Dave Bonta

(Lord’s day). Up and to church, my house being miserably overflooded with rayne last night, which makes me almost mad. At home to dinner with my wife, and so to talk, and to church again, and so home, and all the evening most pleasantly passed the time in good discourse of our fortune and family till supper, and so to bed, in some pain below, through cold got.

rain makes a mad din all evening

time is our tune


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 4 October 1663.

Up, being well pleased with my new lodging and the convenience of having our mayds and none else about us, Will lying below. So to the office, and there we sat full of business all the morning. At noon I home to dinner, and then abroad to buy a bell to hang by our chamber door to call the mayds. Then to the office, and met Mr. Blackburne, who came to know the reason of his kinsman (my Will) his being observed by his friends of late to droop much. I told him my great displeasure against him and the reasons of it, to his great trouble yet satisfaction, for my care over him, and how every thing I said was for the good of the fellow, and he will take time to examine the fellow about all, and to desire my pleasure concerning him, which I told him was either that he should become a better servant or that we would not have him under my roof to be a trouble. He tells me in a few days he will come to me again and we shall agree what to do therein. I home and told my wife all, and am troubled to see that my servants and others should be the greatest trouble I have in the world, more than for myself. We then to set up our bell with a smith very well, and then I late at the office. So home to supper and to bed.

full of morning
the bell by our door

who am I to droop
if others should trouble
the world more than me


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 3 October 1663.

Up betimes and by water to St. James’s, and there visited Mr. Coventry as a compliment after his new coming to town, but had no great talk with him, he being full of business. So back by foot through London, doing several errands, and at the ‘Change met with Mr. Cutler, and he and I to a coffee-house, and there discoursed, and he do assure me that there is great likelyhood of a war with Holland, but I hope we shall be in good condition before it comes to break out. I like his company, and will make much of his acquaintance.
So home to dinner with my wife, who is over head and eares in getting her house up, and so to the office, and with Mr. Lewes, late, upon some of the old victuallers’ accounts, and so home to supper and to bed, up to our red chamber, where we purpose always to lie. This day I received a letter from Mr. Barlow, with a Terella, which I had hoped he had sent me, but to my trouble I find it is to present from him to my Lord Sandwich, but I will make a little use of it first, and then give it him.

time to visit but no talk in us
and the land becomes like company

her house on the sand will make
little use of it


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 2 October 1663.

Up and betimes to my office, and then to sit, where Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Batten, Sir W. Pen, Sir J. Minnes, Mr. Coventry and myself, a fuller board than by the King’s progresse and the late pays and my absence has been a great while.
Sat late, and then home to dinner. After dinner I by water to Deptford about a little business, and so back again, buying a couple of good eeles by the way, and after writing by the post, home to see the painter at work, late, in my wife’s closet, and so to supper and to bed, having been very merry with the painter, late, while he was doing his work.
This day the King and Court returned from their progress.

my absence
at dinner after dinner
ate me up

work is an ogre


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 1 October 1663.

Rose very well, and my hearing pretty well again, and so to my office, by and by Mr. Holliard come, and at my house he searched my ear, and I hope all will be well, though I do not yet hear so well as I used to do with my right ear.
So to my office till noon, and then home to dinner, and in the afternoon by water to White Hall, to the Tangier Committee; where my Lord Tiviott about his accounts; which grieves me to see that his accounts being to be examined by us, there are none of the great men at the Board that in compliment will except against any thing in his accounts, and so none of the little persons dare do it: so the King is abused.
Thence home again by water with Sir W. Rider, and so to my office, and there I sat late making up my month’s accounts, and, blessed be God, do find myself 760l. creditor, notwithstanding that for clothes for myself and wife, and layings out on her closett, I have spent this month 47l.. So home, where I found our new cooke-mayde Elizabeth, whom my wife never saw at all, nor I but once at a distance before, but recommended well by Mr. Creed, and I hope will prove well. So to supper, prayers, and bed.
This evening Mr. Coventry is come to St. James’s, but I did not go see him, and tomorrow the King, Queen, Duke and his Lady, and the whole Court comes to towne from their progresse. Myself and family well, only my father sicke in the country.
All the common talke for newes is the Turke’s advance in Hungary, &c.

rose I do not hear with
ear of no afternoon committee

where is that mine none of the great men
at the board will dare to bless

God my creditor
whom I never saw

at a distance prayers become all
the common news


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 30 September 1663, prompted by news of the proposed Rosemont copper mine.

