Dave Bonta

Up and to my office setting papers in order for these two or three days, in which I have been hindered a little, and then having intended this day to go to Banstead Downs to see a famous race, I sent Will to get himself ready to go with me, and I also by and by home and put on my riding suit, and being ready came to the office to Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, and did a little of course at the office this morning, and so by boat to White Hall, where I hear that the race is put off, because the Lords do sit in Parliament to-day. However, having appointed Mr. Creed to come to me to Fox Hall, I went over thither, and after some debate, Creed and I resolved to go to Clapham, to Mr. Gauden’s, who had sent his coach to their place for me because I was to have my horse of him to go to the race. So I went thither by coach and my Will by horse with me; Mr. Creed he went over back again to Westminster to fetch his horse. When I came to Mr. Gauden’s one first thing was to show me his house, which is almost built, wherein he and his family live. I find it very regular and finely contrived, and the gardens and offices about it as convenient and as full of good variety as ever I saw in my life. It is true he hath been censured for laying out so much money; but he tells me that he built it for his brother, who is since dead (the Bishop), who when he should come to be Bishop of Winchester, which he was promised (to which bishoprick at present there is no house), he did intend to dwell here. Besides, with the good husbandry in making his bricks and other things I do not think it costs him so much money as people think and discourse.
By and by to dinner, and in comes Mr. Creed. I saluted Mr. Gauden’s lady, and the young ladies, he having many pretty children, and his sister, the Bishop’s widow; who was, it seems, Sir W. Russel’s daughter, the Treasurer of the Navy; who by her discourse at dinner I find to be very well-bred, and a woman of excellent discourse, even so much as to have my attention all dinner with much more pleasure than I did give to Mr. Creed, whose discourse was mighty merry in inveighing at Mr. Gauden’s victuals that they had at sea the last voyage that he prosecuted, till methought the woman began to take it seriously.
After dinner by Mr. Gauden’s motion we got Mrs. Gauden and her sister to sing to a viall, on which Mr. Gauden’s eldest son (a pretty man, but a simple one methinks) played but very poorly, and the musique bad, but yet I commended it. Only I do find that the ladies have been taught to sing and do sing well now, but that the viall puts them out. I took the viall and played some things from one of their books, Lyra lessons, which they seemed to like well.
Thus we pass an hour or two after dinner and towards the evening we bade them Adieu! and took horse; being resolved that, instead of the race which fails us, we would go to Epsum. So we set out, and being gone a little way I sent home Will to look to the house, and Creed and I rode forward; the road being full of citizens going and coming toward Epsum, where, when we came, we could hear of no lodging, the town so full; but which was better, I went towards Ashted, my old place of pleasure; and there by direction of one goodman Arthur, whom we met on the way, we went to Farmer Page’s, at which direction he and I made good sport, and there we got a lodging in a little hole we could not stand upright in, but rather than go further to look we staid there, and while supper was getting ready I took him to walk up and down behind my cozen Pepys’s house that was, which I find comes little short of what I took it to be when I was a little boy, as things use commonly to appear greater than then when one comes to be a man and knows more, and so up and down in the closes, which I know so well methinks, and account it good fortune that I lie here that I may have opportunity to renew my old walks. It seems there is one Mr. Rouse, they call him the Queen’s Tailor, that lives there now. So to our lodging to supper, and among other meats had a brave dish of cream, the best I ever eat in my life, and with which we pleased ourselves much, and by and by to bed, where, with much ado yet good sport, we made shift to lie, but with little ease, and a little spaniel by us, which has followed us all the way, a pretty dogg, and we believe that follows my horse, and do belong to Mrs. Gauden, which we, therefore, are very careful of.

paper ready to be a little boat
regular and finely contrived

money dead as the house
I intend to dwell in

making bricks
and other poor music

and the books like citizens
old and upright

to a boy things appear greater
than to a man

now I account it good fortune
to follow a dog


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 25 July 1663.

