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Title: The Art of Kissing - Curiously, Historically, Humorously, Poetically Considered
Author: Rossiter, Will
Language: English
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(http://digital.library.villanova.edu/)



                                THE ART
                             . . . OF . . .
                                KISSING.

                 [Illustration: SEVEN.

                 At seven!! a sly kiss is so sweet,
                 To steal one now and then’s a treat.]

                            Curiously,
                            Historically,
                                Humorously,
                                Poetically
                            Considered.

                [Illustration: SEVENTEEN.

                At seventeen!! they’re nicer still,
                And there’s a way where there’s a will.]

                               DEDICATED
                                   TO
                             ALL WHO LOVE.

                 [Illustration: SEVENTY.

                 At seventy!! it’s just the same,
                 They still keep up the old, old game.]

                               New York:
                   J. S. Ogilvie Publishing Company,
                            57 Rose Street.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                                  THE

                            ART OF KISSING.


                        CURIOUSLY, HISTORICALLY,
                         HUMOROUSLY, POETICALLY
                              CONSIDERED.

                             --------------

                  (COPYRIGHT, 1902, BY WILL ROSSITER.)

                             --------------

                               NEW YORK:
                   J. S. OGILVIE PUBLISHING COMPANY,
                            57 ROSE STREET.



------------------------------------------------------------------------



                                  THE

                            ART OF KISSING.



                                   I.

    ORIGIN OF KISSING; THE SCANDINAVIAN TRADITION; AN OLD
        POET’S IDEA—KISSING IN ANCIENT ROME, AND AMONG THE
        JEWS AND EARLY CHRISTIANS—BIBLICAL KISSING—RELIGIOUS
        SIGNIFICANCE—KISSING IN EARLY ENGLAND—ANCIENT KISSING
        CUSTOMS AS DESCRIBED BY ERASMUS—THE PURITANICAL VIEWS
        OF JOHN BUNYAN—HOW ADAM KISSED EVE—A KISS DEFINED: BY
        THE DICTIONARY, SHAKESPEARE, ROBERT HERRICK, SIDNEY,
        COLERIDGE—COMICAL AND SHORT DESCRIPTIONS—A GRAMMAR OF
        KISSING—THE SCIENTIFIC REASON WHY KISSES ARE PLEASANT.


Of kissing it has been quaintly said that nature was its author and it
began with the first courtship. The Scandinavian tradition was that
kissing was an exotic introduced into England by Rowena, the beautiful
daughter of Hengist, the Saxon. At a banquet given by the British
monarch in honor of his allies the princess, after pressing the brimming
beaker to her lips, saluted the astonished and delighted Vortigern with
a little kiss, after the manner of her own people.

For a long time it was an act of religion in ancient Rome and among the
Romans the sacredness of the kiss was inviolable. At length it was
degraded into a current form of salutation.

The kiss was, in process of time, used generally as a form of salutation
in Rome where men testified their regard and the warmth of their welcome
for each other chiefly by the number of their kisses. There was a
curious law among the Romans made by Constantine; that, if a man had
kissed his betrothed she gained thereby the half of his effects should
he die before the celebration of the marriage; and should the lady
herself die, under the same circumstances, her heirs or nearest to kin
would take the half due her, a kiss among the ancients being the sign of
plighted faith.

Among the Jews, kissing was a customary mode of salutation as we may
judge from the circumstance of Judas approaching his Master with a kiss.
The Rabbis did not permit more than three kinds of kisses, the kiss of
reverence, of reception and dismissal. Kissing in many religions has
played a part as a mark of adoration or veneration. In Hosea xiii-2,
speaking of idolatry, we find the sentence “Let the men that sacrifice
kiss the calves.” Again, the discontented prophet is told that even in
idolatrous Israel are seven thousand knees which have not bowed to Baal,
“and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” The Mohammedans, on their
pious pilgrimage to Mecca, kiss the sacred black stone and the four
corners of the Kaaba. The Roman Catholic priest kisses the aspergillum,
and Palm Sunday the palm.

In the works of St. Augustine we find an account of four kinds of
kissing; the first, the kiss of reconciliation which was given between
enemies wishing to become friends; the second, the kiss of peace which
Christians exchanged in church in the time of the celebration of the
holy eucharist. The third, the kiss of love which loving souls gave to
one another and to those whom they showed hospitality. St. Peter and St.
Paul used to finish their letters by saying, “salute one another with a
holy kiss.” In the early church kissing seems to have been a common form
of greeting, irrespective of age, sex, or social condition, and, in some
it seems to have created a jealous feeling.

One heathen writer speaks of how annoying it must be to a heathen
husband to see his wife exchanging kisses with the Christian brethren.
Origen, one of the early Christian writers, says that the kisses must be
“holy.” He may have had occasion to give this reminder for mention is
made by another writer of kisses so loud that they resounded through the
churches and occasioned foul suspicions and evil reports.

In the Bible there are eight kinds of kisses mentioned:

_Salutation._—David fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself
three times; and they [David and Jonathan] kissed one another, and wept
one with another, until David exceeded. I. Samuel xx, 41. Greet all the
brethren with a holy kiss. I. Thess. v, 26. Salute one another with a
holy kiss. Romans xvi, 16. See also Ex. xviii, 7; I. Cor. xvi, 20; I.
Pet. v, 14.

_Valediction._—The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in
the house of her husband [Naomi to her daughter-in-law.] Then she kissed
them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. Ruth i, 9.

_Reconciliation._—So Joab came to the king, and told him; and when he
had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his
face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom. II.
Samuel xiv, 33.

_Subjection._—Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the
way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Psalm ii, 12.

_Adoration._—All the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every
mouth which hath not kissed him. I. Kings xix, 18. [See also Hosea xiii,
2.] And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet
with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his
feet, and anointed them with ointment. Luke vii, 38.

_Approbation._—Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
Prov. xxiv, 26.

_Treachery._—Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying
Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; hold him fast, and forthwith
he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Master; and kissed him. Matt. xxvi,
48, 49. The kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Prov. xxvii, 6. [See also
Prov. vii, 13.]

_Affection._—When Laban heard the tidings of Jacob, his sister’s son, he
ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to
his house. Gen. xxix, 13. Moreover he [Joseph] kissed all his brethren,
and wept upon them. Gen. xlv, 15. And Joseph fell upon his father’s
face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. Gen. l, 1. [See also Gen. xxxi,
55; xxxiii, 4; xlviii, 10; Exod. iv, 27; Luke xv, 20; Acts xx, 37.]

Among the poets we will select Johannus Secundus (Johannes Everard) to
sing to the origin of kisses:

          When young Ascanius, by Queen of Love,
          Was wafted to Cythera’s lofty grove,
          The slumbering boy upon a couch she laid,
          A fragrant couch, of new-blown violets made,
          The blissful bower with shadowing roses crowned,
          And balmy-breathing airs diffused around.

          Soon as she watched, through all her glowing soul,
          Imprisoned thoughts of lost Adonis stole.
          How oft, as memory hallowed all his charms,
          She longed to clasp the sleeper in her arms!
          How oft she laid admiring every grace,
          “Such was Adonis! such his lovely face!”

          But, fearing lest this fond excess of joy
          Might break the slumber of the beauteous boy,
          On every rose-bud that around him blowed,
          A thousand nectared kisses she bestowed;
          And straight each opening bud, which late was white,
          Blushed a warm crimson to the astonished sight.

And the poet goes on to say that as Triptolemus gave a golden plenty to
the land:

         Fair Cytherea, as she flew along,
         O’er the vast lap of nature kisses flung;
         Pleased from on high she viewed the enchanted ground,
         And from her lips thrice fell a magic sound;
         He gave to mortals corn on every plain,
         But she those sweets which mitigate my pain.

In England during the reign of Edward IV., kissing was very popular; a
guest was expected on his arrival and also on his departure to salute
not only his hostess but all the ladies of the family. So well did this
novel importation thrive under the cloudy skies of England that from
being an occasional luxury it soon became an every-day enjoyment and the
English were celebrated far and near as a kissing people. In 1497 when
Erasmus was in England, according to his description, the practice was
at its height. He says “if you go to any place you are received with a
kiss by all; if you depart on a journey you are dismissed with a kiss;
you return, kisses are exchanged; they have come to visit you—a kiss the
first thing; they leave you—you kiss them all round. Do they meet you
anywhere?—kisses in abundance. Lastly wherever you move there is nothing
but kisses—and if you had but once tasted them! how soft they are! how
fragrant! on my honor you would not wish to reside here for ten years
only, but for life!”

John Bunyan, the author of the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” writing over a
hundred years later, did not view the practice with enthusiasm. He
wrote: “The common salutation of women I abhor; it is odious to me in
whomsoever I see it. When I have seen good men salute those women that
they have visited, or that have visited them, I have made my objections
against it; and when they have answered that it was but a piece of
civility, I have told them that it was not a comely sight. Some, indeed,
have urged the holy kiss; but then, I have asked them why they make
balks? why they did salute the most handsome and let the ill favored
ones go.”

In an old book called “The Ladies Dictionary,” speaking of kissing in
Scotland, the author says: “But kissing and drinking are now both grown
to a greater custom among us than in those days with the Romans.” And to
what extent kissing was carried on in Rome, Martial has stated in his
“Epigrams.” “Every neighbor,” he says, “every hairy-faced farmer presses
on you with a strongly scented kiss. Here the weaver assails you, there
the fuller and the cobbler, who has just been kissing leather; here the
owner of the filthy beard, and a one-eyed gentleman; there one with
bleared eyes, and fellows whose mouths are defiled with all manner of
abominations.”

In England the custom of universal kissing seems to have gone out about
the time of the Restoration. Its abandonment in England might have
formed part of that French code of politeness which Charles II
introduced on his return. Returning to our first thought as to the
origin of Kissing, we may use the very safe phrase that “its origin is
involved in mystery,” and agree with the poet that

           When we dwell on the lips of the love we adore,
             Not a pleasure in nature is missing
           May that man lie in Heaven—he deserves it I’m sure
             Who was first the inventor of kissing.

How Adam kissed Eve has been described in “Paradise Lost:”

                                   —— he, in delight
           Both of her beauty and submissive charms,
           Smiled with superior love, as Jupiter
           On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds
           That shed May flowers: and pressed her matron lip
           With kisses pure.

Though we may be unfortunate in tracing back the origin of this pleasing
custom, let us see if we have better luck in an attempt to answer the
question, “What is a kiss?”

First, we will go to the dictionary where we learn that a kiss, a smack,
or a buss, is “a salute made by touching with the lips pressed closely
together and suddenly parting them.”

Dr. Stormouth says that the word kiss seems to have had its origin in
the practice of feudal times of expressing homage to a superior by
kissing the hand, foot or some part of the body or, in his absence, some
object belonging to him, as a gate or a lock.

One poet calls kisses “the fragrant breath of summer flowers.” This is a
very happy conceit that is not always found to be true, for how fragrant
kisses are depends very much on the breath of the principals engaged.
Coleridge calls them “nectar breathing.” Shakespeare speaks of them as
“seals of love,” and Sidney tells us they tie souls together. An old
poet asks:

                What is a kiss? alacke! at worst,
                A single drop to quench a thirst,
                Tho’ oft it proves in happier hour
                The first sweet drop of one long shower.

Robert Herrick, the old English divine, says of a kiss:

                It isn’t creature born and bred
                Between the lips all cherry red;
                It is an active flame that flies
                First to the babies of the eyes;
                Then to the cheek, the chin, the ear;
                It frisks and flies—now here, now there;
                ’Tis now far off, and then ’tis near;
                Here and there and everywhere.

Among short definitions we have that of the old Georgia farmer who
caught a young couple kissing on a train that was passing through a
tunnel, and called the act “dipping sugar.” A kiss is like a rumor,
because it goes from mouth to mouth; its shape is a lip-tickle; as a
grammatical part of speech it is a conjunction; kisses are the
interrogation points in the literature of love. Then again, kissing has
been called lip-service and has been defined as the prologue to sin;
more often, let us hope, it is simply a sweetmeat which satisfies the
hunger of the heart.

Martial, the old satirist, has called the kisses of his favorite “the
fragrance of balsam extracted from aromatic trees; the ripe odor yielded
by the teeming saffron; the perfume of fruits mellowing in their winter
repository; the flowery meadows in the vernal season; amber warmed by
the hand of a maiden; a garden that attracts the bees.”

Kisses have been called the balm of love; Cupid’s seal; the lover’s fee;
the fee of parting; the first and last of joys; the homage of the life;
the hostage of promise; love’s chief sign; love’s language; love’s
mintage; love’s print; love’s tribute; love’s rhetoric; the nectar of
Venus; the pledge of bliss and love; the seal of bliss; the melting sip,
and the stamp of love.

Johannas Secundus says to his sweetheart:

                 ’Tis not a kiss you give, my love!
                 ’Tis richest nectar from above!
                 A fragrant shower of balmy dews,
                 Which thy sweet lips alone diffuse!
                 ’Tis every aromatic breeze,
                 That wafts from Africa’s spicy trees;
                 ’Tis honey from the osier hive,
                 Which chymist bees with care derive
                 From all the newly opened flowers
                 That bloom in Cecrop’s roseate bowers,
                 Or from the breathing sweets that grow
                 On famed Hymettus’ thymy brow.

