Dave Bonta

Up, and by coach to White Hall, and there in the long Matted Gallery I find Sir G. Carteret, Sir J. Minnes, and Sir W. Batten — and by and by comes the King to walk there with three or four with him; and soon as he saw us, says he, “Here is the Navy Office,” and there walked twenty turns the length of the gallery, talking, methought, but ordinary talke. By and by came the Duke, and he walked, and at last they went into the Duke’s lodgings. The King staid so long that we could not discourse with the Duke, and so we parted. I heard the Duke say that he was going to wear a perriwigg; and they say the King also will. I never till this day observed that the King is mighty gray.
Thence, meeting with Creed, walked with him to Westminster Hall, and thence by coach took up Mrs. Hunt, and carried her towards my house, and we light at the ‘Change, and sent her to my house, Creed and I to the Coffeehouse, and then to the ‘Change, and so home, and carried a barrel of oysters with us, and so to dinner, and after a good dinner left Mrs. Hunt and my wife making marmalett of quinces, and Creed and I to the perriwigg makers, but it being dark concluded of nothing, and so Creed went away, and I with Sir W. Pen, who spied me in the street, in his coach home.
There found them busy still, and I up to my vyall. Anon, the comfiture being well done, my wife and I took Mrs. Hunt at almost 9 at night by coach and carried Mrs. Hunt home, and did give her a box of sugar and a haunch of venison given me by my Lady the other day. We did not ‘light, but saw her within doors, and straight home, where after supper there happening some discourse where my wife thought she had taken Jane in a lie, she told me of it mighty triumphantly, but I, not seeing reason to conclude it a lie, was vexed, and my wife and I to very high words, wherein I up to my chamber, and she by and by followed me up, and to very bad words from her to me, calling me perfidious and man of no conscience, whatever I pretend to, and I know not what, which troubled me mightily, and though I would allow something to her passion, yet I see again and again that she spoke but somewhat of what she had in her heart. But I tempered myself very well, so as that though we went to bed with discontent she yielded to me and began to be fond, so that being willing myself to peace, we did before we sleep become very good friends, it being past 12 o’clock, and so with good hearts and joy to rest.

I walk the length of the dark street
a busy confiture of doors and high words

where I pretend to know trouble
and pass some heart tempered with sleep


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 2 November 1663.

(Lord’s day). This morning my brother’s man brought me a new black baize waistecoate, faced with silke, which I put on from this day, laying by half-shirts for this winter. He brought me also my new gowne of purple shagg, trimmed with gold, very handsome; he also brought me as a gift from my brother, a velvet hat, very fine to ride in, and the fashion, which pleases me very well, to which end, I believe, he sent it me, for he knows I had lately been angry with him.
Up and to church with my wife, and at noon dined at home alone, a good calves head boiled and dumplings, an excellent dinner methought it was.
Then to church again, whither Sir W. Pen came, the first time he has been at church these several months, he having been sicke all the while.
Home and to my office, where I taught my wife some part of subtraction, and then fell myself to set some papers of my last night’s accounts in order, and so to supper home, and after supper another bout at arithmetique with my wife, and then to my office again and made an end of my papers, and so home to prayers, and then to read my vowes, and to bed.

a black coat for winter
old as the fashion for a calf’s head boiled

has the art of subtraction set me up
with my wife of paper


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 1 November 1663.

