Dave Bonta

Up early, not quite rid of my pain. I took more physique, and so made myself ready to go forth. So to my Lord, who rose as soon as he heard I was there; and in his nightgown and shirt stood talking with me alone two hours, I believe, concerning his greatest matters of state and interest. Among other things, that his greatest design is, first, to get clear of all debts to the King for the Embassy money, and then a pardon. Then, to get his land settled; and then to, discourse and advise what is best for him, whether to keep his sea employment longer or no. For he do discern that the Duke would be willing to have him out, and that by Coventry’s means. And here he told me, how the terms at Argier were wholly his; and that he did plainly tell Lawson and agree with him, that he would have the honour of them, if they should ever be agreed to; and that accordingly they did come over hither entitled, “Articles concluded on by Sir J. Lawson, according to instructions received from His Royal Highness James Duke of York, &c., and from His Excellency the Earle of Sandwich.” (Which however was more than needed; but Lawson tells my Lord in his letter, that it was not he, but the Council of Warr that would have “His Royal Highness” put into the title, though he did not contribute one word to it.) But the Duke of York did yesterday propose them to the Council, to be printed with this title: “Concluded on, by Sir J. Lawson, Knt.” and my Lord quite left out. Here I find my Lord very politique; for he tells me, that he discerns they design to set up Lawson as much as they can and that he do counterplot them by setting him up higher still; by which they will find themselves spoiled of their design, and at last grow jealous of Lawson. This he told me with much pleasure; and that several of the Duke’s servants, by name my Lord Barkeley [of Stratton], Mr. Talbot, and others, had complained to my Lord of Coventry, and would have him out. My Lord do acknowledge that his greatest obstacle is Coventry. He did seem to hint such a question as this: “Hitherto I have been supported by the King and Chancellor against the Duke; but what if it should come about, that it should be the Duke and Chancellor against the King?” which, though he said it in these plain words, yet I could not fully understand it; but may more here after.
My Lord did also tell me, that the Duke himself at Portsmouth did thank my Lord for all his pains and care; and that he perceived it must be the old Captains that must do the business; and that the new ones would spoil all. And that my Lord did very discreetly tell the Duke (though quite against his judgement and inclination), that, however, the King’s new captains ought to be borne with a little and encouraged. By which he will oblige that party, and prevent, as much as may be, their envy; but he says that certainly things will go to rack if ever the old captains should be wholly out, and the new ones only command.
Then we fell to talk of Sir J. Minnes, of whom my Lord hath a very slight opinion, and that at first he did come to my Lord very displeased and sullen, and had studied and turned over all his books to see whether it had ever been that two flags should ride together in the main-top, but could not find it, nay, he did call his captains on board to consult them. So when he came by my Lord’s side, he took down his flag, and all the day did not hoist it again, but next day my Lord did tell him that it was not so fit to ride without a flag, and therefore told him that he should wear it in the fore-top, for it seems my Lord saw his instructions, which were that he should not wear his flag in the maintop in the presence of the Duke or my Lord.
But that after that my Lord did caress him, and he do believe him as much his friend as his interest will let him. I told my Lord of the late passage between Swan and me, and he told me another lately between Dr. Dell and himself when he was in the country.
At last we concluded upon dispatching all his accounts as soon as possible, and so I parted, and to my office, where I met Sir W. Pen, and he desired a turn with me in the garden, where he told me the day now was fixed for his going into Ireland and that whereas I had mentioned some service he could do a friend of mine there, Saml. Pepys, he told me he would most readily do what I would command him, and then told me we must needs eat a dish of meat together before he went, and so invited me and my wife on Sunday next. To all which I did give a cold consent, for my heart cannot love or have a good opinion of him since his last playing the knave with me, but he took no notice of our difference at all, nor I to him, and so parted, and I by water to Deptford, where I found Sir W. Batten alone paying off the yard three quarters pay. Thence to dinner, where too great a one was prepared, at which I was very much troubled, and wished I had not been there. After dinner comes Sir J. Minnes and some captains with him, who had been at a Councill of Warr to-day, who tell us they have acquitted Captain Hall, who was accused of cowardice in letting of old Winter, the Argier pyrate, go away from him with a prize or two; and also Captain Diamond of the murder laid to him of a man that he had struck, but he lived many months after, till being drunk, he fell into the hold, and there broke his jaw and died, but they say there are such bawdy articles against him as never were heard of. One, that he should upon his knees drink the King and Queenes health at Lisbon, wishing that the King’s pintle were in the Queenes cunt up to her heart, that it might cry ‘Knack, knockagain.
To the pay again, where I left them, and walked to Redriffe, and so home, and there came Mr. Creed and Shepley to me, and staid till night about my Lord’s accounts, our proceeding to set them in order, and so parted and I to bed.
Mr. Holliard had been with my wife to-day, and cured her of her pain in her ear by taking out a most prodigious quantity of hard wax that had hardened itself in the bottom of the ear, of which I am very glad.

Not quite rid
of myself, what
is best to keep?
According to
instructions received
from the Lord,
pleasure is a question
that I should
not understand,
my mouth ought
to rage. But
my books had been flags
without a country
and I a pen.
Cold cannot love
the winter, or
a drunk his drink.
Wishing that
the heart might
knock again,
I am taking out
a prodigious
quantity of
hardened self.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 27 June 1662.