Kisses, according to Sam Slick, are like creation, because they are made
out of nothing and are very good. Another wag says they are like
sermons, they require two heads and an application.

An ingenious American grammarian thus conjugates the verb: Buss, to
kiss; rebus, to kiss again; pluribus, to kiss without regard to number;
sillybus, to kiss the hand instead of the lips; blunderbus, to kiss the
wrong person; omnibus, to kiss every person in the room; erebus, to kiss
in the dark.

Robert Burns thus speaks of it:

                 Honeyed seal of soft affections,
                   Tenderest pledge of future bliss
                 Dearest tie of young connections.
                   Love’s first snowdrop, virgin bliss.

But kissing baffles all attempts at analysis; as Josh Billings says “the
more a man tries to analize a kiss, the more he can’t; the best way to
define a kiss is to take one.” Kisses are commodities costing nothing,
never wearing out, and always to be had in abundance. After all, why are
kisses pleasant? A scientist says that kissing is pleasant because the
teeth, jawbones and lips are full of nerves, and when the lips meet an
electric current is generated.

            Oh that a joy so soon should waste!
            Or so sweet a bliss as a kiss
            Might not forever last!
              So sugared, so melting, so soft, so delicious.
            The dew that lies on roses,
            When the morn herself discloses,
              Is not so precious.
            Oh, rather than I would it smother,
            Were I to taste such another.
            It should be my wishing
            That I might die kissing.

The late George D. Prentice said he had a female correspondent who wrote
“when two hearts are surcharged with love’s electricity, a kiss is the
burning contract, the wild leaping flames of love’s enthusiasm.” The
humorist observed that the idea was very pretty, “but a flash of
electricity is altogether too brief to give a correct idea of a truly
delicious kiss.” We agree with Byron that the strength of a kiss is
generally measured by its length. Still, there should be a limit, and we
really think that Mrs. Browning, strong-minded woman as she is,
transcends all reasonable limits in her notions of a kiss’s duration. In
her ‘Aurora Leigh’ she talks of a kiss

‘As long and silent as the ecstatic night.’

That, indeed, must be ‘linked sweetness’ altogether too long drawn out.



                                  II.

    HOW TO KISS—THE ACT FULLY DESCRIBED—SIZE OF THE MOUTH TO BE
        CONSIDERED—LARGE MOUTHS AND THOSE OF THE ROSE-BUD SORT—
        THE GIRL WHO CLAWS AND STRUGGLES—POETICAL DIRECTIONS—
        DANGERS OF HUGGING—TAPPING THE LIPS OF A MEXICAN
        SENORITA—KISSING A CHINESE GIRL—HOW TO RECEIVE A KISS—
        LONG-REMEMBERED KISSES—THE KISS IN BETROTHAL AND
        MARRIAGE.


Having at least learned something as to the nature of a kiss, let us
seek information on how to kiss. There are various general directions;
the gentleman must be taller than the lady he intends to kiss. Take her
right hand in yours and draw her gently to you; pass your left hand over
her right shoulder, diagonally down across her back, under her left arm;
press her to your bosom, at the same time she will throw her head back
and you have nothing to do but lean a little forward and press your lips
to hers, and then the thing is done. Don’t make a noise over it as if
you were firing off shooting crackers, or pounce upon it like a hungry
hawk upon an innocent dove, but gently fold the damsel in your arms
without smashing her standing collar or spoiling her curls, and by a
sweet pressure upon her mouth, revel in the blissfulness of your
situation without smacking your lips on it as you would over a glass of
beer. It might be well at the conclusion of the operation to ask the
young woman if it was satisfactory, for we are never satisfied that a
lady understands a kiss unless we have it from her own mouth.

A Kentucky authority insists that a man must be in humor for the
business; you want to get the idea into your head that the girl is just
dying to be kissed by you and is only waiting for you to make the break.
Then you want to take a good view of her mouth and see just how much of
it you can take in. If she has a regular rose-bud mouth, why, take it
all in and throw your whole soul into one kiss, but if her mouth has the
appearance of a landscape cut in two by a waterless river, then the
safest plan is to take in the corners and byways, and sort of divide
your kiss into sections. Most girls have no end of cheek, therefore a
fellow can seldom miss fire in kissing a girl on the cheek. Do not kiss
her ear as nine cases out of ten the girl will make a slight dodge so as
to impress you with the idea that you are really surprising her in your
action; the result is you miss the ear, kiss her hair and get your mouth
full of ten-cent hair oil. Only actors kiss on the brow. If a girl has a
pretty mouth kiss it every time, but if her mouth is so large that you
endanger your life by getting too near it, then resort to the next best
thing and kiss her on the cheek.

We repeat, to kiss a woman properly the size of her mouth must be
carefully gauged before proceeding to the work. Large mouths put a man
to the severest test; he will be driven to his wit’s end whether to
begin at one corner and conclude on the other, or to make a heroic dash
at the middle and endeavor to reach both corners. The heroic dash is
considered by students in the art of kissing to be the best, for it
takes the least amount of time, and allowance should always be made for
the struggle to get away from the kisser which, albeit only a mock
effort, might inadvertently prove successful. Delicately-formed mouths
with rounded lips and of a velvety color are the easiest to kiss, and
most submissive.

You must never kiss a young girl if she doesn’t want you to. The main
ingredient that makes kissing endurable is a willingness on the part of
the female. If it deepens into anxiety so much the better. When a girl
claws a man’s hair and scratches his face like a little fool drop her at
once. As long as the girl doesn’t claw and yell and struggle like a
panther, it is perfectly safe to continue prospecting. If you are just
beginning to teach a shy girl, who has only been kissed heretofore by
her brothers and father, touch your lips gently to her forehead. She
will take this as an exhibition of profound respect. That position
gained, working the way down to the lips is as natural and easy as the
course of a log sliding down the wood flume of a lumber company.

A popular comic song with the imperative title of “Sock her on the
kisser” states that when a man falls in love with a little turtle-dove
“he will linger all around her under-jaw” and goes on, in a chorus, to
give directions, to wit:

  If you want to kiss her neatly, very sweetly and completely,
  If you want to kiss her so’s to kiss her nice,
  When you get a chance to kiss her, make a dodge or two and miss her,
  Then sock her on the kisser once or twice.

That rhyme will do for the “gallery gods”; those in the orchestra seats
will appreciate the following:

           The cutest trick in a kiss that’s quick
             Is to put it where it belongs;
           To see that it goes below the nose
             And knocks at the gate of songs.

           A kiss that is cold may do for the old,
             Or pass with a near relation;
           But one like that is a work—that’s flat—
             Of supererogation.

           If you’re going to kiss, be sure of this—
             That the girl has some heart in her;
           I wouldn’t give a darn for the full of a barn
             Of kisses without a partner.

           The point of this rhyme is to take your time,
             Kiss slowly and do it neatly;
           If you do the thing right and are halfway bright,
             You can win her sweet heart completely.

Of course hugging is often a legitimate part of kissing. A Western
writer has given us a humorous account of the dangers of hugging. He
claims that hugging is a comparatively modern institution and draws the
line between the hug and the embrace. The hug is an earnest, quick,
impetuous contraction of the muscles of the arms and the chest when the
object to be hugged lies within the circle bounded by the arms, while
the chest is the goal or final point of the hug. The warmth of the hug
is determined by the extent of the muscular contraction. But the hug is
not, as anatomists assert, terminated when the object is brought in
contact with the chest. On the contrary the sweeping in is but the shell
of the operation. The kernel is reached when the space between the
hugger and the huggee is annihilated, and the blade of a knife could
scarcely be inserted between both surfaces. The release, if not
skillfully managed, is attended with danger and should be as gradual as
the elementary pressure. Expressions of anguish on the part of the
huggee may, as a rule, be regarded as hypocritical, and should have no
effect in inducing the hugger to diminish the pressure. Danger signals,
from the huggee, without foundation may be punished by from two to three
pounds additional pressure.

The senoritas of Mexico, it is said, have but a faint idea of kissing,
that art from which so few possess the capacity of extracting the most
available ecstasy. An American stopping in Mexico writes: “I one day
offered to show a dark-eyed, raven-haired young lady how _los
Americanos_ performed the act. She laughingly agreed and I advanced upon
her, my right arm bent at the elbow, afforded my hand an opportunity of
accumulating her dimpled chin. Gently folding back her head and throwing
a look or rather a rapid series of looks of unutterable nothing into my
eyes, I gazed clean through hers for a moment, and then with a long
drawn breath I tapped her lips. It was a revelation to her; she quivered
visibly, but, instead of returning my kiss she broke away from my
embrace and ran off to lock herself up, frightened, pleased, but
astonished. With me it was merely a mechanical operation but, after two
days, I saw her and she told me with a deep blush that she wished she
had been born in America.”

An American naval officer who, while in Japan, had become smitten with a
Chinese girl, invited her to give him a kiss. Finding her comprehension
of his request somewhat obscure, he suited the action to the word, and
took a delicious kiss. The girl ran in another room exclaiming “terrible
man-eater. I shall be devoured.” But in a moment finding herself
uninjured she returned to him, saying “I would learn more of your
American rite, kee-es me.” He knew it was not right but he kept on
instructing her in the rite of “kee-es me” until she knew how to do it
like a native Yankee girl. And after that she suggested a second course,
remarking “kee-es me some more, Mee-lee-kee!” (American). And the lesson
went on until her mamma’s voice rudely awakened them from their
delicious dream.

The concluding lines of a Chinese poem show that in some circles of
China, at least, kissing is understood:

                 Oh for those blushing, dimpled cheeks,
                   That match the rose in hue!
                 If one is kissed, the other speaks,
                   By blushes, KISS ME TOO!

A man ought to know how to kiss and a girl ought to know how to receive
a kiss. The Rev. Sidney Smith, the witty divine, says: “we are in favor
of a certain amount of shyness when a kiss is proposed, but it should
not be too long, and when the fair one gives it, let it be administered
with a warmth and energy; let there be soul in it. If she close her eyes
and sighs immediately after it the effect is greater. She should be
careful not to slobber a kiss but give it as a humming-bird runs his
bill into a honeysuckle, deep but delicate. There is much virtue in a
kiss when well delivered. We have the memory of one we received in our
youth which lasted us forty years, and we believe it will be one of the
last things we shall think of when we die.”

The poets have sung of long remembered kisses. One fugitive poem
entitled “Three Kisses” describes the lover as sitting beneath the
whispering trees and speaking the tender words that rose unbidden upon
his lips.

             I gently raised her sweet, pure face,
               Her eyes with radiant love-light filled.
             That trembling kiss I’ll ne’er forget,
               Which both our hearts with rapture thrilled.

After ten years the sweetheart, now his wife, dies and he is gazing at
the pale shape of clay, once warm with the throb of human life.

             Softly I stoop those lips to kiss,
               That oft have thrilled with rapturous love,
             But they are cold and motionless,
               No power again can make them move.

             The last farewell caress is o’er,
               E’en that cold touch is now denied;
             A grief, like waves on barren shore,
               Sweeps over me, an endless tide.

And so the bereaved one gives way to his sad thoughts and recognizes the
fact that he must struggle on alone. But while his tearless eyes with
madness shine he feels the arms of his baby child stealing round his
neck and the baby lips laid against his own.

               My bonds are loosed; I press the child
                 Against my breast while fall the tears;
               Beyond the throes of passion wild
                 A ray of living hope appears.

               Sweet child, thy mother’s very soul
                 Was in that kiss. Through worldly strife
               Perchance men find a Heavenly goal,
                 A purer love in death than life.

There is another anonymous fugitive poem also entitled “Three Kisses.”
The first of the three is “sacred unto pain,” and on account of the many
times the twain had hurt each other. The second kiss is full of joy’s
sweet thrill.

                We have helped each other always,
                We always will.
                We shall reach until we feel each other,
                Beyond all time and space;
                We shall listen until we hear each other
                In every place;
                The earth is full of messengers
                Which love sends to and fro;
                I kiss thee, darling, for all joy
                Which we shall know!

The last kiss is given with the remembrance that they may die and never
see each other.

                Die with no time to give
                  Any sign that our hearts are faithful
                To die as live.
                  Token of what they will not see
                Who see our parting breath,
                  This one last kiss my darling seals
                The seal of death.

A poetical apostrophe to the benefit of a wife’s kiss is entitled “Angel
food”;

            “Give me a kiss, ’twill cure the pain and ache
              Of the long day of weariness and toil;
            Like summer sunshine all life’s shadows make,
              My burdens lighter, and my sins assoil.”

            So every day he lived on angel’s-food;
              Made strong and valiant by her wifely kiss;
            To bravely put aside temptations rude,
              Yet knew not whence his armor came, I wis,

            Nor knows he now, albeit she is gone,
              But lives his life in brave and saintly mood—
            The kisses which he grew and strengthened on,
              Are still to him his daily angel-food.

And here is a description of “Two Kisses”:

               You bent your head, then close you pressed
                 Your warm and glowing lips to mine;
               Your tender hand my hair caressed,
                 When first you gave that kiss divine,

               My heart was throbbing with delight,
                 My soul was steeped in holy bliss;
               I gazed into your eyes so bright,
                 When first you gave me that sweet kiss.

