Dave Bonta

At my office all the morning, and at noon to the Exchange, where meeting Mr. Moore and Mr. Stucky, of the Wardrobe, we to an ordinary to dinner, and after dinner Mr. Moore and I about 3 o’clock to Paul’s school, to wait upon Mr. Crumlum (Mr. Moore having a hopeful lad, a kinsman of his, there at school), who we take very luckily, and went up to his chamber with him, where there was also an old fellow student of Mr. Crumlum’s, one Mr. Newell, come to see him, of whom he made so much, and of me, that the truth is he with kindness did drink more than I believe he used to do, and did begin to be a little impertinent, the more when after all he would in the evening go forth with us and give us a bottle of wine abroad, and at the tavern met with an acquaintance of his that did occasion impertinent discourse, that though I honour the man, and he do declare abundance of learning and worth, yet I confess my opinion is much lessened of him, and therefore let it be a caution to myself not to love drink, since it has such an effect upon others of greater worth in my own esteem. I could not avoid drinking of 5 glasses this afternoon with him, and after I had parted with him Mr. Moore and I to my house, and after we had eaten something to my lodgings, where the master of the house, a very ordinary fellow, was ready to entertain me and took me into his dining-room where his wife was, a pretty and notable lady, too fine surely for him, and too much wit too. Here I was forced to stay with them a good while and did drink again, there being friends of theirs with them. At last being weary of his idle company, I bid good-night and so to my chamber and Mr. [Moore] and I to bed, neither of us well pleased with our afternoon’s work, merely from our being witnesses of Mr. Crumlum’s weakness.
This day my boy is come from Brampton, and my wife I think the next week.

An ordinary clock at school
made so much of
that the truth and I begin
to be impertinent!
Though I honor learning,
let it be a caution to myself—
since it has such an effect on others—
not to master too much.
To stay with them
in their good night
as a witness.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 17 September 1662.

Up and to my workmen, and then to the office, and there we sat till noon; then to the Exchange, and in my way met with the housekeeper of this office, and he did give me so good an account of my chamber in my house about which I am so much troubled that I am well at ease in my mind. At my office all the afternoon alone. In the evening Sir J. M. and I walked together a good while in the garden, very pleasant, and takes no notice that he do design any further trouble to me about my house. At night eat a bit of bread and cheese, and so to my lodgings and to bed, my mind ill at ease for these particulars: my house in dirt, and like to lose my best chamber. My wife writes me from the country that she is not pleased there with my father nor mother, nor any of her servants, and that my boy is turned a very rogue. I have 30l. to pay to the cavaliers: then a doubt about my being forced to leave all my business here, when I am called to the court at Brampton; and lastly, my law businesses, which vex me to my heart what I shall be able to do next term, which is near at hand.

my work is in
my mind alone

I walk a while in the garden
and take no notice

eat a bit of bread and dirt
like a country with no mother

and then doubt
I am called to art…


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 16 September 1662.

Up betimes to meet with the plasterer and bricklayer that did first divide our lodgings, and they do both tell me that my chamber now in dispute did ever belong to my lodgings, which do put me into good quiet of mind.
So by water with Sir Wm. Pen to White Hall; and, with much ado, was fain to walk over the piles through the bridge, while Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes were aground against the bridge, and could not in a great while get through. At White Hall we hear that the Duke of York is gone a-hunting to-day; and so we returned: they going to the Duke of Albemarle’s, where I left them (after I had observed a very good picture or two there), and so home, and there did resolve to give up my endeavours for access to the leads, and to shut up my doors lest the being open might give them occasion of longing for my chamber, which I am in most fear about.
So to Deptford, and took my Lady Batten and her daughter and Mrs. Turner along with me, they being going through the garden thither, they to Mr. Unthwayte’s and I to the Pay, and then about 3 o’clock went to dinner (Sir W. Pen and I), and after dinner to the Pay again, and at night by barge home all together, and so to my lodgings and to bed, my mind full of trouble about my house.

time to meet with the plaster and brick
that belong to my lodgings

quiet as the ground
I go shut my doors

being open might give longing a home


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 15 September 1662.

