The Diary of a Nobody
| Next 10 results for Perkupp
Charles Pooter

April 10.—Farmerson came round to attend to the scraper himself.  He seems a very civil fellow.  He says he does not usually conduct such small jobs personally, but for me he would do so.  I thanked him, and went to town.  It is disgraceful how late some of the young clerks are at arriving.  I told three of them that if Mr. Perkupp, the principal, heard of it, they might be discharged.

Pitt, a monkey of seventeen, who has only been with us six weeks, told me “to keep my hair on!”  I informed him I had had the honour of being in the firm twenty years, to which he insolently replied that I “looked it.”  I gave him an indignant look, and said: “I demand from you some respect, sir.”  He replied: “All right, go on demanding.”  I would not argue with him any further.  You cannot argue with people like that.  In the evening Gowing called, and repeated his complaint about the smell of paint.  Gowing is sometimes very tedious with his remarks, and not always cautious; and Carrie once very properly reminded him that she was present.

Charles Pooter

April 11.—Mustard-and-cress and radishes not come up yet.  To-day was a day of annoyances.  I missed the quarter-to-nine ’bus to the City, through having words with the grocer’s boy, who for the second time had the impertinence to bring his basket to the hall-door, and had left the marks of his dirty boots on the fresh-cleaned door-steps.  He said he had knocked at the side door with his knuckles for a quarter of an hour.  I knew Sarah, our servant, could not hear this, as she was upstairs doing the bedrooms, so asked the boy why he did not ring the bell?  He replied that he did pull the bell, but the handle came off in his hand.

I was half-an-hour late at the office, a thing that has never happened to me before.  There has recently been much irregularity in the attendance of the clerks, and Mr. Perkupp, our principal, unfortunately choose this very morning to pounce down upon us early.  Someone had given the tip to the others.  The result was that I was the only one late of the lot.  Buckling, one of the senior clerks, was a brick, and I was saved by his intervention.  As I passed by Pitt’s desk, I heard him remark to his neighbour: “How disgracefully late some of the head clerks arrive!”  This was, of course, meant for me.  I treated the observation with silence, simply giving him a look, which unfortunately had the effect of making both of the clerks laugh.  Thought afterwards it would have been more dignified if I had pretended not to have heard him at all.  Cummings called in the evening, and we played dominoes.

Charles Pooter

April 28.—At the office, the new and very young clerk Pitt, who was very impudent to me a week or so ago, was late again.  I told him it would be my duty to inform Mr. Perkupp, the principal.  To my surprise, Pitt apologised most humbly and in a most gentlemanly fashion.  I was unfeignedly pleased to notice this improvement in his manner towards me, and told him I would look over his unpunctuality.  Passing down the room an hour later.  I received a smart smack in the face from a rolled-up ball of hard foolscap.  I turned round sharply, but all the clerks were apparently riveted to their work.  I am not a rich man, but I would give half-a-sovereign to know whether that was thrown by accident or design.  Went home early and bought some more enamel paint—black this time—and spent the evening touching up the fender, picture-frames, and an old pair of boots, making them look as good as new.  Also painted Gowing’s walking-stick, which he left behind, and made it look like ebony.

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 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

July 30.—The miserable cold weather is either upsetting me or Carrie, or both.  We seem to break out into an argument about absolutely nothing, and this unpleasant state of things usually occurs at meal-times.

This morning, for some unaccountable reason, we were talking about balloons, and we were as merry as possible; but the conversation drifted into family matters, during which Carrie, without the slightest reason, referred in the most uncomplimentary manner to my poor father’s pecuniary trouble.  I retorted by saying that “Pa, at all events, was a gentleman,” whereupon Carrie burst out crying.  I positively could not eat any breakfast.

At the office I was sent for by Mr. Perkupp, who said he was very sorry, but I should have to take my annual holidays from next Saturday.  Franching called at office and asked me to dine at his club, “The Constitutional.”  Fearing disagreeables at home after the “tiff” this morning, I sent a telegram to Carrie, telling her I was going out to dine and she was not to sit up.  Bought a little silver bangle for Carrie.

