Another excerpt from The Harold Nicolson Diaries, this time a little piece of fatherly advice, written in July 1926 to Nigel Nicolson (age nine):
I do hope you won’t make Mummy nervous by being too wild. Of course men must work and women must weep, but all the same I do hope that you will remember that Mummy is a frightful coward and does fuss dreadfully about you. It is a good rule always to ask before you do anything awfully dangerous. Thus if you say, “Mummy, may I try and walk on the roof of the green-house on my stilts?”, she will probably say, “Of course, darling”, since she is not in any way a narrow-minded woman. And if you say, “Mummy, may I light a little fire in my bed?”, she will again say, “Certainly, Niggs”. It is only that she likes being asked about these things beforehand.