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, where Creed came and dined with me, and after dinner he and I upstairs, and I showed him my velvet cloake and other things of clothes, that I have lately bought, which he likes very well, and I took his opinion as to some things of clothes, which I purpose to wear, being resolved to go a little handsomer than I have hitherto.
Thence to the office; where busy till night, and then to prepare my monthly account, about which I staid till 10 or 11 o’clock at night, and to my great sorrow find myself 43l. worse than I was the last month, which was then 760l., and now it is but 717l.. But it hath chiefly arisen from my layings-out in clothes for myself and wife; viz., for her about 12l., and for myself 55l., or thereabouts; having made myself a velvet cloake, two new cloth suits, black, plain both; a new shagg gowne, trimmed with gold buttons and twist, with a new hat, and, silk tops for my legs, and many other things, being resolved henceforward to go like myself. And also two perriwiggs, one whereof costs me 3l., and the other 40s. — I have worn neither yet, but will begin next week, God willing. So that I hope I shall not need now to lay out more money a great while, I having laid out in clothes for myself and wife, and for her closett and other things without, these two months, this and the last, besides household expenses of victuals, &c., above 110l.. But I hope I shall with more comfort labour to get more, and with better successe than when, for want of clothes, I was forced to sneake like a beggar. Having done this I went home, and after supper to bed, my mind being eased in knowing my condition, though troubled to think that I have been forced to spend so much.
Thus I end this month worth 717l., or thereabouts, with a good deal of good goods more than I had, and a great deal of new and good clothes.
My greatest trouble and my wife’s is our family, mighty out of order by this fellow Will’s corrupting the mayds by his idle talke and carriage, which we are going to remove by hastening him out of the house, which his uncle Blackburne is upon doing, and I am to give him 20l. per annum toward his maintenance.
The Queene continues lightheaded, but in hopes to recover.
The plague is much in Amsterdam, and we in fears of it here, which God defend.
The Turke goes on mightily in the Emperor’s dominions, and the Princes cannot agree among themselves how to go against him.
Myself in pretty good health now, after being ill this month for a week together, but cannot yet come to shit well, being so costive, but for this month almost I have not had a good natural stool, but to this hour am forced to take physic every night, which brings me neither but one stool, and that in the morning as soon as I am up, all the rest of the day very costive.
My father has been very ill in the country, but I hope better again now.
I am lately come to a conclusion with Tom Trice to pay him 100l., which is a great deale of money, but I hope it will save a great deal more.
But thus everything lessens, which I have and am like to have, and therefore I must look about me to get something more than just my salary, or else I may resolve to live well and die a beggar.

I wear my sorrow
trimmed with gold silk

like a worn-out wife
forced to sneak like a beggar into bed

but it can cost a great deal
just to die


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 31 October 1663.

Lay long in bed with my wife, and then up and a while at my office, and so to the Change, and so again, and there I found my wife in a great passion with her mayds. I upstairs to set some things in order in our chamber and wardrobe, and so to dinner upon a good dish of stewed beef, then up again about my business. Then by coach with my wife to the New Exchange, and there bought and paid for several things, and then back, calling at my periwigg-makers, and there showed my wife the periwigg made for me, and she likes it very well, and so to my brother’s, and to buy a pair of boddice for her, and so home, and to my office late, and then home to my wife, purposing to go on to a new lesson in arithmetique with her. So to supper and to bed. The Queen mends apace, but her head still light.
My mind very heavy thinking of my great layings out lately, and what they must still be for clothes, but I hope it is in order to getting of something the more by it, for I perceive how I have hitherto suffered for lack of going as becomes my place.
After a little discourse with my wife upon arithmetique, to bed.

my ice and her passion
her stairs and my back
wed like a pair of dice

her home a lesson in light
my mind heavy with arithmetic


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 30 October 1663.

I have a hand-me-down iPhone 4S and an Instagram account linked to Flickr, and so I’ve been amusing myself with poetic one-liners. It started with a particularly antisocial woodchuck, who (unusually for his species) has a den in the middle of the forest.

Woodchuck in the woods. Also, yes—a groundhog in the ground.
Woodchuck in the woods. Also, yes—a groundhog in the ground.

(more…)

