The Diary of a Nobody
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Charles Pooter

May 2.—Sent my dress-coat and trousers to the little tailor’s round the corner, to have the creases taken out.  Told Gowing not to call next Monday, as we were going to the Mansion House.  Sent similar note to Cummings.

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

June 1.—The last week has been like old times, Carrie being back, and Gowing and Cummings calling every evening nearly.  Twice we sat out in the garden quite late.  This evening we were like a pack of children, and played “consequences.”  It is a good game.

Charles Pooter

June 4.—In the evening Carrie and I went round to Mr. and Mrs. Cummings’ to spend a quiet evening with them.  Gowing was there, also Mr. Stillbrook.  It was quiet but pleasant.  Mrs. Cummings sang five or six songs, “No, Sir,” and “The Garden of Sleep,” being best in my humble judgment; but what pleased me most was the duet she sang with Carrie—classical duet, too.  I think it is called, “I would that my love!”  It was beautiful.  If Carrie had been in better voice, I don’t think professionals could have sung it better.  After supper we made them sing it again.  I never liked Mr. Stillbrook since the walk that Sunday to the “Cow and Hedge,” but I must say he sings comic-songs well.  His song: “We don’t Want the old men now,” made us shriek with laughter, especially the verse referring to Mr. Gladstone; but there was one verse I think he might have omitted, and I said so, but Gowing thought it was the best of the lot.

Charles Pooter

August 15.—Cleared up a bit, so we all took the train to Margate, and the first person we met on the jetty was Gowing.  I said: “Hulloh!  I thought you had gone to Barmouth with your Birmingham friends?”  He said: “Yes, but young Peter Lawrence was so ill, they postponed their visit, so I came down here.  You know the Cummings’ are here too?”  Carrie said: “Oh, that will be delightful!  We must have some evenings together and have games.”

I introduced Lupin, saying: “You will be pleased to find we have our dear boy at home!”  Gowing said: “How’s that?  You don’t mean to say he’s left the Bank?”

I changed the subject quickly, and thereby avoided any of those awkward questions which Gowing always has a knack of asking.

Charles Pooter

August 18.—Gowing and Cummings walked over to arrange an evening at Margate.  It being wet, Gowing asked Cummings to accompany him to the hotel and have a game of billiards, knowing I never play, and in fact disapprove of the game.  Cummings said he must hasten back to Margate; whereupon Lupin, to my horror, said: “I’ll give you a game, Gowing—a hundred up.  A walk round I the cloth will give me an appetite for dinner.”  I said: “Perhaps Mister Gowing does not care to play with boys.”  Gowing surprised me by saying: “Oh yes, I do, if they play well,” and they walked off together.

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

November 6.—Lupin went with me to the office, and had a long conversation with Mr. Perkupp, our principal, the result of which was that he accepted a clerkship in the firm of Job Cleanands and Co., Stock and Share Brokers.  Lupin told me, privately, it was an advertising firm, and he did not think much of it.  I replied: “Beggars should not be choosers;” and I will do Lupin the justice to say, he looked rather ashamed of himself.

In the evening we went round to the Cummings’, to have a few fireworks.  It began to rain, and I thought it rather dull.  One of my squibs would not go off, and Gowing said: “Hit it on your boot, boy; it will go off then.”  I gave it a few knocks on the end of my boot, and it went off with one loud explosion, and burnt my fingers rather badly.  I gave the rest of the squibs to the little Cummings’ boy to let off.

Another unfortunate thing happened, which brought a heap of abuse on my head.  Cummings fastened a large wheel set-piece on a stake in the ground by way of a grand finale.  He made a great fuss about it; said it cost seven shillings.  There was a little difficulty in getting it alight.  At last it went off; but after a couple of slow revolutions it stopped.  I had my stick with me, so I gave it a tap to send it round, and, unfortunately, it fell off the stake on to the grass.  Anybody would have thought I had set the house on fire from the way in which they stormed at me.  I will never join in any more firework parties.  It is a ridiculous waste of time and money.

