(Lord’s day). Slept till 7 o’clock, which I have not done a very great while, but it was my weariness last night that caused it. So rose and to my office till church time, writing down my yesterday’s observations, and so to church, where I all alone, and found Will Griffin and Thomas Hewett got into the pew next to our backs, where our maids sit, but when I come, they went out; so forward some people are to outrun themselves. Here we had a lazy, dull sermon. So home to dinner, where my brother Tom came to me, and both before and after dinner he and I walked all alone in the garden, talking about his late journey and his mistress, and for what he tells me it is like to do well. He being gone, I to church again, where Mr. Mills, making a sermon upon confession, he did endeavour to pull down auricular confession, but did set it up by his bad arguments against it, and advising people to come to him to confess their sins when they had any weight upon their consciences, as much as is possible, which did vex me to hear. So home, and after an hour’s being in my office alone, looking over the plates and globes, I walked to my uncle Wight’s, the truth is, in hopes to have seen and been acquainted with the pretty lady that came along with them to dinner the other day to Mr. Rawlinson, but she is gone away. But here I staid supper, and much company there was; among others, Dr. Burnett, Mr. Cole the lawyer, Mr. Rawlinson, and Mr. Sutton, a brother of my aunt’s, that I never saw before. Among other things they tell me that there hath been a disturbance in a church in Friday Street; a great many young people knotting together and crying out “Porridge”1 often and seditiously in the church, and took the Common Prayer Book, they say, away; and, some say, did tear it; but it is a thing which appears to me very ominous. I pray God avert it. After supper home and to bed.
- A nickname given by the Dissenters to the Prayer-Book. In Mrs. Behn’s “City Heiress” (1682), Sir Anthony says to Sir Timothy, “You come from Church, too.” Sir Timothy replies, “Ay, needs must when the Devil drives—I go to save my bacon, as they say, once a month, and that too after the Porridge is served up.” Scott quotes, in his notes to “Woodstock,” a pamphlet entitled, “Vindication of the Book of Common Prayer, against the contumelious Slanders of the Fanatic party terming it Porridge.”