Saturday 20 March 1668/69
Up, and to the Tower, to W. Coventry, and there walked with him alone, on the Stone Walk, till company come to him; and there about the business of the Navy discoursed with him, and about my Lord Chancellor and Treasurer; that they were against the war [with the Dutch] at first, declaring, as wise men and statesmen, at first to the King, that they thought it fit to have a war with them at some time or other, but that it ought not to be till we found the Crowns of Spain and France together by the eares, the want of which did ruin our war. But then he told me that, a great deal before the war, my Lord Chancellor did speak of a war with some heat, as a thing to be desired, and did it upon a belief that he could with his speeches make the Parliament give what money he pleased, and do what he would, or would make the King desire; but he found himself soon deceived of the Parliament, they having a long time before his removal been cloyed with his speeches and good words, and were come to hate him. Sir W. Coventry did tell me it, as the wisest thing that ever was said to the King by any statesman of his time, and it was by my Lord Treasurer that is dead, whom, I find, he takes for a very great statesman — that when the King did shew himself forward for passing the Act of Indemnity, he did advise the King that he would hold his hand in doing it, till he had got his power restored, that had been diminished by the late times, and his revenue settled in such a manner as he might depend on himself, without resting upon Parliaments, — and then pass it. But my Lord Chancellor, who thought he could have the command of Parliaments for ever, because for the King’s sake they were awhile willing to grant all the King desired, did press for its being done; and so it was, and the King from that time able to do nothing with the Parliament almost.
Thence to the office, where sat all the forenoon, and then home to dinner, and so to the office, where late busy, and so home, mightily pleased with the news brought me to-night, that the King and Duke of York are come back this afternoon, and no sooner come, but a warrant was sent to the Tower for the releasing Sir W. Coventry; which do put me in some hopes that there may be, in this absence, some accommodation made between the Duke of York and the Duke of Buckingham and; Arlington. So home, to supper, and to bed.