The Diary of a Nobody
Charles Pooter

April 4.  Tradesmen still calling; Carrie being out, I arranged to deal with Horwin, who seemed a civil butcher with a nice clean shop.  Ordered a shoulder of mutton for to-morrow, to give him a trial.  Carrie arranged with Borset, the butterman, and ordered a pound of fresh butter, and a pound and a half of salt ditto for kitchen, and a shilling’s worth of eggs.  In the evening, Cummings unexpectedly dropped in to show me a meerschaum pipe he had won in a raffle in the City, and told me to handle it carefully, as it would spoil the colouring if the hand was moist.  He said he wouldn’t stay, as he didn’t care much for the smell of the paint, and fell over the scraper as he went out.  Must get the scraper removed, or else I shall get into a scrape.  I don’t often make jokes.

Charles Pooter

April 12.—Mustard-and-cress and radishes not come up yet.  Left Farmerson repairing the scraper, but when I came home found three men working.  I asked the meaning of it, and Farmerson said that in making a fresh hole he had penetrated the gas-pipe.  He said it was a most ridiculous place to put the gas-pipe, and the man who did it evidently knew nothing about his business.  I felt his excuse was no consolation for the expense I shall be put to.

In the evening, after tea, Gowing dropped in, and we had a smoke together in the breakfast-parlour.  Carrie joined us later, but did not stay long, saying the smoke was too much for her.  It was also rather too much for me, for Gowing had given me what he called a green cigar, one that his friend Shoemach had just brought over from America.  The cigar didn’t look green, but I fancy I must have done so; for when I had smoked a little more than half I was obliged to retire on the pretext of telling Sarah to bring in the glasses.

I took a walk round the garden three or four times, feeling the need of fresh air.  On returning Gowing noticed I was not smoking: offered me another cigar, which I politely declined.  Gowing began his usual sniffing, so, anticipating him, I said: “You’re not going to complain of the smell of paint again?”  He said: “No, not this time; but I’ll tell you what, I distinctly smell dry rot.”  I don’t often make jokes, but I replied: “You’re talking a lot of dry rot yourself.”  I could not help roaring at this, and Carrie said her sides quite ached with laughter.  I never was so immensely tickled by anything I have ever said before.  I actually woke up twice during the night, and laughed till the bed shook.

Charles Pooter

April 14.—Spent the whole of the afternoon in the garden, having this morning picked up at a bookstall for fivepence a capital little book, in good condition, on Gardening.  I procured and sowed some half-hardy annuals in what I fancy will be a warm, sunny border.  I thought of a joke, and called out CarrieCarrie came out rather testy, I thought.  I said: “I have just discovered we have got a lodging-house.”  She replied: “How do you mean?”  I said: “Look at the boarders.”  Carrie said: “Is that all you wanted me for?”  I said: “Any other time you would have laughed at my little pleasantry.”  Carrie said: “Certainly—at any other time, but not when I am busy in the house.”  The stairs looked very nice.  Gowing called, and said the stairs looked all right, but it made the banisters look all wrong, and suggested a coat of paint on them also, which Carrie quite agreed with.  I walked round to Putley, and fortunately he was out, so I had a good excuse to let the banisters slide.  By-the-by, that is rather funny.

Charles Pooter

April 27.—Painted the bath red, and was delighted with the result.  Sorry to say Carrie was not, in fact we had a few words about it.  She said I ought to have consulted her, and she had never heard of such a thing as a bath being painted red.  I replied: “It’s merely a matter of taste.”

Fortunately, further argument on the subject was stopped by a voice saying, “May I come in?”  It was only Cummings, who said, “Your maid opened the door, and asked me to excuse her showing me in, as she was wringing out some socks.”  I was delighted to see him, and suggested we should have a game of whist with a dummy, and by way of merriment said: “You can be the dummy.”  Cummings (I thought rather ill-naturedly) replied: “Funny as usual.”  He said he couldn’t stop, he only called to leave me the Bicycle News, as he had done with it.

Another ring at the bell; it was Gowing, who said he “must apologise for coming so often, and that one of these days we must come round to him.”  I said: “A very extraordinary thing has struck me.”  “Something funny, as usual,” said Cummings.  “Yes,” I replied; “I think even you will say so this time.  It’s concerning you both; for doesn’t it seem odd that Gowing’s always coming and Cummings’ always going?”  Carrie, who had evidently quite forgotten about the bath, went into fits of laughter, and as for myself, I fairly doubled up in my chair, till it cracked beneath me.  I think this was one of the best jokes I have ever made.

