Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/145

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THE KISS OF RESPECT

few years after this, the royal family were expelled from Rome, and Brutus and Lucius Turquinius were elected consuls.

People also kissed the earth for joy on returning to their native land after a lengthened absence. When Agamemnon returned from the Trojan War:

Stepped he forth inwardly glad to the shore of his well-loved country,
Kissing and kissing again his mother earth while the scalding
Tears down his cheeks were coursing, though his heart was brimming with blitheness.

Even nowadays people feel glad at seeing their native country again after long absence, but they have another way of expressing their joy, and, without exaggeration, it would be safe to assert that if any one returning from a journey wished to emulate Agamemnon, that person would undoubtedly be put down as mad.

We find in Holberg ("Ulysses of Ithaca," or "A German Comedy") a parody of the old usage, where Ulysses says: "Let us fall down, after the old hero's fashion, and kiss our mother earth." They fall down and kiss the ground, but Chilian gets up hurriedly