Charles Pooter

August 7.—Mr. Perkupp has given me leave to postpone my holiday a week, as we could not get the room.  This will give us an opportunity of trying to find an appointment for Willie before we go.  The ambition of my life would be to get him into Mr. Perkupp’s firm.

Charles Pooter

October 31.—Received a letter from our principal, Mr. Perkupp, saying that he thinks he knows of a place at last for our dear boy Lupin.  This, in a measure, consoles me for the loss of a portion of my diary; for I am bound to confess the last few weeks have been devoted to the record of disappointing answers received from people to whom I have applied for appointments for Lupin.  Mrs. Birrell called, and, in reply to me, said: “She never see no book, much less take such a liberty as touch it.”

I said I was determined to find out who did it, whereupon she said she would do her best to help me; but she remembered the sweep lighting the fire with a bit of the Echo.  I requested the sweep to be sent to me to-morrow.  I wish Carrie had not given Lupin a latch-key; we never seem to see anything of him.  I sat up till past one for him, and then retired tired.

Charles Pooter

November 3.—Good news at last.  Mr. Perkupp has got an appointment for Lupin, and he is to go and see about it on Monday.  Oh, how my mind is relieved!  I went to Lupin’s room to take the good news to him, but he was in bed, very seedy, so I resolved to keep it over till the evening.

He said he had last night been elected a member of an Amateur Dramatic Club, called the “Holloway Comedians”; and, though it was a pleasant evening, he had sat in a draught, and got neuralgia in the head.  He declined to have any breakfast, so I left him.  In the evening I had up a special bottle of port, and, Lupin being in for a wonder, we filled our glasses, and I said: “Lupin my boy, I have some good and unexpected news for you.  Mr. Perkupp has procured you an appointment!”  Lupin said: “Good biz!” and we drained our glasses.

Lupin then said: “Fill up the glasses again, for I have some good and unexpected news for you.”

I had some slight misgivings, and so evidently had Carrie, for she said: “I hope we shall think it good news.”

Lupin said: “Oh, it’s all right!  I’m engaged to be married!”

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 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

December 21.—To save the postman a miserable Christmas, we follow the example of all unselfish people, and send out our cards early.  Most of the cards had finger-marks, which I did not notice at night.  I shall buy all future cards in the daytime.  Lupin (who, ever since he has had the appointment with a stock and share broker, does not seem over-scrupulous in his dealings) told me never to rub out the pencilled price on the backs of the cards.  I asked him why.  Lupin said: “Suppose your card is marked 9d.  Well, all you have to do is to pencil a 3—and a long down-stroke after it—in front of the ninepence, and people will think you have given five times the price for it.”

In the evening Lupin was very low-spirited, and I reminded him that behind the clouds the sun was shining.  He said: “Ugh! it never shines on me.”  I said: “Stop, Lupin, my boy; you are worried about Daisy Mutlar.  Don’t think of her any more.  You ought to congratulate yourself on having got off a very bad bargain.  Her notions are far too grand for our simple tastes.”  He jumped up and said: “I won’t allow one word to be uttered against her.  She’s worth the whole bunch of your friends put together, that inflated, sloping-head of a Perkupp included.”  I left the room with silent dignity, but caught my foot in the mat.

Charles Pooter

January 1.—I had intended concluding my diary last week; but a most important event has happened, so I shall continue for a little while longer on the fly-leaves attached to the end of my last year’s diary.  It had just struck half-past one, and I was on the point of leaving the office to have my dinner, when I received a message that Mr. Perkupp desired to see me at once.  I must confess that my heart commenced to beat and I had most serious misgivings.

Mr. Perkupp was in his room writing, and he said: “Take a seat, Mr. Pooter, I shall not be moment.”

