Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/166

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ladies was, in the highest degree, interesting; it seemed as if I had been present at the Rape of the Sabines. Not only the higher nobility, but even all the rest took each his lady, and the Spaniards and Neapolitans were the most eager. It gave rise to much merriment when the Countess of Vertus, Charlotte de Pisseleu, was observed to lean over her saddle to such an extent, in order to kiss the Emperor, that she slid off her horse, and kissed the earth instead of His Majesty's mouth. The Emperor hurried up to her assistance, and with a smile kissed her heartily (e ridendo la baciò saporitamente). Directly afterwards Duke Ottavio rode up, jumped quickly off his horse, and the Emperor himself conducted him to the Queen's carriage, and there he was presented to the distinguished ladies. The Duke kissed the Queen's hand and was about to remount his charger, but the Emperor called him back, and told him that he ought also to kiss Mdme. d'Etampes, who was sitting right opposite to the Queen in the carriage. Like a good Frenchman, he exceeded the Emperor's order and kissed her on the mouth."

A vast quantity of other evidence goes to