Up, it being my Lord Mayor’s day, Sir Anthony Bateman.
This morning was brought home my new velvet cloake, that is, lined with velvet, a good cloth the outside, the first that ever I had in my life, and I pray God it may not be too soon now that I begin to wear it.
I had it this day brought, thinking to have worn it to dinner, but I thought it would be better to go without it because of the crowde, and so I did not wear it. We met a little at the office, and then home again and got me ready to go forth, my wife being gone forth by my consent before to see her father and mother, and taken her cooke mayde and little girle to Westminster with her for them to see their friends.
This morning in dressing myself and wanting a band, I found all my bands that were newly made clean so ill smoothed that I crumpled them, and flung them all on the ground, and was angry with Jane, which made the poor girle mighty sad, so that I were troubled for it afterwards.
At noon I went forth, and by coach to Guild Hall (by the way calling at Mr. Rawlinson’s), and there was admitted, and meeting with Mr. Proby (Sir R. Ford’s son), and Lieutenant-Colonel Baron, a City commander, we went up and down to see the tables; where under every salt there was a bill of fare, and at the end of the table the persons proper for the table. Many were the tables, but none in the Hall but the Mayor’s and the Lords of the Privy Council that had napkins or knives, which was very strange. We went into the Buttry, and there stayed and talked, and then into the Hall again: and there wine was offered and they drunk, I only drinking some hypocras, which do not break my vowe, it being, to the best of my present judgement, only a mixed compound drink, and not any wine. If I am mistaken, God forgive me! but I hope and do think I am not.
By and by met with Creed; and we, with the others, went within the several Courts, and there saw the tables prepared for the Ladies and Judges and Bishopps: all great sign of a great dinner to come. By and by about one o’clock, before the Lord Mayor came, come into the Hall, from the room where they were first led into, the Lord Chancellor (Archbishopp before him), with the Lords of the Council, and other Bishopps, and they to dinner. Anon comes the Lord Mayor, who went up to the lords, and then to the other tables to bid wellcome; and so all to dinner. I sat near Proby, Baron, and Creed at the Merchant Strangers’ table; where ten good dishes to a messe, with plenty of wine of all sorts, of which I drunk none; but it was very unpleasing that we had no napkins nor change of trenchers, and drunk out of earthen pitchers and wooden dishes.
It happened that after the lords had half dined, came the French Embassador, up to the lords’ table, where he was to have sat; but finding the table set, he would not sit down nor dine with the Lord Mayor, who was not yet come, nor have a table to himself, which was offered; but in a discontent went away again.
After I had dined, I and Creed rose and went up and down the house, and up to the lady’s room, and there stayed gazing upon them. But though there were many and fine, both young and old, yet I could not discern one handsome face there; which was very strange, nor did I find the lady that young Dawes married so pretty as I took her for, I having here an opportunity of looking much upon her very near.
I expected musique, but there was none but only trumpets and drums, which displeased me. The dinner, it seems, is made by the Mayor and two Sheriffs for the time being, the Lord Mayor paying one half, and they the other. And the whole, Proby says, is reckoned to come to about 7 or 800l. at most.
Being wearied with looking upon a company of ugly women, Creed and I went away, and took coach and through Cheapside, and there saw the pageants, which were very silly, and thence to the Temple, where meeting Greatorex, he and we to Hercules Pillars, there to show me the manner of his going about of draining of fenns, which I desired much to know, but it did not appear very satisfactory to me, as he discoursed it, and I doubt he will faile in it.
Thence I by coach home, and there found my wife come home, and by and by came my brother Tom, with whom I was very angry for not sending me a bill with my things, so as that I think never to have more work done by him if ever he serves me so again, and so I told him.
The consideration of laying out 32l. 12s. this very month in his very work troubles me also, and one thing more, that is to say, that Will having been at home all the day, I doubt is the occasion that Jane has spoken to her mistress tonight that she sees she cannot please us and will look out to provide herself elsewhere, which do trouble both of us, and we wonder also at her, but yet when the rogue is gone I do not fear but the wench will do well.
To the office a little, to set down my Journall, and so home late to supper and to bed.
The Queen mends apace, they say; but yet talks idle still.

morning brought new
velvet life to the crow

his wanting lung round and angry
bled raw salt

many were the knives strange was the ink
taken to the strangers’ table

that earth where
he would not sit

but in discontent went up
and down and up

the only trumpet
for a company of ants


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 29 October 1663.

Up and at my office all the morning, and at noon Mr. Creed came to me and dined with me, and after dinner Murford came to me and he and I discoursed wholly upon his breach of contract with us. After that Mr. Creed and I abroad, I doing several errands, and with him at last to the great coffee-house, and there after some common discourse we parted and I home, paying what I owed at the Mitre in my way, and at home Sympson the joyner coming he set up my press for my cloaks and other small things, and so to my office a little, and to supper, and to bed.
This morning Mr. Blackburne came to me, and telling me what complaints Will made of the usage he had from my wife and other discouragements, and, I seeing him, instead of advising, rather favouring his kinsman, I told him freely my mind, but friendlily, and so we have concluded to have him have a lodging elsewhere, and that I will spare him 15l. of his salary, and if I do not need to keep another 20l..

wholly to coffee I owe
my joy in small things

this black sage favoring
a free mind


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 28 October 1663.

