Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/148

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to be particularly general; it becomes less and less common as we approach our own time.

A half-ironical instance occurs in Molière; in Les Femmes Savantes Armande and Philaminte fall into raptures over Vadius' great learning. Du grec! O ciel! du grec! Il sait du grec, ma sœur! (Greek! good heavens! Greek! He knows Greek, sister), says the one, and the other answers: Du grec! quelle douceur! (Greek! how sweet!). In their boundless enthusiasm they ask Vadius to let them kiss him as a mark of their admiration. He accepts this salutation very politely, if not with any particularly great joy; but when he turns to young Henriette, from whose lips he is especially desirous of receiving so tender an expression of admiration, she rejects him quite abruptly with the remark: Excusez-moi, monsieur, je n'entends pas le Grec (Excuse me, sir, I don't understand Greek).

The pedantic Vadius got just what he deserved—a kiss as dry as dust from two middle-aged, sexless blue-stockings, which nobody begrudges him. On the other hand, many, perhaps, will read with envy of the