The Diary of a Nobody
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.”


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).