Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/167

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153
THE KISS OF FRIENDSHIP

show how general was the friendly kiss of salutation even during the Renaissance, especially among the upper classes. Henri Estienne satirises it in his Apologie pour Hérodote. "Kisses are allowed," writes he, "in France between noblemen and ladies, whether they do or do not belong to the same family. If a high-born dame is in church, and any fop of her acquaintance comes, she must, in conformity with the usage prevailing in good society, get up, even if she be absorbed in the deepest devotion, and kiss him on the mouth."

Even Montaigne expresses his disapproval of such a state of things. "It is," says he, "a highly reprehensible custom that ladies should be obliged to offer their lips to every one who has a couple of lackeys at his heels, however undesirable he may be, and we men are no gainers thereby, for we have to kiss fifty ugly women to three pretty ones."

None the less, the friendly kiss held its ground right through the seventeenth and even a part of the eighteenth century. Molière's marquesses kiss each other whenever they meet; for instance, in the famous