               In all the after years of pain,
                 When from my side you I did miss,
               I think I see your face again,
                 When you first gave me that sweet kiss.

               I stand again in that old lane.
                 But now the leaves are sere and yellow,
               And with a heart of grief and pain,
                 I see you kiss another fellow.

In the ceremony of betrothal a kiss has played an important part in
several nations. A nuptial kiss in church at the conclusion of the
marriage services is solemnly enjoined by the York Missal and the Sarum
Manual. In the old play of “The Insensate Countess,” by Marston, occurs
the line:

              The kiss thou gav’st me in church here take,

It was also considered an honor to be the first to kiss the bride after
the ceremony, and all who would might contend for the prize. In the
“Collier’s Wedding,” by Edward Chicken, we read:

                 Four rustic fellows wait the while
                 To kiss the bride at the church stile.

When ladies’ lips were at the service of all it became usual to have
fragrant scented comfits or sweets, of which we find frequent mention.
In Massinger’s “Very Woman” occurs the following:

            Faith! Search our pockets, and if you find there
            Comfits of amber grease to help our kisses,
            Conclude us faulty.

Pliny describes the introduction of the custom to the degeneracy of the
Roman ladies who, in violation of the hereditary delicacy of the females
of Rome, descended to the indulgence of wine. Kissing was resorted to by
husbands as the most courteous process to ascertain the quality of their
wives’ libations; and Cato, the elder, recommends the plan to the
serious attention of all careful heads of families.



                                  III.

    THE SIGNIFICANCE OF KISSES—THE KISSING OF HANDS IN RELIGIOUS
        CEREMONY AND SOCIAL LIFE, IN ANCIENT ROME, MEXICO AND
        AUSTRIA—THE POLITIC ACHIEVEMENT OF A KISS—AN INDIGNANT
        CARDINAL—A KISS WITHIN THE CUP—SOMETHING ABOUT LIPS, THE
        SWEET PETITIONERS FOR KISSES—DANCING AND KISSING—AN
        IRISH KISSING FESTIVAL—ELECTRIC KISSING PARTIES—KISSING
        UNDER THE MISTLETOE—NEW YEAR’S KISSING IN OLD NEW YORK—A
        WESTERN KISSING BEE.


There is much significance in kisses. To kiss the lips is to adore the
living breath of the person saluted; to kiss the feet or the ground is
to express humiliation; to kiss the garments to express veneration. The
kissing of hands is of great antiquity, and seems to have been equally
employed in religion and in social life. It was thus that the sun and
moon were worshipped from the remotest ages. Job alludes to this custom
when he says: “If I have looked upon the sun when he was shining forth,
or at the moon advancing bright, and my heart have been secretly
enticed, and my hand have kissed my mouth, this also were an iniquity,”
etc. Lucian relates of Demosthenes that, having fallen into the hands of
Antipater and obtained permission to enter a temple in the neighborhood,
he carried his hand to his mouth on entering, which his guards took for
an act of religion, but, when too late, found he had swallowed poison.
Among the Romans, persons were treated as atheists who would not kiss
their hands when they entered a temple. In the early days of
Christianity, it was the custom of the primeval bishops to give their
hands to be kissed by the ministers who served at the altar. This
custom, however, as a religious rite, declined with paganism.

In society, the kissing of hands has always been regarded as a mute form
of compliment, and used in asking favors, in thanking those from whom
they have been received, and in showing veneration for superiors. Priam,
in Homer, kissed the hands and embraced the knees of Achilles in
conjuring him to restore the body of Hector. This custom prevailed in
ancient Rome, but it varied. In the first ages of the Republic it seems
to have been only practiced by inferiors to their superiors; equals gave
their hands and embraced. In the progress of time, even the soldiers
refused to show this mark of respect to their generals; and their
kissing the hand of Cato when he was obliged to quit them was regarded
as an extraordinary circumstance, at a period of such refinement. Under
the emperors, kissing hands became an essential duty, even for the great
themselves; inferior courtiers were obliged to be content to adore the
purple by kneeling, touching the robe of the emperor by the right hand,
and carrying it to the mouth. Even this was thought too free; and at
length they saluted the emperor at a distance by kissing their hands, in
the same manner as when they adored the gods. Solomon says of the
flatterers and suppliants of his time, that they ceased not to kiss the
hands of their patrons till they had obtained the favors which they had
solicited. Cortez found the custom in Mexico, where upwards of a
thousand of the nobility saluted him by touching the earth with their
hands, which they carried afterwards to their mouths.

Kissing the hand is a national custom in Austria. A gentleman on meeting
a lady friend kisses her hand, and does the same at parting from her. A
beggar-woman to whom you have given an alms, either kisses your hand or
says: “I kiss your hand.” The stranger must expect to have his hand
kissed not only by beggars, but by chambermaids, lackeys, and even by
old men.

In Ben Jonson’s play, “Cynthia’s Revels,” Hedon says to his friend: “You
know I call Madam Philantia, my Honor; and she calls me her Ambition.
Now, when I meet her in the presence, anon, I will come to her and say,
‘Sweet Honor, I have hitherto contented my sense with the lilies of your
hand, but now I will taste the roses of your lips;’ and, withal, kiss
her; to which she cannot but blushingly answer, ‘Nay, now you are too
ambitious.’ And then do I reply: ‘I cannot be too Ambitious of Honor,
sweet lady. Will’t not be good?’”

And his friend assures him that it is “a very politic achievement of a
kiss.”

When the gallant Cardinal, John of Lorraine, was presented to the
Duchess of Savoy, she gave him her hand to kiss, greatly to the
indignation of the irate churchman. “How, madam,” he exclaimed, “am I to
be treated in this manner? I kiss the Queen, my mistress, who is the
greatest queen in the world, and shall I not kiss you, a dirty little
Duchess?” Without more ado he caught hold of the princess and kissed her
thrice in the mouth. He was apparently of the mind of Selden, who
thought “to kiss ladies’ hands after their lips, as some do, is like
little boys who, after they eat the apple, fall to the paring.”

It was a custom among the Greeks and Romans to drink from the same cup
as their lady friends, and from the spot where the fair one had touched
the brim. Ben Jonson borrows this idea from a Greek poet when he says:

                    Or leave a kiss within the cup,
                    And I’ll not ask for wine.

One of the older poets referring to this custom, writes:

                 Blest is the goblet, oh! how blest,
                 Which Heliodorus’ lips have pressed!
                 Oh, might thy lips but meet with mine,
                 My soul should melt away in thine.

Of course the poets have had a good deal to say about lips. Anacreon
speaks of “lip-provoking kisses,” and, alluding to the lip of another
fair one, calls it a “sweet petitioner for kisses.” Tatius speaks of
“lips soft and delicate for kissing;” and Lucretius gave it as his
opinion that girls who have large lips kiss much sweeter than others.
The ancient ladies seemed to enter into kissing with such enthusiasm
that they often bit their lovers. Cattalus, in one of his poems, asks:

             Whom wilt thou for thy lover choose?
             Whose shall they call thee, false one, whose?
             Who shall thy darted kisses sip,
             While thy keen love-bites scar his lip!

And Horace, in one of his odes, says:

                 Or on thy lips the fierce, fond boy
                 Marks with his teeth the furious joy.

When kissing was a common civility of daily intercourse, it is not to be
wondered at that it should find its way into the courtesies of dancing,
and thus we learn that a kiss was anciently the established fee of a
lady’s partner. In a dialogue between Custom and Verite, concerning the
use and abuse of dancing and minstrelsie, is the following verse:

                But some reply, what fool would daunce,
                  If that, when daunce is doone,
                He may not have, at lady’s lips,
                  That which in daunce he woon.

In the “Tempest” this line occurs:

                   Curtsied when you have and kissed.

And Henry says to Anne Boleyn:

                             Sweetheart,
                   I were unmannerly to take you out,
                   And not to kiss you.

A correspondent having bitterly complained of the lascivious character
of the dancing of the period, Budgell, in the course of his reply,
remarks:

“I must confess I am afraid that my correspondent had too much reason to
be a little out of humor at the treatment of his daughter; but I
conclude that he would have been much more so had he seen one of those
kissing dances, in which Will Honeycomb assures me they are obliged to
dwell almost a minute on the fair one’s lips, or they will be too quick
for the music, and dance quite out of time.”

Sir John Suckling, in his “Ballad of the Wedding,” published some years
before this period, said:

                 O’ th’ sudden up they rise and dance;
                 Then sit again, and sigh, and glance;
                 Then dance again, and kiss.

Brand, in his “Popular Antiquities,” tells us that the custom of kissing
in dancing, is still prevalent in many parts of the country. “When the
fiddler thinks young couples have had music enough, he makes his
instrument squeak out two notes, which all understand to say ‘kiss
her.’” The panting bucolic swains are not slow to claim this privilege
from their blushing partners.

In the “Banquet” of Xenophon, quoted by Burton in his “Anatomy of the
Melancholy,” there is an account of an interlude, or dance, in which
Dionysius and Ariadne were engaged, which was of such a pleasing
character that the account states that “the audience were so ravished
with it, that they that were unmarried swore they would forthwith marry,
and those that were married called instantly for their horses and
galloped home to their wives.”

In Hone’s “Table Book” there is an account of a curious kissing festival
held in Ireland. It is stated that on Easter Monday several hundred
young persons of the town and neighborhood of Potsferry, County Down,
dressed in their best, went to a pleasant walk near the town. “The
avowed object of each person is to see the fun, which consists in the
men kissing the females, without reserve, whether married or single.
This mode of salutation is quite a matter of course; it is never taken
amiss, nor with much show of coyness. The female must be ordinary indeed
who returns home without having received at least a dozen hearty
kisses.”

Some writer of the future, in describing the manners and customs of our
modern age, will doubtless allude to the “electric kissing parties,”
which it is averred exist in New England, and which are thus described:

“The ladies and gentlemen range themselves about the room. In leap year
the lady selects a partner, and together they shuffle about on the
carpet until they are charged with electricity, the lights in the room
having first been turned low. Then they kiss in the dark, and make the
sparks fly for the amusement of the on-lookers. Oh, the shock is
delightful! I have never been but to one electric party, but I
understand that after a young lady has played the game for a while it is
impossible to give her a shock. Probably the gentleman don’t shuffle his
feet hard enough on the carpet. Gracious! I’m afraid I should wear the
soles off my shoes.”

Kissing under the mistletoe is a custom of very remote origin, and a
practice too common to be dealt with here, though it may not, perhaps,
be known that, owing to the licentious revelry to which it gave
occasion, mistletoe was formerly excluded by ecclesiastical authority
from the decoration of the church at Christmas time. Hone tells us that
there was an old belief that unless a maiden was kissed under the
mistletoe at Christmas time, she would not be married during the ensuing
year.

                The shepherd, now no more afraid,
                  Since custom doth the chance bestow,
                Starts up to kiss the giggling maid
                  Beneath the branch of mistletoe,
                That ’neath each cottage beam is seen,
                  With pearl-like berries, shining gay,
                The shadow still of what hath been,
                  Which fashion yearly fades away.

The special custom connected with the mistletoe on Christmas Eve is
undoubtedly a relic of the days of Druidism, and is familiar to most
readers. A branch of the mystic plant is suspended from the wall or
ceiling, and any one of the fair sex who, either from inadvertence or on
purpose, passes beneath the plant, incurs the penalty of being then and
there kissed by any man who has the courage to avail himself of the
privilege.

The Scandinavian tradition is that Balder was killed by a mistletoe
arrow given to the blind Höder by Loki, the god of mischief and
potentate of our earth. Balder was restored to life, but the mistletoe
was placed in future under the care of Friga, and was never again to be
an instrument of evil till it touched the earth, the empire of Loki.
Hence, it is always suspended from ceilings. And when persons of
opposite sexes pass under it, they give each other the kiss of peace and
love, in the full assurance that the plant is no longer an instrument of
mischief.

              Quiet it hangs on the wall,
                Or pendent droops from the chandelier,
              As if never a mischief or harm could fall
                From its modest intrusion, there or here!
              And yet how many a pulse it has fired,
                How many a lip made nervously bold,
              When youthful revel went on, untired,
                In the Christmas days of old!

A modern English writer says that in Battersea Park on bank holiday he
found kissing to be all the vogue. “But what kissing! Instead of the
rhythmic chant, the graceful dance, or even the sportive chase of the
northern kissing games, here was simply promiscuity of osculation of the
most unabashed description. There was no ring to begin with, only an
imperfectly cleared space in the middle of a great crowd. In this crowd
a young woman would approach a young man—as often as not a perfect
stranger—thrust a chip into his hand, and then bolt across the green.
The man chases her, runs her down, and brings her back with his arm
around her waist, enters the cleared space, and kisses her, sometimes
half a dozen times, before the on-lookers. Sometimes the girl chases the
man, sometimes the man the girl. If they wanted their kisses _sans
ceremonie_ they were caught at once, and kissed without more ado.”

