Dave Bonta

At the office all the morning; at noon the children are sent for by their mother my Lady Sandwich to dinner, and my wife goes along with them by coach, and she to my father’s and dines there, and from thence with them to see Mrs. Cordery, who do invite them before my father goes into the country, and thither I should have gone too but that I am sent for to the Privy Seal, and there I found a thing of my Lord Chancellor’s to be sealed this afternoon, and so I am forced to go to Worcester House, where severall Lords are met in Council this afternoon. And while I am waiting there, in comes the King in a plain common riding-suit and velvet cap, in which he seemed a very ordinary man to one that had not known him. Here I staid till at last, hearing that my Lord Privy Seal had not the seal here, Mr. Moore and I hired a coach and went to Chelsy, and there at an alehouse sat and drank and past the time till my Lord Privy Seal came to his house, and so we to him and examined and sealed the thing, and so homewards, but when we came to look for our coach we found it gone, so we were fain to walk home afoot and saved our money.
We met with a companion that walked with us, and coming among some trees near the Neate houses, he began to whistle, which did give us some suspicion, but it proved that he that answered him was Mr. Marsh (the Lutenist) and his wife, and so we all walked to Westminster together, in our way drinking a while at my cost, and had a song of him, but his voice is quite lost.
So walked home, and there I found that my Lady do keep the children at home, and lets them not come any more hither at present, which a little troubles me to lose their company. This day my aunt Fenner dyed.

O mother, O wife,
in the country of Chance I am king
in a velvet cap.
I had a mine and sealed the thing
and save our money in trees,
which cost a song and keep
the children company.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 19 August 1661.

(Lord’s day). To our own church in the morning and so home to dinner, where my father and Dr. Tom Pepys came to me to dine, and were very merry. After dinner I took my wife and Mr. Sidney to my Lady to see my Lord Hinchingbroke, who is now pretty well again, and sits up and walks about his chamber.
So I went to White Hall, and there hear that my Lord General Monk continues very ill: so I went to la belle Pierce and sat with her; and then to walk in St. James’s Park, and saw great variety of fowl which I never saw before and so home.
At night fell to read in “Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity,” which Mr. Moore did give me last Wednesday very handsomely bound; and which I shall read with great pains and love for his sake.
So to supper and to bed.

Into an ear of owl
night fell,
ecclesiastical,
with great pain and love
for his supper.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 18 August 1661.

At the Privy Seal, where we had a seal this morning. Then met with Ned Pickering, and walked with him into St. James’s Park (where I had not been a great while), and there found great and very noble alterations. And, in our discourse, he was very forward to complain and to speak loud of the lewdness and beggary of the Court, which I am sorry to hear, and which I am afeard will bring all to ruin again. So he and I to the Wardrobe to dinner, and after dinner Captain Ferrers and I to the Opera, and saw “The Witts” again, which I like exceedingly. The Queen of Bohemia was here, brought by my Lord Craven.
So the Captain and I and another to the Devil tavern and drank, and so by coach home. Troubled in mind that I cannot bring myself to mind my business, but to be so much in love of plays.
We have been at a great loss a great while for a vessel that I sent about a month ago with things of my Lord’s to Lynn, and cannot till now hear of them, but now we are told that they are put into Soale Bay, but to what purpose I know not.

At the park, a loud beggar
like the queen of Bohemia—
raven at play.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 17 August 1661.

At the office all the morning, though little to be done; because all our clerks are gone to the buriall of Tom Whitton, one of the Controller’s clerks, a very ingenious, and a likely young man to live, as any in the Office. But it is such a sickly time both in City and country every where (of a sort of fever), that never was heard of almost, unless it was in a plague-time.
Among others, the famous Tom Fuller is dead of it; and Dr. Nichols, Dean of Paul’s; and my Lord General Monk is very dangerously ill.
Dined at home with the children and were merry, and my father with me; who after dinner he and I went forth about business. Among other things we found one Dr. John Williams at an alehouse, where we staid till past nine at night, in Shoe Lane, talking about our country business, and I found him so well acquainted with the matters of Gravely that I expect he will be of great use to me. So by link home. I understand my Aunt Fenner is upon the point of death.

Clerks go to burial
like any other full
or ill business.
We talk gravely,
eat ink and point.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 16 August 1661.

