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Chronology of the Grossmith brothers. Contemporary reviews of the 'Diary'. Evelyn Waugh annotates the 'Diary'. Narrative technique in the 'Diary'. Origins of the 'Diary'. Masterman, 'In Peril of Change'. Masterman, 'The Condition of England'. Wells, 'The War of the Worlds'. Thomas Crosland, 'The Suburbans'. Walter Gallichan, 'The Blight of Respectability'. Barry Pain, 'Eliza Getting On'. Florence Marryat, 'There is No Death'. Keble Howard, 'The Smiths of Surbiton'. Pett Ridge, 'Outside the Radius'. Andom, 'Martha and I'.

The Victorian clerk's lot in life. Was George Grossmith a drug addict? Was Mr Pooter Jack the Ripper? Who were the Grossmiths? Who wrote the 'Diary'? Information about obtaining 'FIRE'. Some thoughts about the Woomera Archives. Woomera dream turns to dust article. Huxley's 'Point Counter Point': Malouf's 'An Imaginary Life': Novels promoting Oxford as 'Shakespeare': Starke's 'Twist in the Tale': The End of Parapsychology?: A 'literary' working man 'Thyrza'.

A man of private means 'Sleeping Fires'. A night market in the slums 'Workers in the Dawn'. A politician on social realities 'Denzil Quarrier'. A sunset at Athens 'New Grub Street'. Biffen's suicide 'New Grub Street'.


  1. The Story of Little Cedar.
  2. Orphan of Creation.
  3. Die Grenz- und Außenpolitik des Augustus im Osten und Westen des römischen Imperiums: Grundsätzliche Defensive oder Eroberungspolitik? (German Edition).

Burying the poor 'Demos'. Crouch End horrors 'The Nether World'. North London Squalor 'Thyrza'. On newspapers 'The Crown of Life'. Open air sex 'In the Year of Jubilee'. Suburban blight 'In the Year of Jubilee'. Suburban female ferocities 'In the Year of Jubilee'. The pains of writer's block 'New Grub Street'. The workrooms of Clerkenwell 'The Nether World'.

Wonderful visions 'By the Ionian Sea'. Allusions to Gissing in George Orwell. Gissing in prison The death of Nell: Gissing's 'The Odd Women' Broadview edition. Orwell on Gissing Revisiting 'By the Ionian Sea'. Bibliographical, biographical, critical, etc. Chronological checklist of works. Five Rare Stories by GA.

Grant Allen Fiction Grant Allen Fiction onwards. Grant Allen Non-fiction Grant Allen Non-fiction onwards. Grant Allen primary sources: Interview with Grant Allen Photos with Grant Allen associations. Reviews of GA's work. Rhyming letter from Jamaica Baron's 'De Vere is Shakespeare'. Harrison's 'The Dark Angel'. Huxley's 'The Human Situation'. Miller's 'The Body in Question'. Perera's 'Reaches of Empire'. Schell's 'Fate of the Earth'. Toole's 'Confederacy of Dunces'. Trevelyan's 'A Pre-Raphaelite Circle'.

Waller's 'The Real Oliver Twist'. Walvin's 'Beside the Seaside'. For many years there has been some bibliographical confusion about the number of the early book editions. This is mainly a consequence of the practice, habitual in the s, of not distinguishing fully between an edition and an impression ie an essentially unaltered reprint. The original publisher, Arrowsmith, twice changed its mind about the number of the important edition which it published in October It incorporates some minor corrections to the first edition and its reprints.

The edition is the last whose preparation could have been overseen by both brothers, although there is no evidence that it was. A very few obvious typographical errors have been corrected silently. The punctuation is slightly eccentric in places by modern standards but generally I have left it alone. In the first book edition the Grossmiths not only failed to notice the error but perpetuated it: Arrowsmith continued to produce editions into the s before selling the copyright to Dent.

Surprisingly, for a popular book that has never been out of print, The Diary of a Nobody has never been properly edited before. This lack has drawn some comment: Perhaps one reason is that some of these allusions are so obscure that they have proven hard to identify even with the help of specialist historians. I thank the following people and institutions for helping me resolve specific issues dealt with in this edition: I am also grateful for the detective work of my research assistant, Melinda Graefe; and thanks also to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, for supplying a copy of Evelyn Waugh's own annotated copy of the Diary.

