Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/122

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peace before proceeding to the combat, and forgave one another all real or imaginary wrongs.

In Covenant Vivien, Vivien exchanges the kiss of peace with Girart and six other illustrious warriors before the great fight with King Desramé begins.

Manzoni has made use of the kiss of peace in the pathetic scene in I promessi Sposi (The Betrothed), when Fra Cristoforo obtains forgiveness from the nobleman whose son he has slain. The nobleman receives the monk in his palace. Surrounded by all his relations, he stands in the middle of his great hall, with left hand on his sword-hilt, whilst with his right he holds a flap of his cloak pressed against his chest. Cold and stern, he gazes contemptuously and with suppressed wrath at the novice as he enters, but the latter exhibits such touching remorse and noble humility that the nobleman, there and then, abandons his stiffness. He raises up the kneeling brother himself, grants him his forgiveness, and, finally, "carried away by the emotion that prevailed, he threw his arms round the latter's neck, and gave and received the kiss of peace."

After the Middle Ages the kiss of peace