his gratitude in an extraordinarily polite manner.
In an old comedy of Marivaux, "Harlequin poli par l'Amour," a fairy falls in love with a rustic lout. She carries him off, entertains him in her castle, and tries in every possible way to gain his love; but he remains utterly callous to all her blandishments, and behaves all the time in a most foolish manner. He takes a fancy to a valuable ring the fairy is wearing; she removes it from her finger and gives it to him, but when he scarcely says "Thank you" for it, she says to chide him: Mon cher Arlequin, un beau garçon comme vous, quand une dame lui presente quelque chose, doit baiser la main en la reçevant. Arlequin takes hold of the fairy's hand and kisses it; but she corrects him again, and says: "He does not understand me once, but I like his mistake. It is your own hand, you know, that you should kiss."
This usage still prevails amongst old peasants in Jutland, and is termed receiving something with "kissed hand," or "kiss
- My dear Arlequin, a handsome lad like you, when a lady offers him anything, ought to kiss the hand when he receives it.
- Omitted in the last edition.