(Lord’s day). Up very early, and Mr. Moore taking leave of me the barber came and trimmed me (I having him now to come to me again after I have used a pumice-stone a good while, not but what I like this where I cannot conveniently have a barber, but here I cannot keep my hair dry without one), and so by water to White Hall, by the way hearing that the Bishop of London had given a very strict order against boats going on Sundays, and as I come back again, we were examined by the masters of the company in another boat; but I told them who I was. But the door not being open to Westminster stairs there, called in at the Legg and drank a cup of ale and a toast, which I have not done many a month before, but it served me for my two glasses of wine to-day. Thence to St. James’s to Mr. Coventry, and there staid talking privately with him an hour in his chamber of the business of our office, and found him to admiration good and industrious, and I think my most true friend in all things that are fair. He tells me freely his mind of every man and in every thing.
Thence to White Hall chapel, where sermon almost done, and I heard Captain Cooke’s new musique. This the first day of having vialls and other instruments to play a symphony between every verse of the anthem; but the musique more full than it was the last Sunday, and very fine it is. But yet I could discern Captain Cooke to overdo his part at singing, which I never did before. Thence up into the Queen’s presence, and there saw the Queen again as I did last Sunday, and some fine ladies with her; but, my troth, not many.
Thence to Sir G. Carteret’s, and find him to have sprained his foot and is lame, but yet hath been at chappell, and my Lady much troubled for one of her daughters that is sick. I dined with them, and a very pretty lady, their kinswoman, with them. My joy is, that I do think I have good hold on Sir George and Mr. Coventry. Sir George told me of a chest of drawers that were given Sir W. B. by Hughes the rope-maker, whom he has since put out of his employment, and now the fellow do cry out upon Sir W. for his cabinet. So home again by water and to church, and from church Sir Williams both and Sir John Minnes into the garden, and anon Sir W. Pen and I did discourse about my lodgings and Sir J. Minnes, and I did open all my mind to him, and he told me what he had heard, and I do see that I shall hardly keep my best lodging chamber, which troubles me, but I did send for Goodenough the plasterer, who tells me that it did ever belong to my lodgings, but lent by Mr. Payles to Mr. Smith, and so I will strive hard for it before I lose it.
So to supper with them at Sir W. Batten’s, and do counterfeit myself well pleased, but my heart is troubled and offended at the whole company. So to my office to prepare notes to read to the Duke to-morrow morning, and so to my lodgings and to bed, my mind a little eased because I am resolved to know the worst concerning my lodgings tomorrow.
Among other things Sir W. Pen did tell me of one of my servants looking into Sir J. Minnes’ window when my Lady Batten lay there, which do much trouble them, and me also, and I fear will wholly occasion my loosing the leads. One thing more he told me of my Jane’s cutting off a carpenter’s long mustacho, and how the fellow cried, and his wife would not come near him a great while, believing that he had been among some of his wenches. At which I was merry, though I perceive they discourse of it as a crime of hers, which I understand not.

I have used a stone
as a boat, but found
it was never very good
in the water.
No open mind shall keep
my best troubles.
I send for the plasterer
to counterfeit a heart.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 14 September 1662.

Up betimes and to my office, and we sat all the morning, and then at noon dined alone at home, and so among my work folks studying how to get my way sure to me to go upon the leads, which I fear at last I must be contented to go without, but, however, my mind is troubled still about it. We met again in the afternoon to set accounts even between the King and the masters of ships hired to carry provisions to Lisbon, and in the evening Mr. Moore came to me and did lie with me at my lodgings. It is great pleasure to me his company and discourse, and did talk also about my law business, which I must now fall upon minding again, the term coming on apace. So to bed.

We sat
all morning
among the asters.

Red visions
in the evening
came to fall.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 13 September 1662.

Up betimes and to my office, and up to my workmen, which goes on slowly and troubles me much. Besides, my mind is troubled till I see how Sir John Minnes will carry himself to me about my lodgings, for all my fear is that he will get my best chamber from me, for as for the leads I care not a farthing for them.
At my office all the morning, Mr. Lewes teaching me to understand the method of making up Purser’s accounts, which is very needful for me and very hard. Dined at home all in dirt, and my mind weary of being thus out of order, but I hope in God it will away, but for the present I am very melancholy, as I have been a great while.
All the afternoon till 9 at night at my office, and then home and eat an egg or two, and so to my lodgings and to bed.
This day, by letters from my father, I hear that Captain Ferrers, who is with my Lord in the country, was at Brampton (with Mr. Creed) to see him; and that a day or two ago, being provoked to strike one of my Lord’s footmen, the footman drew his sword, and hath almost cut the fingers of one of his hands off; which I am sorry for: but this is the vanity of being apt to command and strike.

slow as an out-of-order god
melancholy as an egg
this fat country
of my foot


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 12 September 1662.

Up, but not so soon as I have of late practised, my little trouble of mind and the shortness of the days making me to lie a little longer than I used to do, but I must make it up by sitting up longer of nights. To my office, whither my brother Tom, whom I chide sufficiently for yesterday’s work. So we sat at the office all the morning, some of us at Deptford paying the ordinary there; at noon Sir W. Pen took me to his lodgings to dinner, and after dinner I to my office again, and now and then to see how my work goes on, and so to my office late, and so to my lodgings, and after staying up till past 12 at night, at my musique upon my lute, to bed. This night Tom came to show me a civil letter sent him from his mistress. I am pleased well enough with the business.

my little trouble
making me lie at the office—
morning mist


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 11 September 1662.

