The Diary of a Nobody
Charles Pooter

August 5, Sunday.—We have not seen Willie since last Christmas, and are pleased to notice what a fine young man he has grown.  One would scarcely believe he was Carrie’s son.  He looks more like a younger brother.  I rather disapprove of his wearing a check suit on a Sunday, and I think he ought to have gone to church this morning; but he said he was tired after yesterday’s journey, so I refrained from any remark on the subject.  We had a bottle of port for dinner, and drank dear Willie’s health.

He said: “Oh, by-the-by, did I tell you I’ve cut my first name, ‘William,’ and taken the second name ‘Lupin’?  In fact, I’m only known at Oldham as ‘Lupin Pooter.’  If you were to ‘Willie’ me there, they wouldn’t know what you meant.”

Of course, Lupin being a purely family name, Carrie was delighted, and began by giving a long history of the Lupins.  I ventured to say that I thought William a nice simple name, and reminded him he was christened after his Uncle William, who was much respected in the City.  Willie, in a manner which I did not much care for, said sneeringly: “Oh, I know all about that—Good old Bill!” and helped himself to a third glass of port.

Carrie objected strongly to my saying “Good old,” but she made no remark when Willie used the double adjective.  I said nothing, but looked at her, which meant more.  I said: “My dear Willie, I hope you are happy with your colleagues at the Bank.”  He replied: “Lupin, if you please; and with respect to the Bank, there’s not a clerk who is a gentleman, and the ‘boss’ is a cad.”  I felt so shocked, I could say nothing, and my instinct told me there was something wrong.


The Diary of a Nobody is the fictitious diary of Charles Pooter, written by George Grossmith and originally serialised in Punch magazine in 1888 and 1889.
The text of this version is taken from the Gutenberg etext, and the weblog format was engineered by Kevan Davis (initially a straight weblog in 2004, then rewritten as an auto RSS generator in April 2007).