Up pretty early (though of late I have been faulty by an hour or two every morning of what I should do) and by water to the Temple, and there took leave of my cozen Roger Pepys, who goes out of town to-day. So to Westminster Hall, and there at Mrs. Michell’s shop sent for beer and sugar and drink, and made great cheer with it among her and Mrs. Howlett, her neighbour, and their daughters, especially Mrs. Howlett’s daughter, Betty, which is a pretty girl, and one I have long called wife, being, I formerly thought, like my own wife. After this good neighbourhood, which I do to give them occasion of speaking well and commending me in some company that now and then I know comes to their shop, I went to the Six clerks’ office, and there had a writ for Tom Trice, and paid 20s. for it to Wilkinson, and so up and down to many places, among others to the viall maker’s, and there saw the head, which now pleases me mightily, and so home, and being sent for presently to Mr. Bland’s, where Mr. Povy and Gauden and I were invited to dinner, which we had very finely and great plenty, but for drink, though many and good, I drank nothing but small beer and water, which I drank so much that I wish it may not do me hurt.
They had a kinswoman, they call daughter, in the house, a short, ugly, red-haired slut, that plays upon the virginalls, and sings, but after such a country manner I was weary of it, but yet could not but commend it. So by and by after dinner comes Monsr. Gotier, who is beginning to teach her, but, Lord! what a droll fellow it is to make her hold open her mouth, and telling this and that so drolly would make a man burst, but himself I perceive sings very well.
Anon we sat down again to a collacon of cheesecakes, tarts, custards, and such like, very handsome, and so up and away home, where I at the office a while, till disturbed by, Mr. Hill, of Cambridge, with whom I walked in the garden a while, and thence home and then in my dining room walked, talking of several matters of state till 11 at night, giving him a glass of wine.
I was not unwilling to hear him talk, though he is full of words, yet a man of large conversation, especially among the Presbyters and Independents; he tells me that certainly, let the Bishops alone, and they will ruin themselves, and he is confident that the King’s declaration about two years since will be the foundation of the settlement of the Church some time or other, for the King will find it hard to banish all those that will appear Nonconformists upon this Act that is coming out against them.
He being gone, I to bed.

beer and cheer and howl
form a neighborhood

the company of kin and others
a bland plenty

but so much hurt
in an ugly mouth

that sings like a glass ruin
of the church

so hard to banish
all nonconformists


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 24 July 1663.

Up and to my office, and thence by information from Mr. Ackworth I went down to Woolwich, and mustered the three East India ships that lie there, believing that there is greatjuggling between the Pursers and Clerks of the Cheque in cheating the King of the wages and victuals of men that do not give attendance, and I found very few on board.
So to the yard, and there mustered the yard, and found many faults, and discharged several fellows that were absent from their business.
I staid also at Mr. Ackworth’s desire at dinner with him and his wife, and there was a simple fellow, a gentleman I believe of the Court, their kinsman, that made me I could have little discourse or begin acquaintance with Ackworth’s wife: and so after dinner away, with all haste home, and there found Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten at the office, and by Sir W. Batten’s testimony and Sir G. Carteret’s concurrence was forced to consent to a business of Captain Cocke’s timber, as bad as anything we have lately disputed about, and all through Mr. Coventry’s not being with us.
So up and to supper with Sir W. Batten upon a soused mullett, very good meat, and so home and to bed.

information worth a lie
that great juggling of the ages
give it away
as testimony to sin
as bad meat


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 23 July 1663.