Then imagine my astonishment on perceiving both Cummings and Gowing perfectly silent, and without a smile on their faces.  After rather an unpleasant pause, Cummings, who had opened a cigar-case, closed it up again and said: “Yes—I think, after that, I shall be going, and I am sorry I fail to see the fun of your jokes.”  Gowing said he didn’t mind a joke when it wasn’t rude, but a pun on a name, to his thinking, was certainly a little wanting in good taste.  Cummings followed it up by saying, if it had been said by anyone else but myself, he shouldn’t have entered the house again.  This rather unpleasantly terminated what might have been a cheerful evening.  However, it was as well they went, for the charwoman had finished up the remains of the cold pork.

Charles Pooter

May 25.—Carrie brought down some of my shirts and advised me to take them to Trillip’s round the corner.  She said: “The fronts and cuffs are much frayed.”  I said without a moment’s hesitation: “I’m ’frayed they are.”  Lor! how we roared.  I thought we should never stop laughing.  As I happened to be sitting next the driver going to town on the ’bus, I told him my joke about the “frayed” shirts.  I thought he would have rolled off his seat.  They laughed at the office a good bit too over it.

Charles Pooter

August 20.—I am glad our last day at the seaside was fine, though clouded overhead.  We went over to Cummings’ (at Margate) in the evening, and as it was cold, we stayed in and played games; Gowing, as usual, overstepping the mark.  He suggested we should play “Cutlets,” a game we never heard of.  He sat on a chair, and asked Carrie to sit on his lap, an invitation which dear Carrie rightly declined.

After some species of wrangling, I sat on Gowing’s knees and Carrie sat on the edge of mine.  Lupin sat on the edge of Carrie’s lap, then Cummings on Lupin’s, and Mrs. Cummings on her husband’s.  We looked very ridiculous, and laughed a good deal.

Gowing then said: “Are you a believer in the Great Mogul?”  We had to answer all together: “Yes—oh, yes!” (three times).  Gowing said: “So am I,” and suddenly got up.  The result of this stupid joke was that we all fell on the ground, and poor Carrie banged her head against the corner of the fender.  Mrs. Cummings put some vinegar on; but through this we missed the last train, and had to drive back to Broadstairs, which cost me seven-and-sixpence.

Charles Pooter

August 27.—Carrie and Mrs. James went off shopping, and had not returned when I came back from the office.  Judging from the subsequent conversation, I am afraid Mrs. James is filling Carrie’s head with a lot of nonsense about dress.  I walked over to Gowing’s and asked him to drop in to supper, and make things pleasant.

Carrie prepared a little extemporised supper, consisting of the remainder of the cold joint, a small piece of salmon (which I was to refuse, in case there was not enough to go round), and a blanc-mange and custards.  There was also a decanter of port and some jam puffs on the sideboard.  Mrs. James made us play rather a good game of cards, called “Muggings.”  To my surprise, in fact disgust, Lupin got up in the middle, and, in a most sarcastic tone, said: “Pardon me, this sort of thing is too fast for me, I shall go and enjoy a quiet game of marbles in the back-garden.”

Things might have become rather disagreeable but for Gowing (who seems to have taken to Lupin) suggesting they should invent games.  Lupin said: “Let’s play ‘monkeys.’”  He then led Gowing all round the room, and brought him in front of the looking-glass.  I must confess I laughed heartily at this.  I was a little vexed at everybody subsequently laughing at some joke which they did not explain, and it was only on going to bed I discovered I must have been walking about all the evening with an antimacassar on one button of my coat-tails.

Charles Pooter

November 1.—My entry yesterday about “retired tired,” which I did not notice at the time, is rather funny.  If I were not so worried just now, I might have had a little joke about it.  The sweep called, but had the audacity to come up to the hall-door and lean his dirty bag of soot on the door-step.  He, however, was so polite, I could not rebuke him.  He said Sarah lighted the fire.  Unfortunately, Sarah heard this, for she was dusting the banisters, and she ran down, and flew into a temper with the sweep, causing a row on the front door-steps, which I would not have had happen for anything.  I ordered her about her business, and told the sweep I was sorry to have troubled him; and so I was, for the door-steps were covered with soot in consequence of his visit.  I would willingly give ten shillings to find out who tore my diary.

