Rules of Palship
In 1915, in an effort to minimise arguments in what was a close & sometimes turbulent friendship, 14-yr-old future playwright Noël Coward and his best friend, the actress Esmé Wynne, drew up this endearing list of "Rules of Palship," to be signed & followed by both parties. The list proved successful; the pair remained friends for some years.
- 1.We must not tease each other and if we begin we must stop directly when we are asked.
- 2.We must take it in turns to go and see one another and if one goes twice running to the other's house, the other must do the same afterwards.
- 3.We must never split on one another even if the PALSHIP is dissolved and we must hold all confidences sacred.
- 4.We must share all profits in any transaction made together, however slight the help of the other may be. Profits are excluded from any expenses incurred during the said transaction.
- 5.In case of serious quarrel a week or a fortnight may be taken to think things over before abolishing the PALSHIP.
- 6.If one hits the other either in anger or fun, he must allow the other to hit back. Any other offence must be paid for.
- 7.We must stick up for each other against anyone or anything, and stand by each other in all danger.
- 8.We must tell each other all secrets concerned with ourselves, other confidences may be held sacred even from one another.
- 9.We must not talk RELIGION unless it is inevitable.
- 10.When writing to mutual friends we must tell each other, we must also tell each other what we have said in the letter.
- 11.We must swear by "HONOUR AS A PAL" and hold it THE most sacred of bonds in the world.
- 12.We must tell each other what we think about the other's appearance or behaviour.
- 13.We must go straight to one another in case of mischief being made and believe NOTHING unless it comes from the other's own lips.
- 14.NO ONE, not even our Parents, may keep us from one another.
- 15.If any other rules are formed or thought of, the must be added (with the consent of both) at the end of this document.
- 16.NO OTHER PERSON may be admitted into our PALSHIP or SECRETS.