Up and to my house, and there contrived a way how Sir John Minnes shall come into the leads, and yet I save part of the closet I hoped for, which, if it will not please him, I am a madman to be troubled at it.
To my office, and then at my house among my lazy workmen all day. In the afternoon to the Wardrobe to speak with Mr. Townsend, who tells me that he has spoke with Mr. Young about my brother Tom’s business, and finds that he has made enquiry of him, and do hear him so well spoken of that he doubts not that the business will take with ordinary endeavours. So to my brother’s, and there finding both door and hatch open, I went in and knocked 3 or 4 times, and nobody came to me, which troubled me mightily; at last came Margaret, who complained of Peter, who by and by came in, and I did rattle him soundly for it.
I did afterwards take occasion to talk seriously alone with Margaret, who I find a very discreet, good woman, and tells me, upon my demand, that her master is a very good husband, and minds his business well, but his fault is that he has not command over his two men, but they do what they list, and care not for his commands, and especially on Sundays they go whither they please, and not to church, which vexes me mightily, and I am resolved to school [him] soundly for it, it being so much unlike my father, that I cannot endure it in myself or him.
So walked home and in my way at the Exchange found my uncle Wight, and he and I to an alehouse to drink a cup of beer, and so away, and I home and at the office till 9 o’clock and past, and so to my lodgings.
I forgot that last night Mr. Cooke came to me to make his peace for inviting my brother lately out of town without my leave, but he do give me such a character of the lady that he has found out for him that I do much rejoice at, and did this night write a letter to her, which he enclosed in one of his, and by the report that I hear of her I confess I am much pleased with the match.

I am a madman
at war with my doubts

the door open
I knock three or four times

and talk alone at church
like a letter to a match


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 10 September 1662.

At my office betimes, and by and by we sat, and at noon Mr. Coventry, Sir J. Minnes, Mr. Pett, and myself by water to Deptford, where we met Sir G. C., Sir W. B., and Sir W. P. at the pay of a ship, and we dined together on a haunch of good venison boiled, and after dinner returned again to the office, and there met several tradesmen by our appointment to know of them their lowest rates that they will take for their several provisions that they sell to us, for I do resolve to know that, and to buy no dearer, that so when we know the lowest rate, it shall be the Treasurer’s fault, and not ours, that we pay dearer.
This afternoon Sir John Minnes, Mr. Coventry, and I went into Sir John’s lodgings, where he showed us how I have blinded all his lights, and stopped up his garden door, and other things he takes notice of that he resolves to abridge me of, which do vex me so much that for all this evening and all night in my bed, so great a fool I am, and little master of my passion, that I could not sleep for the thoughts of my losing the privilege of the leads, and other things which in themselves are small and not worth half the trouble. The more fool am I, and must labour against it for shame, especially I that used to preach up Epictetus’s rule: τὰ ἐφ ἡμῖν κἰ τἀ οὐχ ἐφ ἡμῖν.
Late at my office, troubled in mind, and then to bed, but could hardly sleep at night.

we pay in good oil
for the visions they sell to us:

I now know
how blind I am

my thoughts are small and labor
against the night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 9 September 1662.

Up betimes and to my office preparing an account to give the Duke this morning of what we have of late done at the office. About 7 o’clock I went forth thinking to go along with Sir John Minnes and the rest, and I found them gone, which did vex me, so I went directly to the old Swan and took boat before them to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings at Whitehall, and there staying till he was dressed talking with him, he and I to St. James’s, where Sir Williams both and Sir John were come, and so up with Mr. Coventry to the Duke; who, after he was out of his bed, did send for us in; and, when he was quite ready, took us into his closet, and there told us that he do intend to renew the old custom for the Admirals to have their principal officers to meet them once a-week, to give them an account what they have done that week; which I am glad of: and so the rest did tell his Royal Highness that I could do it best for the time past. And so I produced my short notes, and did give him an account of all that we have of late done; and proposed to him several things for his commands, which he did give us, and so dismissed us. The rest to Deptford, I to the Exchequer to meet Mr. Townsend, where I hear he is gone to the Sun tavern, and there found him with some friends at breakfast, which I eat with him, and so we crossed the water together, and in walking I told him my brother Tom’s intentions for a wife, which he would do me all favour in to Mr. Young, whose kinswoman he do look after. We took boat again at the Falcon, and there parted, and I to the old Swan, and so to the Change, and there meeting Sir W. Warren did step to a tavern, and there sat and talked about price of masts and other things, and so broke up and to my office to see what business, and so we took water again at the Tower.
I over to Redriffe, and there left him in the boat and walked to Deptford, and there up and down the yard speaking with people, and so Sir W. Pen coming out of the payhouse did single me out to tell me Sir J. Minnes’ dislike of my blinding his lights over his stairs (which indeed is very bad) and blocking up the house of office on the leads. Which did trouble me. So I went into the payhouse and took an occasion of speaking with him alone, and did give him good satisfaction therein, so as that I am well pleased and do hope now to have my closet on the leads without any more trouble, for he do not object against my having a door upon the leads, but that all my family should not make it a thoroughfare, which I am contented with.
So to the pay, and in the evening home in the barge, and so to my office, and after doing some business there to my lodgings, and so to bed.

For the old swan,
staying in bed is
the custom; best
to rest where the sun
crossed the water.
To the old swan,
we tower and boat
like blind
stairs of lead.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 8 September 1662.