Saturday, 9 November 2013

The purloined pages

"November 1.
Mrs Birrell called, and in reply to me, said: 'She never see no book, much less take such a liberty as touch it.'
.... I would willingly give ten shillings to find out who tore my diary."

"November 9.  My endeavors to discover who tore the sheets out of my diary still fruitless."

"November 11.
 Returned home to find the house in the most disgraceful uproar....Sarah was excited and crying.  Mrs Birrell (the charwoman) who had evidently been drinking, was shouting at the top of her voice.  Lupin .... was standing between the two women, and I regret to say, in his endeavour to act as peace-maker, he made use of rather strong language in the presence of his mother; and I was just in time to hear him say: 'All this fuss about the loss of a few pages from a rotten diary that wouldn't fetch three-halfpence a pound!'  I said, quietly: 'Pardon me, Lupin, that is a matter of opinion; and as I am master of this house, perhaps you will allow me to take the reins.'

I ascertained that the cause of the row was, that Sarah had accused Mrs Birrell of tearing the pages out of my diary to wrap up some kitchen fat and leavings which she had taken out of the house last week.  Mrs Birrell had slapped Sarah's face, and said she had taken nothing out of the place, as there was 'never no leavings to take'. I ordered Sarah back to her work, and requested Mrs Birrell to go home.  When I entered the parlour Lupin was kicking his legs in the air, and roaring with laughter."

The Diary of a Nobody  George and Weedon Grossmith

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I read "Diary of a Nobody" every year or two and find it funny and clever every time.