Charles Pooter

November 9.—My endeavours to discover who tore the sheets out of my diary still fruitless.  Lupin has Daisy Mutlar on the brain, so we see little of him, except that he invariably turns up at meal times.  Cummings dropped in.

Charles Pooter

November 13.—Carrie sent out invitations to Gowing, the Cummings, to Mr. and Mrs. James (of Sutton), and Mr. Stillbrook.  I wrote a note to Mr. Franching, of PeckhamCarrie said we may as well make it a nice affair, and why not ask our principal, Mr. Perkupp?  I said I feared we were not quite grand enough for him.  Carrie said there was “no offence in asking him.”  I said: “Certainly not,” and I wrote him a letter.  Carrie confessed she was a little disappointed with Daisy Mutlar’s appearance, but thought she seemed a nice girl.

Charles Pooter

November 14.—Everybody so far has accepted for our quite grand little party for to-morrow.  Mr. Perkupp, in a nice letter which I shall keep, wrote that he was dining in Kensington, but if he could get away, he would come up to Holloway for an hour.  Carrie was busy all day, making little cakes and open jam puffs and jellies.  She said she felt quite nervous about her responsibilities to-morrow evening.  We decided to have some light things on the table, such as sandwiches, cold chicken and ham, and some sweets, and on the sideboard a nice piece of cold beef and a Paysandu tongue—for the more hungry ones to peg into if they liked.

Gowing called to know if he was to put on “swallow-tails” to-morrow.  Carrie said he had better dress, especially as Mr. Franching was coming, and there was a possibility of Mr. Perkupp also putting in an appearance.

Gowing said: “Oh, I only wanted to know, for I have not worn my dress-coat for some time, and I must send it to have the creases pressed out.”

After Gowing left, Lupin came in, and in his anxiety to please Daisy Mutlar, carped at and criticised the arrangements, and, in fact, disapproved of everything, including our having asked our old friend Cummings, who, he said, would look in evening-dress like a green-grocer engaged to wait, and who must not be surprised if Daisy took him for one.

I fairly lost my temper, and said: “Lupin, allow me to tell you Miss Daisy Mutlar is not the Queen of England.  I gave you credit for more wisdom than to allow yourself to be inveigled into an engagement with a woman considerably older than yourself.  I advise you to think of earning your living before entangling yourself with a wife whom you will have to support, and, in all probability, her brother also, who appeared to be nothing but a loafer.”

Instead of receiving this advice in a sensible manner, Lupin jumped up and said: “If you insult the lady I am engaged to, you insult me.  I will leave the house and never darken your doors again.”

He went out of the house, slamming the hall-door.  But it was all right.  He came back to supper, and we played Bézique till nearly twelve o’clock.

Charles Pooter

November 15.—A red-letter day.  Our first important party since we have been in this house.  I got home early from the City.  Lupin insisted on having a hired waiter, and stood a half-dozen of champagne.  I think this an unnecessary expense, but Lupin said he had had a piece of luck, having made three pounds out a private deal in the City.  I hope he won’t gamble in his new situation.  The supper-room looked so nice, and Carrie truly said: “We need not be ashamed of its being seen by Mr. Perkupp, should he honour us by coming.”

I dressed early in case people should arrive punctually at eight o’clock, and was much vexed to find my new dress-trousers much too short.

Lupin, who is getting beyond his position, found fault with my wearing ordinary boots instead of dress-boots.

I replied satirically: “My dear son, I have lived to be above that sort of thing.”

Lupin burst out laughing, and said: “A man generally was above his boots.”

This may be funny, or it may not; but I was gratified to find he had not discovered the coral had come off one of my studs.  Carrie looked a picture, wearing the dress she wore at the Mansion House.  The arrangement of the drawing-room was excellent.  Carrie had hung muslin curtains over the folding-doors, and also over one of the entrances, for we had removed the door from its hinges.

