Flemish girls never do so; they are not so ardent. They do not comprehend the language of love in glances and kisses. In the matter of Italian girls on the other hand, things are quite different, and I teach my pupil the speech of our country and our customs, kissing excepted."
The kiss of friendship was so general in Germany, even in the eighteenth century, that Klopstock could write to a friend in 1750: Vergessen sie nicht zu mir auf einen Kaffee und auf einen Kuss zu kommen. It seems, however, soon to have fallen into disuse.
As far back as 1747, Lessing had ridiculed it in a poem:
The kiss with which my friend will greet me
Is not what's rightly termed a kiss,
But only formal salutation
Because cold fashion bids him this.
W. F. H.