The Diary of a Nobody
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Charles Pooter

April 15, Sunday.—At three o’clock Cummings and Gowing called for a good long walk over Hampstead and Finchley, and brought with them a friend named Stillbrook.  We walked and chatted together, except Stillbrook, who was always a few yards behind us staring at the ground and cutting at the grass with his stick.

As it was getting on for five, we four held a consultation, and Gowing suggested that we should make for “The Cow and Hedge” and get some tea.  Stillbrook said: “A brandy-and-soda was good enough for him.”  I reminded them that all public-houses were closed till six o’clock.  Stillbrook said, “That’s all right—bona-fide travellers.”

We arrived; and as I was trying to pass, the man in charge of the gate said: “Where from?”  I replied: “Holloway.”  He immediately put up his arm, and declined to let me pass.  I turned back for a moment, when I saw Stillbrook, closely followed by Cummings and Gowing, make for the entrance.  I watched them, and thought I would have a good laugh at their expense, I heard the porter say: “Where from?”  When, to my surprise, in fact disgust, Stillbrook replied: “Blackheath,” and the three were immediately admitted.

Gowing called to me across the gate, and said: “We shan’t be a minute.”  I waited for them the best part of an hour.  When they appeared they were all in most excellent spirits, and the only one who made an effort to apologise was Mr. Stillbrook, who said to me: “It was very rough on you to be kept waiting, but we had another spin for S. and B.’s.”  I walked home in silence; I couldn’t speak to them.  I felt very dull all the evening, but deemed it advisable not to say anything to Carrie about the matter.

Charles Pooter

April 18.—Am in for a cold.  Spent the whole day at the office sneezing.  In the evening, the cold being intolerable, sent Sarah out for a bottle of Kinahan.  Fell asleep in the arm-chair, and woke with the shivers.  Was startled by a loud knock at the front door.  Carrie awfully flurried.  Sarah still out, so went up, opened the door, and found it was only Cummings.  Remembered the grocer’s boy had again broken the side-bell.  Cummings squeezed my hand, and said: “I’ve just seen Gowing.  All right.  Say no more about it.”  There is no doubt they are both under the impression I have apologised.

While playing dominoes with Cummings in the parlour, he said: “By-the-by, do you want any wine or spirits?  My cousin Merton has just set up in the trade, and has a splendid whisky, four years in bottle, at thirty-eight shillings.  It is worth your while laying down a few dozen of it.”  I told him my cellars, which were very small, were full up.  To my horror, at that very moment, Sarah entered the room, and putting a bottle of whisky, wrapped in a dirty piece of newspaper, on the table in front of us, said: “Please, sir, the grocer says he ain’t got no more Kinahan, but you’ll find this very good at two-and-six, with twopence returned on the bottle; and, please, did you want any more sherry? as he has some at one-and-three, as dry as a nut!”

Charles Pooter

April 19.—Cummings called, bringing with him his friend Merton, who is in the wine trade.  Gowing also called.  Mr. Merton made himself at home at once, and Carrie and I were both struck with him immediately, and thoroughly approved of his sentiments.

He leaned back in his chair and said: “You must take me as I am;” and I replied: “Yes—and you must take us as we are.  We’re homely people, we are not swells.”

He answered: “No, I can see that,” and Gowing roared with laughter; but Merton in a most gentlemanly manner said to Gowing: “I don’t think you quite understand me.  I intended to convey that our charming host and hostess were superior to the follies of fashion, and preferred leading a simple and wholesome life to gadding about to twopenny-halfpenny tea-drinking afternoons, and living above their incomes.”

I was immensely pleased with these sensible remarks of Merton’s, and concluded that subject by saying: “No, candidly, Mr. Merton, we don’t go into Society, because we do not care for it; and what with the expense of cabs here and cabs there, and white gloves and white ties, etc., it doesn’t seem worth the money.”

Merton said in reference to friends: “My motto is ‘Few and True;’ and, by the way, I also apply that to wine, ‘Little and Good.’”  Gowing said: “Yes, and sometimes ‘cheap and tasty,’ eh, old man?”  Merton, still continuing, said he should treat me as a friend, and put me down for a dozen of his “Lockanbar” whisky, and as I was an old friend of Gowing, I should have it for 36s., which was considerably under what he paid for it.

He booked his own order, and further said that at any time I wanted any passes for the theatre I was to let him know, as his name stood good for any theatre in London.

Charles Pooter

April 20.—Carrie reminded me that as her old school friend, Annie Fullers (now Mrs. James), and her husband had come up from Sutton for a few days, it would look kind to take them to the theatre, and would I drop a line to Mr. Merton asking him for passes for four, either for the Italian Opera, Haymarket, Savoy, or Lyceum.  I wrote Merton to that effect.