Up, and my uncle Thomas and his scrivener bringing me a bond and affidavit to my mind, I paid him his 20l. for his daughter’s legacy, and 5l. more for a Quarter’s annuity, in the manner expressed in each acquittance, to which I must be referred on any future occasion, and to the bond and affidavit.
Thence to the office and there sat till noon, and then home to dinner, and after dinner (it being a foul house to-day among my maids, making up their clothes) abroad with my Will with me by coach to Dr. Williams, and with him to the Six Clerks’s office, and there, by advice of his acquaintance, I find that my case, through my neglect and the neglect of my lawyers, is come to be very bad, so as that it will be very hard to get my bill retayned again. However, I got him to sign and swear an affidavit that there was treaties between T. Trice and me with as much advantage as I could for me, but I will say that for him he was most exact as ever I saw man in my life, word by word what it was that he swore to, and though, God forgive me, I could have been almost naturally willing to have let him ignorantly have sworn to something that was not of itself very certain, either or no, yet out of his own conscience and care he altered the words himself so as to make them very safe for him to swear. This I carrying to my clerk Wilkinson, and telling him how I heard matters to stand, he, like a conceited fellow, made nothing of it but advised me to offer Trice’s clerks the cost of the dismission, viz., 46s. 8d., which I did, but they would not take it without his client. Immediately thereupon we parted, and met T. Trice coming into the room, and he came to me and served me with a subpoena for these very costs, so I paid it him, but Lord! to see his resolution, and indeed discretion, in the wording of his receipt, he would have it most express to my greatest disadvantage that could be, yet so as I could not deny to give it him. That being paid, my clerke, and then his began to ask why we could not think, being friends, of referring it, or stating it, first ourselves, and then put it to some good lawyer to judge in it. From one word to more we were resolved to try, and to that end to step to the Pope’s Head Taverne, and there he and his Clerke and Attorney and I and my Clerke, and sent for Mr. Smallwood, and by and by comes Mr. Clerke, my Solicitor, and after I had privately discoursed with my men and seen how doubtfully they talked, and what future certain charge and trouble it would be, with a doubtful victory, I resolved to condescend very low, and after some talke all together Trice and I retired, and he came to 150l. the lowest, and I bid him 80l.. So broke off and then went to our company, and they putting us to a second private discourse, at last I was contented to give him 100l., he to spend 40s. of it among this good company that was with us. So we went to our company, both seeming well pleased that we were come to an end, and indeed I am in the respects above said, though it be a great sum for us to part with.
I am to pay him by giving him leave to buy about 40l. worth of Piggott’s land and to strike off so much of Piggott’s debt, and the other to give him bond to pay him in 12 months after without interest, only giving him a power to buy more land of Piggott and paying him that way as he did for the other, which I am well enough contented with, or at least to take the land at that price and give him the money. This last I did not tell him, but I shall order it so.
Having agreed upon to-morrow come se’nnight for the spending of the 40s. at Mr. Rawlinson’s, we parted, and I set T. Trice down in Paul’s Churchyard and I by coach home and to my office, and there set down this day’s passages, and so home to supper and to bed.
Mr. Coventry tells me to-day that the Queen had a very good night last night; but yet it is strange that still she raves and talks of little more than of her having of children, and fancys now that she hath three children, and that the girle is very like the King. And this morning about five o’clock waked (the physician feeling her pulse, thinking to be better able to judge, she being still and asleep, waked her) and the first word she said was, “How do the children?”

however I sign and swear
word by word what have I not altered

from one private doubt I descend
to a private land

and buy a pig like a physician
feeling her pulse


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 27 October 1663.