Charles Pooter

November 23.—In the evening, Cummings came early.  Gowing came a little later and brought, without asking permission, a fat and, I think, very vulgar-looking man named Padge, who appeared to be all moustache.  Gowing never attempted any apology to either of us, but said Padge wanted to see the Irving business, to which Padge said: “That’s right,” and that is about all he did say during the entire evening.  Lupin came in and seemed in much better spirits.  He had prepared a bit of a surprise.  Mr. Burwin-Fosselton had come in with him, but had gone upstairs to get ready.  In half-an-hour Lupin retired from the parlour, and returning in a few minutes, announced “Mr. Henry Irving.”

I must say we were all astounded.  I never saw such a resemblance.  It was astonishing.  The only person who did not appear interested was the man Padge, who had got the best arm-chair, and was puffing away at a foul pipe into the fireplace.  After some little time I said; “Why do actors always wear their hair so long?”  Carrie in a moment said, “Mr. Hare doesn’t wear long hair.”  How we laughed except Mr. Fosselton, who said, in a rather patronising kind of way, “The joke, Mrs. Pooter, is extremely appropriate, if not altogether new.”  Thinking this rather a snub, I said: “Mr. Fosselton, I fancy—”  He interrupted me by saying: “Mr. Burwin-Fosselton, if you please,” which made me quite forget what I was going to say to him.  During the supper Mr. Burwin-Fosselton again monopolised the conversation with his Irving talk, and both Carrie and I came to the conclusion one can have even too much imitation of Irving.  After supper, Mr. Burwin-Fosselton got a little too boisterous over his Irving imitation, and suddenly seizing Gowing by the collar of his coat, dug his thumb-nail, accidentally of course, into Gowing’s neck and took a piece of flesh out.  Gowing was rightly annoyed, but that man Padge, who having declined our modest supper in order that he should not lose his comfortable chair, burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter at the little misadventure.  I was so annoyed at the conduct of Padge, I said: “I suppose you would have laughed if he had poked Mr. Gowing’s eye out?” to which Padge replied: “That’s right,” and laughed more than ever.  I think perhaps the greatest surprise was when we broke up, for Mr. Burwin-Fosselton said: “Good-night, Mr. Pooter.  I’m glad you like the imitation, I’ll bring the other make-up to-morrow night.”

Charles Pooter

November 25.—Had a long letter from Mr. Fosselton respecting last night’s Irving discussion.  I was very angry, and I wrote and said I knew little or nothing about stage matters, was not in the least interested in them and positively declined to be drawn into a discussion on the subject, even at the risk of its leading to a breach of friendship.  I never wrote a more determined letter.

On returning home at the usual hour on Saturday afternoon I met near the Archway Daisy Mutlar.  My heart gave a leap.  I bowed rather stiffly, but she affected not to have seen me.  Very much annoyed in the evening by the laundress sending home an odd sock.  Sarah said she sent two pairs, and the laundress declared only a pair and a half were sent.  I spoke to Carrie about it, but she rather testily replied: “I am tired of speaking to her; you had better go and speak to her yourself.  She is outside.”  I did so, but the laundress declared that only an odd sock was sent.

Gowing passed into the passage at this time and was rude enough to listen to the conversation, and interrupting, said: “Don’t waste the odd sock, old man; do an act of charity and give it to some poor mar with only one leg.”  The laundress giggled like an idiot.  I was disgusted and walked upstairs for the purpose of pinning down my collar, as the button had come off the back of my shirt.

When I returned to the parlour, Gowing was retailing his idiotic joke about the odd sock, and Carrie was roaring with laughter.  I suppose I am losing my sense of humour.  I spoke my mind pretty freely about Padge.  Gowing said he had met him only once before that evening.  He had been introduced by a friend, and as he (Padge) had “stood” a good dinner, Gowing wished to show him some little return.  Upon my word, Gowing’s coolness surpasses all belief.  Lupin came in before I could reply, and Gowing unfortunately inquired after Daisy Mutlar.  Lupin shouted: “Mind your own business, sir!” and bounced out of the room, slamming the door.  The remainder of the night was Daisy Mutlar—Daisy Mutlar—Daisy Mutlar.  Oh dear!

Charles Pooter

Christmas Day.—We caught the 10.20 train at Paddington, and spent a pleasant day at Carrie’s mother’s.  The country was quite nice and pleasant, although the roads were sloppy.  We dined in the middle of the day, just ten of us, and talked over old times.  If everybody had a nice, uninterfering mother-in-law, such as I have, what a deal of happiness there would be in the world.  Being all in good spirits, I proposed her health, and I made, I think, a very good speech.

