31st January 1826
Heavy rain last night, making a sluggish walk both to and from school, the streets thick with the blackest mud. The crossing-sweeper on the High Street, a bald man with only one arm and a tattered old military coat, blesses every copper thrown his way with ‘thank’ee! Lor’, ain’t it enough to suck off yer boots!’ The roads certainly are in a foul state and no-one has seen the parish contractor for weeks. Papa says he will write a strongly-worded letter to the vestry, once he has paid the rates. When I got home, I gave my boots to Skillet, but she said ‘if you wants your own personal varlet (!), young Master Dickens, to clean up after your every shortcomings and goings, then you had better come into some money, and get a coach and horses and two footmen in powder while you are at it!’ Sometimes I do not know why we even keep a (so-called) servant.