Dave Bonta

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon I home to dinner with my poor wife, with whom now-a-days I enjoy great pleasure in her company and learning of Arithmetique.
After dinner I to Guild Hall to hear a tryall at King’s Bench, before Lord Chief Justice Hide, about the insurance of a ship, the same I mention in my yesterday’s journall, where everything was proved how money was so taken up upon bottomary and insurance, and the ship left by the master and seamen upon rocks, where, when the sea fell at the ebb, she must perish. The master was offered helpe, and he did give the pilotts 20 sols to drink to bid them go about their business, saying that the rocks were old, but his ship was new, and that she was repaired for 6l. and less all the damage that she received, and is now brought by one, sent for on purpose by the insurers, into the Thames, with her cargo, vessels of tallow daubed over with butter, instead of all butter, the whole not worth above 500l., ship and all, and they had took up, as appeared, above 2,400l.. He had given his men money to content them; and yet, for all this, he did bring some of them to swear that it was very stormy weather, and [they] did all they could to save her, and that she was seven feete deep water in hold, and were fain to cut her main and foremast, that the master was the last man that went out, and they were fain to force [him] out when she was ready to sink; and her rudder broke off, and she was drawn into the harbour after they were gone, as wrecke all broken, and goods lost: that she could not be carried out again without new building, and many other things so contrary as is not imaginable more. There was all the great counsel in the kingdom in the cause; but after one witnesse or two for the plaintiff, it was cried down as a most notorious cheate; and so the jury, without going out, found it for the plaintiff. But it was pleasant to see what mad sort of testimonys the seamen did give, and could not be got to speak in order: and then their terms such as the judge could not understand; and to hear how sillily the Counsel and judge would speak as to the terms necessary in the matter, would make one laugh: and above all, a Frenchman that was forced to speak in French, and took an English oathe he did not understand, and had an interpreter sworn to tell us what he said, which was the best testimony of all. So home well satisfied with this afternoon’s work, purposing to spend an afternoon or two every term so, and so to my office a while and then home to supper, arithmetique with my wife, and to bed.
I heard other causes, and saw the course of pleading by being at this trial, and heard and learnt two things: one is that every man has a right of passage in, but not a title to, any highway. The next, that the judge would not suffer Mr. Crow, who hath fined for Alderman, to be called so, but only Mister, and did eight or nine times fret at it, and stop every man that called him so.

it was the sea not a ship
that was lost

a thing as imaginable as a great plain
going out

what mad sort of testimonies
the seamen give

forced to work on a highway
that would only stop


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 1 December 1663.

Was called up by a messenger from Sir W. Pen to go with him by coach to White Hall. So I got up and went with him, and by the way he began to observe to me some unkind dealing of mine to him a weeke or two since at the table, like a coxcomb, when I answered him pretty freely that I would not think myself to owe any man the service to do this or that because they would have it so (it was about taking of a mulct upon a purser for not keeping guard at Chatham when I was there), so he talked and I talked and let fall the discourse without giving or receiving any great satisfaction, and so to other discourse, but I shall know him still for a false knave. At White Hall we met the Duke in the Matted Gallery, and there he discoursed with us; and by and by my Lord Sandwich came and stood by, and talked; but it being St. Andrew’s, and a collar-day, he went to the Chappell, and we parted. From him and Sir W. Pen and I back again and ‘light at the ‘Change, and to the Coffee-house, where I heard the best story of a cheate intended by a Master of a ship, who had borrowed twice his money upon the bottomary, and as much more insured upon his ship and goods as they were worth, and then would have cast her away upon the coast of France, and there left her, refusing any pilott which was offered him; and so the Governor of the place took her and sent her over hither to find an owner, and so the ship is come safe, and goods and all; they all worth 500l., and he had one way or other taken 3000l.. The cause is to be tried to-morrow at Guildhall, where I intend to be.
Thence home to dinner, and then with my wife to her arithmetique. In the evening came W. Howe to see me, who tells me that my Lord hath been angry three or four days with him, would not speak to him; at last did, and charged him with having spoken to me about what he had observed concerning his Lordship, which W. Howe denying stoutly, he was well at ease; and continues very quiett, and is removing from Chelsy as fast as he can, but, methinks, both by my Lord’s looks upon me to-day, or it may be it is only my doubtfulness, and by W. Howe’s discourse, my Lord is not very well pleased, nor, it may be, will be a good while, which vexes me; but I hope all will over in time, or else I am but ill rewarded for my good service.
Anon he and I to the Temple and there parted, and I to my cozen Roger Pepys, whom I met going to his chamber; he was in haste, and to go out of town tomorrow. He tells me of a letter from my father which he will keep to read to me at his coming to town again. I perceive it is about my father’s jealousys concerning my wife’s doing ill offices with me against him only from the differences they had when she was there, which he very unwisely continues to have and troubles himself and friends about to speak to me in, as my Lord Sandwich, Mr. Moore, and my cozen Roger, which vexes me, but I must impute it to his age and care for my mother and Pall and so let it go.
After little discourse with him I took coach and home, calling upon my bookseller’s for two books, Rushworth’s and Scobell’s Collections. I shall make the King pay for them. The first I spent some time at the office to read and it is an excellent book. So home and spent the evening with my wife in arithmetique, and so to supper and to bed.
I end this month with my mind in good condition for any thing else, but my unhappy adventuring to disoblige my Lord by doing him service in representing to him the discourse of the world concerning him and his affairs.