In Diedrich Knickerbocker’s veracious History of New York, it is told
how the good burghers of New Amsterdam, with their wives and daughters,
dressed in their best clothes, repaired to the governor’s house, where
the rite of kissing the women a happy new year was observed by the
governor. Antony, the Trumpeter, who acted as head usher, was a young
and handsome bachelor. “Nothing could keep him from following the heels
of the old governor, whom he loved as he did his very soul; so,
embracing all the young vrouws, and giving every one of them that had
good teeth and rosy lips a dozen hearty smacks, he departed, loaded with
their kind wishes.” The Trumpeter seems to have been a prodigious
favorite among the women, and was the first to exact the toll of a kiss
levied on the fair sex at Kissing Bridge, on the highway to Hellgate.

In the far west they have “kissing bees,” and the rural husking frolic
common to many parts of the country has been described by Joel Barlow,
an early American poet:

            The laws of husking every wight can tell,
            And sure no laws he ever keeps so well;
            For each red ear a general kiss he gains,
            With each smut ear he smuts the luckless swains;
            But when to some sweet maid a prize is cast,
            Red as her lips, and taper as her waist,
            She walks the round and culls one favored beau,
            Who leaps the luscious tribute to bestow.
            Various the sports, as are the wits and brains
            Of well-pleased lasses and contending swains;
            Till the vast mound of corn is swept away,
            And he that gets the last ear wins the day.



                                  IV.

    KISSING IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES: IN ARABIA, EGYPT, RUSSIA,
        FINLAND, ICELAND, PARAGUAY—A PLEASING BUT PERPLEXING
        NORWEGIAN CUSTOM—THE “BLUE LAWS” OF CONNECTICUT—KISSING
        IN THE EYES OF THE LAW—MONEY VALUE OF A STOLEN KISS—
        SANITARY DANGERS OF KISSING—KISSING THE DYING—FAMOUS
        KISSES—THE BLARNEY STONE—SOULFUL KISSES—KISSING THE FEET
        OF BEGGARS.


The custom of kissing varies in different countries. The Arabian women
and children kiss the beards of their husbands; the superior returns the
salute by a kiss on the forehead. In Egypt, the inferior kisses the hand
of a superior, generally on the back, but sometimes on the palm; the son
kisses the hand of his father, the wife that of her husband, the slave,
and often the free servant, that of the master; the slaves and servants
of a grandee kiss their lord’s sleeve or the skirt of his clothing.

In Russia, the Easter salutation is a kiss. Each member of the family
salutes the other; chance acquaintances on meeting kiss; principals kiss
their employés; the General kisses his officers; the officers kiss their
soldiers; the Czar kisses his family, retinue, court and attendants, and
even his officers on parade, the sentinels at the palace gates, and a
select party of private soldiers, probably elaborately prepared for this
“royal salute.” In other parts, the poorest serf, meeting a high-born
dame on the street, has but to say, “Christ is risen,” and he will
receive a kiss and the reply, “He is truly risen.” The Empress Catherine
of Russia instituted assemblies of men and women to promote the
cultivation of polite manners. Among the rules for maintaining the
decency of those assemblies she directed that “no gentleman should force
a kiss from, or strike a woman in the assembly, under pain of
execution.”

A most pleasant, tender, but, at the same time, perplexing salute, is
that bestowed upon one by the women of Norway, who, after having put you
to bed and tucked you up well between the sweet-smelling sheets, bend
their fresh, fair faces, and kiss you honestly upon the beard, without a
shadow even of shame or doubt.

In Finland, contrary to the usual custom, the women object to the
practice of osculation. A Finnish matron, on hearing that it was a
common thing in England for man and wife to kiss, expressed great
disgust thereat, declaring emphatically that if her husband dared to
take such a liberty, she would give him a box on the ears he would feel
for a month!

In Iceland illegitimate and illicit kissing has had deterrent penalties
of great severity. For kissing another man’s wife, with or without her
consent, the punishment of exclusion, or its pecuniary equivalent, was
awarded. A man rendered himself liable for kissing an unmarried woman
under legal guardianship without her consent; and, even if the lady
consented, the law required that every kiss should be wiped out by a
fine of three marks, equivalent to 140 ells of wadmal, a quantity
sufficient to furnish a whole ship’s crew with pilot jackets.

In Paraguay you are by force of custom obliged to kiss every lady you
are introduced to, though this is not such an inestimable privilege as
one would suppose, for there all the females above thirteen chew
tobacco! But one-half of the young women you meet are really tempting
enough to render you happy regardless of the consequences, and you would
sip the dew of the proffered lip in the face of a tobacco factory—even
in the double distilled honey-dew of old Virginia.

Under the notorious “blue laws” of Connecticut, no woman was allowed to
kiss even her child on the Sabbath, or fasting day, under heavy
penalties. Only a few years ago it was considered remarkable that a
Western magistrate should impose a heavy fine and a term of
incarceration upon an unfortunate fellow who had kissed a pretty girl on
the ears without her consent, but police justices in New York have quite
frequently imposed the same punishment for similar offenses that have
occurred in recent years. In the eyes of the law, kissing a lady without
her will and permission is a common assault, punishable by a fine and
imprisonment. Some one of an inquiring turn of mind has tried to
definitely determine the average money value of a stolen kiss in the
United States. Court rulings show that the act of forced osculation in
Pennsylvania costs $750, while in New York it is placed at $2,500. New
Jersey, with a shocking disregard to the merits of the stolen sweets to
be drawn from the ruby lips of her lovely lasses, puts the value of a
kiss at $1.15. Kissing goes by favor is a trite saying, but the figures
submitted indicate that the sands of Jersey offer the greatest
inducements to indulge in this delightful diversion.

From the medical point of view there is danger in kissing. The spread of
diphtheria, it is said, is largely due to the practice of kissing
children. It is hard to conceive of any mode of propagation more
directly suited to the spread of the infection or more general in its
operation. It stands to diphtheria in about the same relation that
promiscuous hand-shaking formerly did to the itch. A physician in
explaining to a third party the warning he gave his wife not to let the
children kiss any one, said: “I tell you it wasn’t Judas alone who
betrayed with a kiss. Hundreds of lovely, blooming children are kissed
into their graves every year. There is death in a kiss. The beloved and
lamented Princess Alice, of Hesse, took diphtheria from the kiss of her
child, and followed it to the grave. Diphtheria, malaria, scarlet fever,
blood poison, death lurk in the kisses!”

There are superstitions about kissing. There is a man living at Luray,
Virginia, who became convinced when young that kissing was wicked
because Christ was betrayed with a kiss. He resolved never to kiss
anybody. He has been married twenty years and is the father of eleven
children, but has never kissed his wife or one of his offspring.

Among the quaint customs wherein kissing is involved is the surprisal of
any person asleep by one of the opposite sex. In such a situation the
drowsy party may be kissed with impunity, and must, in addition, pay the
saluting party the forfeit of a pair of gloves.

St. Valentine has also a good deal of kissing to answer for. The
osculatory customs of this holiday are capitally and graphically
illustrated by Sir Walter Scott in “The Fair Maid of Perth,” where the
heroine kisses her stalwart lover, Harry, on St. Valentine’s morning,
and they afterwards exchange their betrothal gifts prepared on such
occasions with much forethought and circumspection as to their
suitability and appropriateness.

It was the custom among the Romans to give the dying a last kiss, in
order, as they thought, to catch the parting breath. Spenser, in his
pastoral elegy on the death of Sir Philip Sidney, mentions it as a
circumstance which renders the loss of his illustrious friend more to be
lamented, that no one was nigh to close his eyelids “and kiss his lips.”
A little after he notices the “dearest love” of the deceased weeping
over him.

           She, with sunset kisses, sucked the wasting breath
           Out of his lips, like lilies pale and soft.

When Lord Nelson was dying on board his flagship, he took leave of his
faithful friend, Hardy, by kissing him. “Kiss me, Hardy!” he said, and
these were the last words he uttered. And so, too, Sir Walter Scott,
when dying, kissed Lockhart, saying, “Be good, my dear! be good.”

Many famous kisses might be mentioned. It is recorded in the book of
Genesis that when Jacob kissed Rachel he “lifted up his voice and wept.”
One of the funny writers has attempted to account for his weeping. He
gives, among other reasons, that he wept because it was not time to kiss
her again; because Rachel threatened to tell her ma; he wept because the
damsel did not kiss him; he thought she was fast colors, and cried when
the paint came off; when he lifted up his voice, he found it heavy, and
could not get it so high as he intended; he wept because Rachel
encouraged him to kiss her twice more, and he was afraid to do it;
finally, he wept because his first enjoyment of the most delightful
pleasure of life overcame him.

Duncan Mackenzie, a veteran of Waterloo, who died at Elgin, Scotland, in
1866, delighted in relating how he kissed the duchess in taking the
shilling from between her teeth to become one of her regiment, the
Gordon Highlanders, better known as the Ninety-second. The old Scottish
veteran has not one left behind him to tell the same tale about kissing
the blue-eyed duchess in the market-place of Dutkill.

There is a famous kiss in the “Beggar’s Opera.” It was given by Macbeth
to Jenny Diver, and the unpleasant effect which it produced on him may
be judged from the sarcastic remark: “One may know by your kiss that the
gin is excellent.”

Petruchio gave his bride a kiss of enormous calibre. We are told that he
“kist her lips with such a clamorous smack, that at the parting all the
church echoed.” Tennyson speaks of the kiss given to Fatima by her
lover:

                                    Once he drew
                With one long kiss my whole soul through
                My lips—as sunlight drinketh dew.

Margarida gave her lover a kiss, which fact coming to the knowledge of
her husband, he gave her the troubadour’s heart to eat, disguised as a
savory morsel. When Queen Margaret kissed Chartier, the ugliest man in
France, she exclaimed: “I kiss the soul that sings.” Voltaire was kissed
in the stage-box at the theatre by the lovely Countess de Villars. John
Milton, when a collegian, was kissed by a high-born Italian beauty; and
Sterne, the novelist, says of kisses: “For my own part, I would rather
kiss the lips I love than dance with all the graces of Greece, after
bathing themselves in the springs of Parnassus. Flesh and blood for me,
with an angel in the inside.”

Tom Hood once questioned whether the grave, sedate Hannah More had ever
been kissed; and Horace Smith, in his “Rejected Addresses,” affirms that
on a certain occasion:

                  Sidney Morgan was playing the organ,
                    While behind the vestry door
                  Horace Twiss was snatching a kiss
                    From the lips of Hannah More.

Every one remembers the famous kiss imprinted by Mr. Bumble on the
“chaste nose” of Mrs. Corney; and the still more famous kiss applied to
the lips of Mary, the pretty housemaid, by Sam Weller. Sam had dropped
his hat, which the housemaid picked up, and Sam kissed her.

    “You don’t mean to say you did that on purpose?” said the pretty
    housemaid, blushing.

    “No, I didn’t then,” said Sam, “but I vill now.” So he kissed
    her again.

    “Sam!” said Mr. Pickwick, calling over the banisters.

    “Coming, sir!” replied Sam, running up-stairs.

    “How long you have been!” said Mr. Pickwick.

    “There was something behind the door which perwented our getting
    it open for ever so long, sir,” replied Sam.

    And this was the first passage of Mr. Weller’s first love.

The custom of kissing the Blarney Stone is explained as follows: In the
year 1602, when the Spaniards were inciting the Irish chieftains to
harass the English authorities, Cormac MacCarthy held, among other
dependencies, the Castle of Blarney, and had concluded an armistice with
the Lord-President, on condition of surrendering this fort to an English
garrison. Day after day did his lordship look for the fulfillment of the
compact, while the Irish Pozzo di Borgo, as loath to part with his
stronghold as Russia to relinquish the Dardanelles, kept protocolizing
with soft promises and delusive delays, until at last Carew became the
laughing stock of Elizabeth’s ministers, and “Blarney talk” proverbial.

A popular tradition attributes to the Blarney Stone the power of
endowing whoever kisses it with the sweet, persuasive, wheedling
eloquence so perceptible in the language of the Cork people, and which
is generally termed blarney. This is the true meaning of the word, and
not, as some writers have supposed, a faculty of deviating from veracity
with an unblushing countenance, whenever it may be convenient.

The curious traveler will seek in vain the _real_ stone, unless he
allows himself to be lowered from the northern angle of the lofty
castle, when he will discover it about twenty feet from the top, with
the inscription, “_Cormac MacCarthy fortis me fierifecit, A. D. 1446_.”
As the kissing of this would be somewhat difficult, the candidate for
Blarney honors will be glad to know that at the summit, and within easy
access, is another _real_ stone, bearing the date of 1703.

           In Blarney Castle, on a crumbling tower,
             There lies a stone (above your ready reach),
           Which to the lips imparts, ’tis said, the power
             Of facile falsehood and persuasive speech;
           And hence, of one who talks in such a tone,
           The peasants say, “He’s kissed the Blarney Stone.”

The famous “soulful” kiss given to Fatima suggests the thought that such
kisses are by no means new, though, in the present day, they may be out
of fashion. In “Don Juan” Byron speaks of

           Such kisses as belong to early days,
           When heart, and soul, and sense, in concert move.

Diagnosing such a kiss, the poet informs us that on such occasions the
blood is like lava, the pulse is all ablaze, and each kiss of that kind
he declares is a “heart-quake.”

In the time of Herrick there was an anonymous poet who thus
philosophized on the “soulful kiss”:

                 Philosophers pretend to tell
                 How, like a hermit in his cell,
                 The soul within the brain does dwell.
                 But I, who am not half so wise,
                 Think I have seen’t in Chloe’s eyes;
                 Down to her lips from thence it stole,
                 And there I kiss’d her very soul.

