Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/196

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is too well-known to require more than a passing mention on my part.

Certain races of mankind now actually salute each other by smelling; they apply their mouth and nose to a person's cheek, and draw a long breath. In their language they do not say "Give me a kiss," but "Smell me." The same sort of kiss is also met with among the Burmese; and with many Malay tribes the words "smell" and "salute" are synonymous. Other races do not confine themselves to smelling each other's faces, but sniff their hands at every salutation.

Alfred Grandidier, a French traveller, says of the nose-kiss in Madagascar: "It always excites the merriment of Europeans, and yet it has its origin in an extremely refined idea. The invisible air which is continually being breathed through the lips is to savages, not only, as with us, a sign of life, but it is also an emanation of the soul—its perfume, as they themselves say—and, when they mingle and suck in each other's breath and odour, they think they are actually mingling their souls."[1]

Then the origin of the nose-kiss, it seems, undoubtedly ought to be sought—at any rate

  1. Retranslated from the Danish Version in the Text.