Dave Bonta

Office all the morning, my wife and Pall being gone to my father’s to dress dinner for Mr. Honiwood, my mother being gone out of town. Dined at home, and Mr. Moore with me, with whom I had been early this morning at White Hall, at the Jewell Office, to choose a piece of gilt plate for my Lord, in return of his offering to the King (which it seems is usual at this time of year, and an Earl gives twenty pieces in gold in a purse to the King). I chose a gilt tankard, weighing 31 ounces and a half, and he is allowed 30; so I paid 12s. for the ounce and half over what he is to have; but strange it was for me to see what a company of small fees I was called upon by a great many to pay there, which, I perceive, is the manner that courtiers do get their estates.
After dinner Mr. Moore and I to the Theatre, where was “The Scornful Lady,” acted very well, it being the first play that ever he saw. Thence with him to drink a cup of ale at Hercules Pillars, and so parted. I called to see my father, who told me by the way how Will and Mary Joyce do live a strange life together, nothing but fighting, &c., so that sometimes her father has a mind to have them divorced. Thence home.

All the wood is white.
An earl gives the king
a gilt tank.
We of small estates
play Hercules
and live a strange life—
nothing but fighting.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 4 January 1660/61.

Early in the morning to the Exchequer, where I told over what money I had of my Lord’s and my own there, which I found to be 970l. Thence to Will’s, where Spicer and I eat our dinner of a roasted leg of pork which Will did give us, and after that to the Theatre, where was acted “Beggars’ Bush,” it being very well done; and here the first time that ever I saw women come upon the stage. From thence to my father’s, where I found my mother gone by Bird, the carrier, to Brampton, upon my uncle’s great desire, my aunt being now in despair of life. So home.

What money I own I give
to beggars—the first time
I saw women age.
I found my mother gone
by bird, a great desire
now despair of life.
Om.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 3 January 1660/61.

Up early, and being called up to my Lord he did give me many commands in his business. As about taking care to write to my uncle that Mr. Barnewell’s papers should be locked up, in case he should die, he being now suspected to be very ill. Also about consulting with Mr. W. Montagu for the settling of the 4000l. a year that the King had promised my Lord. As also about getting of Mr. George Montagu to be chosen at Huntingdon this next Parliament, &c.
That done he to White Hall stairs with much company, and I with him; where we took water for Lambeth, and there coach for Portsmouth.
The Queen’s things were all in White Hall Court ready to be sent away, and her Majesty ready to be gone an hour after to Hampton Court to-night, and so to be at Portsmouth on Saturday next.
I by water to my office, and there all the morning, and so home to dinner, where I found Pall (my sister) was come; but I do not let her sit down at table with me, which I do at first that she may not expect it hereafter from me. After dinner I to Westminster by water, and there found my brother Spicer at the Leg with all the rest of the Exchequer men (most of whom I now do not know) at dinner. Here I staid and drank with them, and then to Mr. George Montagu about the business of election, and he did give me a piece in gold; so to my Lord’s and got the chest of plate brought to the Exchequer, and my brother Spicer put it into his treasury. So to Will’s with them to a pot of ale, and so parted.
I took a turn in the Hall, and bought the King and Chancellor’s speeches at the dissolving the Parliament last Saturday.
So to my Lord’s, and took my money I brought ‘thither last night and the silver candlesticks, and by coach left the latter at Alderman Backwell’s, I having no use for them, and the former home. There stood a man at our door, when I carried it in, and saw me, which made me a little afeard.
Up to my chamber and wrote letters to Huntingdon and did other business.
This day I lent Sir W. Batten and Captn. Rider my chine of beef for to serve at dinner tomorrow at Trinity House, the Duke of Albemarle being to be there and all the rest of the Brethren, it being a great day for the reading over of their new Charter, which the King hath newly given them.

An ape should be locked up
in case he should die.
Do not sit down,
my brother Leg,
my brother Stick!
The latter I carried and feared—
of all brethren, the king.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 2 January 1660/61.