called to observe like a guard at a gallery
the art refusing to be quiet

I look over it all and let it go
my books collect time

my mind in good condition
for venturing into the world


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 30 November 1663.

(Lord’s day). This morning I put on my best black cloth suit, trimmed with scarlett ribbon, very neat, with my cloake lined with velvett, and a new beaver, which altogether is very noble, with my black silk knit canons I bought a month ago.
I to church alone, my wife not going, and there I found my Lady Batten in a velvet gown, which vexed me that she should be in it before my wife, or that I am able to put her into one, but what cannot be, cannot be. However, when I came home I told my wife of it, and to see my weaknesse, I could on the sudden have found my heart to have offered her one, but second thoughts put it by, and indeed it would undo me to think of doing as Sir W. Batten and his Lady do, who has a good estate besides his office. A good dinner we had of boeuf a la mode, but not roasted so well as my wife used to do it. So after dinner I to the French Church, but that being too far begun I came back to St. Dunstan’s by six and heard a good sermon, and so home and to my office all the evening making up my accounts of this month, and blessed be God I have got up my crumb again to 770l., the most that ever I had yet, and good clothes a great many besides, which is a great mercy of God to me.
So home to supper and to bed.

I put on my best black
trimmed with black
silk on velvet gown

but O if I could have found my heart
that blessed crumb


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 29 November 1663.

Up and at the office sat all the morning, and at noon by Mr. Coventry’s coach to the ‘Change, and after a little while there where I met with Mr. Pierce, the chyrurgeon, who tells me for good newes that my Lord Sandwich is resolved to go no more to Chelsy, and told me he believed that I had been giving my Lord some counsel, which I neither denied nor affirmed, but seemed glad with him that he went thither no more, and so I home to dinner, and thence abroad to Paul’s Church Yard, and there looked upon the second part of Hudibras, which I buy not, but borrow to read, to see if it be as good as the first, which the world cry so mightily up, though it hath not a good liking in me, though I had tried by twice or three times reading to bring myself to think it witty. Back again home and to my office, and there late doing business and so home to supper and to bed. I have been told two or three times, but to-day for certain I am told how in Holland publickly they have pictured our King with reproach. One way is with his pockets turned the wrong side outward, hanging out empty; another with two courtiers picking of his pockets; and a third, leading of two ladies, while others abuse him; which amounts to great contempt.

tell me
which neither denied nor affirmed hit
not to see

which good times to bring myself
to think of at a public hanging


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 28 November 1663.

Up and to my office, where busy with great delight all the morning, and at noon to the ‘Change, and so home to dinner with my poor wife, and with great content to my office again, and there hard at work upon stating the account of the freights due to the King from the East India Company till late at night, and so home to supper and to bed. My wife mightily pleased with my late discourse of getting a trip over to Calais, or some other port of France, the next summer, in one of the yachts, and I believe I shall do it, and it makes good sport that my mayde Jane dares not go, and Besse is wild to go, and is mad for joy, but yet will be willing to stay if Jane hath a mind, which is the best temper in this and all other things that ever I knew in my life.

ice busy with light
freights the yachts

my wild joy at this
other life


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 27 November 1663.

