating to that sort of works, much to my satisfaction. At noon came Mr. Coventry on purpose from Hampton Court to see the same, and dined with Mr. Falconer, and after dinner to several experiments of Hemp, and particularly some Milan hemp that is brought over ready dressed.
Thence we walked talking, very good discourse all the way to Greenwich, and I do find most excellent discourse from him. Among other things, his rule of suspecting every man that proposes any thing to him to be a knave; or, at least, to have some ends of his own in it. Being led thereto by the story of Sir John Millicent, that would have had a patent from King James for every man to have had leave to have given him a shilling; and that he might take it of every man that had a mind to give it, and being answered that that was a fair thing, but what needed he a patent for it, and what he would do to them that would not give him. He answered, he would not force them; but that they should come to the Council of State, to give a reason why they would not.
Another rule is a proverb that he hath been taught, which is that a man that cannot sit still in his chamber (the reason of which I did not understand him), and he that cannot say no (that is, that is of so good a nature that he cannot deny any thing, or cross another in doing any thing), is not fit for business. The last of which is a very great fault of mine, which I must amend in.
Thence by boat; I being hot, he put the skirt of his cloak about me; and it being rough, he told me the passage of a Frenchman through London Bridge, where, when he saw the great fall, he begun to cross himself and say his prayers in the greatest fear in the world, and soon as he was over, he swore “Morbleu! c’est le plus grand plaisir du monde,” being the most like a French humour in the world.
To Deptford, and there surprised the Yard, and called them to a muster, and discovered many abuses, which we shall be able to understand hereafter and amend. Thence walked to Redriffe, and so to London Bridge, where I parted with him, and walked home and did a little business, and to supper and to bed.

Any man might give
to them that would not give,
but a man that cannot sit still
in his chamber
is not fit for the cross,
like a world surprised to discover
a hereafter.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 8 August 1662.

Up by four o’clock and to my office, and by and by Mr. Cooper comes and to our modell, which pleases me more and more. At this till 8 o’clock, and so we sat in the office and staid all the morning, my interest still growing, for which God be praised. This morning I got unexpectedly the Reserve for Mr. Cooper to be maister of, which was only by taking an opportune time to motion, which is one good effect of my being constant at the office, that nothing passes without me; and I have the choice of my own time to propose anything I would have. Dined at home, and to the office again at my business all the afternoon till night, and so to supper and to bed. It being become a pleasure to me now-a-days to follow my business, and the greatest part may be imputed to my drinking no wine, and going to no plays.

My clock
is the only tune.
Nothing passes without time—
no days,
no wine.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 7 August 1662.