As the textual notes demonstrate, the Oxford English Dictionary and its helpful editorial staff have assisted in clarifying numerous linguistic details. The Online OED gives citations for the noun 'Pooter' which date between and , and for the adjective 'Pooterish' between and The OED cites the Diary twelve times in all, five citations illustrating the first, or joint-first, recorded usage of a word. Most of these are slang expressions, and show that the Grossmiths took good care to make Lupin Pooter's talk sound thoroughly modern. His own implication that his father-in-law was not a gentleman would have been quite an insult to Carrie, who like her husband feels insecure about her class position.

But by the time of the Diary it was quite conventional English, so it merely suggests how out of touch he is. Its interest to Carrie would surely have been minimal. The brothers addressed their own father in that way. The first delivery on Saturdays was at 7. There is more information elsewhere on this site about this error in the book version, which affected the next and subsequent entries. If Carrie called on Mrs Mutlar first, she might be tacitly recognising the latter as her social superior. Victorian etiquette, however, demanded that she should do so, as mother of the bridegroom, since that role temporarily took precedence over their respective ranks.

They were named after the meat-packing town of Paysandu in Uruguay. Conway and music by Joseph Milton Wellings. One partner dressed in the pantomime donkey skin while the other, as a clown, urged him along an imaginary tightrope. See Kilgarriff , By he was making jumps from a balloon using a rigid parachute like a giant umbrella. He gave a last performance in London before the Prince of Wales on 30 October and then left for Australia.

He had a long career in early aeronautics in the USA. The pun is an old one: Dickens uses it in Oliver Twist See Flanders , His performances in the roles of Hamlet and Shylock, among many others, made him a household name. John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys were men of affairs whose diaries give a remarkable insight into seventeenth-century English life. Yet this kind of joke was typical of some Victorian cards, where much sexual innuendo was tolerated. Only a few hundred violins by the master craftsman Antonio Stradivari of Cremona d.

But they did so at the cost of logic: Interest rates were very low in this period, and any share paying six per cent on its face value was a highly speculative, and risky, investment. Although by it was being challenged by the new Financial Times, its lively style would surely have appealed to Lupin. The OED records this quotation as the earliest known use of the phrase. It may even have been made of, or adulterated with, gooseberry or rhubarb juice.

If they were sent out to a laundry they had to be identifiable. It is possible that the Grossmiths invented the use of the word in what is clearly intended to be its modern sense. Nitrate shares continued to fall in his absence, and people feared had absconded. For further details see Blakemore It collapsed in May , just before the Diary started, and its shareholders lost everything. Any name of the moment could be substituted in the catch-phrase title. Gladstone, the Liberal leader, had resigned in , his party having split over the issue of Irish Home Rule.

Naturally, Pooter voted Conservative, the party currently in power. All the remainder appeared first in the book in They were merged into what eventually became the Territorial Army early in the next century. At this time its activities were more social than anything else. To be an officer in it was a mark of social distinction and influence. Half a sovereign was double that. Because cabs were not metered the risk of humiliation and insult was ever-present as cabmen were notoriously no respecters of status.

It is surprising he carried that much on him in cash, but there was no other way of paying immediate bills except by personal cheque. He lived there from until his downfall in He travelled and painted in India, Kashmir and Tibet, The Grossmiths leave it unclear, seemingly deliberately, whether Huttle actually is an American or just talks like one, and the same ambiguity hung around Harris.

Since Harris had been the editor of the Fortnightly Review, a journal of advanced opinion. He was notorious for expressing outrageous views loudly and tactlessly in public. It invited verbal ingenuity. Pooter is too complacent to wonder why it is he who lives a long way from other people. It was customary at formal private dinner-parties for a menu to be placed before each guest. Champagne was sold in bottles of various sizes larger than either. Mr Perkupp, presumably a Conservative like Pooter, would hardly have relished a comparison with the Liberal leader.