Charles Pooter

April 23.—Mr. and Mrs. James (Miss Fullers that was) came to meat tea, and we left directly after for the Tank Theatre.  We got a ’bus that took us to King’s Cross, and then changed into one that took us to the “Angel.”  Mr. James each time insisted on paying for all, saying that I had paid for the tickets and that was quite enough.

We arrived at theatre, where, curiously enough, all our ’bus-load except an old woman with a basket seemed to be going in.  I walked ahead and presented the tickets.  The man looked at them, and called out: “Mr. Willowly! do you know anything about these?” holding up my tickets.  The gentleman called to, came up and examined my tickets, and said: “Who gave you these?”  I said, rather indignantly: “Mr. Merton, of course.”  He said: “Merton?  Who’s he?”  I answered, rather sharply: “You ought to know, his name’s good at any theatre in London.”  He replied: “Oh! is it?  Well, it ain’t no good here.  These tickets, which are not dated, were issued under Mr. Swinstead’s management, which has since changed hands.”  While I was having some very unpleasant words with the man, James, who had gone upstairs with the ladies, called out: “Come on!”  I went up after them, and a very civil attendant said: “This way, please, box H.”  I said to James: “Why, how on earth did you manage it?” and to my horror he replied: “Why, paid for it of course.”

This was humiliating enough, and I could scarcely follow the play, but I was doomed to still further humiliation.  I was leaning out of the box, when my tie—a little black bow which fastened on to the stud by means of a new patent—fell into the pit below.  A clumsy man not noticing it, had his foot on it for ever so long before he discovered it.  He then picked it up and eventually flung it under the next seat in disgust.  What with the box incident and the tie, I felt quite miserable.  Mr. James, of Sutton, was very good.  He said: “Don’t worry—no one will notice it with your beard.  That is the only advantage of growing one that I can see.”  There was no occasion for that remark, for Carrie is very proud of my beard.

To hide the absence of the tie I had to keep my chin down the rest of the evening, which caused a pain at the back of my neck.

Charles Pooter

April 24.—Could scarcely sleep a wink through thinking of having brought up Mr. and Mrs. James from the country to go to the theatre last night, and his having paid for a private box because our order was not honoured, and such a poor play too.  I wrote a very satirical letter to Merton, the wine merchant, who gave us the pass, and said, “Considering we had to pay for our seats, we did our best to appreciate the performance.”  I thought this line rather cutting, and I asked Carrie how many p’s there were in appreciate, and she said, “One.”  After I sent off the letter I looked at the dictionary and found there were two.  Awfully vexed at this.

Decided not to worry myself any more about the James’s; for, as Carrie wisely said, “We’ll make it all right with them by asking them up from Sutton one evening next week to play at Bézique.”

Charles Pooter

April 25.—In consequence of Brickwell telling me his wife was working wonders with the new Pinkford’s enamel paint, I determined to try it.  I bought two tins of red on my way home.  I hastened through tea, went into the garden and painted some flower-pots.  I called out Carrie, who said: “You’ve always got some newfangled craze;” but she was obliged to admit that the flower-pots looked remarkably well.  Went upstairs into the servant’s bedroom and painted her washstand, towel-horse, and chest of drawers.  To my mind it was an extraordinary improvement, but as an example of the ignorance of the lower classes in the matter of taste, our servant, Sarah, on seeing them, evinced no sign of pleasure, but merely said “she thought they looked very well as they was before.”

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

April 29, Sunday.—Woke up with a fearful headache and strong symptoms of a cold.  Carrie, with a perversity which is just like her, said it was “painter’s colic,” and was the result of my having spent the last few days with my nose over a paint-pot.  I told her firmly that I knew a great deal better what was the matter with me than she did.  I had got a chill, and decided to have a bath as hot as I could bear it.  Bath ready—could scarcely bear it so hot.  I persevered, and got in; very hot, but very acceptable.  I lay still for some time.

On moving my hand above the surface of the water, I experienced the greatest fright I ever received in the whole course of my life; for imagine my horror on discovering my hand, as I thought, full of blood.  My first thought was that I had ruptured an artery, and was bleeding to death, and should be discovered, later on, looking like a second Marat, as I remember seeing him in Madame Tussaud’s.  My second thought was to ring the bell, but remembered there was no bell to ring.  My third was, that there was nothing but the enamel paint, which had dissolved with boiling water.  I stepped out of the bath, perfectly red all over, resembling the Red Indians I have seen depicted at an East-End theatre.  I determined not to say a word to Carrie, but to tell Farmerson to come on Monday and paint the bath white.