The kings and queens of England in ancient times practiced the ceremony
of washing the feet of beggars, in imitation of Christ, who washed the
feet of His disciples. They washed and kissed the feet of as many poor
people as they themselves numbered in years, and bestowed a gift, or
_maunday_, upon each; the ceremony occurred on Maundy-Thursday. Queen
Elizabeth performed this ceremony when she was thirty-nine years old—
that is, she kissed the feet of thirty-nine paupers after their feet had
been washed by yeomen of the laundry with warm water and sweet herbs,
and afterward by the sub-almoner. The last of the English monarchs who
performed this office in person was James II., in 1731, in his
forty-eighth year. In 1530, on Maundy-Thursday, Cardinal Wolsey washed
and kissed the feet of fifty-nine poor men, “and, after he had wiped
them, he gave every one of the said poor men twelve pence in money,
three ells of good canvas to make them shirts, a pair of new shoes, a
cask of red herrings and three white herrings, and, to one of them, two
shillings.” This custom is no longer observed, but the poor still
receive their gifts from the royal bounty.



                                   V.

    DIFFERENT KINDS OF KISSES: THE LONG, LONG KISS, THE
        PAROXYSMAL, THE ICY, THE WESTERN, THE LIFE-TEEMING KISS—
        HOW COLLEGE GIRLS KISS—THE KISS OF A FEMALE CORNETIST—
        PLATONIC KISSES—ROMAN OSCULATION—CHARACTERISTICS OF
        KISSES—THE KISS AS A PUNISHMENT—THE KING OF
        BABY-KISSERS—THE KISS AFTER MARRIAGE—STOLEN KISSES,
        SOMETIMES CALLED “DAINTY BITS OF PLUNDER”—THE STORY OF A
        CIRCASSIAN GIRL.


There are a great many kinds of kisses. There is Byron’s “long, long
kiss of youth and love.” A rural suitor kissed his girl repeatedly after
this fashion. When he finally ceased, the tears came into her eyes, and
she said, in sad tones: “Ah, Rufus! I fear you have ceased to love me!”
“Oh, no, I haven’t,” he replied, with a wearied air, “but I must
breathe!” The “paroxysmal kiss” has been described as a kiss “buttered
with soul-lightning.” Very different from the kiss of a certain
prominent actress:

             Hail! kiss of Mary Anderson, all hail!
             All hail, we sing, for hail is ice in chunks,
             And Mary’s kisses are but chunks of ice.
             Brittle and snappy, with no sign of thaw,
             Or warmth that meets and pins two souls
             Together at the touch of lips.

There is a story told of a light, free-hearted Western girl—probably
auburn-haired—who, while engaged in the osculatory performance with her
lover, swooped down upon him like a summer fog upon a millstone and
scooped him in. She sat in his lap and kissed him with a kissness which
an emotional actress would have given ten years of her life to imitate
upon the stage. It was an earthquake of love, a simoon of affection. She
kissed him until his back hair smoked.

It is said that in nearly all the famous colleges for women there is a
special teacher or doctress in physiology, and in the so-called oral
recitations the pernicious effects of osculation are considered at great
length. By way of tolerating what seems to be a necessary evil, various
theories are advanced and various provisions advocated. The girl who
comes from Smith College, Northampton, kisses on the oblique lines that
fall from the left corner of your mouth, but when kissed, is so adroit
in the way she jerks her head, that the point of salutation may be found
on a radius from the right of her demure little mouth. The Vassar
graduate kisses more than her Smith College friend, but the chin is her
choice, as you will observe in an attempt to salute her. The seniors
from Wellesley press their kisses high up on the face, almost under the
sweep of the eyelash, and the Lake Forest and Harvard Annex maidens kiss
at a point equally distant from the nose and ear.

Very peculiar is the kiss of the female cornetist. A young man who had
attended a concert gives his experience. “I had known her in childhood,
when we together hunted the same schoolmaster with bean-blowers, and at
the conclusion of her cornet solo I greeted her for the first time in
several years. Of course we kissed each other impulsively. Good heavens!
That was my mental exclamation. I felt as though I had been hit with
brass knuckles or smacked by a cast-iron image. I instinctively pressed
my handkerchief to my benumbed mouth, and looked for the weapon with
which I had been assaulted. It was the girl’s kiss, however, that I had
felt. Good playing on the cornet depends upon the amount of
inflexibility which can be imparted to the upper lip. Hers had become
fairly adamantine.”

There is the “life-teeming kiss,” and, on the other hand, there is the
Platonic kiss.

                  But what Platonic kisses were
                    I doubt if Plato ever knew—
                  Not like, my birdie, I infer,
                    The long, sweet kisses I give you,
                  And those you give me back again,
                    Repeated oft, and never done;
                  Not thus, I fancy, could it be
                    Platonic brides were ever won.

As for the gallant Frenchman, he said:

                 Kiss me with some slow, heavy kiss,
                 That plucks the heart out at the lips.

The Romans had different words to distinguish the different kinds of
kisses. A kiss between two friends was called osculum; basium, a kiss of
politeness; and suavium, a kiss of love. The Roman emperors saluted
their principal officers by a kiss. Kissing the mouth or the eyes was
the usual compliment upon any happy event. Soldiers kissed the hand of
the general when he quitted his office. Fathers amongst the Romans had
so much delicacy that they never embraced their wives in the presence of
their daughters. Near relatives were allowed to kiss their female
kindred on the mouth, but this was done in order to know whether they
smelt of wine or not.

Kisses are forced, unwilling, cold, comfortless, frigid and frozen,
chaste, timid, rosy, balmy, humid, dewy, trembling, soft, gentle,
tender, tempting, fragrant, sacred, hallowed, divine, soothing, joyful,
affectionate, delicious, rapturous, deep-drawn and inebriating, ardent,
flaming and akin to fire, ravishing, lingering and long. One also hears
of parting, tear-dewed, savory, loathsome, poisonous, treacherous,
false, rude, stolen, and great fat noisy kisses.

There is the proud kiss, a pledge of eternal hatred, which strikes the
recipient like a falling avalanche of Alpine snow. There is the icy
kiss, which sends your heart into your boots and almost stifles the ebb
and flow of one’s life-blood. There is the frothy kiss, which means
nothing, and is common between relations and friends. There is the
hypocritical, or Judas kiss, which gives you a convulsive bang of
pretended affection on both cheeks—lips saying, “I am so glad to see
you,” etc., and the heart saying, “I dislike you, and if I could show
it, I would.” There is the spiteful kiss, which, whilst it seems teeming
with sweetness, would like to impart venom with the embrace. There is
the leather kiss, which gives back to the kisser no more feeling
response than the orifice of a gutta-percha speaking-tube, and as
comfortless as frozen water to a starved snake; and there is the noisy
kiss.

                   There’s a formal kiss of fashion,
                   And a burning kiss of passion,
                   A father’s kiss,
                   A mother’s kiss,
                     And a sister’s kiss to move;
                   There’s a traitor’s kiss of gold,
                   Like a serpent’s clammy fold,
                   A first kiss,
                   A stolen kiss,
                     And the thrilling kiss of love;
                   A meeting kiss,
                   A maiden kiss,
                     A kiss when fond hearts sever,
                   But the saddest kiss
                   On earth is this—
                     A kiss to part forever.

There is the first kiss of love:

            When a youth and maid of demeanor gay,
              But still unversed in impassioned speech,
            Are seen to return from their stroll some day
              With a glorified look in the face of each—
            A look as of mingled life-tides set
              Hence evermore to a common goal—
            You may be sure that their lips have met
              In that kiss which compasseth soul with soul.

Moore sings of a lover who taught his sweetheart how to kiss in the
dark, and chides her afterwards for her dullness in learning the lesson.

             “Cease, cease,” the blushing girl replied,
               And in her milky arms she caught me;
             “How can you thus your pupil chide?
               You know _’twas in the dark_ you taught me!”

During the late rebellion, so much kissing had to be done on the part of
the soldiers in bidding adieu to their female friends that an ingenious
officer reduced the operation to three motions. First motion: Bend the
right knee, straighten the left, bring the head on a line with the
piece; at the same time extend the arms and clasp the cheeks of the
piece firmly in both hands. Second motion: Bend the body slightly
forward, pucker the mouth slightly, and apply the lips smartly to the
muzzle mouldings. Third motion: Break off promptly in both legs to
escape the jarring or injury should the piece recoil.

There is the pleasing punishment of a kiss. In an anonymous poem, a
lover tells what he would do to his sweetheart if she offended him; he
would whip her with a feather, give her a cross of pearl, and smother
her with roses.

                  And if she dared her _lips_ to pout,
                    Like many pert young misses,
                  I’d wind my arm her waist about
                    And punish her with kisses.

One of the sweetest poems on the subject of a kiss is after Catullus,
the Roman poet:

                 Kiss me softly, and speak to me low,
                   Malice has ever a vigilant ear;
                   What if Malice were lurking near?
                           Kiss me, dear!
                 Kiss me softly, and speak to me low.

                 Kiss me softly, and speak to me low,
                   Envy, too, has a watchful ear;
                   What if Envy should chance to hear?
                           Kiss me dear!
                 Kiss me softly, and speak to me low.

                 Kiss me softly, and speak to me low;
                   Trust me, darling, the time is near,
                   When we may love with never a fear.
                           Kiss me, dear!
                 Kiss me softly, and speak to me low.

In the spring of 1888 it was asserted of Congressman Lewis E. McComas,
of Maryland, that he was the king of baby-kissers, having reduced
baby-kissing to a fine art. The proceeding was something like this:
First of all, Mr. McComas stands over the baby, and beams on it with his
large, tender, hazel eyes. Then, as if moved by a sudden and
irresistible impulse of affection, he snatches the little one to his
bosom with all the fervor of the deserted stage mother. After pressing
it for a moment with head bowed in emotion, he holds it in front of him
in a horizontal position, beams once more on the little face; then his
head slowly descends, there is an agonizing pause before the big
moustache reaches the little lips, the angels hovering about suspend the
flapping of their wings, a long-drawn sigh of joy proceeds from the
Congressman’s breast, a low, sweet, lingering, honey-suggesting smack is
heard—and the deed is done.

There used to be a minstrel ballad describing the wedding of our simian
ancestor. It was said:

               The monkey married the baboon’s sister,
               Smacked his lips, and then he kissed her—
               Kissed so hard he raised a blister—

After which, the chronicler asserts:

                           She set up a howl.

There is the kiss after marriage. A story is told of a wife who was
scolding her husband because he had found fault with certain conduct of
their daughter. The old gentleman lost all patience, finally.

“Now, see here, old woman,” said he, kindly, but firmly; “if you don’t
hush your nonsense and dry up, I’ll tell Matilda’s beaux not to be
caught swinging on the gate with her at night, and I’ll tell ’em why.”

“You will, hey?”

“Yes, I will; because when I was a courting young man, I was swinging on
the gate with a young woman, one night, and Sam Solomon happened to pass
by just as she gave me a good-night kiss.”

She commenced feeling around for something.

“It was the most unlucky kiss I ever got, for Sam gave up trying after
that, and as soon as he got out of the way, it was me or nobody.”

It was lucky he got over the fence and around the corner as quick as he
did, or the surgeon wouldn’t have had such an easy job of it.

      You will find, my dear boy, that the dearly-prized kiss,
      Which with rapture you snatched from the half willing miss,
      Is sweeter by far than the legalized kisses
      You give the same girl when you’ve made her a Mrs.

It might be well to memorize one or two proverbs on this subject: “To
kiss a man’s wife, or wipe his knife, is but a thankless office.” “He
that kisseth his wife in the market-place shall have enough to teach
him.”

Finally, there is the stolen kiss. The bold lover says:

                Kiss her gently, but be sly,
                Kiss her when there’s no one by,
                Steal your kiss, for then ’tis meetest,
                Stolen kisses are the sweetest.

The more backward swain _argues_ the matter to himself:

                  If I should steal a little kiss,
                    Oh! would she weep, I wonder?
                  I tremble at the thought of bliss—
                  If I should steal a little kiss:
                  Such pouting lips would never miss
                    The dainty bit of plunder;
                  If I should steal a little kiss,
                    Oh! would she weep, I wonder?

                  He longs to steal a kiss of mine—
                    He may, if he’ll return it!
                  If I can read the tender sign,
                  He longs to steal a kiss of mine;
                  “In love and war”—you know the line.
                    Why cannot he discern it?
                  He longs to steal a kiss of mine,
                    He may, if he’ll return it.

And the man of observation has given his experience in the matter:

                 Beneath a shady tree they sat;
                 He held her hand, she held his hat,
                 I held my breath and lay right flat—
                   They kissed—I saw them do it.
                 He held that kissing was no crime;
                 She held her head up every time;
                 I held my peace, and wrote this rhyme,
                   While they thought no one knew it.

The prudent Scotch girl has expressed the views of many of her sex in
regard, not to the impropriety of kissing, but of kissing “before folk”:

                   Behave yourself before folk,
                   And dinna be sae rude to me,
                   As kiss me sae before folk.
                   It’s no through hatred o’ a kiss,
                   That I sae plainly tell you this,
                   But, ah! I tak’ it sae amiss
                   To be sae teased before folk.
                   Behave yoursel’ before folk,
                   When we’re alone, ye may tak’ one,
                   But nent a ane before folk.

