28 June 2014

Mr Pooter puts his foot in it

There was also a large picture in a very handsome frame, done in coloured crayons. It looked like a religious subject. I was very much struck with the lace collar, it looked so real, but I unfortunately made the remark that there was something about the expression of the face that was not quite pleasing. It looked pinched. Mr. Finsworth sorrowfully replied: "Yes, the face was done after death--my wife's sister."

I felt terribly awkward and bowed apologetically, and in a whisper said I hoped I had not hurt his feelings. We both stood looking at the picture for a few minutes in silence, when Mr. Finsworth took out a handkerchief and said: "She was sitting in our garden last summer," and blew his nose violently. He seemed quite affected, so I turned to look at something else and stood in front of a portrait of a jolly-looking middle-aged gentleman, with a red face and straw hat. I said to Mr. Finsworth: "Who is this jovial-looking gentleman? Life doesn't seem to trouble him much." Mr. Finsworth said: "No, it doesn't. HE IS DEAD TOO--my brother."

- George & Weedon Grossmith, The Diary of a Nobody, London, 1892 (complete book download here)
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