Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, my wife coming home from the water this morning, having lain with them on board “The Prince” all night. At noon home to dinner, where my wife told me the unpleasant journey she had yesterday among the children, whose fear upon the water and folly made it very unpleasing to her. A good dinner, and then to the office again. This afternoon Mr. Harris, the sayle-maker, sent me a noble present of two large silver candlesticks and snuffers, and a slice to keep them upon, which indeed is very handsome. At night come Mr. Andrews with 36l., the further fruits of my Tangier contract, and so to bed late and weary with business, but in good content of mind, blessing God for these his benefits.

home from the water
the children make me a present
of a stick

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 16 March 1665.

Up before six, to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon dined with Sir W. Batten and Sir J. Minnes, at the Tower, with Sir J. Robinson, at a farewell dinner which he gives Major Holmes at his going out of the Tower, where he hath for some time, since his coming from Guinny, been a prisoner, and, it seems, had presented the Lieutenant with fifty pieces yesterday. Here a great deale of good victuals and company.
Thence home to my office, where very late, and home to supper and to bed weary of business.

robins going
out of the prison
I eat a late supper

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 14 March 1665.

Up, and to my office, where all the morning upon advising again with some fishermen and the water bayliffe of the City, by Mr. Coventry’s direction, touching the protections which are desired for the fishermen upon the River, and I am glad of the occasion to make me understand something of it. At noon home to dinner, and all the afternoon till 9 at night in my chamber, and Mr. Hater with me (to prevent being disturbed at the office), to perfect my contract book, which, for want of time, hath a long time lain without being entered in as I used to do from month to month.
Then to my office, where till almost 12, and so home to bed.

fish touching fish
make me understand something of the night

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 24 February 1665.

Lay last night alone, my wife after her bathing lying alone in another bed. So cold all night. Up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon at the ‘Change, busy; where great talk of a Dutch ship in the North put on shore, and taken by a troop of horse. Home to dinner and Creed with me. Thence to Gresham College, where very noble discourse, and thence home busy till past 12 at night, and then home to supper and to bed. Mrs. Bland come this night to take leave of me and my wife, going to Tangier.

lying alone
the north shore taken
by the night

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 22 February 1665.

I enter a pub in London, thirsty but nearly broke. What’s your cheapest cask ale, I ask the bartender, who happens to be the comedian Margaret Cho. This one’s only a pound a pint, she says, pointing to a handle with an iron cross logo on it. No one wants to drink it because it’s racist. Gosh, I say, I’m not a racist, but that’s really cheap! It’s also very tasty, she says. Classic English bitter. She pulls a pint for me and I take a sip. It certainly slips down easy. But I’ve barely finished it when she announces last call. I order five more pints and start tossing them back. Oddly, I can’t feel the alcohol at all. I mean, sure, I drink mainly for the taste, but I enjoy a bit of a buzz, too. Apparently even where racism is concerned, you get what you pay for. I notice Margaret looking intently at me and writing something down on a small clipboard. I wake up thinking: What excellent casting! Who’d ever have thought to have Margaret Cho play the devil?

      drinking alone
      among the flowers of evil—
      the bees are all dead

Up and to my office, where all the morning. At noon to ‘Change by coach with my Lord Brunkard, and thence after doing much business home to dinner, and so to my office all the afternoon till past 12 at night very busy. So home to bed.

morning run
the din of the night
bus home

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 11 February 1665.

Up, it being very cold and a great snow and frost tonight. To the office, and there all the morning. At noon dined at home, troubled at my wife’s being simply angry with Jane, our cook mayde (a good servant, though perhaps hath faults and is cunning), and given her warning to be gone. So to the office again, where we sat late, and then I to my office, and there very late doing business. Home to supper and to the office again, and then late home to bed.

a great snow
the angry cook is given
warning again

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 5 January 1665.

Having sat up all night to past two o’clock this morning, our porter, being appointed, comes and tells us that the bellman tells him that the star is seen upon Tower Hill; so I, that had been all night setting in order all my old papers in my chamber, did leave off all, and my boy and I to Tower Hill, it being a most fine, bright moonshine night, and a great frost; but no Comet to be seen. So after running once round the Hill, I and Tom, we home and then to bed.
Rose about 9 o’clock and then to the office, where sitting all the morning. At noon to the ‘Change, to the Coffee-house; and there heard Sir Richard Ford tell the whole story of our defeat at Guinny. Wherein our men are guilty of the most horrid cowardice and perfidiousness, as he says and tells it, that ever Englishmen were. Captain Raynolds, that was the only commander of any of the King’s ships there, was shot at by De Ruyter, with a bloody flag flying. He, instead of opposing (which, indeed, had been to no purpose, but only to maintain honour), did poorly go on board himself, to ask what De Ruyter would have; and so yielded to whatever Ruyter would desire. The King and Duke are highly vexed at it, it seems, and the business deserves it.
Thence home to dinner, and then abroad to buy some things, and among others to my bookseller’s, and there saw several books I spoke for, which are finely bound and good books to my great content.
So home and to my office, where late. This evening I being informed did look and saw the Comet, which is now, whether worn away or no I know not, but appears not with a tail, but only is larger and duller than any other star, and is come to rise betimes, and to make a great arch, and is gone quite to a new place in the heavens than it was before: but I hope in a clearer night something more will be seen. So home to bed.

bright night
a rose of blood flying
in the heavens

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 24 December 1664.

Up and betimes to my office, and then out to several places, among others to Holborne to have spoke with one Mr. Underwood about some English hemp, he lies against Gray’s Inn. Thereabouts I to a barber’s shop to have my hair cut, and there met with a copy of verses, mightily commended by some gentlemen there, of my Lord Mordaunt’s, in excuse of his going to sea this late expedition, with the Duke of Yorke. But, Lord! they are but sorry things; only a Lord made them.
Thence to the ‘Change; and there, among the merchants, I hear fully the news of our being beaten to dirt at Guinny, by De Ruyter with his fleete. The particulars, as much as by Sir G. Carteret afterwards I heard, I have said in a letter to my Lord Sandwich this day at Portsmouth; it being most wholly to the utter ruine of our Royall Company, and reproach and shame to the whole nation, as well as justification to them in their doing wrong to no man as to his private [property], only takeing whatever is found to belong to the Company, and nothing else.
Dined at the Dolphin, Sir G. Carteret, Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and I, with Sir W. Boreman and Sir Theophilus Biddulph and others, Commissioners of the Sewers, about our place below to lay masts in.
But coming a little too soon, I out again, and tooke boat down to Redriffe; and just in time within two minutes, and saw the new vessel of Sir William Petty’s launched, the King and Duke being there. It swims and looks finely, and I believe will do well. The name I think is Twilight, but I do not know certainly. Coming away back immediately to dinner, where a great deal of good discourse, and Sir G. Carteret’s discourse of this Guinny business, with great displeasure at the losse of our honour there, and do now confess that the trade brought all these troubles upon us between the Dutch and us.
Thence to the office and there sat late, then I to my office and there till 12 at night, and so home to bed weary.

my gray hair
cut — going to sea
in the sewers

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 22 December 1664.

Up, and to my office, where all the morning busy. At noon dined at home, and then to the office, where we sat all the afternoon. In the evening comes my aunt and uncle Wight, Mrs. Norbury, and her daughter, and after them Mr. Norbury, where no great pleasure, my aunt being out of humour in her fine clothes, and it raining hard. Besides, I was a little too bold with her about her doating on Dr. Venner. Anon they went away, and I till past 12 at night at my office, and then home to bed.

we bury her
in her fine clothes
rain doting on the ice

Erasure haiku derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 8 December 1664.