A Circassian was walking along one road, and a woman along another. The
roads finally united, and reaching the point of junction at the same
time, they walked on together. The man was carrying a large iron kettle
on his back; in one hand he held the legs of a live chicken, in the
other a cane, and he was leading a goat. They neared a dark ravine. Said
the woman: “I am afraid to go through that ravine with you; it is a
lonely place, and you might overpower me and kiss me by force.” Said the
man: “How can I possibly overpower you and kiss you by force, when I
have this iron kettle on my back, a cane in one hand, a live chicken in
the other, and am leading this goat? I might as well be tied hand and
foot.” “Yes,” replied the woman; “but if you should stick your cane in
the ground and tie your goat to it, and turn the kettle bottom upward
and put the chicken under, then you might wickedly kiss me in spite of
my resistance.” “Success to thy ingenuity, O woman!” said the rejoicing
man to himself; “I should never have thought of this or similar
expedients.” And when they came to the ravine, he stuck his cane into
the ground, and tied the goat to it, and gave the chicken to the woman,
saying: “Hold it while I cut some grass for the goat,” and then—so runs
the legend—lowering the kettle from his shoulders, he put the fowl under
it, and wickedly kissed the woman, as she was afraid he would.



                                  VI.

    MEN KISSING EACH OTHER IN FRANCE, IN ENGLAND, AND IN
        GERMANY—ORIGIN OF THE CUSTOM OF KISSING THE POPE’S TOE—
        HENRY IV. AND HIS PUNISHMENT—KISSING THE FEET OF ROYALTY
        AN ANCIENT CUSTOM—KISSES AS REWARDS OF GENIUS—THE PART
        OSCULATION HAS PAID IN POLITICS—CURIOUS BARGAINS FOR
        KISSES—WHAT LEGALLY CONSTITUTES A KISS—A KISS AT
        AUCTION—GIVING $50 TO KISS EDWIN BOOTH.


To an Englishman, full of his insular reserve, there is something
unmanly in the way men at a public railway station in France salute each
other upon both cheeks; and yet in England itself it was at one time the
recognized form of salutation. In Hone’s “Year Book” occurs the
following passage:

“Another specimen of our ancient manners is seen in the French embrace.
The gentleman, and others of the male sex, lay hands on the shoulders
and touch the side of each other’s cheeks; but on being introduced to a
lady, they say to her father or brother or friend, _permettez moi_, and
salute each of her cheeks.”

During the time of James I. kissing was a common civility among men.
Evelyn in his Diary and Correspondence, 1680, says in a letter to Mrs.
Owen: “Sir J. Shaw did us the honor of a visit on Thursday last, when it
was not my hap to be at home, for which I was very sorry. I met him
since casually in London, and kissed him there unfeignedly.”

In Sir Walter Scott’s “Waverley,” after the Baron had shaken Edward
heartily by the hand in the English fashion, he embraced him _à-la-mode
Françoise_, and kissed him on both sides of his face; while the hardness
of his gripe, and the quantity of Scotch snuff which his accolade
communicated, called corresponding drops of moisture to the eyes of his
guest.

Among the Germans it is no uncommon sight to find two great, bearded and
mustached giants, kissing each other like a pair of turtle doves. In
July, 1888, when the Emperor William met the Russian Czar at St.
Petersburg, the two rulers embraced and kissed each other several times.

There is no doubt, however, that Germans fully appreciate osculation
between members of the opposite sex. In a well-known German novel, this
passage occurs: “Sophia returned my kiss and the earth went from under
my feet; my soul was no longer in my body; I touched the stars; I knew
the happiness of Seraphim.” And it may be added, that an enthusiastic
old German beau of former times declared, as the result of practical
experience, that kissing was an infallible cure for the toothache!

Among the English the custom has become obsolete. As for women kissing
each other, the modern rhymster says:

                  Men scorn to kiss among themselves,
                    And scarce will kiss a brother;
                  Women often want to kiss so much,
                    They smack and kiss each other.

As to the custom of kissing the Pope’s toe, Matthew of Westminster
writes that it was customary at one time to kiss the hand of His
Holiness, but that a certain woman in the eighth century not only kissed
the Pope’s hand, but squeezed it. The Pope, seeing the danger to which
he was exposed, cut off his hand, and afterwards offered his foot.

But another authority says that kissing the Pope’s toe was a fashion
introduced by one of the Leos, who had mutilated his right hand and was
too vain to expose the stump.

In Charles Reade’s “Cloister and the Hearth,” there is a short
dissertation on some curious kissing customs. Fra Colonna, enamored of
the pagan days, overwhelms Brother Jerome with copious quotations,
showing the antiquity and pagan origin of many modern ecclesiastical
customs. “Kissing of images and the Pope’s toe is Eastern paganism,”
said Fra Colonna. “The Egyptians had it of the Assyrians, the Greeks of
the Egyptians, and we of the Romans, whose Pontifax Maximus had his toe
kissed under the Empire. The Druids kissed their High Priest’s toe a
thousand years B.C. The Mussulmans who, like you, professed to abhor
heathenism, kissed the stone of the Caaba—a pagan practice. The priests
of Baal kissed their idols.”

Kissing the foot, or the toe, has been required by the popes as a sign
of respect since the eighth century. The first to receive the honor was
Constantine. It was paid to him by the Emperor Justinian II. on his
entry into Constantinople 710. About 827 Valentine I. required every one
to kiss his foot, and from that time this mark of reverence has been
expected. The Pope wears a slipper with a cross, which is kissed. In
recent times Protestants have not been required to perform the ceremony,
but to bend the knee slightly. When the excommunicated German emperor,
Henry IV., had been humbled by three days of penance, barefoot, and
fasting, in the month of January, before the palace of Pope Gregory
VII., he was admitted to “the superlative honor” of kissing the
pontiff’s toe.

Kissing the feet of princes was a token of subjection which was
sometimes carried so far that the print of the foot received the kiss,
so as to give the impression that the very dust had become sacred by the
royal tread, or that the subject was not worthy to salute even the
prince’s foot, but was content to kiss the earth itself near, or on
which he trod. The Bible says:

“And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing
mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth,
and lick up the dust of thy feet, and thou shalt know that I am the
Lord, for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”—(Isaiah xlix.
23.)

“They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their
holes like worms of the earth; they shall be afraid of the Lord our God
and shall fear because of thee.”—(Micah, vii. 17.)

Kisses have been the reward of genius, as when Voltaire was publicly
kissed in the stage-box by the young and lovely Duchess de Villars, who
was ordered by an enthusiastic pit thus to reward the author of
“Merope.” In politics they have been used as bribes, as in the famous
Eatanswill elections of the “Pickwick Papers,” and also in a still more
famous election. For, when Fox was contesting the hard-won seat at
Westminster, the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire offered to kiss all who
voted for the great statesman. And fully as famous, and perhaps in a
better cause, was the self-denying patriotism of the beautiful Lady
Gordon, who, when the ranks of the Scottish regiments had been sadly
thinned by cruel Badajoz and Salamanca, turned recruiting sergeant, and,
to tempt the gallant lads, placed the recruiting shilling in her lips,
from whence who would might take it with his own.

In England, during the last century, a certain candidate for a Norfolk
borough kissed the voters’ wives with guineas in his mouth, for which he
was expelled the House. Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, gave Steel,
the butcher, a kiss for his vote nearly a century since.

There have been bargains for kisses. A French poet speaks of a country
girl who required “thirty sheep for one short kiss.” The shepherd
thought the bargain a good one, but the next day he was agreeably
astonished at being able to get from the same girl thirty kisses for one
sheep. And then

                 The morrow, Phyllis, far more tender,
                   Trembling she would lose the bliss,
                 Was very happy to surrender
                   Thirty sheep for one short kiss.

Strode, a minor English poet of the seventeenth century, writes about
how he and his sweetheart played for kisses:

           My love and I for kisses played,
             She would keep stakes, I was content;
           But when I won she would be paid—
             This made me ask her what she meant.
           Nay, since I see (quoth she) you wrangle in vain,
           Take your own kisses, give me mine again!

Some time ago, a Mr. Finch, who was in the jewelry business in Newbern,
sold to a young lady named Miss Waters what was described as a beautiful
set of real jet, the bargain being that he was to receive in payment one
hundred kisses, to be paid at the rate of one kiss daily. Mr. Finch was
to call at the lady’s house every day, Sundays excepted, to receive his
daily kiss, which Miss Waters undertook and promised to daily deliver to
him. For thirty consecutive days, Sundays excepted, Mr. Finch punctually
called upon Miss Waters, and duly received the stipulated salutation. On
the thirty-first day, however, Mr. Finch made a formal complaint that
Miss Waters was not fulfilling her contract, inasmuch as she insisted
upon permitting him to kiss her cheek only. He maintained that this did
not constitute a legal kiss, and demanded that he should be permitted to
put his left arm around her waist and kiss her in the highest style of
art. To this, however, a firm refusal was returned. The lady offered Mr.
Finch a choice of cheeks, but insisted that the contract would not bear
the construction put upon it. Thereupon Mr. Finch, in great indignation,
brought an action for breach of contract against the lady. This action
raised several new and interesting questions, among the most important
of which was what constituted, in the eye of the law, a kiss. The
plaintiff set up the further plea that there was a difference between
active and passive kisses; that Miss Waters had promised to give him a
certain number of kisses—not merely allow him to take them—and that
giving kisses was an act which required the use of the lips. The case
was the subject of considerable controversy in the press and elsewhere,
but a compromise of some sort was brought about.

An equally remarkable kissing transaction occurred in Austria: In this
instance a kiss was actually put up for sale at auction, and publicly
bestowed upon the highest bidder. The occasion was a charity _fête_ got
up in the little town of Torrantal on behalf of the poor of Agram. The
well-meant endeavor of the benevolent ladies and gentlemen who acted as
salesmen and stall-holders to induce visitors to purchase trifles
exposed for sale at twenty times their value had not succeeded. Business
was not brisk. The public who had filled the sale were not in a generous
mood, and the organizers of the _fête_ were disheartened. At this
juncture, one of the lady patronesses, a remarkably beautiful woman, had
what she thought a happy inspiration. She took her husband aside,
conferred with him for a few minutes, and shortly after, with his
consent, offered a kiss to the highest bidder, the sum paid for the
favor to be added to the receipts of the _fête_. Very low sums were at
first offered by the young men—for, of course, the feminine portion of
the visitors were not tempted by the opportunity—and ultimately the kiss
was knocked down at the relatively paltry figure of fifteen florins and
eleven kreutzers. The husband of the lady, seeing the slight store set
by the favor, offered to pay the amount himself and take the kiss; but
the claimant had already handed over the money, and as he refused to
agree to the bargain being canceled, the kiss was exchanged before the
assembled company.

It is said that a California girl disposed of her kisses at two cents
apiece. One week her receipts were $11.25. At regular rates she should
have had $11.75, but she sold one job lot of twelve dozen at $2.50,
which accounted for the difference. One devoted admirer made a special
contract. In consideration of his doing all his kissing with her, he was
charged much less than the regular schedule rates. This traffic went on
for some months without the knowledge of any persons except those
immediately concerned.

There is a story to the effect that when Booth was traveling on the
Boston & Albany Road one day, having just closed an engagement in the
New England metropolis, he heard an expensively-dressed, handsome,
middle-aged woman back of him sigh and say to her companion: “I would
give fifty dollars to kiss that man!” Booth turned suddenly and looked
at the speaker. “Do you mean that?” he demanded, fixing his fine, dark
eyes upon her, and causing the blood to mount up to the very roots of
her hair. “Why, yes, of course I do!” replied the woman, confusedly,
looking in a helpless sort of way at the great tragedian and at the
smiling passengers. “Well, I accept the terms, madam!” exclaimed Booth,
solemnly. “And I stand by my proposition,” said the woman, recovering
her self-possession, and, rising, she imprinted a sound kiss upon the
actor’s lips. Booth’s face did not betray the slightest emotion. He
received the kiss stolidly, and did not return it, but waited until the
impetuous woman found her purse and handed him a fifty-dollar bill. He
took the money, thanked her, and turning to a feeble, shabbily-dressed
woman on the other side of the aisle, who was traveling with two young
children, placed the money in her hands, and, with a courtly bow, said:
“This is for the children, madam! Take it, please,” and, without another
word, he left the car.



                                  VII.

    EXCUSES FOR KISSING; HOW ALL NATURE JUSTIFIES THE PRACTICE—
        THE CHILDISH AND THE HUMOROUS EXCUSE—KISSING CASUISTRY—
        THE GLUTTONY OF KISSING; UNACCOUNTABLE OSCULATORY
        DEMANDS—EXCUSES FOR NOT KISSING—KISSING EXPERIENCES—
        DOMINIE BROWN’S FIRST KISS—THE KISS OF THE SPANISH GIRL,
        THE NURSE, THE MOTHER—A CURIOUS GERMAN CUSTOM.