She had toured with George Grossmith in and toured again in Patience in See other material on this site for her belief in spiritualism. The participants sat around a light table touching it lightly, and it might move, levitate or bump out messages according to a simple code. The other method, first used in America from , required a planchette or a ouija board. See the material on this site on spiritualism. The name was taken over by the first purpose-built department store in London, at Brixton, but other shops used the name as well. Many entire families sustained life on half that, and paid rent out of it to boot.

Lupin, as usual, is ahead of the pack. The words are from a poem of the same name by Robert Burns. Masterman, 'In Peril of Change' C. Masterman, 'The Condition of England' H. My only regret is that I did not commence it when I was a youth. The Laurels, Brickfield Terrace, Holloway. Tradesmen trouble us a bit, so does the scraper. The Curate calls and pays me a great compliment. Cummings, Gowing, and our other intimate friends always come to the little side entrance, which saves the servant the trouble of going up to the front door, thereby taking her from her work. We have a nice little back garden which runs down to the railway.

He was certainly right; and beyond the cracking of the garden-wall at the bottom, we have suffered no inconvenience. I am always in of an evening. Our old friend Gowing may drop in without ceremony; so may Cummings, who lives opposite. My dear wife Caroline and I are pleased to see them, if they like to drop in on us. But Carrie and I can manage to pass our evenings together without friends. There is always something to be done: Bilkson in small letters , from Collard and Collard [6] in very large letters.

It is also a great comfort to us to know that our boy Willie is getting on so well in the Bank at Oldham. Now for my diary: Tradesmen called for custom, and I promised Farmerson, the ironmonger, to give him a turn if I wanted any nails or tools. By-the-by, that reminds me there is no key to our bedroom door, and the bells must be seen to. Carrie being out, I arranged to deal with Horwin, who seemed a civil butcher with a nice clean shop. Ordered a shoulder of mutton for to-morrow, to give him a trial. In the evening, Cummings unexpectedly dropped in to show me a meerschaum pipe he had won in a raffle in the City, and told me to handle it carefully, as it would spoil the colouring if the hand was moist.

Must get the scraper removed, or else I shall get into a scrape. Two shoulders of mutton arrived, Carrie having arranged with another butcher without consulting me. Gowing called, and fell over scraper coming in. Must get that scraper removed. Sarah [11] said Mr. I restrained my feelings, and quietly remarked that I thought it was possible for a city clerk to be a gentleman.

When he had gone, I thought of a splendid answer I ought to have given him. However, I will keep it for another occasion. Being Saturday, I looked forward to being home early, and putting a few things straight; but two of our principals at the office were absent through illness, and I did not get home till seven. He had been three times during the day to apologise for his conduct last night.

He said he was unable to take his Bank Holiday last Monday, and took it last night instead. He begged me to accept his apology, and a pound of fresh butter. He seems, after all, a decent sort of fellow; so I gave him an order for some fresh eggs, with a request that on this occasion they should be fresh. I am afraid we shall have to get some new stair-carpets after all; our old ones [14] are not quite wide enough to meet the paint on either side.

Carrie suggests that we might ourselves broaden the paint. I will see if we can match the colour dark chocolate on Monday. After Church, the Curate came back with us. I sent Carrie in to open front door, which we do not use except on special occasions. She could not get it open, and after all my display, I had to take the Curate whose name, by-the-by, I did not catch round the side entrance. He caught his foot in the scraper, and tore the bottom of his trousers. Most annoying, as Carrie could not well offer to repair them on a Sunday.

After dinner, went to sleep. Went to Church again in the evening: Carrie noticed he had got on the same pair of trousers, only repaired. He wants me to take round the plate, which I think a great compliment. Gowing rather tiresome with his complaints of the paint. I make one of the best jokes of my life. Stillbrook, Gowing, Cummings, and I have a little misunderstanding.

Sarah makes me look a fool before Cummings. Commenced the morning badly. The butcher, whom we decided not to arrange with, called and blackguarded me in the most uncalled-for manner. He began by abusing me, and saying he did not want my custom. It was the blackguard butcher again, who said he had cut his foot over the scraper, and would immediately bring an action against me.