Took two pills more in the morning and they worked all day, and I kept the house. About noon dined, and then to carry several heavy things with my wife up and down stairs, in order to our going to lie above, and Will to come down to the Wardrobe, and that put me into a violent sweat, so I had a fire made, and then, being dry again, she and I to put up some paper pictures in the red chamber, where we go to lie very pretty, and the map of Paris. Then in the evening, towards night, it fell to thunder, lighten, and rain so violently that my house was all afloat, and I in all the rain up to the gutters, and there dabbled in the rain and wet half an hour, enough to have killed a man. That done downstairs to dry myself again, and by and by come Mr. Sympson to set up my wife’s chimney-piece in her closett, which pleases me, and so that being done, I to supper and to bed, shifting myself from top to toe, and doubtful of my doing myself hurt.

I work to carry several heavy things
a lie the war

that violent red map in my gut
enough to have killed me

my wife in bed shifting
doubtful of my hurt


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 29 September 1663.

Up, though with pain in my head, stomach, and ear, and that deaf so as in my way by coach to White Hall with Sir J. Minnes I called at Mr. Holliard’s, who did give me some pills, and tells me I shall have my hearing again and be well. So to White Hall, where Sir J. Minnes and I did spend an hour in the Gallery, looking upon the pictures, in which he hath some judgment. And by and by the Commissioners for Tangier met: and there my Lord Teviott, together with Captain Cuttance, Captain Evans, and Jonas Moore, sent to that purpose, did bring us a brave draught of the Mole to be built there; and report that it is likely to be the most considerable place the King of England hath in the world; and so I am apt to think it will. After discourse of this, and of supplying the garrison with some more horse, we rose; and Sir J. Minnes and I home again, finding the street about our house full, Sir R. Ford beginning his shrievalty to-day and, what with his and our houses being new painted, the street begins to look a great deal better than it did, and more gracefull.
Home and eat one bit of meat, and then by water with him and Sir W. Batten to a sale of old provisions at Deptford, which we did at Captain Boddily’s house, to the value of 600l. or 700l., but I am not satisfied with the method used in this thing.
Then home again by water, and after a little at my office, and visit Sir W. Pen, who is not very well again, with his late pain, home to supper, being hungry, and my ear and cold not so bad I think as it was. So to bed, taking one of my pills. Newes that the King comes to town for certain on Thursday next from his progresse.

with my stomach I have met
mole-like most of the world

and I am full better than full
of meat and visions

but I am not satisfied with
the method used

this again and again being hungry
taking pills


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 28 September 1663.

(Lord’s day). Lay chatting with my wife a good while, then up and got me ready and to church, without my man William, whom I have not seen to-day, nor care, but would be glad to have him put himself far enough out of my favour that he may not wonder to have me put him away. So home to dinner, being a little troubled to see Pembleton out again, but I do not discern in my wife the least memory of him.
Dined, and so to my office a little, and then to church again, where a drowsy sermon, and so home to spend the evening with my poor wife, consulting about her closett, clothes, and other things. At night to supper, though with little comfort, I finding myself both head and breast in great pain, and what troubles me most my right ear is almost deaf. It is a cold, which God Almighty in justice did give me while I sat lewdly sporting with Mrs. Lane the other day with the broken window in my neck. I went to bed with a posset, being very melancholy in consideration of the loss of my hearing.

I would be glad to not wonder
to see but not discern the poor

or in my breast cold justice
in a broken window


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 27 September 1663.

Up and to my office, and there we sat till noon, and then I to the Exchange, but did little there, but meeting Mr. Rawlinson he would needs have me home to dinner, and Mr. Deane of Woolwich being with me I took him with me, and there we dined very well at his own dinner, only no invitation, but here I sat with little pleasure, considering my wife at home alone, and so I made what haste home I could, and was forced to sit down again at dinner with her, being unwilling to neglect her by being known to dine abroad. My doing so being only to keep Deane from dining at home with me, being doubtful what I have to eat. So to the office, and there till late at night, and so home to supper and bed, being mightily pleased to find my wife so mindful of her house.

I change onto a little side road
only to keep being doubtful

what I have of night
might ease my mind


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 26 September 1663.

Lay pretty long in bed, and so to my office all the morning till by and by called out by Sir J. Minnes and Sir W. Batten, with them by water to Deptford, where it of a sudden did lighten, thunder, and rain so as we could do nothing but stay in Davis’s house, and by and by Sir J. Minnes and I home again by water, and I home to dinner, and after dinner to the office, and there till night all alone, even of my clerks being there, doing of business, and so home and to bed.

a long call
and the sudden nothing after
alone in bed


Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 25 September 1663.