The Diary of a Nobody
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.


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).