Arrived home tired and worried. Putley, a painter and decorator, who had sent in a card, said he could not match the colour on the stairs, as it contained Indian carmine. He suggested he should entirely re-paint the stairs. It would cost very little more; if he tried to match it, he could only make a bad job of it.

It would be more satisfactory to him and to us to have the work done properly. I consented but felt I had been talked over. Planted some mustard-and-cress and radishes, and went to bed at nine. Farmerson came round to attend to the scraper himself. He seems a very civil fellow.


  1. The Indians Daughter.
  2. Reward Yourself.
  3. Chasing Illusions.

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. 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; [18] and Carrie once very properly reminded him that she was present.

Mustard-and-cress and radishes not come up yet. To-day was a day of annoyances. 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, [20] and I was saved by his intervention. 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. Left Farmerson repairing the scraper, but when I came home found three men working. I asked the meaning of it, and Farmerson said that in making a fresh hole he had penetrated the gas-pipe. He said it was a most ridiculous place to put the gas-pipe, and the man who did it evidently knew nothing about his business. I felt his excuse was no consolation for the expense I shall be put to. In the evening, after tea, Gowing dropped in, and we had a smoke together in the breakfast-parlour.

Carrie joined us later, but did not stay long, saying the smoke was too much for her. It was also rather too much for me, for Gowing had given me what he called a green cigar, [21] one that his friend Shoemach had just brought over from America. I took a walk round the garden three or four times, feeling the need of fresh air. On returning Gowing noticed I was not smoking: Gowing began his usual sniffing, so, anticipating him, I said: I never was so immensely tickled by anything I have ever said before.

I actually woke up twice during the night, and laughed till the bed shook. Carrie had called in a woman to make some chintz covers for our drawing-room chairs and sofa to prevent the sun fading the green rep [22] of the furniture. I saw the woman, and recognised her as a woman who used to work years ago for my old aunt at Clapham.

It only shows how small the world is. Spent the whole of the afternoon in the garden, having this morning picked up at a bookstall for fivepence a capital little book, in good condition, on Gardening. I procured and sowed some half-hardy annuals in what I fancy will be a warm, sunny border. I thought of a joke, and called out Carrie. Carrie came out rather testy, I thought. Gowing called, and said the stairs looked all right, but it made the banisters look all wrong, and suggested a coat of paint on them also, which Carrie quite agreed with.

I walked round to Putley, and fortunately he was out, so I had a good excuse to let the banisters slide. By-the-by, that is rather funny. We walked and chatted together, except Stillbrook, who was always a few yards behind us staring at the ground and cutting at the grass with his stick.

I watched them and thought I would have a good laugh at their expense. I heard the porter say: Gowing called to me across the gate and said: When they appeared they were all in most excellent spirits, and the only one who made an effort to apologise was Mr. Stillbrook, who said to me: I felt very dull all the evening, but deemed it advisable not to say anything to Carrie about the matter. After business, set to work in the garden. Thought I would write a kind little note to Gowing and Cummings about last Sunday, and warning them against Mr.

Afterwards, thinking the matter over, tore up the letters and determined not to write at all, but to speak quietly to them. Dumfounded at receiving a sharp letter from Cummings, saying that both he and Gowing had been waiting for an explanation of my mind you, MY extraordinary conduct coming home on Sunday. At last I wrote: I posted the letter, but in my own heart I felt I was actually apologising for having been insulted. Am in for a cold. Spent the whole day at the office sneezing. In the evening, the cold being intolerable, sent Sarah out for a bottle of Kinahan.

Was startled by a loud knock at the front door. Sarah still out, so went up, opened the door, and found it was only Cummings. Cummings squeezed my hand, and said: Say no more about it. While playing dominoes with Cummings in the parlour, he said: My cousin Merton has just set up in the trade, and has a splendid whisky, four years in bottle, at thirty-eight shillings.

To my horror, at that very moment, Sarah entered the room, and putting a bottle of whisky, wrapped in a dirty piece of newspaper, on the table in front of us, said: James, of Sutton, come up. A miserable evening at the Tank Theatre. Experiments with enamel paint. I make another good joke; but Gowing and Cummings are unnecessarily offended. I paint the bath red, with unexpected result. Cummings called, bringing with him his friend Merton, who is in the wine trade. Mr Merton made himself at home at once, and Carrie and I were both struck with him immediately, and thoroughly approved of his sentiments.