Up and took physique, but such as to go abroad with, only to loosen me, for I am bound. So to the office, and there all the morning sitting till noon, and then took Commissioner Pett home to dinner with me, where my stomach was turned when my sturgeon came to table, upon which I saw very many little worms creeping, which I suppose was through the staleness of the pickle.
He being gone, comes Mr. Nicholson, my old fellow-student at Magdalene, and we played three or four things upon the violin and basse, and so parted, and I to my office till night, and there came Mr. Shepley and Creed in order to settling some accounts of my Lord to-night, and so to bed.

A road is a table
upon which many
little worms creep
through stale,
gone things.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 26 June 1662.

Up by four o’clock, and put my accounts with my Lord into a very good order, and so to my office, where having put many things in order I went to the Wardrobe, but found my Lord gone to Hampton Court. After discourse with Mr. Shepley we parted, and I into Thames Street, beyond the Bridge, and there enquired among the shops the price of tarre and oyle, and do find great content in it, and hope to save the King money by this practice. So home to dinner, and then to the Change, and so home again, and at the office preparing business against to-morrow all the afternoon. At night walked with my wife upon the leads, and so to supper and to bed. My wife having lately a great pain in her ear, for which this night she begins to take physique, and I have got cold and so have a great deal of my old pain.

lock into order in order to war
go after tar and oil
eat money
change into lead

O pain of my pain

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 25 June 1662.

(Midsummer day). Up early and to my office, putting things in order against we sit. There came to me my cozen Harry Alcocke, whom I much respect, to desire (by a letter from my father to me, where he had been some days) my help for him to some place. I proposed the sea to him, and I think he will take it, and I hope do well.
Sat all the morning, and I bless God I find that by my diligence of late and still, I do get ground in the office every day.
At noon to the Change, where I begin to be known also, and so home to dinner, and then to the office all the afternoon dispatching business.
At night news is brought me that Field the rogue hath this day cast me at Guildhall in 30l. for his imprisonment, to which I signed his commitment with the rest of the officers; but they having been parliament-men, that he hath begun the law with me; and threatens more, but I hope the Duke of York will bear me out. At night home, and Mr. Spong came to me, and so he and I sat singing upon the leads till almost ten at night and so he went away (a pretty, harmless, and ingenious man), and I to bed, in a very great content of mind, which I hope by my care still in my business will continue to me.

We sit by the sea
to find still ground.
At the prison, men singing
till ten at night.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 24 June 1662.

Up early, this morning, and my people are taking down the hangings and things in my house because of the great dust that is already made by the pulling down of Sir W. Batten’s house, and will be by my own when I come to it. To my office, and there hard at work all the morning. At noon to the Exchange to meet Dr. Williams, who sent me this morning notice of his going into the country tomorrow, but could not find him, but meeting with Frank Moore, my Lord Lambeth’s man formerly, we, and two or three friends of his did go to a tavern, and there they drank, but I nothing but small beer. In the next room one was playing very finely of the dulcimer, which well played I like well, but one of our own company, a talking fellow, did in discourse say much of this Act against Seamen,1 for their being brought to account; and that it was made on purpose for my Lord Sandwich, who was in debt 100,000l., and hath been forced to have pardon oftentimes from Oliver for the same: at which I was vexed at him, but thought it not worth my trouble to oppose what he said, but took leave and went home, and after a little dinner to my office again, and in the evening Sir W. Warren came to me about business, and that being done, discoursing of deals, I did offer to go along with him among his deal ships, which we did to half a score, where he showed me the difference between Dram, Swinsound, Christiania, and others, and told me many pleasant notions concerning their manner of cutting and sawing them by watermills, and the reason how deals become dearer and cheaper, among others, when the snow is not so great as to fill up the vallys that they may pass from hill to hill over the snow, then it is dear carriage. From on board he took me to his yard, where vast and many places of deals, sparrs, and bulks, &c., the difference between which I never knew before, and indeed am very proud of this evening’s work. He had me into his house, which is most pretty and neat and well furnished. After a glass, not of wine, for I would not be tempted to drink any, but a glass of mum, I well home by water, but it being late was forced to land at the Custom House, and so home and to bed, and after I was a-bed, letters came from the Duke for the fitting out of four ships forthwith from Portsmouth (I know not yet for what) so I was forced to make Will get them wrote, and signed them in bed and sent them away by express. And so to sleep.

this great dust is made
in the country

there is no cheaper
to fill up the house and urn

with I know not yet
what sleep

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 23 June 1662.