Up, and by and by comes my uncle Thomas, to whom I paid 10l. for his last half year’s annuity, and did get his and his son’s hand and seal for the confirming to us Piggott’s mortgage, which was forgot to be expressed in our late agreement with him, though intended, and therefore they might have cavilled at it, if they would.
Thence abroad calling at several places upon some errands, among others to my brother Tom’s barber and had my hair cut, while his boy played on the viallin, a plain boy, but has a very good genius, and understands the book very well, but to see what a shift he made for a string of red silk was very pleasant. Thence to my Lord Crew’s. My Lord not being come home, I met and staid below with Captain Ferrers, who was come to wait upon my Lady Jemimah to St. James’s, she being one of the four ladies that hold up the mantle at the christening this afternoon of the Duke’s child (a boy).
In discourse of the ladies at Court, Captain Ferrers tells me that my Lady Castlemaine is now as great again as ever she was; and that her going away was only a fit of her own upon some slighting words of the King, so that she called for her coach at a quarter of an hour’s warning, and went to Richmond; and the King the next morning, under pretence of going a-hunting, went to see her and make friends, and never was a-hunting at all. After which she came back to Court, and commands the King as much as ever, and hath and doth what she will.
No longer ago than last night, there was a private entertainment made for the King and Queen at the Duke of Buckingham’s, and she was not invited: but being at my Lady Suffolk’s, her aunt’s (where my Lady Jemimah and Lord Sandwich dined) yesterday, she was heard to say, “Well; much good may it do them, and for all that I will be as merry as they:” and so she went home and caused a great supper to be prepared. And after the King had been with the Queen at Wallingford House, he came to my Lady Castlemaine’s, and was there all night, and my Lord Sandwich with him, which was the reason my Lord lay in town all night, which he has not done a great while before.
He tells me he believes that, as soon as the King can get a husband for Mrs. Stewart however, my Lady Castlemaine’s nose will be out of joynt; for that she comes to be in great esteem, and is more handsome than she.
I found by his words that my Lord Sandwich finds some pleasure in the country where he now is, whether he means one of the daughters of the house or no I know not, but hope the contrary, that he thinks he is very well pleased with staying there, but yet upon breaking up of the Parliament, which the King by a message to-day says shall be on Monday next, he resolves to go.
Ned Pickering, the coxcomb, notwithstanding all his hopes of my Lord’s assistance, wherein I am sorry to hear my Lord has much concerned himself, is defeated of the place he expected under the Queen.
He came hither by and by and brought some jewells for my Lady Jem. to put on, with which and her other clothes she looks passing well.
I staid and dined with my Lord Crew, who whether he was not so well pleased with me as he used to be, or that his head was full of business, as I believe it was, he hardly spoke one word to me all dinner time, we dining alone, only young Jack Crew, Sir Thomas’s son, with us.
After dinner I bade him farewell. Sir Thomas I hear has gone this morning ill to bed, so I had no mind to see him.
Thence homewards, and in the way first called at Wotton’s, the shoemaker’s, who tells me the reason of Harris’s going from Sir Wm. Davenant’s house, that he grew very proud and demanded 20l. for himself extraordinary, more than Betterton or any body else, upon every new play, and 10l. upon every revive; which with other things Sir W. Davenant would not give him, and so he swore he would never act there more, in expectation of being received in the other House; but the King will not suffer it, upon Sir W. Davenant’s desire that he would not, for then he might shut up house, and that is true. He tells me that his going is at present a great loss to the House, and that he fears he hath a stipend from the other House privately.
He tells the that the fellow grew very proud of late, the King and every body else crying him up so high, and that above Betterton, he being a more ayery man, as he is indeed. But yet Betterton, he says, they all say do act: some parts that none but himself can do.
Thence to my bookseller’s, and found my Waggoners done. The very binding cost me 14s., but they are well done, and so with a porter home with them, and so by water to Ratcliffe, and there went to speak with Cumberford the platt-maker, and there saw his manner of working, which is very fine and laborious. So down to Deptford, reading Ben Jonson’s “Devil is an asse,” and so to see Sir W. Pen, who I find walking out of doors a little, but could not stand long; but in doors and I with him, and staid a great while talking, I taking a liberty to tell him my thoughts in things of the office; that when he comes abroad again, he may know what to think of me, and to value me as he ought. Walked home as I used to do, and being weary, and after some discourse with Mr. Barrow, who came to see and take his leave of me, he being to-morrow to set out toward the Isle of Man, I went to bed.
This day I hear that the Moores have made some attaques upon the outworks of Tangier; but my Lord Tiviott; with the loss of about 200 men, did beat them off, and killed many of them.
To-morrow the King and Queen for certain go down to Tunbridge. But the King comes back again against Monday to raise the Parliament.

to whom might it call
her hair of red silk

no Christ is ever as light
as a private joy

that comes to be
more than pleasure

the country
where now is

not staying there
but breaking up

we put on other clothes
full of morning

who would not
who could not take
that loss


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 22 July 1663.