Waked about one o’clock in the morning to piss (having gone so soon over-night to bed) and then my wife being waked rung her bell, and the mayds rose and went to washing, we to sleep again till 7 o’clock, and then up, and I abroad to look out Dr. Williams, but being gone out I went to Westminster, and there seeing my Lord Sandwich’s footman knew he was come to town, and so I went in and saw him, and received a kind salute from him, but hear that my father is very ill still. Thence to Westminster Hall with Creed, and spent the morning walking there, where, it being Terme time, I met several persons, and talked with them, among others Dr. Pierce, who tells me that the Queen is in a way to be pretty well again, but that her delirium in her head continues still; that she talks idle, not by fits, but always, which in some lasts a week after so high a fever, in some more, and in some for ever; that this morning she talked mightily that she was brought to bed, and that she wondered that she should be delivered without pain and without spueing or being sicke, and that she was troubled that her boy was but an ugly boy. But the King being by, said, “No, it is a very pretty boy.” — “Nay,” says she, “if it be like you it is a fine boy indeed, and I would be very well pleased with it.”
The other day she talked mightily of Sir H. Wood’s lady’s great belly, and said if she should miscarry he would never get another, and that she never saw such a man as this Sir H. Wood in her life, and seeing of Dr. Pridgeon, she said, “Nay, Doctor, you need not scratch your head, there is hair little enough already in the place.”
But methinks it was not handsome for the weaknesses of Princes to be talked of thus.
Thence Creed and I to the King’s Head ordinary, where much and very good company, among others one very talking man, but a scholler, that would needs put in his discourse and philosophy upon every occasion, and though he did well enough, yet his readiness to speak spoilt all. Here they say that the Turkes go on apace, and that my Lord Castlehaven is going to raise 10,000 men here for to go against him; that the King of France do offer to assist the Empire upon condition that he may be their Generalissimo, and the Dolphin chosen King of the Romans: and it is said that the King of France do occasion this difference among the Christian Princes of the Empire, which gives the Turke such advantages. They say also that the King of Spayne is making all imaginable force against Portugal again.
Thence Creed and I to one or two periwigg shops about the Temple, having been very much displeased with one that we saw, a head of greasy and old woman’s haire, at Jervas’s in the morning; and there I think I shall fit myself of one very handsomely made. Thence by coach, my mind being troubled for not meeting with Dr. Williams, to St. Catharine’s to look at a Dutch ship or two for some good handsome maps, but met none, and so back to Cornhill to Moxon’s, but it being dark we staid not to see any, then to coach again, and presently spying Sir W. Batten; I ‘light and took him in and to the Globe in Fleete Streete, by appointment, where by and by he and I with our solicitor to Sir E Turner about Field’s business, and back to the Globe, and thither I sent for Dr. Williams, and he is willing to swear in my behalf against T. Trice, viz., that at T. Trice’s desire we have met to treat about our business.
Thence (I drinking no wine) after an hour’s stay Sir W. Batten and another, and he drinking, we home by coach, and so to my office and set down my Journall, and then home to supper and to bed, my washing being in a good condition over.
I did give Dr. Williams 20s. tonight, but it was after he had answered me well to what I had to ask him about this business, and it was only what I had long ago in my petty bag book allotted for him besides the bill of near 4l. which I paid him a good while since by my brother Tom for physique for my wife, without any consideration to this business that he is to do for me, as God shall save me.
Among the rest, talking of the Emperor at table to-day one young gentleman, a pretty man, and it seems a Parliament man, did say that he was a sot; for he minded nothing of the Government, but was led by the Jesuites. Several at table took him up, some for saying that he was a sot in being led by the Jesuites, are the best counsel he can take. Another commander, a Scott Collonell, who I believe had several under him, that he was a man that had thus long kept out the Turke till now, and did many other great things, and lastly Mr. Progers, one of our courtiers, who told him that it was not a thing to be said of any Soveraigne Prince, be his weaknesses what they will, to be called a sot, which methinks was very prettily said.

gone so soon I see him ill still
in that delirium

his talk like fine lace
his discourse on Peak Oil and empire

making all imaginable
as an old man’s hair

dark and light took him
by appointment

and he answered saying
that he was not his weaknesses


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 26 October 1663.