Monday, 2 April 2012

Simple Rules for Life in London

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On June 9th of 1908, as his youngest daughter, 12-year-old Elsie, prepared for a trip to London, author Rudyard Kipling wrote her a letter in which the following list of "rules for Life in London" was included.

(Source: O Beloved Kids: Rudyard Kipling's Letters to His Children; Image: Rudyard Kipling, via Wikimedia.)

Dear Bird,

[...]

I send you a few simple rules for Life in London.
  1. Wash early and often with soap and hot water.
  2. Do not roll on the grass of the parks. It will come off black on your dress.
  3. Never eat penny buns, oysters, periwinkles or peppermints on the top of a bus. It annoys the passengers.
  4. Be kind to policemen. You never know when you may be taken up.
  5. Never stop a motor bus with your foot. It is not a croquet ball.
  6. Do not attempt to take pictures off the wall of the National Gallery or to remove cases of butterflies from the National History Museum. You will be noticed if you do.
  7. Avoid late hours, pickled salmon, public meetings, crowded crossings, gutters, water-carts and over-eating.

Ever your

Daddo