Saturday 8 February 1661/62

All the morning in the cellar with the colliers, removing the coles out of the old cole hole into the new one, which cost me 8s. the doing; but now the cellar is done and made clean, it do please me exceedingly, as much as any thing that was ever yet done to my house. I pray God keep me from setting my mind too much upon it.

About 3 o’clock the colliers having done I went up to dinner (my wife having often urged me to come, but my mind is so set upon these things that I cannot but be with the workmen to see things done to my mind, which if I am not there is seldom done), and so to the office, and thence to talk with Sir W. Pen, walking in the dark in the garden some turns, he telling me of the ill management of our office, and how Wood the timber merchant and others were very knaves, which I am apt to believe.

Home and wrote letters to my father and my brother John, and so to bed. Being a little chillish, intending to take physique to-morrow morning.


8 Feb 2005, 11:09 p.m. - A. De Araujo

"ole cole hole" Nice name for a pub!

9 Feb 2005, 12:28 a.m. - Australian Susan

Nice picture of Sam here: the worrywart (as someone posted yesterday) who cannot leave things until they are settled according to his plans, but also knowing he goes on a bit about these things. Elizabeth calling down to the cellar (no doubt in exasperation as the dinner spoiled) and Sam being so pleased with the neat alterations, he has to remind himself to stop thinking about them!( I felt just the same about my new floors last October, so I know what he means)

9 Feb 2005, 2 a.m. - Clement

"...be with the workmen to see things done to my mind, which if I am not there is seldom done..." For anyone who's ever hired tradesmen, another truism ringing clearly across the ages. But if they started at, say, 10AM, they were 5 hours in the cellar moving coal? Blimey. I wonder if Sam actually helped, or just pointed in a helpful manner.

9 Feb 2005, 7:17 p.m. - Carolina

These "coles" - are we correctly assuming they are coals for burning on the fire and not the vegetable variety as in kale, Dutch "kool" ? As he mentions colliers (miners?) I suppose they must be, but he doesn't mention that he has got dirty. It would have made quite some dust I would have thought.

9 Feb 2005, 7:39 p.m. - Brian

Very appropriate how the timber merchant is named Wood . . . and that he is "sticking it" to the Naval office . . . (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

9 Feb 2005, 7:50 p.m. - Ant

"ole cole hole" There is actually a pub on the Strand called the Coal Hole....

9 Feb 2005, 7:53 p.m. - daniel

Chillish today? Why not a Physic? According to seventeenth century medicine, does anyone know the connection between these two conditions?

9 Feb 2005, 7:58 p.m. - Sjoerd

As a reminder i give here the link to last october 20th, when Samuel stepped into his cellar and discovered quite abruptly that some work needed to be done. About cole being cabbage... i don't think so !(read this): http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/10/20/

9 Feb 2005, 8:11 p.m. - vicenzo

on 16 th of September [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/09/16/ ] he has 10 chaldron [36 bushels(72?)/chauldron? maybe 42 cwt ] of coles dumped in his cellar. Coles doth bring much dust .

9 Feb 2005, 8:19 p.m. - vicenzo

Watch workman, so they do not watch the clock, and he doth want his 8 bobs worth. Sam is there to ensure he gets the job done, 'tis his money that he be watching inspite of the dinner that is awaiting on the table, and meanwhile the company monies be a waisting. "...he telling me of the ill management of our office, and how Wood the timber merchant and others were very knaves ..."

9 Feb 2005, 9:48 p.m. - Nix

"I cannot but be with the workmen" -- Dropping my car at the auto mechanic's this morning I noticed this sign -- "Fix your car -- $30/hr "U Watch -- $40/hr "U Help -- $50/hr"

9 Feb 2005, 10:39 p.m. - Mary

"intending to take physic" The belief that many bodily ills (not just constipation) could be fixed by a good purge persisted into the 20th century in some quarters and is still observed by peoples in different parts of the world.

11 Feb 2005, 12:59 a.m. - Australian Susan

Nix - love your apt comment! Bet Sam's coal-heavers felt like the author of this sign you saw as he helpfully told them where to put the coal....

26 Dec 2005, 4:28 p.m. - Robert

On cole holes in the Strand:In Victoria Glendinning's biography of Trollope she quotes from Trollopes The Three Clerks. The lads have no money but ' are one and all addicted to Coal Holes and Cider Cellars; they dive at midnight hours into Shades , and know all the back parloours of all the public houses in the neighbourhood of the Stand.'

8 Feb 2015, 10:46 a.m. - Sasha Clarkson

So it's cold: if he takes the physic tomorrow, he will have a good excuse not to go to church. I imagine the pews were very cold to sit on at this time of year - especially during a long sermon! (Can't do it on an office day - too much to do ;) )

9 Feb 2015, 1:44 a.m. - Louise Hudson

daniel on 9 Feb 2005 • Link Chillish today? Why not a Physic? According to seventeenth century medicine, does anyone know the connection between these two conditions? It was a common thing to think that physic would remedy just about any ailment. This thinking went well into the 20th Century and perhaps the 21st in some places. My own parents had this notion.

10 Feb 2015, 10:59 p.m. - Terry Foreman

Your parents were making good humoural sense, Louise. Feeling ill (for whatever reason) might well be a downer. A purge would presumably void the body and soul of black bile, the very meaning of melancholy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melancholia Many in their generation understood physic to be a general pick-me-up.

17 Feb 2015, 1:10 a.m. - Chris Squire UK

OED has: ‘collier . . 2. a. One who carries coal (orig. charcoal, later also pit-coal) for sale. Obs. 1479 in T. Smith & L. T. Smith Eng. Gilds (1870) 425 All maner of colyers that bryngeth coleys to towne. . . 1662 S. Pepys Diary 8 Feb. (1970) III. 25 All the morning..with the Colliers, removing the Coles out of the old coal-hole into the new one . . ‘