Charles Pooter

April 30.—Perfectly astounded at receiving an invitation for Carrie and myself from the Lord and Lady Mayoress to the Mansion House, to “meet the Representatives of Trades and Commerce.”  My heart beat like that of a schoolboy’s.  Carrie and I read the invitation over two or three times.  I could scarcely eat my breakfast.  I said—and I felt it from the bottom of my heart,—“Carrie darling, I was a proud man when I led you down the aisle of the church on our wedding-day; that pride will be equalled, if not surpassed, when I lead my dear, pretty wife up to the Lord and Lady Mayoress at the Mansion House.”  I saw the tears in Carrie’s eyes, and she said: “Charlie dear, it is I who have to be proud of you.  And I am very, very proud of you.  You have called me pretty; and as long as I am pretty in your eyes, I am happy.  You, dear old Charlie, are not handsome, but you are good, which is far more noble.”  I gave her a kiss, and she said: “I wonder if there will be any dancing?  I have not danced with you for years.”

I cannot tell what induced me to do it, but I seized her round the waist, and we were silly enough to be executing a wild kind of polka when Sarah entered, grinning, and said: “There is a man, mum, at the door who wants to know if you want any good coals.”  Most annoyed at this.  Spent the evening in answering, and tearing up again, the reply to the Mansion House, having left word with Sarah if Gowing or Cummings called we were not at home.  Must consult Mr. Perkupp how to answer the Lord Mayor’s invitation.

Charles Pooter

May 1.—Carrie said: “I should like to send mother the invitation to look at.”  I consented, as soon as I had answered it.  I told Mr. Perkupp, at the office, with a feeling of pride, that we had received an invitation to the Mansion House; and he said, to my astonishment, that he himself gave in my name to the Lord Mayor’s secretary.  I felt this rather discounted the value of the invitation, but I thanked him; and in reply to me, he described how I was to answer it.  I felt the reply was too simple; but of course Mr. Perkupp knows best.

Charles Pooter

May 3.—Carrie went to Mrs. James, at Sutton, to consult about her dress for next Monday.  While speaking incidentally to Spotch, one of our head clerks, about the Mansion House, he said: “Oh, I’m asked, but don’t think I shall go.”  When a vulgar man like Spotch is asked, I feel my invitation is considerably discounted.  In the evening, while I was out, the little tailor brought round my coat and trousers, and because Sarah had not a shilling to pay for the pressing, he took them away again.

Charles Pooter

May 4.—Carrie’s mother returned the Lord Mayor’s invitation, which was sent to her to look at, with apologies for having upset a glass of port over it.  I was too angry to say anything.

Charles Pooter

May 7.—A big red-letter day; viz., the Lord Mayor’s reception.  The whole house upset.  I had to get dressed at half-past six, as Carrie wanted the room to herself.  Mrs. James had come up from Sutton to help Carrie; so I could not help thinking it unreasonable that she should require the entire attention of Sarah, the servant, as well.  Sarah kept running out of the house to fetch “something for missis,” and several times I had, in my full evening-dress, to answer the back-door.

The last time it was the greengrocer’s boy, who, not seeing it was me, for Sarah had not lighted the gas, pushed into my hands two cabbages and half-a-dozen coal-blocks.  I indignantly threw them on the ground, and felt so annoyed that I so far forgot myself as to box the boy’s ears.  He went away crying, and said he should summons me, a thing I would not have happen for the world.  In the dark, I stepped on a piece of the cabbage, which brought me down on the flags all of a heap.  For a moment I was stunned, but when I recovered I crawled upstairs into the drawing-room and on looking into the chimney-glass discovered that my chin was bleeding, my shirt smeared with the coal-blocks, and my left trouser torn at the knee.

However, Mrs. James brought me down another shirt, which I changed in the drawing-room.  I put a piece of court-plaster on my chin, and Sarah very neatly sewed up the tear at the knee.  At nine o’clock Carrie swept into the room, looking like a queen.  Never have I seen her look so lovely, or so distinguished.  She was wearing a satin dress of sky-blue—my favourite colour—and a piece of lace, which Mrs. James lent her, round the shoulders, to give a finish.  I thought perhaps the dress was a little too long behind, and decidedly too short in front, but Mrs. James said it was à la mode.  Mrs. James was most kind, and lent Carrie a fan of ivory with red feathers, the value of which, she said, was priceless, as the feathers belonged to the Kachu eagle—a bird now extinct.  I preferred the little white fan which Carrie bought for three-and-six at Shoolbred’s, but both ladies sat on me at once.