I concluded, rather neatly, by saying: “On an occasion like this—whether relatives, friends, or acquaintances,—we are all inspired with good feelings towards each other.  We are of one mind, and think only of love and friendship.  Those who have quarrelled with absent friends should kiss and make it up.  Those who happily have not fallen out, can kiss all the same.”

I saw the tears in the eyes of both Carrie and her mother, and must say I felt very flattered by the compliment.  That dear old Reverend John Panzy Smith, who married us, made a most cheerful and amusing speech, and said he should act on my suggestion respecting the kissing.  He then walked round the table and kissed all the ladies, including Carrie.  Of course one did not object to this; but I was more than staggered when a young fellow named Moss, who was a stranger to me, and who had scarcely spoken a word through dinner, jumped up suddenly with a sprig of misletoe, and exclaimed: “Hulloh!  I don’t see why I shouldn’t be on in this scene.”  Before one could realise what he was about to do, he kissed Carrie and the rest of the ladies.

Fortunately the matter was treated as a joke, and we all laughed; but it was a dangerous experiment, and I felt very uneasy for a moment as to the result.  I subsequently referred to the matter to Carrie, but she said: “Oh, he’s not much more than a boy.”  I said that he had a very large moustache for a boy.  Carrie replied: “I didn’t say he was not a nice boy.”

Charles Pooter

January 3.—Still in a state of anxiety and excitement, which was not alleviated by ascertaining that Mr. Perkupp sent word he should not be at the office to-day.  In the evening, Lupin, who was busily engaged with a paper, said suddenly to me: “Do you know anything about chalk pits, Guv.?”  I said: “No, my boy, not that I’m aware of.”  Lupin said: “Well, I give you the tip; chalk pits are as safe as Consols, and pay six per cent. at par.”  I said a rather neat thing, viz.: “They may be six per cent. at par, but your pa has no money to invest.”  Carrie and I both roared with laughter.  Lupin did not take the slightest notice of the joke, although I purposely repeated it for him; but continued: “I give you the tip, that’s all—chalk pits!”  I said another funny thing: “Mind you don’t fall into them!”  Lupin put on a supercilious smile, and said: “Bravo!  Joe Miller.”

Charles Pooter

February 10, Sunday.—Contrary to my wishes, Carrie allowed Lupin to persuade her to take her for a drive in the afternoon in his trap.  I quite disapprove of driving on a Sunday, but I did not like to trust Carrie alone with Lupin, so I offered to go too.  Lupin said: “Now, that is nice of you, Guv., but you won’t mind sitting on the back-seat of the cart?”

Lupin proceeded to put on a bright-blue coat that seemed miles too large for him.  Carrie said it wanted taking in considerably at the back.  Lupin said: “Haven’t you seen a box-coat before?  You can’t drive in anything else.”

He may wear what he likes in the future, for I shall never drive with him again.  His conduct was shocking.  When we passed Highgate Archway, he tried to pass everything and everybody.  He shouted to respectable people who were walking quietly in the road to get out of the way; he flicked at the horse of an old man who was riding, causing it to rear; and, as I had to ride backwards, I was compelled to face a gang of roughs in a donkey-cart, whom Lupin had chaffed, and who turned and followed us for nearly a mile, bellowing, indulging in coarse jokes and laughter, to say nothing of occasionally pelting us with orange-peel.

Lupin’s excuse—that the Prince of Wales would have to put up with the same sort of thing if he drove to the Derby—was of little consolation to either Carrie or myself.  Frank Mutlar called in the evening, and Lupin went out with him.

Charles Pooter

April 28, Sunday.—We found Watney Lodge farther off than we anticipated, and only arrived as the clock struck two, both feeling hot and uncomfortable.  To make matters worse, a large collie dog pounced forward to receive us.  He barked loudly and jumped up at Carrie, covering her light skirt, which she was wearing for the first time, with mud.  Teddy Finsworth came out and drove the dog off and apologised.  We were shown into the drawing-room, which was beautifully decorated.  It was full of knick-knacks, and some plates hung up on the wall.  There were several little wooden milk-stools with paintings on them; also a white wooden banjo, painted by one of Mr. Paul Finsworth’s nieces—a cousin of Teddy’s.

Mr. Paul Finsworth seemed quite a distinguished-looking elderly gentleman, and was most gallant to Carrie.  There were a great many water-colours hanging on the walls, mostly different views of India, which were very bright.  Mr. Finsworth said they were painted by “Simpz,” and added that he was no judge of pictures himself but had been informed on good authority that they were worth some hundreds of pounds, although he had only paid a few shillings apiece for them, frames included, at a sale in the neighbourhood.