Mr. Peters, the waiter, arrived in good time, and I gave him strict orders not to open another bottle of champagne until the previous one was empty.  Carrie arranged for some sherry and port wine to be placed on the drawing-room sideboard, with some glasses.  By-the-by, our new enlarged and tinted photographs look very nice on the walls, especially as Carrie has arranged some Liberty silk bows on the four corners of them.

The first arrival was Gowing, who, with his usual taste, greeted me with: “Hulloh, Pooter, why your trousers are too short!”

I simply said: “Very likely, and you will find my temper ‘short’ also.”

He said: “That won’t make your trousers longer, Juggins.  You should get your missus to put a flounce on them.”

I wonder I waste my time entering his insulting observations in my diary.

The next arrivals were Mr. and Mrs. Cummings.  The former said: “As you didn’t say anything about dress, I have come ‘half dress.’”  He had on a black frock-coat and white tie.  The James’, Mr. Merton, and Mr. Stillbrook arrived, but Lupin was restless and unbearable till his Daisy Mutlar and Frank arrived.

Carrie and I were rather startled at Daisy’s appearance.  She had a bright-crimson dress on, cut very low in the neck.  I do not think such a style modest.  She ought to have taken a lesson from Carrie, and covered her shoulders with a little lace.  Mr. Nackles, Mr. Sprice-Hogg and his four daughters came; so did Franching, and one or two of Lupin’s new friends, members of the “Holloway Comedians.”  Some of these seemed rather theatrical in their manner, especially one, who was posing all the evening, and leant on our little round table and cracked it.  Lupin called him “our Henry,” and said he was “our lead at the H.C.’s,” and was quite as good in that department as Harry Mutlar was as the low-comedy merchant.  All this is Greek to me.

We had some music, and Lupin, who never left Daisy’s side for a moment, raved over her singing of a song, called “Some Day.”  It seemed a pretty song, but she made such grimaces, and sang, to my mind, so out of tune, I would not have asked her to sing again; but Lupin made her sing four songs right off, one after the other.

At ten o’clock we went down to supper, and from the way Gowing and Cummings ate you would have thought they had not had a meal for a month.  I told Carrie to keep something back in case Mr. Perkupp should come by mere chance.  Gowing annoyed me very much by filling a large tumbler of champagne, and drinking it straight off.  He repeated this action, and made me fear our half-dozen of champagne would not last out.  I tried to keep a bottle back, but Lupin got hold of it, and took it to the side-table with Daisy and Frank Mutlar.

We went upstairs, and the young fellows began skylarking.  Carrie put a stop to that at once.  Stillbrook amused us with a song, “What have you done with your Cousin John?”  I did not notice that Lupin and Frank had disappeared.  I asked Mr. Watson, one of the Holloways, where they were, and he said: “It’s a case of ‘Oh, what a surprise!’”

We were directed to form a circle—which we did.  Watson then said: “I have much pleasure in introducing the celebrated Blondin Donkey.”  Frank and Lupin then bounded into the room.  Lupin had whitened his face like a clown, and Frank had tied round his waist a large hearthrug.  He was supposed to be the donkey, and he looked it.  They indulged in a very noisy pantomime, and we were all shrieking with laughter.

I turned round suddenly, and then I saw Mr Perkupp standing half-way in the door, he having arrived without our knowing it.  I beckoned to Carrie, and we went up to him at once.  He would not come right into the room.  I apologised for the foolery, but Mr. Perkupp said: “Oh, it seems amusing.”  I could see he was not a bit amused.

Carrie and I took him downstairs, but the table was a wreck.  There was not a glass of champagne left—not even a sandwich.  Mr. Perkupp said he required nothing, but would like a glass of seltzer or soda water.  The last syphon was empty.  Carrie said: “We have plenty of port wine left.”  Mr. Perkupp said, with a smile: “No, thank you.  I really require nothing, but I am most pleased to see you and your husband in your own home.  Good-night, Mrs. Pooter—you will excuse my very short stay, I know.”  I went with him to his carriage, and he said: “Don’t trouble to come to the office till twelve to-morrow.”