To the Privy Seal and Whitehall, up and down, and at noon Sir W. Pen carried me to Paul’s, and so I walked to the Wardrobe and dined with my Lady, and there told her, of my Lord’s sickness (of which though it hath been the town-talk this fortnight, she had heard nothing) and recovery, of which she was glad, though hardly persuaded of the latter. I found my Lord Hinchingbroke better and better, and the worst past. Thence to the Opera, which begins again to-day with “The Witts,” never acted yet with scenes; and the King and Duke and Duchess were there (who dined to-day with Sir H. Finch, reader at the Temple, in great state); and indeed it is a most excellent play, and admirable scenes.
So home and was overtaken by Sir W. Pen in his coach, who has been this afternoon with my Lady Batten, &c., at the Theatre.
So I followed him to the Dolphin, where Sir W. Batten was, and there we sat awhile, and so home after we had made shift to fuddle Mr. Falconer of Woolwich.
So home.

Sick of the town-
talk, I hear
nothing hard,
my wits never
overtaken by
a fuddle of wool.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 15 August 1661.

This morning Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen and I waited upon the Duke of York in his chamber, to give him an account of the condition of the Navy for lack of money, and how our own very bills are offered upon the Exchange, to be sold at 20 in the 100 loss. He is much troubled at it, and will speak to the King and Council of it this morning.
So I went to my Lady’s and dined with her, and found my Lord Hinchingbroke somewhat better.
After dinner Captain Ferrers and I to the Theatre, and there saw “The Alchymist;” and there I saw Sir W. Pen, who took us when the play was done and carried the Captain to Paul’s and set him down, and me home with him, and he and I to the Dolphin, but not finding Sir W. Batten there, we went and carried a bottle of wine to his house, and there sat a while and talked, and so home to bed.
At home I found a letter from Mr. Creed of the 15th of July last, that tells me that my Lord is rid of his pain (which was wind got into the muscles of his right side) and his feaver, and is now in hopes to go aboard in a day or two, which do give me mighty great comfort.

I dined with her and found
what heat the alchemist
took home in a bottle:
a letter from July,
wind and fever.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 14 August 1661.

To the Privy Seal in the morning, then to the Wardrobe to dinner, where I met my wife, and found my young Lord very ill. So my Lady intends to send her other three sons, Sidney, Oliver, and John, to my house, for fear of the small-pox. After dinner I went to my father’s, where I found him within, and went up to him, and there found him settling his papers against his removal, and I took some old papers of difference between me and my wife and took them away. After that Pall being there I spoke to my father about my intention not to keep her longer for such and such reasons, which troubled him and me also, and had like to have come to some high words between my mother and me, who is become a very simple woman.
By and by comes in Mrs. Cordery to take her leave of my father, thinking he was to go presently into the country, and will have us to come and see her before he do go.
Then my father and I went forth to Mr. Rawlinson’s, where afterwards comes my uncle Thomas and his two sons, and then my uncle Wight by appointment of us all, and there we read the will and told them how things are, and what our thoughts are of kindness to my uncle Thomas if he do carry himself peaceable, but otherwise if he persist to keep his caveat up against us. So he promised to withdraw it, and seemed to be very well contented with things as they are.
After a while drinking, we paid all and parted, and so I home, and there found my Lady’s three sons come, of which I am glad that I am in condition to do her and my Lord any service in this kind, but my mind is yet very much troubled about my Lord of Sandwich’s health, which I am afeard of.

Old papers trouble me,
like some high country
where all are peaceable
but against us. I draw
things as they are, glad
that my mind is troubled.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 13 August 1661.

At the office this morning. At home in the afternoon, and had notice that my Lord Hinchingbroke is fallen ill, which I fear is with the fruit that I did give them on Saturday last at my house: so in the evening I went thither and there found him very ill, and in great fear of the smallpox. I supped with my Lady, and did consult about him, but we find it best to let him lie where he do; and so I went home with my heart full of trouble for my Lord Hinchingbroke’s sickness, and more for my Lord Sandwich’s himself, whom we are now confirmed is sick ashore at Alicante, who, if he should miscarry, God knows in what condition would his family be.
I dined to-day with my Lord Crew, who is now at Sir H. Wright’s, while his new house is making fit for him, and he is much troubled also at these things.

This fallen fruit:
a small heart
full of sickness,
my sandwich’s god.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 12 August 1661.

(Lord’s day). To our own church in the forenoon, and in the afternoon to Clerkenwell Church, only to see the two fayre Botelers; and I happened to be placed in the pew where they afterwards came to sit, but the pew by their coming being too full, I went out into the next, and there sat, and had my full view of them both, but I am out of conceit now with them, Colonel Dillon being come back from Ireland again, and do still court them, and comes to church with them, which makes me think they are not honest. Hence to Graye’s-Inn walks, and there staid a good while; where I met with Ned Pickering, who told me what a great match of hunting of a stagg the King had yesterday; and how the King tired all their horses, and come home with not above two or three able to keep pace with him. So to my father’s, and there supped, and so home.

Too full, I went out
into the full land

and stayed to eat
a tired horse

not able to keep pace
with my fat.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 11 August 1661.