Dave Bonta

Up and to the office, where by and by Mr. Coventry come, and after doing a little business, took his leave of us, being to go to sea with the Duke to-morrow.
At noon, I and Sir J. Minnes and Lord Barkeley (who with Sir J. Duncum, and Mr. Chichly, are made Masters of the Ordnance), to the office of the Ordnance, to discourse about wadding for guns. Thence to dinner, all of us to the Lieutenant’s of the Tower; where a good dinner, but disturbed in the middle of it by the King’s coming into the Tower: and so we broke up, and to him, and went up and down the store-houses and magazines; which are, with the addition of the new great store-house, a noble sight.
He gone, I to my office, where Bagwell’s wife staid for me, and together with her a good while, to meet again shortly. So all the afternoon at my office till late, and then to bed, joyed in my love and ability to follow my business.
This day, Mr. Lever sent my wife a pair of silver candlesticks, very pretty ones. The first man that ever presented me, to whom I have not only done little service, but apparently did him the greatest disservice in his business of accounts, as Purser-Generall, of any man at the board.

come and go to sea
with the bark of our guns

all of us disturbed
by the new use of sticks

pretty ones that have only done
business as a board


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 November 1664.

Up and with Sir W. Batten to White Hall, where mighty thrusting about the Duke now upon his going. We were with him long. He advised us to follow our business close, and to be directed in his absence by the Committee of the Councell for the Navy.
By and by a meeting of the Fishery, where the Duke was, but in such haste, and things looked so superficially over, that I had not a fit opportunity to propose my paper that I wrote yesterday, but I had shewed it to Mr. Gray and Wren before, who did like it most highly, as they said, and I think they would not dissemble in that manner in a business of this nature, but I see the greatest businesses are done so superficially that I wonder anything succeeds at all among us, that is publique.
Thence somewhat vexed to see myself frustrated in the good I hoped to have done and a little reputation to have gained, and thence to my barber’s, but Jane not being in the way I to my Lady Sandwich’s, and there met my wife and dined, but I find that I dine as well myself, that is, as neatly, and my meat as good and well-dressed, as my good Lady do, in the absence of my Lord.
Thence by water I to my barber’s again, and did meet in the street my Jane, but could not talk with her, but only a word or two, and so by coach called my wife, and home, where at my office late, and then, it being washing day, to supper and to bed.

wren like a public hope
little but neat

as well-dressed as the barber
in a street of ash


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 7 November 1664.

(Lord’s day). Up and with my wife to church. Dined at home. And I all the afternoon close at my office drawing up some proposals to present to the Committee for the Fishery to-morrow, having a great good intention to be serviceable in the business if I can. At night, to supper with my uncle Wight, where very merry, and so home. To prayers and to bed.

in the raw present
I fish to be serviceable
and to pray
and to be


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 6 November 1664.

Up and to the office, where all the morning, at noon to the ‘Change, and thence home to dinner, and so with my wife to the Duke’s house to a play, “Macbeth,” a pretty good play, but admirably acted. Thence home; the coach being forced to go round by London Wall home, because of the bonefires; the day being mightily observed in the City. To my office late at business, and then home to supper, and to bed.

at dinner
I bet on the bone

fires serve
the city up


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 5 November 1664.

Waked very betimes and lay long awake, my mind being so full of business. Then up and to St. James’s, where I find Mr. Coventry full of business, packing up for his going to sea with the Duke. Walked with him, talking, to White Hall, where to the Duke’s lodgings, who is gone thither to lodge lately. I appeared to the Duke, and thence Mr. Coventry and I an hour in the Long Gallery, talking about the management of our office, he tells me the weight of dispatch will lie chiefly on me, and told me freely his mind touching Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, the latter of whom, he most aptly said, was like a lapwing; that all he did was to keepe a flutter, to keepe others from the nest that they would find. He told me an old story of the former about the light-houses, how just before he had certified to the Duke against the use of them, and what a burden they are to trade, and presently after, at his being at Harwich, comes to desire that he might have the setting one up there, and gets the usefulness of it certified also by the Trinity House.
After long discoursing and considering all our stores and other things, as how the King hath resolved upon Captain Taylor and Colonell Middleton, the first to be Commissioner for Harwich and the latter for Portsmouth, I away to the ‘Change, and there did very much business, so home to dinner, and Mr. Duke, our Secretary for the Fishery, dined with me. After dinner to discourse of our business, much to my content, and then he away, and I by water among the smiths on the other side, and to the alehouse with one and was near buying 4 or 5 anchors, and learned something worth my knowing of them, and so home and to my office, where late, with my head very full of business, and so away home to supper and to bed.

long awake
my mind like a lapwing
all a-flutter
or a lighthouse coursing
away and away


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 4 November 1664.

