Dave Bonta

By coach with both Sir Williams to Westminster; this being a great day there in the House to pass the business for chimney-money, which was done.
In the Hall I met with Serjeant Pierce; and he and I to drink a cup of ale at the Swan, and there he told me how my Lady Monk hath disposed of all the places which Mr. Edwd. Montagu hoped to have had, as he was Master of the Horse to the Queen; which I am afraid will undo him, because he depended much upon the profit of what he should make by these places. He told me, also, many more scurvy stories of him and his brother Ralph, which troubles me to hear of persons of honour as they are.
About one o’clock with both Sir Williams and another, one Sir Rich. Branes, to the Trinity House, but came after they had dined, so we had something got ready for us. Here Sir W. Batten was taken with a fit of coughing that lasted a great while and made him very ill, and so he went home sick upon it.
Sir W. Pen. and I to the office, whither afterward came Sir G. Carteret; and we sent for Sir Thos. Allen, one of the Aldermen of the City, about the business of one Colonel Appesley, whom we had taken counterfeiting of bills with all our hands and the officers of the yards, so well counterfeited that I should never have mistrusted them. We staid about this business at the office till ten at night, and at last did send him with a constable to the Counter; and did give warrants for the seizing of a complice of his, one Blinkinsopp.
So home and wrote to my father, and so to bed.

Into the drink—
a swan places hope.
I am afraid
of the clock, after we go,
counterfeiting our hands.
I never blink.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 8 March 1661/62.

Up early, my mind full of business, then to the office, where the two Sir Williams and I spent the morning passing the victualler’s accounts, the first I have had to do withal. Then home, where my Uncle Thomas (by promise and his son Tom) were come to give me his answer whether he would have me go to law or arbitracon with him, but he is unprovided to answer me, and desires two days more.
I left them to dine with my wife, and myself to Mr. Gauden and the two knights at dinner at the Dolphin, and thence after dinner to the office back again till night, we having been these four or five days very full of business, and I thank God I am well pleased with it, and hope I shall continue of that temper, which God grant.
So after a little being at Sir W. Batten’s with Sir G. Carteret talking, I went home, and so to my chamber, and then to bed, my mind somewhat troubled about Brampton affairs. This night my new camelott riding coat to my coloured cloth suit came home. More news to-day of our losses at Brampton by the late storm.

My mind the victualer
counts my desires—
my wife at dinner
and days full of talk,
my affairs,
my colored suit.
News of our losses.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 6 March 1661/62.

In the morning to the Painter’s about my little picture. Thence to Tom’s about business, and so to the pewterer’s, to buy a poore’s-box to put my forfeits in, upon breach of my late vows. So to the Wardrobe and dined, and thence home and to my office, and there sat looking over my papers of my voyage, when we fetched over the King, and tore so many of these that were worth nothing, as filled my closet as high as my knees. I staid doing this till 10 at night, and so home and to bed.

The little box of war in the office,
my paper voyage…
nothing filled my closet
as high as night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 5 March 1661/62.

All the morning at home about business with my brother Tom, and then with Mr. Moore, and then I set to make some strict rules for my future practice in my expenses, which I did bind myself in the presence of God by oath to observe upon penalty therein set down, and I do not doubt but hereafter to give a good account of my time and to grow rich, for I do find a great deal more of content in these few days, that I do spend well about my business, than in all the pleasure of a whole week, besides the trouble which I remember I always have after that for the expense of my money.
Dined at home, and then up to my chamber again about business, and so to the office about despatching of the East India ships, where we staid till 8 at night, and then after I had been at Sir W. Pen’s awhile discoursing with him and Mr. Kenard the joiner about the new building in his house, I went home, where I found a vessel of oysters sent me from Chatham, so I fell to eat some and then to supper, and so after the barber had done to bed.
I am told that this day the Parliament hath voted 2s. per annum for every chimney in England, as a constant revenue for ever to the Crown.

I make a god I do not doubt
to give me all
the pleasure of a whole
trouble.
I remember ships at night
and oysters sent to bed that day
for every forever
to own.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 3 March 1661/62.

(Lord’s day). With my mind much eased talking long in bed with my wife about our frugall life for the time to come, proposing to her what I could and would do if I were worth 2,000l., that is, be a knight, and keep my coach, which pleased her, and so I do hope we shall hereafter live to save something, for I am resolved to keep myself by rules from expenses.
To church in the morning: none in the pew but myself. So home to dinner, and after dinner came Sir William and talked with me till church time, and then to church, where at our going out I was at a loss by Sir W. Pen’s putting me upon it whether to take my wife or Mrs. Martha (who alone was there), and I began to take my wife, but he jogged me, and so I took Martha, and led her down before him and my wife. So set her at home, and Sir William and my wife and I to walk in the garden, and anon hearing that Sir G. Carteret had sent to see whether we were at home or no, Sir William and I went to his house, where we waited a good while, they being at prayers, and by and by we went up to him; there the business was about hastening the East India ships, about which we are to meet to-morrow in the afternoon.
So home to my house, and Sir William supped with me, and so to bed.

Talking in bed
about our frugal life.

What I would do
if I were a knight:
keep hope
we live to save
something from time,
go out alone to the garden
and see East India—
which we are to meet
tomorrow
in bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 2 March 1661/62.

This morning I paid Sir W. Batten 40l., which I have owed him this half year, having borrowed it of him.
Then to the office all the morning, so dined at home, and after dinner comes my uncle Thomas, with whom I had some high words of difference, but ended quietly, though I fear I shall do no good by fair means upon him.
Thence my wife and I by coach, first to see my little picture that is a drawing, and thence to the Opera, and there saw “Romeo and Juliet,” the first time it was ever acted; but it is a play of itself the worst that ever I heard in my life, and the worst acted that ever I saw these people do, and I am resolved to go no more to see the first time of acting, for they were all of them out more or less. Thence home, and after supper and wrote by the post, I settled to what I had long intended, to cast up my accounts with myself, and after much pains to do it and great fear, I do find that I am 500l. in money beforehand in the world, which I was afraid I was not, but I find that I had spent above 250l. this last half year, which troubles me much, but by God’s blessing I am resolved to take up, having furnished myself with all things for a great while, and to-morrow to think upon some rules and obligations upon myself to walk by.
So with my mind eased of a great deal of trouble, though with no great content to find myself above 100l. worse now than I was half a year ago, I went to bed.

I have borrowed some quiet—
the first in my life—and am
resolved to go. I settle
my accounts with myself
and fear in hand,
furnish my mind with a tent.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 1 March 1661/62, in response to an article from the New York Times.