And so lay long in the morning, till I heard people knock at my door, and I took it to be about 8 o’clock (but afterwards found myself a little mistaken), and so I rose and ranted at Will and the maid, and swore I could find my heart to kick them down stairs, which the maid mumbled at mightily. It was my brother, who staid and talked with me, his chief business being about his going about to build his house new at the top, which will be a great charge for him, and above his judgment.
By and by comes Mr. Deane, of Woolwich, with his draught of a ship, and the bend and main lines in the body of a ship very finely, and which do please me mightily, and so am resolved to study hard, and learn of him to understand a body, and I find him a very pretty fellow in it, and rational, but a little conceited, but that’s no matter to me. At noon, by my Lady Batten’s desire, I went over the water to Mr. Castle’s, who brings his wife home to his own house to-day, where I found a great many good old women, and my Lady, Sir W. Batten, and Sir J. Minnes.
A good, handsome, plain dinner, and then walked in the garden; which is pleasant enough, more than I expected there, and so Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and I by water to the office, and there sat, and then I by water to the Temple about my law business, and back again home and wrote letters to my father and wife about my desire that they should observe the feast at Brampton, and have my Lady and the family, and so home to supper and bed, my head aching all the day from my last night’s bad rest, and yesterday’s distempering myself with over walking, and to-day knocking my head against a low door in Mr. Castle’s house.
This day the Parliament kept a fast for the present unseasonable weather.

in the morning a new draft
of the lines in the body

I study hard to understand it
but desire brings many hands

and more than I expected
the letters feast or fast


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 21 July 1663.

Up and to my office, and then walked to Woolwich, reading Bacon’s “Faber fortunae,”1 which the oftener I read the more I admire. There found Captain Cocke, and up and down to many places to look after matters, and so walked back again with him to his house, and there dined very finely. With much ado obtained an excuse from drinking of wine, and did only taste a drop of Sack which he had for his lady, who is, he fears, a little consumptive, and her beauty begins to want its colour. It was Malago Sack, which, he says, is certainly 30 years old, and I tasted a drop of it, and it was excellent wine, like a spirit rather than wine.
Thence by water to the office, and taking some papers by water to White Hall and St. James’s, but there being no meeting with the Duke to-day, I returned by water and down to Greenwich, to look after some blocks that I saw a load carried off by a cart from Woolwich, the King’s Yard. But I could not find them, and so returned, and being heartily weary I made haste to bed, and being in bed made Will read and construe three or four Latin verses in the Bible, and chide him for forgetting his grammar. So to sleep, and sleep ill all the night, being so weary, and feverish with it.

up and down
to many places

a sack which begins
to want its color

like a spirit of water
returned to the yard

the heart has read
a true grammar in it


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 20 July 1663.

(Lord’s day). Lay very long in pleasant dreams till Church time, and so up, and it being foul weather so that I cannot walk as I intended to meet my Cozen Roger at Thomas Pepys’s house (whither he rode last night), to Hatcham, I went to church, where a sober Doctor made a good sermon. So home to dinner alone, and then to read a little, and so to church again, where the Scot made an ordinary sermon, and so home to my office, and there read over my vows and increased them by a vow against all strong drink till November next of any sort or quantity, by which I shall try how I can forbear it. God send it may not prejudice my health, and then I care not. Then I fell to read over a silly play writ by a person of honour (which is, I find, as much as to say a coxcomb), called “Love a la Mode”.
And that being ended, home, and played on my lute and sung psalms till bedtime, then to prayers and to bed.

in a dream a doctor
made me drink

any bear may heal
which is to say love

and that being ended
time


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 19 July 1663.

