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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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 Peckham. Carrie 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.
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
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.
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
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
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’
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 Carrie. Lupin 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,