Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/177

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Its usage was, for instance, general at weddings. Thomas Platter, who studied at the University, of Montpellier at the end of the sixteenth century, tells us, in his "Diary," that the majority of marriages took place in private, without witnesses, through fear of witchcraft; though the wedding feast, on the contrary, was celebrated in public with a vast concourse of guests, and with many merry episodes. At the conclusion of the feast the bride was divested of her bridal array, amidst jokes and raillery, smart young bachelors having to take off her garters; and when at last she sat up in bed, clad only in linen, then all the guests, male and female, came and kissed her on the mouth, and the kisses were followed by facetious compliments and good wishes.

Moreover, at the later ceremony of dubbing a knight, the newly-made knight of the Golden Fleece was kissed by the master of the ceremonies, and had afterwards to kiss all the senior knights present.

At certain academical functions the kiss also formed part of the festal ceremony; in the seventeenth century the Dean, when degrees were conferred, kissed all the new doctors and masters.