Up and to my office, where all the morning, and Sir J. Minnes and I did a little, and but a little business at the office. So I eat a bit of victuals at home, and so abroad to several places, as my bookseller’s, and then to Thomson the instrument maker’s to bespeak a ruler for my pocket for timber, &c., which I believe he will do to my mind. So to the Temple, Wardrobe, and lastly to Westminster Hall, where I expected some bands made me by Mrs. Lane, and while she went to the starchers for them, I staid at Mrs. Howlett’s, who with her husband were abroad, and only their daughter (which I call my wife) was in the shop, and I took occasion to buy a pair of gloves to talk to her, and I find her a pretty spoken girl, and will prove a mighty handsome wench. I could love her very well.
By and by Mrs. Lane comes, and my bands not being done she and I posted and met at the Crown in the Palace Yard, where we eat a chicken I sent for, and drank, and were mighty merry, and I had my full liberty of towzing her and doing what I would, but the last thing of all; for I felt as much as I would and made her feel my thing also, and put the end of it to her breast and by and by to her very belly — of which I am heartily ashamed. But I do resolve never to do more so.
But, Lord! to see what a mind she has to a husband, and how she showed me her hands to tell her her fortune, and every thing that she asked ended always whom and when she was to marry. And I pleased her so well, saying as I know she would have me, and then she would say that she had been with all the artists in town, and they always told her the same things, as that she should live long, and rich, and have a good husband, but few children, and a great fit of sickness, and 20 other things, which she says she has always been told by others.
Here I staid late before my bands were done, and then they came, and so I by water to the Temple, and thence walked home, all in a sweat with my tumbling of her and walking, and so a little supper and to bed, fearful of having taken cold.

a pair of hands
could love very well

all felt and feel
end and band

how her hands ask
always to marry

always to live
and have 20 other things


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 18 July 1663.

Up, and after doing some business at my office, Creed came to me, and I took him to my viall maker’s, and there I heard the famous Mr. Stefkins play admirably well, and yet I found it as it is always, I over expected. I took him to the tavern and found him a temperate sober man, at least he seems so to me. I commit the direction of my viall to him.
Thence to the Change, and so home, Creed and I to dinner, and after dinner Sir W. Warren came to me, and he and I in my closet about his last night’s contract, and from thence to discourse of measuring of timber, wherein I made him see that I could understand the matter well, and did both learn of and teach him something. Creed being gone through my staying talking to him so long, I went alone by water down to Redriffe, and so to sit and talk with Sir W. Pen, where I did speak very plainly concerning my thoughts of Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Minnes. So as it may cost me some trouble if he should tell them again, but he said as much or more to me concerning them both, which I may remember if ever it should come forth, and nothing but what is true and my real opinion of them, that they neither do understand to this day Creed’s accounts, nor do deserve to be employed in their places without better care, but that the King had better give them greater salaries to stand still and do nothing.
Thence coming home I was saluted by Bagwell and his wife (the woman I have a kindness for), and they would have me into their little house, which I was willing enough to, and did salute his wife. They had got wine for me, and I perceive live prettily, and I believe the woman a virtuous modest woman.
Her husband walked through to Redriffe with me, telling me things that I asked of in the yard, and so by water home, it being likely to rain again to-night, which God forbid. To supper and to bed.

from timber I learn
a thin plain thought

which I may remember
if ever it should come forth

in a true place
to stand still and do nothing

and I have a little wine
like rain for supper


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 17 July 1663.

Up and dispatched things into the country and to my father’s, and two keggs of Sturgeon and a dozen bottles of wine to Cambridge for my cozen Roger Pepys, which I give him. By and by down by water on several Deall ships, and stood upon a stage in one place seeing calkers sheathing of a ship. Then at Wapping to my carver’s about my Viall head. So home, and thence to my Viall maker’s in Bishopsgate Street; his name is Wise, who is a pretty fellow at it. Thence to the Exchange, and so home to dinner, and then to my office, where a full board, and busy all the afternoon, and among other things made a great contract with Sir W. Warren for 40,000 deals Swinsound, at 3l. 17s. 0d. per hundred. In the morning before I went on the water I was at Thames Street about some pitch, and there meeting Anthony Joyce, I took him and Mr. Stacy, the Tarr merchant, to the tavern, where Stacy told me many old stories of my Lady Batten’s former poor condition, and how her former husband broke, and how she came to her state.
At night, after office done, I went to Sir W. Batten’s, where my Lady and I [had] some high words about emptying our house of office, where I did tell her my mind, and at last agreed that it should be done through my office, and so all well. So home to bed.

I give my viol head
to my viol maker

his name is wise
who deals in sound

a pitch merchant
here for some high words


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 16 July 1663.