I replied: “No, thank you, sir; I’ll stand.”

I watched the clock on the mantelpiece, and I was waiting quite twenty minutes; but it seemed hours.  Mr. Perkupp at last got up himself.

I said: “I hope there is nothing wrong, sir?”

He replied: “Oh dear, no! quite the reverse, I hope.”  What a weight off my mind!  My breath seemed to come back again in an instant.

Mr. Perkupp said: “Mr. Buckling is going to retire, and there will be some slight changes in the office.  You have been with us nearly twenty-one years, and, in consequence of your conduct during that period, we intend making a special promotion in your favour.  We have not quite decided how you will be placed; but in any case there will be a considerable increase in your salary, which, it is quite unnecessary for me to say, you fully deserve.  I have an appointment at two; but you shall hear more to-morrow.”

He then left the room quickly, and I was not even allowed time or thought to express a single word of grateful thanks to him.  I need not say how dear Carrie received this joyful news.  With perfect simplicity she said: “At last we shall be able to have a chimney-glass for the back drawing-room, which we always wanted.”  I added: “Yes, and at last you shall have that little costume which you saw at Peter Robinson’s so cheap.”

Charles Pooter

January 2.—I was in a great state of suspense all day at the office.  I did not like to worry Mr. Perkupp; but as he did not send for me, and mentioned yesterday that he would see me again to-day, I thought it better, perhaps, to go to him.  I knocked at his door, and on entering, Mr. Perkupp said: “Oh! it’s you, Mr. Pooter; do you want to see me?”  I said: “No, sir, I thought you wanted to see me!”  “Oh!” he replied, “I remember.  Well, I am very busy to-day; I will see you to-morrow.”

Charles Pooter

January 3.—Still in a state of anxiety and excitement, which was not alleviated by ascertaining that Mr. Perkupp sent word he should not be at the office to-day.  In the evening, Lupin, who was busily engaged with a paper, said suddenly to me: “Do you know anything about chalk pits, Guv.?”  I said: “No, my boy, not that I’m aware of.”  Lupin said: “Well, I give you the tip; chalk pits are as safe as Consols, and pay six per cent. at par.”  I said a rather neat thing, viz.: “They may be six per cent. at par, but your pa has no money to invest.”  Carrie and I both roared with laughter.  Lupin did not take the slightest notice of the joke, although I purposely repeated it for him; but continued: “I give you the tip, that’s all—chalk pits!”  I said another funny thing: “Mind you don’t fall into them!”  Lupin put on a supercilious smile, and said: “Bravo!  Joe Miller.”

Charles Pooter

January 4.—Mr. Perkupp sent for me and told me that my position would be that of one of the senior clerks.  I was more than overjoyed.  Mr. Perkupp added, he would let me know to-morrow what the salary would be.  This means another day’s anxiety; I don’t mind, for it is anxiety of the right sort.  That reminded me that I had forgotten to speak to Lupin about the letter I received from Mr. Mutlar, senr.  I broached the subject to Lupin in the evening, having first consulted CarrieLupin was riveted to the Financial News, as if he had been a born capitalist, and I said: “Pardon me a moment, Lupin, how is it you have not been to the Mutlars’ any day this week?”

Lupin answered: “I told you!  I cannot stand old Mutlar.”

I said: “Mr. Mutlar writes to me to say pretty plainly that he cannot stand you!”

Lupin said: “Well, I like his cheek in writing to you.  I’ll find out if his father is still alive, and I will write him a note complaining of his son, and I’ll state pretty clearly that his son is a blithering idiot!”

I said: “Lupin, please moderate your expressions in the presence of your mother.”

Lupin said: “I’m very sorry, but there is no other expression one can apply to him.  However, I’m determined not to enter his place again.”

I said: “You know, Lupin, he has forbidden you the house.”

Lupin replied: “Well, we won’t split straws—it’s all the same.  Daisy is a trump, and will wait for me ten years, if necessary.”

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).