He leaned back in his chair and said: I intended to convey that our charming host and hostess were superior to the follies of fashion, and preferred leading a simple and wholesome life to gadding about to twopenny-halfpenny tea-drinking afternoons, and living above their incomes. Carrie reminded me that as her old school friend, Annie Fullers now Mrs. James , and her husband had come up from Sutton for a few days, it would look kind to take them to the theatre, and would I drop a line to Mr. James Miss Fuller that was , came to meat tea, and we left directly after for the Tank Theatre.

James each time insisted on paying for all, saying that I had paid for the tickets and that was quite enough. I walked ahead and presented the tickets. The gentleman called to, came up and examined my tickets, and said: These tickets, which are not dated, were issued under Mr. I was leaning out of the box, when my tie—a little black bow which fastened on to the stud by means of a new patent [35] —fell into the pit below. A clumsy man not noticing it, had his foot on it for ever so long before he discovered it.

He then picked it up and eventually flung it under the next seat in disgust. What with the box incident and the tie, I felt quite miserable. James, of Sutton, was very good. That is the only advantage of growing one that I can see. To hide the absence of the tie I had to keep my chin down the rest of the evening, which caused a pain at the back of my neck.

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Could scarcely sleep a wink through thinking of having brought up Mr. James from the country to go to the theatre last night, and his having paid for a private box because our order was not honoured; and such a poor play too. Awfully vexed at this. I bought two tins of red on my way home.

I hastened through tea, went into the garden and painted some flower-pots. To my mind it was an extraordinary improvement, but as an example of the ignorance of the lower classes in the matter of taste, our servant Sarah, on seeing them, evinced no sign of pleasure, but merely said: Got some more red enamel paint red, to my mind, being the best colour , and painted the coal-scuttle, and the backs of our Shakspeare, the binding of which had almost worn out.

Painted the bath red, and was delighted with the result. Sorry to say Carrie was not, in fact we had a few words about it. She said I ought to have consulted her, and she had never heard of such a thing as a bath being painted red. I think this was one of the best jokes I have ever made. Then imagine my astonishment on perceiving both Cummings and Gowing perfectly silent, and without a smile on their faces.

After rather an unpleasant pause, Cummings, who had opened a cigar-case, closed it up again and said: This rather unpleasantly terminated what might have been a cheerful evening. However, it was as well they went, for the charwoman had finished up the remains of the cold pork. 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.


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  • 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.

    Woke up with a fearful headache and strong symptoms of a cold. I told her firmly that I knew a great deal better what was the matter with me than she did. I had got a chill, and decided to have a bath as hot as I could bear it. Bath ready—could scarcely bear it so hot. I persevered, and got in; very hot, but very acceptable. I lay still for some time. On moving my hand above the surface of the water, I experienced the greatest fright I ever received in the whole course of my life; for imagine my horror on discovering my hand, as I thought, full of blood.

    My third was, that it was nothing but the enamel paint, which had dissolved with boiling water. I stepped out of the bath, perfectly red all over, resembling the Red Indians I have seen depicted at an East-End theatre. I determined not to say a word to Carrie, but to tell Farmerson to come on Monday and paint the bath white. Carrie and I read the invitation over two or three times.

    I could scarcely eat my breakfast. 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 have not danced with you for years. 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. 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. Told Gowing not to call next Monday, as we were going to the Mansion House. Sent similar note to Cummings. Carrie went to Mrs. James, at Sutton, to consult about her dress for next Monday. While speaking incidentally to Spotch, one of our head clerks, about the Mansion House, he said: In the evening, while I was out, the little tailor brought round my coat and trousers, and because Sarah had not a shilling to pay for the pressing, he took them away again.

