Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/160

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But such artifices, however, are of very little use; no one escapes the basiatores (kissers). They prowl about the streets and market-places; not even the walls of the home, nor even the enforced solitariness of the most hidden-places served as a protection against them:

There are no means the kissing tribe to shun,
They meet you, stop you, after you they run,
Press you before, behind, to each side cleave,
No place, no time, no men, exempted leave;
A dropping nose, salved lips, can none reprieve,
Gangrenes, foul running sores, no one relieve;
They kiss you in a sweat, or starved with cold,
Lovers' their mistress' kisses cannot hold;
A chair is no defence, with curtains guarded,
With door and windows shut, and closely warded,
The kissers, through a chink will find a way,
Presume the tribune, consul's self, to stay;
Nor can the awful rods, or Lictor's mace,
His stounding voice away these kissers chase,
But they'll ascend the Rostra, curule chair,
The judges kiss while they give sentence there.
Those laugh they kiss, and those that sigh and weep;
'Tis all the same whether you laugh or weep;
Those who do bathe, or recreate in pool,
Who are withdrawn to ease themselves at stool.
Against this plague I know no fence but this:
Make him thy friend whom thou abhorr'st to kiss.

All greet one another with kisses; every condition of life, every handicraft, found a repre-