We arrived at the Mansion House too early, which was rather fortunate, for I had an opportunity of speaking to his lordship, who graciously condescended to talk with me some minutes; but I must say I was disappointed to find he did not even know Mr. Perkupp, our principal.

I felt as if we had been invited to the Mansion House by one who did not know the Lord Mayor himself.  Crowds arrived, and I shall never forget the grand sight.  My humble pen can never describe it.  I was a little annoyed with Carrie, who kept saying: “Isn’t it a pity we don’t know anybody?”

Once she quite lost her head.  I saw someone who looked like Franching, from Peckham, and was moving towards him when she seized me by the coat-tails, and said quite loudly: “Don’t leave me,” which caused an elderly gentleman, in a court-suit, and a chain round him, and two ladies, to burst out laughing.  There was an immense crowd in the supper-room, and, my stars! it was a splendid supper—any amount of champagne.

Carrie made a most hearty supper, for which I was pleased; for I sometimes think she is not strong.  There was scarcely a dish she did not taste.  I was so thirsty, I could not eat much.  Receiving a sharp slap on the shoulder, I turned, and, to my amazement, saw Farmerson, our ironmonger.  He said, in the most familiar way: “This is better than Brickfield Terrace, eh?”  I simply looked at him, and said coolly: “I never expected to see you here.”  He said, with a loud, coarse laugh: “I like that—if you, why not me?”  I replied: “Certainly,” I wish I could have thought of something better to say.  He said: “Can I get your good lady anything?”  Carrie said: “No, I thank you,” for which I was pleased.  I said, by way of reproof to him: “You never sent to-day to paint the bath, as I requested.”  Farmerson said: “Pardon me, Mr. Pooter, no shop when we’re in company, please.”

Before I could think of a reply, one of the sheriffs, in full Court costume, slapped Farmerson on the back and hailed him as an old friend, and asked him to dine with him at his lodge.  I was astonished.  For full five minutes they stood roaring with laughter, and stood digging each other in the ribs.  They kept telling each other they didn’t look a day older.  They began embracing each other and drinking champagne.

To think that a man who mends our scraper should know any member of our aristocracy!  I was just moving with Carrie, when Farmerson seized me rather roughly by the collar, and addressing the sheriff, said: “Let me introduce my neighbour, Pooter.”  He did not even say “Mister.”  The sheriff handed me a glass of champagne.  I felt, after all, it was a great honour to drink a glass of wine with him, and I told him so.  We stood chatting for some time, and at last I said: “You must excuse me now if I join Mrs. Pooter.”  When I approached her, she said: “Don’t let me take you away from friends.  I am quite happy standing here alone in a crowd, knowing nobody!”

As it takes two to make a quarrel, and as it was neither the time nor the place for it, I gave my arm to Carrie, and said: “I hope my darling little wife will dance with me, if only for the sake of saying we had danced at the Mansion House as guests of the Lord Mayor.”  Finding the dancing after supper was less formal, and knowing how much Carrie used to admire my dancing in the days gone by, I put my arm round her waist and we commenced a waltz.

A most unfortunate accident occurred.  I had got on a new pair of boots.  Foolishly, I had omitted to take Carrie’s advice; namely, to scratch the soles of them with the points of the scissors or to put a little wet on them.  I had scarcely started when, like lightning, my left foot slipped away and I came down, the side of my head striking the floor with such violence that for a second or two I did not know what had happened.  I needly hardly say that Carrie fell with me with equal violence, breaking the comb in her hair and grazing her elbow.

There was a roar of laughter, which was immediately checked when people found that we had really hurt ourselves.  A gentleman assisted Carrie to a seat, and I expressed myself pretty strongly on the danger of having a plain polished floor with no carpet or drugget to prevent people slipping.  The gentleman, who said his name was Darwitts, insisted on escorting Carrie to have a glass of wine, an invitation which I was pleased to allow Carrie to accept.

I followed, and met Farmerson, who immediately said, in his loud voice “Oh, are you the one who went down?”

I answered with an indignant look.

With execrable taste, he said: “Look here, old man, we are too old for this game.  We must leave these capers to the youngsters.  Come and have another glass, that is more in our line.”

Although I felt I was buying his silence by accepting, we followed the others into the supper-room.

Neither Carrie nor I, after our unfortunate mishap, felt inclined to stay longer.  As we were departing, Farmerson said: “Are you going? if so, you might give me a lift.”

I thought it better to consent, but wish I had first consulted Carrie.