I felt despondent as I went back to the house, and I told Carrie I thought the party was a failure.  Carrie said it was a great success, and I was only tired, and insisted on my having some port myself.  I drank two glasses, and felt much better, and we went into the drawing-room, where they had commenced dancing.  Carrie and I had a little dance, which I said reminded me of old days.  She said I was a spooney old thing.

Charles Pooter

November 16.—Woke about twenty times during the night, with terrible thirst.  Finished off all the water in the bottle, as well as half that in the jug.  Kept dreaming also, that last night’s party was a failure, and that a lot of low people came without invitation, and kept chaffing and throwing things at Mr. Perkupp, till at last I was obliged to hide him in the box-room (which we had just discovered), with a bath-towel over him.  It seems absurd now, but it was painfully real in the dream.  I had the same dream about a dozen times.

Carrie annoyed me by saying: “You know champagne never agrees with you.”  I told her I had only a couple of glasses of it, having kept myself entirely to port.  I added that good champagne hurt nobody, and Lupin told me he had only got it from a traveller as a favour, as that particular brand had been entirely bought up by a West-End club.

I think I ate too heartily of the “side dishes,” as the waiter called them.  I said to Carrie: “I wish I had put those ‘side dishes’ aside.”  I repeated this, but Carrie was busy, packing up the teaspoons we had borrowed of Mrs. Cummings for the party.  It was just half-past eleven, and I was starting for the office, when Lupin appeared, with a yellow complexion, and said: “Hulloh! Guv., what priced head have you this morning?”  I told him he might just as well speak to me in Dutch.  He added: “When I woke this morning, my head was as big as Baldwin’s balloon.”  On the spur of the moment I said the cleverest thing I think I have ever said; viz.: “Perhaps that accounts for the parashooting pains.”  We roared.

Charles Pooter

November 18.—Woke up quite fresh after a good night’s rest, and feel quite myself again.  I am satisfied a life of going-out and Society is not a life for me; we therefore declined the invitation which we received this morning to Miss Bird’s wedding.  We only met her twice at Mrs. James’, and it means a present.  Lupin said: “I am with you for once.  To my mind a wedding’s a very poor play.  There are only two parts in it—the bride and bridegroom.  The best man is only a walking gentleman.  With the exception of a crying father and a snivelling mother, the rest are supers who have to dress well and have to pay for their insignificant parts in the shape of costly presents.”  I did not care for the theatrical slang, but thought it clever, though disrespectful.

I told Sarah not to bring up the blanc-mange again for breakfast.  It seems to have been placed on our table at every meal since Wednesday.  Cummings came round in the evening, and congratulated us on the success of our party.  He said it was the best party he had been to for many a year; but he wished we had let him know it was full dress, as he would have turned up in his swallow-tails.  We sat down to a quiet game of dominoes, and were interrupted by the noisy entrance of Lupin and Frank Mutlar.  Cummings and I asked them to join us.  Lupin said he did not care for dominoes, and suggested a game of “Spoof.”  On my asking if it required counters, Frank and Lupin in measured time said: “One, two, three; go!  Have you an estate in Greenland?”  It was simply Greek to me, but it appears it is one of the customs of the “Holloway Comedians” to do this when a member displays ignorance.

In spite of my instructions, that blanc-mange was brought up again for supper.  To make matters worse, there had been an attempt to disguise it, by placing it in a glass dish with jam round it.  Carrie asked Lupin if he would have some, and he replied: “No second-hand goods for me, thank you.”  I told Carrie, when we were alone, if that blanc-mange were placed on the table again I should walk out of the house.

Charles Pooter

November 22.—Gowing and Cummings dropped in during the evening.  Lupin also came in, bringing his friend, Mr. Burwin-Fosselton—one of the “Holloway Comedians”—who was at our party the other night, and who cracked our little round table.  Happy to say Daisy Mutlar was never referred to.  The conversation was almost entirely monopolised by the young fellow Fosselton, who not only looked rather like Mr. Irving, but seemed to imagine that he was the celebrated actor.  I must say he gave some capital imitations of him.  As he showed no signs of moving at supper time, I said: “If you like to stay, Mr. Fosselton, for our usual crust—pray do.”  He replied: “Oh! thanks; but please call me Burwin-Fosselton.  It is a double name.  There are lots of Fosseltons, but please call me Burwin-Fosselton.”