It must be remembered that the only animal that knows how to kiss is
man. Dogs lick their masters and bears their ragged cubs; cats their
kittens, while donkeys and the Esquimaux rub their noses; cows and
horses fondle each others’ necks and heads; love-birds, pigeons, and
other birds, nestle together and have methods of their own of showing
affection peculiar to each; but none of these creatures kiss. Even
low-class savages do not kiss like other men; so that we may take this
habit to be an evidence of intellect and civilization.

Various excuses have been made for kissing. Shelley draws his excuses
from Dame Nature herself:

                  See the mountains kiss high heaven,
                    And the waves clasp one another;
                  No sister flower would be forgiven
                    If it disdained its brother;
                  And the sunlight clasps the earth,
                    And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
                  What are all these kissings worth
                    If thou kiss not me?

A poet of later days has carried out the same conceit in very happy
fashion:

                 The lilies kiss the waves they love,
                   The ripples kiss the flowers;
                 The swallows sweep from heaven above,
                   To kiss this world of ours;
                 The foaming billows kiss the beach,
                   In wild, ungentle fashion;
                 The weeping willows earthward reach
                   T’ enjoy the darling passion;
                 The ivy kisses from its birth,
                   All other things dismissing;
                 And all things loveliest on earth
                   Seem most engaged in kissing.
                 As this by all is seen and heard
                   And known to be most true, love,
                 ’Twere quite unnatural and absurd
                   That I should not kiss you, love.

There is a poem about a father lying beside his little child, Daisy, as
she is being put to bed, and asking the foolish question that wife and
lover ask over and over again:

                    There, close at her side,
                    “Do you love me?” I cried;
                She lifted her golden-crowned head,
                    A puzzled surprise
                    Shone in her gray eyes—
                “Why, that’s why I kiss you,” she said.

A humorous excuse was that given by the defendant in a case of breach of
promise. The defendant was allowed to say a word in his own behalf.
“Yes,” he said, “I kissed her almost continually every evening I called
at her house.” Lawyer for plaintiff: “Then you confess it?” Defendant:
“Yes, I do confess it, but I had to do it.” Lawyer: “You had to do it!
What do you mean?” Defendant: “That was the only way I could keep her
from singing.”

The casuistry of kissing has been set forth in these lines:

              When Sarah Jane, the moral Miss,
              Declares ’tis very wrong to kiss,
                I’ll bet a shilling I see through it!
              The damsel, fairly understood,
              Feels just as any Christian should,
                She’d rather _suffer_ wrong than _do_ it.

There is a certain gluttony of kissing of which many examples might be
given. There was once a jovial vicar who was such a glutton for kisses,
that when he obtained the wished-for kiss, far from being satisfied he
asked for a score; and

              Then to that twenty add a hundred more,
              A thousand to that hundred; so kiss on
              To make that thousand up to a million;
              Treble that million, and when that is done,
              Let’s kiss afresh, as when we first begun.

There is a proverb which says: “When gorse is out of blossom, kissing is
out of favor;” and gorse blossoms always, year in and year out. This
matter of countless kisses has been the theme of many a poet. Catullus
averred that though his crop of kissing were thicker than the dry ears
of the corn-field, he would not have enough. Another ancient poet starts
off with a thousand kisses, adds a hundred thousand, repeats the process
(in rhyme, of course) twice, and urges that he and his sweetheart shall
purposely confuse their memories as to the number and begin all over
again. Another poet wants kisses equal in number as the grains of sand
on the seashore, as the stars in the heavens.

                 Kisses told by hundreds o’er,
                 Thousands told by thousands more,
                 Millions, countless millions, then,
                 Told by millions o’er again;
                 Countless as the drops that glide
                 In the ocean’s billowy tide,
                 Countless as yon orbs of light
                 Spangled o’er the vault of night,
                 I’ll with ceaseless love bestow
                 On those cheeks of crimson glow,
                 On those lips so gently swelling,
                 On those eyes such fond tales telling.

The poet exclaims that love was never satisfied with numbers, and argues
that no one would dream of counting each blade of grass, each ear of
ripening grain, or to a scanty hundred would confine the clustering
bunches of grapes. Who would ask for a thousand bees and no more, or
regulate the number of rain-drops that should fall on some parched
pasture-land? One of our modern poets, John G. Saxe, has expressed this
ancient desire, and from much of our modern poetry we should imagine the
sentiment was still in favor:

                   Give me kisses—do not stay
                   Counting in that careful way;
                   All the coins your lips can print
                   Never will exhaust the mint.
                       Kiss me, then,
                   Every moment—and again.

Old Ben Jonson said that it would be his wish that he might die kissing,
and it is said so grave a philosopher as John Ruskin once invited a
young lady to kiss him—“not sometimes, but continually.”

A young lady reading in a newspaper of a girl having been made crazy by
a sudden kiss, called the attention of her uncle, who was in the room,
to that singular occurrence, whereupon the old gentleman gruffly
demanded what the fool had gone crazy for. “What did she go crazy for?”
archly asked the ingenuous maiden; “why, for more, I suppose.”

And, in rhyme, we have the same sentiment.

                  “Of all the poets, darling one,
                    Who’ve rhapsodized of love,
                  Which one evokes your ardent praise
                    All other bards above?”
                  And as he took her in his arms
                    And kissed her o’er and o’er,
                  She spoke, in tones of ecstasy,
                    “O Tommy, give me Moore!”

Some curious excuses are recorded for not kissing. In a certain
Methodist church the young people were in the habit of playing games
whose forfeits were kisses, but a pious old deacon was much troubled
about it; he said he was not opposed to kissing if they did not kiss
with “an appetite.” A woman in trying to express her contempt for a
certain female friend, said: “If I was a man I would no more kiss such a
woman than I would kiss a pair of tongs that had been left out over
night in a snow-bank.”

Kissing experiences vary. A country damsel, describing her first kiss,
told her female friend that she never knew how it happened, but the last
thing she remembered was a sensation of fighting for her breath in a
hot-house full of violets, with the ventilation choked by blush-roses
and tu-lips.

A Western man relates his experience. “Talk about kissing! Go away! I
have kissed in the North, I have kissed in the South; I have repeated
the soul-stirring operation East and West; I have kissed in Texas and
away down in Maine; I have kissed at Long Branch and at the Golden Gate—
in fact, in every State in the Union; in every language and according to
the manners and customs of every nation. I have kissed on the
Mississippi and all its tributaries; but, young man, for good sound
kissing, give me a full-fledged Caribou girl. When you feel the pegs
drawn right through the soles of your feet, from your boots, that’s
kissing, that is.”

We read of a king’s kiss that “fell like a flame,” sending through every
vein love’s joy and pain. And Shakespeare speaks of two lovers whose
lips were “four red roses on a stalk, and in their simple beauty kissed
each other.” A country girl insisted on taking a stamp instead of a
stamped envelope at the post-office. “My beau,” she said, “doesn’t like
stamped envelopes. He lives away out in Colorado, and he says he never
gets a chance to see me; but if I lick the stamp and stick it on, he can
chew it, and it is the next thing to kissing me.” The fact is, that a
young lady’s first love-kiss has the same effect on her as being
electrified; it’s a great shock, but it’s soon over.

                My Julia from the latticed grove
                  Brought me a sweet bouquet of posies,
                And asked, as round my neck she clung,
                  If tulips I preferred to roses?
                “I cannot tell, sweet girl,” I sighed,
                  “But kiss me, ere I see the posies.”
                She did. “Oh! I prefer,” I cried,
                  “Thy two-lips to a dozen roses.”

Almost every one has heard of the first kiss given by Dominie Brown to
his sweetheart Janet, after a courtship of seven years. One evening, as
they sat together in the customary solemn silence, Mr. Brown summoned
courage and said: “We have been acquainted now for seven years, and I’ve
ne’er gotten a kiss yet. D’ye think I might tak’ wan, my bonnie girl?”

“Just as you like, John, only be becoming wi’ it.”

“Surely, Janet, we’ll ask a blessing. For what we are about to receive,
Lord make us truly thankful.”

The kiss was taken, and the worthy divine, overpowered by the blissful
sensation, rapturously exclaimed: “Oh! Janet, it is gude. We’ll return
thanks.” Six months afterwards they were married.

There is a poetic account of the kiss of that black-eyed Spanish girl
who first kisses with her glances, practicing for the coming encounter:

                 Then she kisses with her eyelids,
                 Kisses with her arching eye-brows,
                 With her soft cheek softly rubbing,
                 With her chin, and hands, and fingers.
                 All the frame of Manuela,
                 All her blood and all her spirit,
                 All melt down to burning kisses,
                 All she feeds on is their sugar.

And there is what may be called the apropos experience, equally
interesting:

                 She took my coat—I’m rather tall—
                   And she is not so very;
                 The steps led upward from the hall,
                   She stood, the little fairy,
                 Just balanced on the second stair,
                   My great-coat’s burden holding;
                 And then her hands, the kindest pair,
                   The collar down were folding.

                 There never was an eye so clear,
                   Nor lips so red in moving;
                 “Just tall enough now, ain’t I, dear?
                   See how I’ve grown from loving!”
                 Just tall enough! from eye to eye
                   Ran horizontal light;
                 Just tall enough to—let me try—
                   Yes, tall enough—good-night.

And there is another kind of good-night kiss. A certain swain, after
having escorted his sweetheart to and from a New England forfeit party,
where the poor girl, the belle of the evening, had been kissed, as he
expressed it, “slobbered over by all, and sundry,” of course kissed her
good-night at the gate. He declared in that one chaste salute he could
discriminate nine distinct and separate flavors, viz., onions, tobacco,
brandy, peppermint, gin, lager-beer, checkerberry, musk, and camphor.

With some of us a kiss is our earliest recollection:

                 I recollect a nurse called Ann,
                   Who carried me about the grass;
                 And one fine day a nice young man
                   Came up and kissed the pretty lass.
                 She did not make the least objection.
                   Thinks I, “Ah,
                 When I can talk, I’ll tell mamma.”
                   And that’s my earliest recollection.

In that old-fashioned youthful game, “Kiss in the Ring,” a favorite
manœuvre of some of the boys was to keep out of a place in the ring till
they had kissed all the pretty girls in succession. Those who grow up
with the same fondness for osculatory attentions would probably like the
custom in some parts of Germany, which requires a young man who is
engaged to a girl, to salute, upon making his adieu for the evening, the
whole of the family, beginning with the mother. Thus, in a family circle
embracing half-a-dozen girls, each having a lover, no less than
forty-eight kisses would have to be given on the occasion of a united
meeting; and when we consider that each lover would give his own
sweetheart ten times as many kisses as he gave her sisters, the grand
total would outnumber a hundred.

We must not omit the mother’s kiss. Her good-bye kiss has been the charm
which has kept many a schoolboy in the right path when he has got free
from home influences. Tom Brown, _en route_ for Rugby, made a bargain
with his father, before starting, that he was not to be subjected to the
indignity of a paternal kiss; not so, however, with his mother, whose
last kiss all the racket of public school life could never efface from
his memory. Benjamin West, the artist, once said: “A kiss from my mother
made me a painter.”



                                 VIII.

    THE IMPORTANT CONSEQUENCES CONNECTED WITH KISSING—
        ARRAH-NA-POGUE—REFUSING THE SACRAMENT ON ACCOUNT OF A
        KISS—HOW A CHILD’S KISS AFFECTED THE COURSE OF A
        DESPERATE MAN—WHAT A LITTLE MARE’S KISS DID—BROUGHT TO
        LIFE BY A KISS—THE KISS OF DEATH—KISSING IN TUNNELS—A
        MOUNTAIN EXPERIENCE—KISSING THE COOK.


Many curious stories might be related of important consequences coming
from a kiss. Sometimes a kiss proves useful. There is a romantic story
of the great Irish rebellion, in which an imprisoned patriot under
sentence of death was enabled to make his escape, the plan of operations
being conveyed to him in a billet carried to him by his sweetheart in
her mouth, and passed to him by the medium of a kiss through the iron
grating of his dungeon. This was done under the very noses of the
governor and sentinels placed there to intercept any improper
communication. This story has been used in Arrah-na-Pogue, which means
literally “Arrah of the kiss.”

In the “Memoirs of Adam Black,” published by his sons in Edinburgh, is
related an incident which occurred in Adam’s youth, and illustrates the
severe sort of orthodoxy that then prevailed among the Evangelicals of
Scotland. On one sacrament Sunday morning the wife of the Rev. John
Colquhoun, of Leith, being desirous of having him nicely rigged out for
the occasion, had his coat well brushed, his shirt as white as snow, and
his bands hanging handsomely on his breast; and when she surveyed her
gudeman, she was so delighted with his comely appearance that she
suddenly took him around the neck and kissed him. The Rev. John,
however, was so offended by this carnal proceeding, that he debarred his
wife from the sacrament that day.

In a prison at New Bedford, Mass., there was a man whom we will call
Jim, who was a prisoner on a life sentence. He was regarded as a
desperate, dangerous man, ready for rebellion at any hour. He planned a
general outbreak, but was “given away” by one of the conspirators. He
plotted a general mutiny or rebellion, and was again betrayed. He then
kept his own counsel, and while never refusing to obey orders, he obeyed
like a man who only needed backing to make him refuse to. One day, a
party of strangers came into the institution. One was an old gentleman,
the others ladies, and two of the ladies had small children. The guide
took one of the children on his arm, and the other walked until the
party came to climbing the stairs. Jim was working near by, sulky and
morose as ever, when the guide said to him: “Jim, won’t you help this
little girl up the stairs?”

