Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/143

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THE KISS OF RESPECT

crone, as the well-known saying, "baiser le cul de la vieille," implies the deepest ignominy that can befall a man, at any rate a gambler—viz., to lose without scoring a point.

There is a Jutland variant of the story about Theodore de Beza: "I was driving one day with Niels Hundepenge, and we saw at a distance a woman walking on in front. Says Niels, 'Peter, there goes a pretty girl; just see what a figure, and how she steps out.' When we got up to her we found she was pock-marked and hideous. Then says Niels, 'Now, my girl, if you were only as good-looking in front as you are behind, I should want to kiss you.''Well, if you think so,' replied she, 'you can kiss me, you know, where you fancy I am best looking.'"

Allow me, in connection with this, to call your attention to a peculiarity about the Latin word osculum. The first syllable os of course signifies "mouth," the two last, on the other hand, mean the correlative part on the reverse side of the body. This circumstance has been made use of in a Latin anecdote about a married lady. An importunate suitor asked her for a kiss,