Charles Pooter

May 8.—I woke up with a most terrible head-ache.  I could scarcely see, and the back of my neck was as if I had given it a crick.  I thought first of sending for a doctor; but I did not think it necessary.  When up, I felt faint, and went to Brownish’s, the chemist, who gave me a draught.  So bad at the office, had to get leave to come home.  Went to another chemist in the City, and I got a draught.  Brownish’s dose seems to have made me worse; have eaten nothing all day.  To make matters worse, Carrie, every time I spoke to her, answered me sharply—that is, when she answered at all.

In the evening I felt very much worse again and said to her: “I do believe I’ve been poisoned by the lobster mayonnaise at the Mansion House last night;” she simply replied, without taking her eyes from her sewing: “Champagne never did agree with you.”  I felt irritated, and said: “What nonsense you talk; I only had a glass and a half, and you know as well as I do—”  Before I could complete the sentence she bounced out of the room.  I sat over an hour waiting for her to return; but as she did not, I determined I would go to bed.  I discovered Carrie had gone to bed without even saying “good-night”; leaving me to bar the scullery door and feed the cat.  I shall certainly speak to her about this in the morning.

Charles Pooter

May 9.—Still a little shaky, with black specks.  The Blackfriars Bi-weekly News contains a long list of the guests at the Mansion House Ball.  Disappointed to find our names omitted, though Farmerson’s is in plainly enough with M.L.L. after it, whatever that may mean.  More than vexed, because we had ordered a dozen copies to send to our friends.  Wrote to the Blackfriars Bi-weekly News, pointing out their omission.

Carrie had commenced her breakfast when I entered the parlour.  I helped myself to a cup of tea, and I said, perfectly calmly and quietly: “Carrie, I wish a little explanation of your conduct last night.”

She replied, “Indeed! and I desire something more than a little explanation of your conduct the night before.”

I said, coolly: “Really, I don’t understand you.”

Carrie said sneeringly: “Probably not; you were scarcely in a condition to understand anything.”

I was astounded at this insinuation and simply ejaculated: “Caroline!”

She said: “Don’t be theatrical, it has no effect on me.  Reserve that tone for your new friend, Mister Farmerson, the ironmonger.”

I was about to speak, when Carrie, in a temper such as I have never seen her in before, told me to hold my tongue.  She said: “Now I’m going to say something!  After professing to snub Mr. Farmerson, you permit him to snub you, in my presence, and then accept his invitation to take a glass of champagne with you, and you don’t limit yourself to one glass.  You then offer this vulgar man, who made a bungle of repairing our scraper, a seat in our cab on the way home.  I say nothing about his tearing my dress in getting in the cab, nor of treading on Mrs. James’s expensive fan, which you knocked out of my hand, and for which he never even apologised; but you smoked all the way home without having the decency to ask my permission.  That is not all!  At the end of the journey, although he did not offer you a farthing towards his share of the cab, you asked him in.  Fortunately, he was sober enough to detect, from my manner, that his company was not desirable.”

Goodness knows I felt humiliated enough at this; but, to make matters worse, Gowing entered the room, without knocking, with two hats on his head and holding the garden-rake in his hand, with Carrie’s fur tippet (which he had taken off the downstairs hall-peg) round his neck, and announced himself in a loud, coarse voice: “His Royal Highness, the Lord Mayor!”  He marched twice round the room like a buffoon, and finding we took no notice, said: “Hulloh! what’s up?  Lovers’ quarrel, eh?”

There was a silence for a moment, so I said quietly: “My dear Gowing, I’m not very well, and not quite in the humour for joking; especially when you enter the room without knocking, an act which I fail to see the fun of.”

Gowing said: “I’m very sorry, but I called for my stick, which I thought you would have sent round.”  I handed him his stick, which I remembered I had painted black with the enamel paint, thinking to improve it.  He looked at it for a minute with a dazed expression and said: “Who did this?”

I said: “Eh, did what?”

He said: “Did what?  Why, destroyed my stick!  It belonged to my poor uncle, and I value it more than anything I have in the world!  I’ll know who did it.”

I said: “I’m very sorry.  I dare say it will come off.  I did it for the best.”

Gowing said: “Then all I can say is, it’s a confounded liberty; and I would add, you’re a bigger fool than you look, only that’s absolutely impossible.”

Charles Pooter

May 21.—The last week or ten days terribly dull, Carrie being away at Mrs. James’s, at Sutton.  Cummings also away.  Gowing, I presume, is still offended with me for black enamelling his stick without asking him.

Charles Pooter

May 22.—Purchased a new stick mounted with silver, which cost seven-and-sixpence (shall tell Carrie five shillings), and sent it round with nice note to Gowing.

Charles Pooter

May 24.—Carrie back.  Hoorah!  She looks wonderfully well, except that the sun has caught her nose.

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.

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).