    I was too angry to say anything. Bought a pair of lavender kid-gloves for next Monday, and two white ties, in case one got spoiled in the tying. A very dull sermon, during which, I regret to say, I twice thought of the Mansion House reception to-morrow. A big red-letter day; [44] viz. The whole house upset. I had to get dressed at half-past six, as Carrie wanted the room to herself. 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. 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. James brought me down another shirt, which I changed in the drawing-room. I put a piece of court-plaister [46] on my chin, and Sarah very neatly sewed up the tear at the knee. 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 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 [47] —a bird now extinct.

    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: 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: There was an immense crowd in the supper-room, and, my stars! 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: I said, by way of reproof to him: For full five minutes they stood roaring with laughter, and stood digging each other in the ribs. 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: 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: I am quite happy standing here alone in a crowd, knowing nobody! A most unfortunate accident occurred. I had got on a new pair of boots.

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    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 need 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. I followed, and met Farmerson, who immediately said, in his loud voice: With execrable taste, he said: We must leave these capers to the youngsters.

    Come and have another glass, that is more in our line. Neither Carrie nor I, after our unfortunate mishap, felt inclined to stay longer. As we were departing, Farmerson said: Franching, of Peckham, visits us. I woke up with a most terrible headache. I could scarcely see, and the back of my neck was as if I had given it a crick. I thought first of sending for a doctor; but I did not think it necessary.

    Went to another chemist in the City, and I got a draught. To make matters worse, Carrie, every time I spoke to her, answered me sharply—that is, when she answered at all. In the evening I felt very much worse again and said to her: I sat over an hour waiting for her to return; but as she did not, I determined I would go to bed.

    I shall certainly speak to her about this in the morning. Still a little shaky, with black specs. Disappointed to find our names omitted, though Farmerson is in plainly enough with M. Wrote to the Blackfriars Bi-weekly News pointing out their omission. Carrie had commenced her breakfast when I entered the parlour.

    I helped myself to a cup of tea, and I said, perfectly calmly and quietly: Reserve that tone for your new friend, Mister Farmerson, the ironmonger. After professing to snub Mr. You then offer this vulgar man, who made a bungle of repairing our scraper, a seat in our cab on the way home. I say nothing about his tearing my dress in getting in the cab, nor of treading on Mrs.

    That is not all! At the end of the journey, although he did not offer you a farthing towards his share of the cab, you asked him in. Fortunately, he was sober enough to detect, from my manner, that his company was not desirable. He looked at it for a minute with a dazed expression and said: Why, destroyed my stick! It belonged to my poor uncle, and I value it more than anything I have in the world! I daresay it will come off. I did it for the best.

    Got a single copy of the Blackfriars Bi-weekly News. Wrote again and I took particular care to write our name in capital letters, POOTER, so that there should be no possible mistake this time. Absolutely disgusted on opening the Blackfriars Bi-weekly News of to-day, to find the following paragraph: Charles Pewter, requesting us to announce the important fact that they were at the Mansion House Ball.

    My time is far too valuable to bother about such trifles. The last week or ten days terribly dull, Carrie being away [56] at Mrs. Gowing, I presume, is still offended with me for black-enamelling his stick without asking him. Purchased a new stick mounted with silver, which cost seven-and-sixpence shall tell Carrie five shillings , and sent it round with nice note to Gowing. Received strange note from Gowing; he says: I thought you were offended with me for losing my temper. However, I am much obliged to you for your handsome present all same.

    She looks wonderfully well, except that the sun has caught her nose. I thought we should never stop laughing. I thought he would have rolled off his seat. They laughed at the office a good bit too over it. I said to him: 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. Not quite so successful as last night; Gowing having several times over-stepped the limits of good taste.

    In the evening Carrie and I went round to Mr. Gowing was there, also Mr. It was quiet but pleasant. After supper we made them sing it again. I never liked 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. Trillip brought round the shirts and, to my disgust, his charge for repairing was more than I gave for them when new.

    I told him so, and he impertinently replied: Franching, who lives at Peckham, [62] and who is a great swell in his way. I ventured to ask him to come home to meat-tea and take pot-luck. I have had enough of the blues lately. I saw Carrie, through the panels of ground-glass with stars , rushing upstairs. Franching to wait at the door while I went round to the side.

