Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/179

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165
VARIOUS KINDS OF KISSES

in 1580. "The ladies," said he, "sit in two rows along the walls of the room. The gentlemen go away and bow to them; they kiss the latter's hands, and the ladies get up, but without kissing them on the hand. Then each gentleman puts his arm round the lady's waist, right beneath her shoulder, kisses her, and lays his cheek to hers."[1] Whether it is the lady's cheek or mouth that is kissed, he omits to state; but it is certain that kisses on the mouth were not uncommon.

A Swiss traveller who stayed for some time in France in the middle of the sixteenth century relates that, when he was in Montpellier, he was invited to a ball, and there met a very beautiful young lady; but, he adds, her nose was a trifle too long, and so her partner had great difficulty in kissing her mouth, "as is the general custom."

The kiss-dance has not yet died out in Germany; but it appears no longer to have the graceful forms of the Renaissance period, if we can trust Fritz Reuter's description in his Journey to Belgium. At a wedding when the kiss-dance is to be held, the parish clerk cautiously inquires of the clergyman whether

  1. Retranslated from the Danish Text.