There was also a large picture in a very handsome frame, done in coloured crayons.  It looked like a religious subject.  I was very much struck with the lace collar, it looked so real, but I unfortunately made the remark that there was something about the expression of the face that was not quite pleasing.  It looked pinched.  Mr. Finsworth sorrowfully replied: “Yes, the face was done after death—my wife’s sister.”

I felt terribly awkward and bowed apologetically, and in a whisper said I hoped I had not hurt his feelings.  We both stood looking at the picture for a few minutes in silence, when Mr. Finsworth took out a handkerchief and said: “She was sitting in our garden last summer,” and blew his nose violently.  He seemed quite affected, so I turned to look at something else and stood in front of a portrait of a jolly-looking middle-aged gentleman, with a red face and straw hat.  I said to Mr. Finsworth: “Who is this jovial-looking gentleman?  Life doesn’t seem to trouble him much.”  Mr. Finsworth said: “No, it doesn’t.  He is dead too—my brother.”

I was absolutely horrified at my own awkwardness.  Fortunately at this moment Carrie entered with Mrs. Finsworth, who had taken her upstairs to take off her bonnet and brush her skirt.  Teddy said: “Short is late,” but at that moment the gentleman referred to arrived, and I was introduced to him by Teddy, who said: “Do you know Mr. Short?”  I replied, smiling, that I had not that pleasure, but I hoped it would not be long before I knew Mr. Short.  He evidently did not see my little joke, although I repeated it twice with a little laugh.  I suddenly remembered it was Sunday, and Mr. Short was perhaps very particular.  In this I was mistaken, for he was not at all particular in several of his remarks after dinner.  In fact I was so ashamed of one of his observations that I took the opportunity to say to Mrs. Finsworth that I feared she found Mr. Short occasionally a little embarrassing.  To my surprise she said: “Oh! he is privileged you know.”  I did not know as a matter of fact, and so I bowed apologetically.  I fail to see why Mr. Short should be privileged.

Another thing that annoyed me at dinner was that the collie dog, which jumped up at Carrie, was allowed to remain under the dining-room table.  It kept growling and snapping at my boots every time I moved my foot.  Feeling nervous rather, I spoke to Mrs. Finsworth about the animal, and she remarked: “It is only his play.”  She jumped up and let in a frightfully ugly-looking spaniel called Bibbs, which had been scratching at the door.  This dog also seemed to take a fancy to my boots, and I discovered afterwards that it had licked off every bit of blacking from them.  I was positively ashamed of being seen in them.  Mrs. Finsworth, who, I must say, is not much of a Job’s comforter, said: “Oh! we are used to Bibbs doing that to our visitors.”

Mr. Finsworth had up some fine port, although I question whether it is a good thing to take on the top of beer.  It made me feel a little sleepy, while it had the effect of inducing Mr. Short to become “privileged” to rather an alarming extent.  It being cold even for April, there was a fire in the drawing-room; we sat round in easy-chairs, and Teddy and I waxed rather eloquent over the old school days, which had the effect of sending all the others to sleep.  I was delighted, as far as Mr. Short was concerned, that it did have that effect on him.

We stayed till four, and the walk home was remarkable only for the fact that several fools giggled at the unpolished state of my boots.  Polished them myself when I got home.  Went to church in the evening, and could scarcely keep awake.  I will not take port on the top of beer again.

Charles Pooter

June 3.—The laundress called, and said she was very sorry about the handkerchiefs, and returned ninepence.  I said, as the colour was completely washed out and the handkerchiefs quite spoiled, ninepence was not enough.  Carrie replied that the two handkerchiefs originally only cost sixpence, for she remembered bring them at a sale at the Holloway Bon Marché.  In that case, I insisted that threepence buying should be returned to the laundress.  Lupin has gone to stay with the Poshs for a few days.  I must say I feel very uncomfortable about it.  Carrie said I was ridiculous to worry about it.  Mr. Posh was very fond of Lupin, who, after all, was only a mere boy.

In the evening we had another séance, which, in some respects, was very remarkable, although the first part of it was a little doubtful.  Gowing called, as well as Cummings, and begged to be allowed to join the circle.  I wanted to object, but Mrs. James, who appears a good Medium (that is, if there is anything in it at all), thought there might be a little more spirit power if Gowing joined; so the five of us sat down.