Up and to the office, where strange to see how Sir W. Pen is flocked to by people of all sorts against his going to sea. At the office did much business, among other an end of that that has troubled me long, the business of the bewpers and flags. At noon to the ‘Change, and thence by appointment was met with Bagwell’s wife, and she followed me into Moorfields, and there into a drinking house, and all alone eat and drank together. I did there caress her, but though I did make some offer did not receive any compliance from her in what was bad, but very modestly she denied me, which I was glad to see and shall value her the better for it, and I hope never tempt her to any evil more. Thence back to the town, and we parted and I home, and then at the office late, where Sir W. Pen came to take his leave of me, being to-morrow, which is very sudden to us, to go on board to lie on board, but I think will come ashore again before the ship, the Charles, can go away. So home to supper and to bed. This night Sir W. Batten did, among other things, tell me strange newes, which troubles me, that my Lord Sandwich will be sent Governor to Tangier, which, in some respects, indeed, I should be glad of, for the good of the place and the safety of his person; but I think his honour will suffer, and, it may be, his interest fail by his distance.

where a flock
has troubled the fields
I drink alone
glad to see the town
way in the distance


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 3 November 1664.

Up betimes, and down with Mr. Castle to Redriffe, and there walked to Deptford to view a parcel of brave knees of his, which indeed are very good, and so back again home, I seeming very friendly to him, though I know him to be a rogue, and one that hates me with his heart. Home and to dinner, and so to my office all the afternoon, where in some pain in my backe, which troubled me, but I think it comes only with stooping, and from no other matter.
At night to Nellson’s, and up and down about business, and so home to my office, then home to supper and to bed.

a red rave is good
seeming to be an art
to ice all pain

but ink comes only
from the night


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 2 November 1664.

Up and to the office, where busy all the morning, at noon (my wife being invited to my Lady Sandwich’s) all alone dined at home upon a good goose with Mr. Wayth, discussing of business. Thence I to the Committee of the Fishery, and there we sat with several good discourses and some bad and simple ones, and with great disorder, and yet by the men of businesse of the towne. But my report in the business of the collections is mightily commended and will get me some reputation, and indeed is the only thing looks like a thing well done since we sat.
Then with Mr. Parham to the tavern, but I drank no wine, only he did give me another barrel of oysters, and he brought one Major Greene, an able fishmonger, and good discourse to my information. So home and late at business at my office. Then to supper and to bed.

sand is good and simple
the only thing like a thing
since the wine bar oysters
brought me to bed


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 1 November 1664.

Very busy all the morning, at noon Creed to me and dined with me, and then he and I to White Hall, there to a Committee of Tangier, where it is worth remembering when Mr. Coventry proposed the retrenching some of the charge of the horse, the first word asked by the Duke of Albemarle was, “Let us see who commands them,” there being three troops. One of them he calls to mind was by Sir Toby Bridges. “Oh!” says he, “there is a very good man. If you must reform two of them, be sure let him command the troop that is left.”
Thence home, and there came presently to me Mr. Young and Whistler, who find that I have quite overcome them in their business of flags, and now they come to intreat my favour, but I will be even with them.
So late to my office and there till past one in the morning making up my month’s accounts, and find that my expense this month in clothes has kept me from laying up anything; but I am no worse, but a little better than I was, which is 1205l., a great sum, the Lord be praised for it!
So home to bed, with my mind full of content therein, and vexed for my being so angry in bad words to my wife to-night, she not giving me a good account of her layings out to my mind to-night.
This day I hear young Mr. Stanly, a brave young [gentleman], that went out with young Jermin, with Prince Rupert, is already dead of the small-pox, at Portsmouth.
All preparations against the Dutch; and the Duke of Yorke fitting himself with all speed, to go to the fleete which is hastening for him; being now resolved to go in the Charles.

the first word was oh
then presently you

is now any better
with my mind full
and vexed

angry words go out
in a dead mouth


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 31 October 1664.

(Lord’s day). Up, and this morning put on my new, fine, coloured cloth suit, with my cloake lined with plush, which is a dear and noble suit, costing me about 17l..1 To church, and then home to dinner, and after dinner to a little musique with my boy, and so to church with my wife, and so home, and with her all the evening reading and at musique with my boy with great pleasure, and so to supper, prayers, and to bed.

a red line
cost me my home

with all the evening music
great as a prayer


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 30 October 1664.