    I let in Mr. Franching, and showed him into the drawing-room. I went up stairs to Carrie, who was changing her dress, and told her I had persuaded Mr. Franching to come home. The miserable cold weather is either upsetting me or Carrie, or both. 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. Bought a little silver bangle for Carrie. Carrie was very pleased with the bangle, which I left with an affectionate note on her dressing-table last night before going to bed.

    I told Carrie we should have to start for our holiday next Saturday. She replied quite happily that she did not mind, except that the weather was so bad, and she feared that Miss Jibbons would not be able to get her a seaside dress in time. I told Carrie that I thought the drab one [72] with pink bows looked quite good enough; and Carrie said she should not think of wearing it.

    I was about to discuss the matter, when, remembering the argument yesterday, resolved to hold my tongue. I said to Carrie: Stillbrook and other gentlemen of his type. Beck, Harbour View Terrace, for apartments. In the evening she trimmed herself a little sailor-hat, while I read to her the Exchange and Mart. Beck wrote to say we could have our usual rooms at Broadstairs. Looking forward to to-morrow. Carrie bought a parasol about five feet long. I told her it was ridiculous. I bought a capital hat for hot weather at the seaside.

    Got three new ties, two coloured handkerchiefs, and a pair of navy-blue socks at Pope Brothers. Spent the evening packing. Carrie told me not to forget to borrow Mr. Sent Sarah out for it. While everything was seeming so bright, the last post brought us a letter from Mrs. Womming, next door, will be pleased to accommodate you, but she cannot take you before Monday, as her rooms are engaged Bank Holiday week. The first post brought a nice letter from our dear son Willie, [77] acknowledging a trifling present which Carrie sent him, the day before yesterday being his twentieth birthday.

    To our utter amazement he turned up himself in the afternoon, having journeyed all the way from Oldham. He said he had got leave from the bank, and as Monday was a holiday he thought he would give us a little surprise. We have not seen Willie since last Christmas, and are pleased to notice what a fine young man he has grown.

    He looks more like a younger brother. I ventured to say that I thought William a nice simple name, and reminded him he was christened after his Uncle William, who was much respected in the City. Willie, in a manner which I did not much care for, said sneeringly: I said nothing, but looked at her, which meant more. August 6, Bank Holiday. Lupin replied that he had had a lively time of it, first with the trains shaking the house all night, and then with the sun streaming in through the windows in his eyes, and giving him a cracking headache.

    When my speech came again, I said: How dare you take such a serious step without consulting me? Perkupp has given me leave to postpone my holiday a week, as we could not get the room. Grant's memoirs Twain—Ament indemnities controversy. Clemens father Orion Clemens brother. Retrieved from " https: Julian—Gregorian uncertainty Pages to import images to Wikidata.

    Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikiquote. This page was last edited on 2 August , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Collated by Bernard DeVoto [1]. Carefully preserved among the sacred archives of this curious community is a MSS. It is written on vellum, and is some four or five thousand years old. Nothing but bucksheesh can purchase a sight.

    Letters from the Earth - Wikipedia

    Its fame is somewhat dimmed in these latter days, because of the doubts so many authors of Palestine travels have felt themselves privileged to cast upon it. Speaking of this MSS. The Creator sat upon the throne, thinking. Behind him stretched the illimitable continent of heaven, steeped in a glory of light and color; before him rose the black night of Space, like a wall. His mighty bulk towered rugged and mountain-like into the zenith, and His divine head blazed there like a distant sun.

    At His feet stood three colossal figures, diminished to extinction, almost, by contrast -- archangels -- their heads level with His ankle-bone. In time, the Deity perceived that death was a mistake; a mistake, in that it was insufficient; insufficient, for the reason that while it was an admirable agent for the inflicting of misery upon the survivor, it allowed the dead person himself to escape from all further persecution in the blessed refuge of the grave.

    This was not satisfactory. A way must be conceived to pursue the dead beyond the tomb. Man is a marvelous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm. He took a pride in man; man was his finest invention; man was his pet, after the housefly. On the Bible It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.

    During twenty-three days in every month in absence of pregnancy from the time a woman is seven years old till she dies of old age, she is ready for action, and competent.