What could'st more spiteful do, or more severe,
Had'st thou a blow o' th' face, or box o' th' ear?
My wife, this time, to kiss me does forbear,
My daughter, too, however debonaire.
But thou more trim and sweeter art. No doubt
Th' icicles, hanging at thy dog-like snout,
The congealed snivel dangling on thy beard,
Ranker than th' oldest goat of all the herd.
The nastiest mouth i' th' town I'd rather greet,
Than with thy flowing frozen nostrils meet.
If therefore thou hast either shame or sense,
Till April comes no kisses more dispense.
That Martial's epigrams depict the actual state of the case without any particular exaggeration it may, among other things, be inferred from the fact that the Emperor Tiberius, according to Suetonius, issued an edict against these cotidiana oscula (daily kisses).
The friendly kiss was likewise much in vogue in the Middle Ages.
In La Chanson de Roland the Saracen king receives Ganelon with a kiss on the neck, and then displayed to him his treasures:
Quant l'ot Marsilies, si l'ad baisiet el' col;
Pois, si cumencet á uvrir ses trésors.
And Ganelon salutes the Saracen chiefs in