At the end of the last and the beginning of this year, I do live in one of the houses belonging to the Navy Office, as one of the principal officers, and have done now about half a year. After much trouble with workmen I am now almost settled; my family being, myself, my wife, Jane, Will. Hewer, and Wayneman, my girle’s brother.
Myself in constant good health, and in a most handsome and thriving condition. Blessed be Almighty God for it. I am now taking of my sister to come and live with me. As to things of State.—The King settled, and loved of all. The Duke of York matched to my Lord Chancellor’s daughter, which do not please many. The Queen upon her return to France with the Princess Henrietta. The Princess of Orange lately dead, and we into new mourning for her.
We have been lately frighted with a great plot, and many taken up on it, and the fright not quite over. The Parliament, which had done all this great good to the King, beginning to grow factious, the King did dissolve it December 29th last, and another likely to be chosen speedily.
I take myself now to be worth 300l. clear in money, and all my goods and all manner of debts paid, which are none at all.
Called up this morning by Mr. Moore, who brought me my last things for me to sign for the last month, and to my great comfort tells me that my fees will come to 80l. clear to myself, and about 25l. for him, which he hath got out of the pardons, though there be no fee due to me at all out of them.
Then comes in my brother Thomas, and after him my father, Dr. Thomas Pepys, my uncle Fenner and his two sons (Anthony’s only child dying this morning, yet he was so civil to come, and was pretty merry) to breakfast; and I had for them a barrel of oysters, a dish of neat’s tongues, and a dish of anchovies, wine of all sorts, and Northdown ale. We were very merry till about eleven o’clock, and then they went away.
At noon I carried my wife by coach to my cozen, Thomas Pepys, where we, with my father, Dr. Thomas, cozen Stradwick, Scott, and their wives, dined. Here I saw first his second wife, which is a very respectfull woman, but his dinner a sorry, poor dinner for a man of his estate, there being nothing but ordinary meat in it. To-day the King dined at a lord’s, two doors from us. After dinner I took my wife to Whitehall, I sent her to Mrs. Pierces (where we should have dined today), and I to the Privy Seal, where Mr. Moore took out all his money, and he and I went to Mr. Pierces; in our way seeing the Duke of York bring his Lady this day to wait upon the Queen, the first time that ever she did since that great business; and the Queen is said to receive her now with much respect and love; and there he cast up the fees, and I told the money, by the same token one 100l. bag, after I had told it, fell all about the room, and I fear I have lost some of it.
That done I left my friends and went to my Lord’s, but he being not come in I lodged the money with Mr. Shepley, and bade good night to Mr. Moore, and so returned to Mr. Pierces, and there supped with them, and Mr. Pierce, the purser, and his wife and mine, where we had a calf’s head carboned, but it was raw, we could not eat it, and a good hen. But she is such a slut that I do not love her victualls.
After supper I sent them home by coach, and I went to my Lord’s and there played till 12 at night at cards at Best with J. Goods and N. Osgood, and then to bed with Mr. Shepley.

This year, trouble settled
in with me, and I mourn
the dying of tongues
and ordinary doors.
Time is no old token.
I have lost friends and
a calf’s head at cards.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 1 January 1660/61.

At the office all the morning and after that home, and not staying to dine I went out, and in Paul’s Church-yard I bought the play of “Henry the Fourth,” and so went to the new Theatre (only calling at Mr. Crew’s and eat a bit with the people there at dinner) and saw it acted; but my expectation being too great, it did not please me, as otherwise I believe it would; and my having a book, I believe did spoil it a little.
That being done I went to my Lord’s, where I found him private at cards with my Lord Lauderdale and some persons of honour. So Mr. Shepley and I over to Harper’s, and there drank a pot or two, and so parted. My boy taking a cat home with him from my Lord’s, which Sarah had given him for my wife, we being much troubled with mice.
At Whitehall inquiring for a coach, there was a Frenchman with one eye that was going my way, so he and I hired the coach between us and he set me down in Fenchurch Street. Strange how the fellow, without asking, did tell me all what he was, and how he had ran away from his father and come into England to serve the King, and now going back again.
Home and to bed.

I bought Henry the Fourth dinner,
but my expectation being too great,
it did not please him.
I drank a pot or two and parted.

A cat with one eye
was going my way.
“Strange fellow, tell me,
how is the king now?”


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 31 December 1660.

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, and being up, I went with Will to my Lord’s, calling in at many churches in my way. There I found Mr. Shepley, in his Venetian cap, taking physique in his chamber, and with him I sat till dinner.
My Lord dined abroad and my Lady in her chamber, so Mr. Hetly, Child and I dined together, and after dinner Mr. Child and I spent some time at the lute, and so promising to prick me some lessons to my theorbo he went away to see Henry Laws, who lies very sick.
I to the Abby and walked there, seeing the great confusion of people that come there to hear the organs. So home, calling in at my father’s, but staid not, my father and mother being both forth.
At home I fell a-reading of Fuller’s Church History till it was late, and so to bed.

Being
is an amber;
laws lie.
I walk in great confusion,
hear the organ
calling at
my father’s church.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 30 December 1660.