Nov. 13, 2005

The Rules

I'm just back from the Art Gallery of Ontario's exhibition Catherine the Great: Arts for the Empire - Masterpieces from The State Hermitage Museum, Russia. Sheryl and I walked down and back from Bloor Street. Lots of great pieces of 18th century art, from all over Europe. I particularly liked the sculpture and gems. Her coronation crown (not on display...) contained 2,500 diamonds and 5,000 other gems! The AGO is otherwise pretty much out of commission while it undergoes a three year building project.

Here's what amused me though - a list that Catherine had posted at the entrance to the Hermitage. It showed a generally enlightened attitude, but seems tailored for an uncouth audience.

For the Behaviour of All Those
Entering These Doors

  1. All ranks shall be left outside the doors, similarly hats, and particularly swords.
  2. Orders of precedence and haughtiness, and anything of such like which might result from them, shall be left at the doors.
  3. Be merry, but neither spoil nor break anything, nor indeed gnaw at anything.
  4. Be seated, stand or walk as it best pleases you, regardless of others.
  5. Speak with moderation and not too loudly, so that others present have not an earache or headache.
  6. Argue without anger or passion.
  7. Do not sigh or yawn, neither bore nor fatigue others.
  8. Agree to partake of any innocent entertainment suggested by others.
  9. Eat well of good things, but drink with moderation so that each should be able always to find his legs on leaving these doors.
  10. All disputes must stay behind closed doors; and what goes in one ear should go out the other before departing through the doors.
Listening to: Pinch Me by Barenaked Ladies from Maroon.

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