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon I to the ‘Change, and there met with Mr. Cutler the merchant, who would needs have me home to his house by the Dutch Church, and there in an old but good house, with his wife and mother, a couple of plain old women, I dined a good plain dinner, and his discourse after dinner with me upon matters of the navy victualling very good and worth my hearing, and so home to my office in the afternoon with my mind full of business, and there at it late, and so home to supper to my poor wife, and to bed, myself being in a little pain in one of my testicles, by a stroke I did give it in pulling up my breeches yesterday over-eagerly, but I will lay nothing to it till I see whether it will cease of itself or no.
The plague, it seems, grows more and more at Amsterdam; and we are going upon making of all ships coming from thence and Hambrough, or any other infected places, to perform their Quarantine (for thirty days as Sir Rd. Browne expressed it in the order of the Council, contrary to the import of the word, though in the general acceptation it signifies now the thing, not the time spent in doing it) in Holehaven, a thing never done by us before.

who needs his hearing so full of nothing
we are all infected

quarantine the word in a hole


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 26 November 1663.

Up and to Sir G. Carteret’s house, and with him by coach to Whitehall. He uses me mighty well to my great joy, and in our discourse took occasion to tell me that as I did desire of him the other day so he desires of me the same favour that we may tell one another at any time any thing that passes among us at the office or elsewhere wherein we are either dissatisfied one with another, and that I should find him in all things as kind and ready to serve me as my own brother. This methinks was very sudden and extraordinary and do please me mightily, and I am resolved by no means ever to lose him again if I can. He told me that he did still observe my care for the King’s service in my office.
He set me down in Fleet Street and thence I by another coach to my Lord Sandwich’s, and there I did present him Mr. Barlow’s “Terella,” with which he was very much pleased, and he did show me great kindnesse, and by other discourse I have reason to think that he is not at all, as I feared he would be, discontented against me more than the trouble of the thing will work upon him. I left him in good humour, and I to White Hall, to the Duke of York and Mr. Coventry, and there advised about insuring the hempe ship at 12 per cent., notwithstanding her being come to Newcastle, and I do hope that in all my three places which are now my hopes and supports I may not now fear any thing, but with care, which through the Lord’s blessing I will never more neglect, I don’t doubt but to keep myself up with them all. For in the Duke, and Mr. Coventry, my Lord Sandwich and Sir G. Carteret I place my greatest hopes, and it pleased me yesterday that Mr. Coventry in the coach (he carrying me to the Exchange at noon from the office) did, speaking of Sir W. Batten, say that though there was a difference between them, yet he would embrace any good motion of Sir W. Batten to the King’s advantage as well as of Mr. Pepys’ or any friend he had. And when I talked that I would go about doing something of the Controller’s work when I had time, and that I thought the Controller would not take it ill, he wittily replied that there was nothing in the world so hateful as a dog in the manger.
Back by coach to the Exchange, there spoke with Sir W. Rider about insuring, and spoke with several other persons about business, and shall become pretty well known quickly.
Thence home to dinner with my poor wife, and with great joy to my office, and there all the afternoon about business, and among others Mr. Bland came to me and had good discourse, and he has chose me a referee for him in a business, and anon in the evening comes Sir W. Warren, and he and I had admirable discourse. He advised me in things I desired about, bummary, and other ways of putting out money as in parts of ships, how dangerous they are.
And lastly fell to talk of the Dutch management of the Navy, and I think will helpe me to some accounts of things of the Dutch Admiralty, which I am mighty desirous to know.
He seemed to have been mighty privy with my Lord Albemarle in things before this great turn, and to the King’s dallying with him and others for some years before, but I doubt all was not very true. However, his discourse is very useful in general, though he would seem a little more than ordinary in this.
Late at night home to supper and to bed, my mind in good ease all but my health, of which I am not a little doubtful.

