Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/21

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WHAT IS A KISS?

a freundschaftlich hellklatschender Herzenskuss (an affectionate, clear-ringing kiss coming from the heart); next he defines the more discreet, or, from an acoustic point of view, weaker kiss; and, lastly, speaks contemptuously of a third kind of kiss, which is designated an ekelhafter Schmatz (a loathsome smack).

Many other writers have, although in a less scientific manner, sought to define and elucidate the sound that arises from a kiss. Johannes Jørgensen says very delicately in his Stemninger that "the splash of the waves against the pebbles of the beach is like the sound of long kisses."

It is generally, however, an exclusively humorous or satirical aspect that is most conspicuous. In the Seducer's Diary (Forførerens dagbog) of Sören Kierkegaard, Johannes speaks of the engaged couples who used to assemble in numbers at his uncle's house: "Without interruption, the whole evenings through, one hears a sound as if a person was going round with a fly-flap: that is the lovers' kisses." A still more drastic comparison is found in the German expression, "the kiss sounded just like when a cow