He began doing the Irving business all through supper.  He sank so low down in his chair that his chin was almost on a level with the table, and twice he kicked Carrie under the table, upset his wine, and flashed a knife uncomfortably near Gowing’s face.  After supper he kept stretching out his legs on the fender, indulging in scraps of quotations from plays which were Greek to me, and more than once knocked over the fire-irons, making a hideous row—poor Carrie already having a bad head-ache.

When he went, he said, to our surprise: “I will come to-morrow and bring my Irving make-up.”  Gowing and Cummings said they would like to see it and would come too.  I could not help thinking they might as well give a party at my house while they are about it.  However, as Carrie sensibly said: “Do anything, dear, to make Lupin forget the Daisy Mutlar business.”

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 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.

Charles Pooter

December 17.—As I open my scribbling diary I find the words “Oxford Michaelmas Term ends.”  Why this should induce me to indulge in retrospective I don’t know, but it does.  The last few weeks of my diary are of minimum interest.  The breaking off of the engagement between Lupin and Daisy Mutlar has made him a different being, and Carrie a rather depressing companion.  She was a little dull last Saturday, and I thought to cheer her up by reading some extracts from my diary; but she walked out of the room in the middle of the reading, without a word.  On her return, I said: “Did my diary bore you, darling?”

She replied, to my surprise: “I really wasn’t listening, dear.  I was obliged to leave to give instructions to the laundress.  In consequence of some stuff she puts in the water, two more of Lupin’s coloured shirts have run and he says he won’t wear them.”

I said: “Everything is Lupin.  It’s all Lupin, Lupin, Lupin.  There was not a single button on my shirt yesterday, but I made no complaint.”

Carrie simply replied: “You should do as all other men do, and wear studs.  In fact, I never saw anyone but you wear buttons on the shirt-fronts.”

I said: “I certainly wore none yesterday, for there were none on.”

Another thought that strikes me is that Gowing seldom calls in the evening, and Cummings never does.  I fear they don’t get on well with Lupin.

Charles Pooter

December 24.—I am a poor man, but I would gladly give ten shillings to find out who sent me the insulting Christmas card I received this morning.  I never insult people; why should they insult me?  The worst part of the transaction is, that I find myself suspecting all my friends.  The handwriting on the envelope is evidently disguised, being written sloping the wrong way.  I cannot think either Gowing or Cummings would do such a mean thing.  Lupin denied all knowledge of it, and I believe him; although I disapprove of his laughing and sympathising with the offender.  Mr. Franching would be above such an act; and I don’t think any of the Mutlars would descend to such a course.  I wonder if Pitt, that impudent clerk at the office, did it?  Or Mrs. Birrell, the charwoman, or Burwin-Fosselton?  The writing is too good for the former.

Charles Pooter

December 27.—I told Lupin I was expecting Gowing and Cummings to drop in to-morrow evening for a quiet game.  I was in hope the boy would volunteer to stay in, and help to amuse them.  Instead of which, he said: “Oh, you had better put them off, as I have asked Daisy and Frank Mutlar to come.”  I said I could not think of doing such a thing.  Lupin said: “Then I will send a wire, and put off Daisy.”  I suggested that a post-card or letter would reach her quite soon enough, and would not be so extravagant.

Carrie, who had listened to the above conversation with apparent annoyance, directed a well-aimed shaft at Lupin.  She said: “Lupin, why do you object to Daisy meeting your father’s friends?  Is it because they are not good enough for her, or (which is equally possible) she is not good enough for them?”  Lupin was dumbfounded, and could make no reply.  When he left the room, I gave Carrie a kiss of approval.


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).