The moment I turned out the gas, and almost before I could get my hands on the table, it rocked violently and tilted, and began moving quickly across the room.  Gowing shouted out: “Way oh! steady, lad, steady!”  I told Gowing if he could not behave himself I should light the gas, and put an end to the séance.

To tell the truth, I thought Gowing was playing tricks, and I hinted as much; but Mrs. James said she had often seen the table go right off the ground.  The spirit Lina came again, and said, “WARN” three or four times, and declined to explain.  Mrs. James said “Lina” was stubborn sometimes.  She often behaved like that, and the best thing to do was to send her away.

She then hit the table sharply, and said: “Go away, Lina; you are disagreeable.  Go away!”  I should think we sat nearly three-quarters of an hour with nothing happening.  My hands felt quite cold, and I suggested we should stop the séance.  Carrie and Mrs. James, as well as Cummings, would not agree to it.  In about ten minutes’ time there was some tilting towards me.  I gave the alphabet, and it spelled out S P O O F.  As I have heard both Gowing and Lupin use the word, and as I could hear Gowing silently laughing, I directly accused him of pushing the table.  He denied it; but, I regret to say, I did not believe him.

Gowing said: “Perhaps it means ‘Spook,’ a ghost.”

I said: “You know it doesn’t mean anything of the sort.”

Gowing said: “Oh! very well—I’m sorry I ‘spook,’” and he rose from the table.

No one took any notice of the stupid joke, and Mrs. James suggested he should sit out for a while.  Gowing consented and sat in the arm-chair.

The table began to move again, and we might have had a wonderful séance but for Gowing’s stupid interruptions.  In answer to the alphabet from Carrie the table spelt “NIPUL,” then the “WARN” three times.  We could not think what it meant till Cummings pointed out that “NIPUL” was Lupin spelled backwards.  This was quite exciting.  Carrie was particularly excited, and said she hoped nothing horrible was going to happen.

Mrs. James asked if “Lina” was the spirit.  The table replied firmly, “No,” and the spirit would not give his or her name.  We then had the message, “NIPUL will be very rich.”

Carrie said she felt quite relieved, but the word “WARN” was again spelt out.  The table then began to oscillate violently, and in reply to Mrs. James, who spoke very softly to the table, the spirit began to spell its name.  It first spelled “DRINK.”

Gowing here said: “Ah! that’s more in my line.”

I asked him to be quiet as the name might not be completed.

The table then spelt “WATER.”

Gowing here interrupted again, and said: “Ah! that’s not in my line.  Outside if you like, but not inside.”

Carrie appealed to him to be quiet.

The table then spelt “CAPTAIN,” and Mrs. James startled us by crying out, “Captain Drinkwater, a very old friend of my father’s, who has been dead some years.”

This was more interesting, and I could not help thinking that after all there must be something in Spiritualism.

Mrs. James asked the spirit to interpret the meaning of the word “Warn” as applied to “NIPUL.”  The alphabet was given again, and we got the word “BOSH.”

Gowing here muttered: “So it is.”

Mrs. James said she did not think the spirit meant that, as Captain Drinkwater was a perfect gentleman, and would never have used the word in answer to a lady’s question.  Accordingly the alphabet was given again.

This time the table spelled distinctly “POSH.”  We all thought of Mrs. Murray Posh and LupinCarrie was getting a little distressed, and as it was getting late we broke up the circle.

We arranged to have one more to-morrow, as it will be Mrs. James’ last night in town.  We also determined not to have Gowing present.

Cummings, before leaving, said it was certainly interesting, but he wished the spirits would say something about him.

Charles Pooter

July 2.—Cummings called, looked very pale, and said he had been very ill again, and of course not a single friend had been near him.  Carrie said she had never heard of it, whereupon he threw down a copy of the Bicycle News on the table, with the following paragraph: “We regret to hear that that favourite old roadster, Mr. Cummings (‘Long’ Cummings), has met with what might have been a serious accident in Rye Lane.  A mischievous boy threw a stick between the spokes of one of the back wheels, and the machine overturned, bringing our brother tricyclist heavily to the ground.  Fortunately he was more frightened than hurt, but we missed his merry face at the dinner at Chingford, where they turned up in good numbers.  ‘Long’ Cummings’ health was proposed by our popular Vice, Mr. Westropp, the prince of bicyclists, who in his happiest vein said it was a case of ‘Cumming(s) thro’ the Rye, but fortunately there was more wheel than woe,’ a joke which created roars of laughter.”

We all said we were very sorry, and pressed Cummings to stay to supper.  Cummings said it was like old times being without Lupin, and he was much better away.


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).