Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/133

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119
THE KISS OF RESPECT

which is embroidered on it. Therefore Christ it is to whom they are prostrating themselves. This idea, however, is undoubtedly a later fancy; the kiss on the slipper ought, I take it, more correctly to be considered as humble homage to the Pope as primate of the Church, and such, therefore, must be the view the Pope himself holds, since he has, times without number, exempted cardinals and other persons of high rank from kissing his slipper. The number of kings and ambassadors who, in the course of time, have refused to submit to this ceremony, have undoubtedly regarded it as a humiliation; and popular conception bears this out thoroughly. To "kiss the slipper" has become in many languages synonymous with a low and unworthy cringing. In the old German war-song against Charles V., we find:

Ah, think the whole imperial race
Through Popery fell in sore disgrace
And German might was riven.
Will you for all their knavery
To slipper-kiss be given?

W. F. H.

People kiss the image of Our Lady. The legend tells us that John of Antioch even dared to kiss Mary's mouth, and this kiss