Dave Bonta

I rose and went to Westminster Hall, and there walked up and down upon several businesses, and among others I met with Sir W. Pen, who told me that he had this morning heard Sir G. Carteret extremely angry against my man Will that he is every other day with the Commissioners of Parliament at Westminster, and that his uncle was a rogue, and that he did tell his uncle every thing that passes at the office, and Sir William, though he loves the lad, did advise me to part with him, which did with this surprise mightily trouble me, though I was already angry with him, and so to the Wardrobe by water, and all the way did examine Will about the business, but did not tell him upon what score, but I find that the poor lad do suspect something. To dinner with my Lady, and after dinner talked long with her, and so home, and to Sir W. Batten’s, and sat and talked with him, and so home troubled in mind, and so up to my study and read the two treaties before Mr. Selden’s “Mare Clausum,” and so to bed. This night come about 100l. from Brampton by carrier to me, in holsters from my father, which made me laugh.

I walk up
and down and miss
everything that passes:
love
and water
and her troubled mind.
The treaties
which made me laugh.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 8 January 1661/62.

(Lord’s day). Left my wife in bed not well with her moys and I to church, and so home to dinner, and dined alone upon some marrow bones, and had a fine piece of rost beef, but being alone I eat none. So after dinner comes in my brother Tom, and he tells me how he hath seen the father and mother of the girl which my cozen Joyces would have him to have for a wife, and they are much for it, but we are in a great quandary what to do therein, 200l. being but a little money; and I hope, if he continues as he begins, he may look out for one with more.
To church, and before sermon there was a long psalm, and half another sung out while the Sexton gathered what the church would give him for this last year. I gave him 3s., and have the last week given the Clerk 2s., which I set down that I may know what to do the next year, if it please the Lord that I live so long; but the jest was, the Clerk begins the 25th psalm, which hath a proper tune to it, and then the 116th, which cannot be sung with that tune, which seemed very ridiculous.
After church to Sir W. Batten’s, where on purpose I have not been this fortnight, and I am resolved to keep myself more reserved to avoyd the contempt which otherwise I must fall into, and so home and sat and talked and supped with my wife, and so up to prayers and to bed, having wrote a letter this night to Sir J. Mennes in the Downs for his opinion in the business of striking of flags.

With bones for money
I give what I live on—
a tune which cannot be sung.

This void I fall into
and pray to
is in the business of flags.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 5 January 1661/62.

At home most of the morning hanging up pictures, and seeing how my pewter sconces that I have bought will become my stayres and entry, and then with my wife by water to Westminster, whither she to her father’s and I to Westminster Hall, and there walked a turn or two with Mr. Chetwin (who had a dog challenged of him by another man that said it was his, but Mr. Chetwin called the dog, and the dog at last would follow him, and not his old master, and so Chetwin got the dog) and W. Symons, and thence to my wife, who met me at my Lord’s lodgings, and she and I and old East to Wilkinson’s to dinner, where we had some rost beef and a mutton pie, and a mince-pie, but none of them pleased me. After dinner by coach my wife and I home, and I to the office, and there till late, and then I and my wife to Sir W. Pen’s to cards and supper, and were merry, and much correspondence there has been between our two families all this Christmas. So home and to bed.

I have a twin
who had a dog
but the dog would follow me home.
Much correspondence there
has been between
our two lies.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 4 January 1661/62.

Lay long in bed, and so up and abroad to several places about petty businesses. Among others to Tom’s, who I find great hopes of that he will do well, which I am glad of, and am not now so hasty to get a wife for him as I was before. So to dinner to my Lord Crew’s with him and his Lady, and after dinner to Faithorne’s, and there bought some pictures of him; and while I was there, comes by the King’s life-guard, he being gone to Lincoln’s Inn this afternoon to see the Revells there; there being, according to an old custom, a prince and all his nobles, and other matters of sport and charge.
So home, and up to my chamber to look over my papers and other things, my mind being much troubled for these four or five days because of my present great expense, and will be so till I cast up and see how my estate stands, and that I am loth to do for fear I have spent too much, and delay it the rather that I may pay for my pictures and my wife’s, and the book that I am buying for Paul’s School before I do cast up my accompts.

A broad place.
I find hope and a hasty thorn
according to custom.

A prince and all his nobles
look over my papers
in my mind.

The state stands for fear
for my pictures
my buying.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 3 January 1661/62.

My wife and I this morning to the Paynter’s, and there she sat the last time, and I stood by and did tell him some little things to do, that now her picture I think will please me very well; and after her, her little black dogg sat in her lap; and was drawn, which made us very merry; so home to dinner, and so to the office; and there late finishing our estimate of the debts of the Navy to this day; and it come to near 374,000l.
So home, and after supper, and my barber had trimmed me, I sat down to end my journell for this year, and my condition at this time, by God’s blessing, is thus:
My health (only upon catching cold, which brings great pain in my back … as it used to be when I had the stone) is very good, and so my wife’s in all respects:
My servants, W. Hewer, Sarah, Nell, and Wayneman: my house at the Navy Office. I suppose myself to be worth about 500l. clear in the world, and my goods of my house my own, and what is coming to me from Brampton, when my father dies, which God defer. But, by my uncle’s death, the whole care and trouble of all, and settling of all lies upon me, which is very great, because of law-suits, especially that with T. Trice, about the interest of 200l., which will, I hope, be ended soon.
My chiefest thought is now to get a good wife for Tom, there being one offered by the Joyces, a cozen of theirs, worth 200l. in ready money. I am also upon writing a little treatise to present to the Duke, about our privilege in the seas, as to other nations striking their flags to us. But my greatest trouble is, that I have for this last half year been a very great spendthrift in all manner of respects, that I am afeard to cast up my accounts, though I hope I am worth what I say above. But I will cast them up very shortly
I have newly taken a solemn oath about abstaining from plays and wine, which I am resolved to keep according to the letter of the oath which I keep by me. The fleet hath been ready to sail for Portugall, but hath lacked wind this fortnight, and by that means my Lord is forced to keep at sea all this winter, till he brings home the Queen, which is the expectation of all now, and the greatest matter of publique talk.

Her little black dog
is our navy.
I end this year
less one lie,
the seas striking
their flags to us—
cast up all winter
on public talk.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 31 December 1661.