Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/140

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subserviency, and partly in an ironical sense of lovers who have been rejected by their mistresses, and thus constrained to

Kiss the door, and kiss its chains
For ladies' sake who are within.W. F. H.

As expressive not only of respect, but also of repentance, children in former days were made to kiss the rod by which they had been chastised. Geiler von Keiserberg writes in the sixteenth century: "When children are thrashed they kiss the rods and say:

Liebe ruot, trute ruot
werestu, ich tet niemer guot.[1]

"They kiss the rods and jump over them, yea they leap over them." We have a memorial of this custom in the phrase, "kissing the rod."

There is still one great power that we have not mentioned, and one who demands, too, homage by kisses, i.e., the devil; but, in order that the humility shown to him may be as great as possible, he must be kissed on his behind, i.e., on the place where the back ceases to be called the back. Old pictures of the Sabbath on

  1. Which may be freely translated:

    Dear, kind rod that's trusty stood,
    Without thee ne'er should I do good.