(Lord’s day). This day I first put on my slasht doublet, which I like very well. Mr. Shepley came to me in the morning, telling me that he and my Lord came to town from Hinchinbroke last night. He and I spend an hour in looking over his account, and then walked to the Wardrobe, all the way discoursing of my Lord’s business. He tells me to my great wonder that Mr. Barnwell is dead 500l. in debt to my Lord.
By and by my Lord came from church, and I dined, with some others, with him, he very merry, and after dinner took me aside and talked of state and other matters. By and by to my brother Tom’s and took him out with me homewards (calling at the Wardrobe to talk a little with Mr. Moore), and so to my house, where I paid him all I owed him, and did make the 20l. I lately lent him up to 40l., for which he shall give bond to Mr. Shepley, for it is his money.
So my wife and I to walk in the garden, where all our talk was against Sir W. Pen, against whom I have lately had cause to be much prejudiced. By and by he and his daughter came out to walk, so we took no notice of them a great while, at last in going home spoke a word or two, and so good night, and to bed. This day I am told of a Portugall lady, at Hampton Court, that hath dropped a child already since the Queen’s coming, but the king would not have them searched whose it is; and so it is not commonly known yet. Coming home to-night, I met with Will. Swan, who do talk as high for the Fanatiques as ever he did in his life; and do pity my Lord Sandwich and me that we should be given up to the wickedness of the world; and that a fall is coming upon us all; for he finds that he and his company are the true spirit of the nation, and the greater part of the nation too, who will have liberty of conscience in spite of this “Act of Uniformity,” or they will die; and if they may not preach abroad, they will preach in their own houses. He told me that certainly Sir H. Vane must be gone to Heaven, for he died as much a martyr and saint as ever man did; and that the King hath lost more by that man’s death, than he will get again a good while. At all which I know not what to think; but, I confess, I do think that the Bishops will never be able to carry it so high as they do.

Lord’s day
is the Lord’s business;
my church is the known world.
On the road, they told me
that heaven died as much
as man did,
and bishops will never
be able to carry it
so high.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 22 June 1662.

Up about four o’clock, and settled some private business of my own, then made me ready and to the office to prepare things for our meeting to-day.
By and by we met, and at noon Sir W. Pen and I to the Trinity House; where was a feast made by the Wardens, when great good cheer, and much, but ordinary company. The Lieutenant of the Tower, upon my demanding how Sir H. Vane died, told me that he died in a passion; but all confess with so much courage as never man died. Thence to the office, where Sir W. Rider, Capt. Cocke, and Mr. Cutler came by appointment to meet me to confer about the contract between us and them for 500 tons of hemp. That being done, I did other business and so went home, and there found Mr. Creed, who staid talking with my wife and me an hour or two, and I put on my riding cloth suit, only for him to see how it is, and I think it will do very well. He being gone, and I hearing from my wife and the maids’ complaints made of the boy, I called him up, and with my whip did whip him till I was not able to stir, and yet I could not make him confess any of the lies that they tax him with. At last, not willing to let him go away a conqueror, I took him in task again, and pulled off his frock to his shirt, and whipped him till he did confess that he did drink the whey, which he had denied, and pulled a pink, and above all did lay the candlestick upon the ground in his chamber, which he had denied this quarter of a year. I confess it is one of the greatest wonders that ever I met with that such a little boy as he could possibly be able to suffer half so much as he did to maintain a lie. I think I must be forced to put him away. So to bed, with my arm very weary.

My ready rage, a creed
I put on to see
how it is: thin whip, rock
and candle on the ground.
Denied wonder, I suffer
to maintain a lie.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 21 June 1662.

Up by four or five o’clock, and to the office, and there drew up the agreement between the King and Sir John Winter about the Forrest of Deane; and having done it, he came himself (I did not know him to be the Queen’s Secretary before, but observed him to be a man of fine parts); and we read it, and both liked it well. That done, I turned to the Forrest of Deane, in Speede’s Mapps, and there he showed me how it lies; and the Lea-bayly, with the great charge of carrying it to Lydny, and many other things worth my knowing; and I do perceive that I am very short in my business by not knowing many times the geographical part of my business.
At my office till Mr. Moore took me out and at my house looked over our papers again, and upon our evening accounts did give full discharges one to the other, and in his and many other accounts I perceive I shall be better able to give a true balance of my estate to myself within a day or two than I have been this twelve months.
Then he and I to Alderman Backwell’s and did the like there, and I gave one receipt for all the money I have received thence upon the receipt of my Lord’s crusados. Then I went to the Exchange, and hear that the merchants have a great fear of a breach with the Spaniard; for they think he will not brook our having Tangier, Dunkirk, and Jamaica; and our merchants begin to draw home their estates as fast as they can. Then to Pope’s Head Ally, and there bought me a pair of tweezers, cost me 14s., the first thing like a bawble I have bought a good while, but I do it with some trouble of mind, though my conscience tells me that I do it with an apprehension of service in my office to have a book to write memorandums in, and a pair of compasses in it; but I confess myself the willinger to do it because I perceive by my accounts that I shall be better by 30l. than I expected to be. But by tomorrow night I intend to see to the bottom of all my accounts. Then home to dinner, where Mr. Moore met me. Then he went away, and I to the office and dispatch much business. So in the evening, my wife and I and Jane over the water to the Halfway-house, a pretty, pleasant walk, but the wind high. So home again and to bed.

We turn to the forest
(and other things

worth knowing
by not knowing)

to look our full
at all we fear,

our estate like a bauble
bought with trouble,

mind a pair of compasses
to walk home.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 20 June 1662.