The convict hesitated, a scowl on his face; and the little girl held out
her arms to him and said: “If you will, I guess I’ll kiss you.” The
scowl vanished in an instant, and he lifted the child as tenderly as a
father. Half-way up the stairs she kissed him. At the head of the stairs
she said, “Now, you’ve got to kiss me, too.”

He blushed like a woman, looked into her innocent face, and then kissed
her cheek, and before he reached the foot of the stairs again the man
had tears in his eyes. From that day he was a changed man, and no one in
the place gave less trouble. Maybe in his far Western home he had a
Katie of his own. No one knows, for he never revealed his inner life;
but the change so quickly wrought by a child gave hope that he would
forsake his evil ways.

When Mr. Cole, a well-known circus proprietor in the South, sold his
stock in New Orleans, three dun ring horses that he had owned for years
went with the others by mistake. Mr. Cole at once bought them back,
saying that he would never consent to have the horses become the
property of any one who would make them work, and that he had decided to
put them to a painless death. He proposed bleeding them to death, but W.
B. Leonard, a liveryman, suggested that the use of chloroform would be a
better and less painful mode. This was finally decided upon, and a
reliable man procured, who was to have performed the operation.

They were all collected in the circus tent. There were Cole, Leonard,
the riders and the clowns, the ringmaster, the tumblers and leapers, and
the three pet duns. Calling the little mare by name, he told her to kiss
them all good-bye. The intelligent animal, stretching forward her head,
kissed each one. This was more than they could stand, and the sacrifice
was put off. Cole had no place to take them to, so Mr. Leonard promised
to find some one who would assume charge of them, under a guarantee
never to work them, but to keep them in good order until death should
claim them for the grave.

A remarkable case of a child being brought back to life by a kiss
occurred in Louisville, Ky. A man named Joseph Meyer had two children, a
boy about ten years and a girl about two months old. This baby, which
appeared healthy, was suddenly taken ill with something like
convulsions, and came very near dying before medical aid could be
summoned. The doctor was called in and gave the child some medicine, not
thinking, however, that it could possibly live. He then left, but
returned the next morning. When he reached the house the child was
barely breathing, and in a few minutes afterwards respiration stopped
altogether. Every appearance of death was visible; the face assumed the
hue of death, the jaw dropped, limbs relaxed, and the eyes became
glazed. The doctor examined the pulse, and listened for the beating of
the heart, but failing to find any signs of life, pronounced the child
dead. It lay thus for fully ten minutes, with the members of the family
grouped around the bed lamenting, as is usual in such cases. The little
girl’s brother, who was just old enough to understand the situation, and
who seemed to be greatly grieved, suddenly stepped from the circle and
approached the supposed corpse, leaned over and imprinted a kiss upon
the pallid lips. The baby’s mouth was slightly open, and in kissing her
the boy blew his breath down her throat. The little lips suddenly moved,
the child gave one or two sudden gasps and then commenced to breathe,
slowly and feebly at first, and then gradually stronger, until
respiration became almost natural. Every one around was terribly
astonished at this unlooked-for coming back from the dead, and did not
seem to realize the fact until the child had been breathing for half an
hour. The little one rapidly improved, and eventually regained its
health.

An old Roman Catholic missionary in a little Mexican town speaks of a
curious superstition among his people in regard to a certain grave in
the cemetery. “A spirit,” he says, “is said to have appeared to every
one buried in that grave, and to warn the family whenever any of them is
about to pass away. Its appearance, which is generally made in the
following manner, is believed to be uniformly fatal, being an omen of
death to those who are so unhappy as to meet with it.

“When a funeral takes place, the spirit is said to watch the person who
remains last in the graveyard, over whom it possesses a fascinating
influence.

“If the person be a young man, the spirit takes the shade of a
fascinating young female, inspires him with a charmed passion, and
exacts a promise that he will meet her at the graveyard a month from
that day. This promise is sealed with a kiss that communicates a deadly
taint to him who complies. The spirit then disappears. No sooner does
the person from whom it received the promise and the kiss pass the
boundary of the churchyard than he remembers the history of the spectre.
He sinks into despair and insanity and dies. If, on the contrary, the
spectre appears to a young woman, it assumes the form of a young man of
exceeding elegance and beauty.”

On the subject of the humors of kissing there is abundant material to
draw from. Stories about kissing in tunnels naturally come to mind. The
well-known court-plaster incident is said to have occurred in one of the
tunnels of the Hudson River Railroad. A very pretty lady was seated
opposite to a good-looking gentleman, who was accompanying a party to
Saratoga Springs. It was observed that this exceedingly handsome young
woman had the smallest bit of court-plaster on a slight abrasion of the
surface of her red upper lip. As the cars rambled into the darkness of
the tunnel, a slight exclamation of “Oh!” was heard from the lady, and
when the cars again emerged into the light, the little piece of
court-plaster aforesaid had become in some mysterious manner transferred
to the upper lip of the young gentleman.

Horace Vernet, the artist, was going from Versailles to Paris by
railway. In the same compartment with him were two ladies whom he had
never seen before, but who were evidently acquainted with him. They
examined him minutely, and commented freely upon his martial bearing,
his hale, old age, the style of his dress, etc. They continued their
annoyance until finally the painter determined to put an end to the
persecution. As the train passed through the tunnel of St. Cloud, the
three travelers were wrapped in complete darkness. Vernet raised the
back of his hand to his mouth and kissed it twice violently. On emerging
from the obscurity he found that the ladies had withdrawn their
attention from him, and were accusing each other of having been kissed
by a man in the dark.

Presently they arrived at Paris, and Vernet, on leaving them, said:
“Ladies, I shall be puzzled all my life by the inquiry, _which_ of these
two ladies was it that kissed me?”

There have been some amusing osculatory experiences in the far western
part of our country. A young Montana chap, upon stepping aboard of a
sleeping-car, thus addressed the conductor: “See here, captain, I want
one of your best bunks for this young woman, and one for myself
individually. _One_ will do for us when we get to the Bluff—hey,
Mariar?” (Here he gave a playful poke at “Mariar,” to which she replied:
“Now, John, quit.”) “For, you see, we’re goin’ to git married at
Mariar’s uncle’s. We might a bin married at Montanny, but we took a
habit to wait till we got to the Bluff, bein’ Mariar’s uncle is a
minister, and they charge a gosh-fired price for hitchin’ folks at
Montanny.”

“Mariar” was assigned one of the best “bunks.” During a stoppage of the
train at a station, the voice of John was heard in pleading accents,
unconscious that the train had stopped, and that his tones could be
heard throughout the car:

“Now, Mariar, you might give a feller jes one.”

“John, you quit, or I’ll git out right here and hoof it back to Montanny
in the snowstorm.”

“Only one little kiss, Mariar, and I hope to die if I don’t——”

“John——”

At this moment an old gray-beard poked his head out of his berth, at the
other end of the car, and cried out:

“Maria, for pity’s sake, _give_ John one kiss, so that we can go to
sleep some time to-night.”

Thereupon John subsided and retired to his berth to dream of the
distinction between the hesitancy of the kiss of courtship and the
freedom of the kiss connubial.

A young and romantic Western girl, kissed for the first time, said that
she felt like a tub of butter swimming in honey, cologne, nutmegs, and
cranberries, and as though something was running through her nerves on
feet with diamonds, escorted by several little Cupids in chariots drawn
by angels, shaded with honeysuckles, and the whole spread with melted
rainbows!

Among the comic songs about kissing, the one about Esau is the best:

                    I saw Esau kissing Kate;
                      The fact is we all three saw;
                    For I saw Esau, he saw me,
                      And she saw I saw Esau!

A young lady of the gushing sort, while passing through one of the
military hospitals, overheard the remark that a young lieutenant had
died that morning.

“Oh, where is he? Let me see him. Let me kiss him for his mother!”
exclaimed the maiden.

The attendant led her into an adjoining ward, when, discovering
Lieutenant H., of the Fifth Kansas, lying fast asleep on his hospital
couch, and thinking to have a little fun, he pointed him out to the
girl. She sprang forward and, bending over him, said: “Oh, you dear
Lieutenant, let me kiss you for your mother.”

What was her surprise when the awakened “corpse” ardently clasped her in
his arms, returned the salute with interest, and exclaimed:

“Never mind the old lady, Miss; go it on your own account; I haven’t the
least objection.”

There is the experience of kissing the cook. “I say, Mr. Smithers,” said
Mrs. Smithers to her husband, “didn’t I hear you down in the kitchen
kissing the cook?” “My dear,” replied Smithers, blandly, “permit me to
insist upon my right to be reasonably ignorant. I really cannot say what
you may have heard.” “But wasn’t you down there kissing the cook?” “My
dear, I really cannot recollect. I only remember going into the kitchen
and out again. I may have been there, and from what you say I infer I
was. But I cannot recollect just what occurred.” “But,” persisted the
ruthless cross-examiner, “what did Jane mean when she said: ‘Oh,
Smithers, don’t kiss so loud, or the old she-dragon up-stairs will hear
us?’” “Well,” said Smithers, in his blandest tones, “I cannot remember
what interpretation I did put on the words at the time. They are not my
words, you must remember.”

Our journey in the sweet fields of osculation stops here. As a
conclusion to the whole matter, let us say with the immortal bard:

               Now let me say good-night, and so say you;
               If you will say so, you shall have a kiss.

[Illustration]

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                             A Hundred Ways
                               of Kissing Girls;

                        Or, HISTORY OF THE KISS.

[Illustration]

When we write an advertisement and tell you we have something extra
good—=a real LIVE novelty=—we mean what we say. The fact that we sell
our goods to the same people all the year around is proof positive that
we please our customers. This new book “A Hundred Ways of Kissing
Girls,” is a novelty and entirely unique in every way. To give you some
idea of this book we herewith give a =complete list= of the many titles
into which this subject has been divided: What to Expect; L’Envoi;
History of the Kiss; How to Kiss a Girl; Origin of the Kiss Under the
Mistletoe; Who Kissed First, Adam or Eve; They Kiss Even in England;
Revelations of a Newly Wed; A Kissing Soup Party; Asking for a Kiss; How
the Widow was Consoled; Lackawanna Jack’s Ideal Kiss; Value of a Kiss;
The Stage Kiss; The Kiss Analyzed, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox; How Kisses
may be sent by mail; Way to Kiss a Girl; Kisses a la Gibson; Kissing
Games; Kisses that Brought Good and Bad Luck; Mouth to Kiss; An
Unwilling Kiss; Kissing Jokes; A Black Kiss; Kisses Have Been Called;
Kissing Don’ts; Kissing by Telephone; Lip Culture; Kissing Trees;
Evolution of Kissing, etc.

☞ This book is fully illustrated with 16 handsome half-tone
reproductions from photographs taken from life, illustrating different
ways of kissing, and posed especially for this book. We will send this
book by mail, postpaid, to any address upon receipt of =25 cents= in
stamps or silver.

=SPECIAL.= With every order is included a phototype of THE GIRL WHO’S
NEVER BEEN KISSED—alone worth ten times the price of all.

                         ADDRESS ALL ORDERS TO

                   J. S. OGILVIE PUBLISHING COMPANY.
           P. O. Box 767.          57 ROSE STREET, NEW YORK.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Transcriber’s note:

The format of the chapter sub-headings has been regularised.

Page 3, ‘back’ changed to ‘black,’ “kiss the sacred black stone”

Page 4, ‘Origin’ changed to ‘Origen,’ “Origen, one of the early”

Page 4, ‘suspicious’ changed to ‘suspicions,’ “foul suspicions and evil
reports”

Page 4, full stops inserted after book numbers, “I. Cor. xvi, 20; I.
Pet. v, 14”

Page 5, full stop inserted after book number, “II. Samuel xiv, 33”

Page 5, full stop changed to comma after paragraph number, “II. Samuel
xiv, 33”

Page 5, full stop inserted after book number, “I. Kings xix, 18.”

Page 5, full stop inserted after ‘Treachery,’ “Treachery.—Now he that
betrayed him”

Page 13, ‘ingenius’ changed to ‘ingenious,’ “An ingenious American
grammarian”

Page 15, double quote deleted after ‘out,’ “altogether too long drawn
out.”

Page 16, full stop changed to comma after ‘back,’ “diagonally down
across her back,”

Page 16-17, ‘shootng’ changed to ‘shooting,’ “were firing off shooting”

Page 18, ‘guaged’ changed to ‘gauged,’ “must be carefully gauged”

Page 26, full stop changed to comma after ‘make,’ “all life’s shadows
make,”

Page 26, full stop changed to comma after ‘lighter,’ “My burdens
lighter, and”

Page 28, full stop inserted after ‘Manual,’ “and the Sarum Manual.”

Page 60, double quote deleted after ‘won,’ “brides were ever won.”

Page 72, ‘a-la-mode Francoise’ changed to ‘à-la-mode Françoise,’ “him
à-la-mode Françoise, and kissed him on”

Page 103, ‘stop’ changed to ‘stops,’ “stops here. As a conclusion”

Back cover, colon changed to semicolon following ‘Jokes,’ “Kissing
Jokes; A Black Kiss;”





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