Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/103

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miracle play of "La Marquise de la Gaudine." In her husband's absence she has been falsely accused of adultery and thrown into prison. Nobody dares to undertake her defence when, suddenly, a knight named Anthenor steps up and offers, with sword in hand, to undertake the defence of her innocence, having a long time back owed her a deep debt of gratitude for having, on one occasion, saved his life by a kiss. He himself tells us naïvely and ingenuously how it happened: "Once upon a time I found myself, as you are aware, in peril of death; the king suspected me and believed I aspired to his wife's favour. Ah, this was not the case at all, you know. But one day he said he would believe me if I divulged to him who my sweetheart was. I did not know what to do, and to save my life I said that the marquise was my amie. He was not, however, content with this, but, as a proof, demanded that I should take her by the waist in his presence and ask her for a kiss. She gave it me and thus saved me from the snare the king had laid. I shall never be able to repay her for what she has done for me."

The kiss of affection is also bestowed on