Saturday 4 July 1668

Up, and to see Sir W. Coventry, and give him account of my doings yesterday, which he well liked of, and was told thereof by my Lord Halifax before; but I do perceive he is much concerned for this business. Gives me advice to write a smart letter to the Duke of York about the want of money in the Navy, and desire him to communicate it to the Commissioners of the Treasury; for he tells me he hath hot work sometimes to contend with the rest for the Navy, they being all concerned for some other part of the King’s expenses, which they would prefer to this, of the Navy. He shewed me his closet, with his round table, for him to sit in the middle, very convenient; and I borrowed several books of him, to collect things out of the Navy, which I have not, and so home, and there busy sitting all the morning, and at noon dined, and then all the afternoon busy, till night, and then to Mile-End with my wife and girl, and there drank and eat a joie of salmon, at the Rose and Crown, our old house; and so home to bed.

4 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He shewed me his closet, with his round table, for him to sit in the middle,...."

L&M note it was described by Lauderdale as turning "to him (as he sits still) several sorts of businesses"; Coventry's enemies, Buckingham and Howard, will use the table as a prop in a play to ridicule him, as Pepys will record next 6 March.

Mary  •  Link

for "joie' read "jole.'

Glyn  •  Link

" to write a smart letter"

I assume that "smart" doesn't mean "clever" in this case, but "severe or critical", although he would still need to be polite to the Duke. I suppose the only common survival of this use nowadays would be when we say that something smarts or stings (or is that only a UK usage?).

Jenny  •  Link

Regarding the "smart letter". Slight spoiler but the diary entries regarding this letter are some of the most interesting in the whole diary.

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