The Diary of a Nobody
Charles Pooter

November 24.—I went to town without a pocket-handkerchief.  This is the second time I have done this during the last week.  I must be losing my memory.  Had it not been for this Daisy Mutlar business, I would have written to Mr. Burwin-Fosselton and told him I should be out this evening, but I fancy he is the sort of young man who would come all the same.

Dear old Cummings came in the evening; but Gowing sent round a little note saying he hoped I would excuse his not turning up, which rather amused me.  He added that his neck was still painful.  Of course, Burwin-Fosselton came, but Lupin never turned up, and imagine my utter disgust when that man Padge actually came again, and not even accompanied by Gowing.  I was exasperated, and said: “Mr. Padge, this is a surprise.”  Dear Carrie, fearing unpleasantness, said: “Oh! I suppose Mr. Padge has only come to see the other Irving make-up.”  Mr. Padge said: “That’s right,” and took the best chair again, from which he never moved the whole evening.

My only consolation is, he takes no supper, so he is not an expensive guest, but I shall speak to Gowing about the matter.  The Irving imitations and conversations occupied the whole evening, till I was sick of it.  Once we had a rather heated discussion, which was commenced by Cummings saying that it appeared to him that Mr. Burwin-Fosselton was not only like Mr. Irving, but was in his judgment every way as good or even better.  I ventured to remark that after all it was but an imitation of an original.

Cummings said surely some imitations were better than the originals.  I made what I considered a very clever remark: “Without an original there can be no imitation.”  Mr. Burwin-Fosselton said quite impertinently: “Don’t discuss me in my presence, if you please; and, Mr. Pooter, I should advise you to talk about what you understand;” to which that cad Padge replied: “That’s right.”  Dear Carrie saved the whole thing by suddenly saying: “I’ll be Ellen Terry.”  Dear Carrie’s imitation wasn’t a bit liked, but she was so spontaneous and so funny that the disagreeable discussion passed off.  When they left, I very pointedly said to Mr. Burwin-Fosselton and Mr. Padge that we should be engaged to-morrow evening.


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).