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.