I am resolved to flee
to my sand castle

in which I may not fear anything
but time or anger

I shall be bland
as a discourse on ships

how dangerous it is to dally
with a little doubt


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 25 November 1663.

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon to the ‘Change, where everybody joyed me in our hemp ship’s coming safe, and it seems one man, Middleburgh, did give 20 per cent. in gold last night, three or four minutes before the newes came of her being safe.
Thence with Mr. Deane home and dined, and after dinner and a good deal of discourse of the business of Woolwich Yard, we opened his draught of a ship which he has made for me, and indeed it is a most excellent one and that that I hope will be of good use to me as soon as I get a little time, and much indebted I am to the poor man.
Toward night I by coach to Whitehall to the Tangier committee, and there spoke with my Lord and he seems mighty kind to me, but I will try him to-morrow by a visit to see whether he holds it or no. Then home by coach again and to my office, where late with Captain Miners about the East India business.
So home to supper and to bed, being troubled to find myself so bound as I am, notwithstanding all the physic that I take.
This day our tryall was with Field, and I hear that they have given him 29l. damage more, which is a strange thing, but yet not so much as formerly, nor as I was afeard of.

to see night in a safe
we open it a little

poor old miners
troubled to find no ore


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 24 November 1663.

Up and to Alderman Backwell’s, where Sir W. Rider, by appointment, met us to consult about the insuring of our hempe ship from Archangell, in which we are all much concerned, by my Lord Treasurer’s command. That being put in a way I went to Mr. Beacham, one of our jury, to confer with him about our business with Field at our trial to-morrow, and thence to St. Paul’s Churchyarde, and there bespoke “Rushworth’s Collections,” and “Scobell’s Acts of the Long Parliament,” &c., which I will make the King pay for as to the office; and so I do not break my vow at all.
Back to the Coffee-house, and then to the ‘Change, where Sir W. Rider and I did bid 15 per cent., and nobody will take it under 20 per cent., and the lowest was 15 per cent. premium, and 15 more to be abated in case of losse, which we did not think fit without order to give, and so we parted, and I home to a speedy, though too good a dinner to eat alone, viz., a good goose and a rare piece of roast beef. Thence to the Temple, but being there too soon and meeting Mr. Moore I took him up and to my Lord Treasurer’s, and thence to Sir Ph. Warwick’s, where I found him and did desire his advice, who left me to do what I thought fit in this business of the insurance, and so back again to the Temple all the way telling Mr. Moore what had passed between my Lord and me yesterday, and indeed my fears do grow that my Lord will not reform as I hoped he would nor have the ingenuity to take my advice as he ought kindly. But however I am satisfied that the one person whom he said he would take leave to except is not Mr. Moore, and so W. Howe I am sure could tell him nothing of my letter that ever he saw it.
Here Mr. Moore and I parted, and I up to the Speaker’s chamber, and there met Mr. Coventry by appointment to discourse about Field’s business, and thence we parting I homewards and called at the Coffeehouse, and there by great accident hear that a letter is come that our ship is safe come to Newcastle. With this news I went like an asse presently to Alderman Backewell and, told him of it, and he and I went to the African House in Broad Street to have spoke with Sir W. Rider to tell him of it, but missed him. Now what an opportunity had I to have concealed this and seemed to have made an insurance and got 100l. with the least trouble and danger in the whole world. This troubles me to think I should be so oversoon.
So back again with Alderman Backewell talking of the new money, which he says will never be counterfeited, he believes; but it is deadly inconvenient for telling, it is so thick, and the edges are made to turn up.
I found him as full of business, and, to speak the truth, he is a very painfull man, and ever was, and now-a-days is well paid for it.
So home and to my office, doing business late in order to the getting a little money, and so home to supper and to bed.

the angel in the yard
will not break

nobody will take her advice
or have the ingenuity to take kindly

I am the one person
who would take nothing of her

art is all accident
like a road with deadly edges


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 23 November 1663.

A spectre is haunting my Instagram page — the spectre of Trumpism. But more cheerful subjects, such as death, imprisonment, and the evolution of teeth, also continue to pop up.

A deflated balloon in the woods with a picture of a baby elephant on it tan the words "baby boy."
The shining lies may seem harmless, but they are indigestible and will cause acute distress to many we never see.

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