Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/128

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striking instance of a kiss as expressive of veneration; but this kiss is of a more humble nature. We are told that, when the Emperor Otto I. had taken leave of his pious mother in the church attached to a monastery, the latter followed him with her eyes as long as she could, and then returned to the church and kissed the place whereon his feet had stood.

The kiss of veneration is of ancient origin; from the remotest times we find it applied to all that is holy, noble, and worshipful—to the gods, their statues, temples, and altars, as well as to kings and emperors; out of reverence, people even kissed the ground, and both sun and moon were greeted with kisses.

In the first book of Kings God says to Elijah: "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him" (xix. 18).

In the thirty-first chapter of Job, Job extols his own piety: "If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand" (26, 27). Here, undoubtedly, allusion is made to the kissing of