The Diary of a Nobody
Charles Pooter

January 21.—I am very much concerned at Lupin having started a pony-trap.  I said: “Lupin, are you justified in this outrageous extravagance?”  Lupin replied: “Well, one must get to the City somehow.  I’ve only hired it, and can give it up any time I like.”  I repeated my question: “Are you justified in this extravagance?”  He replied: “Look here, Guv., excuse me saying so, but you’re a bit out of date.  It does not pay nowadays, fiddling about over small things.  I don’t mean anything personal, Guv’nor.  My boss says if I take his tip, and stick to big things, I can make big money!”  I said I thought the very idea of speculation most horrifying.  Lupin said “It is not speculation, it’s a dead cert.”  I advised him, at all events, not to continue the pony and cart; but he replied: “I made £200 in one day; now suppose I only make £200 in a month, or put it at £100 a month, which is ridiculously low—why, that is £1,250 a year.  What’s a few pounds a week for a trap?”

I did not pursue the subject further, beyond saying that I should feel glad when the autumn came, and Lupin would be of age and responsible for his own debts.  He answered: “My dear Guv., I promise you faithfully that I will never speculate with what I have not got.  I shall only go on Job Cleanands’ tips, and as he is in the ‘know’ it is pretty safe sailing.”  I felt somewhat relieved.  Gowing called in the evening and, to my surprise, informed me that, as he had made £10 by one of Lupin’s tips, he intended asking us and the Cummings round next Saturday.  Carrie and I said we should be delighted.

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).