Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/169

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THE KISS OF FRIENDSHIP

Molière has made use of this scene in Le Malade imaginaire, where Thomas Diafoirus pedanticly asks when he is introduced to Angélique: Baiserai-je? (Am I to kiss?).

In England we come across pretty nearly the same state of thing. Erasmus of Rotterdam, in one of his Epistolæ familiares, expresses his great satisfaction with English customs: "When you arrive every one kisses you; at your departure they bid you goodbye and kiss you; you come back, then fresh kisses. You are kissed when you meet any one, and so, too, when you separate. Wheresoever you go everything is filled with kisses, and if you have only once tasted how delicate these kisses are, and the deliciousness of their savour, you would want, my dear Faustus, to be banished to England for time and eternity." In another passage, where Erasmus is speaking of the state of the inns in England, which he mentions in terms of unqualified praise, he winds up as follows: "Everywhere at the inns one meets with pretty, smiling girls: they come and ask for one's soiled clothes; they wash them and soon bring them back again. When the travellers are about to resume their