Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/31

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17
WHAT IS A KISS?

calmer and more sober observation which forms the necessary condition for a reliable answer to the question. I am, therefore, obliged to attempt to reply to the question myself; but I readily admit my deficiency in the essential qualification of being able to do so in a satisfactory manner. Moreover, the literary material at my disposal is exceedingly inadequate, and, for that reason, I cannot claim any universal application for my treatment, of the subject.

In the first place it seems indisputable that a woman gives a decided preference to a man with a beard; at all events a heiduke sings in a Roumanian ballad: "I am still too young to marry; my beard has not yet sprouted. What married woman then will care about kissing me?"

Cǎ sîmt voinic neînsorat;
Nici mustete nu m'a dat:
Cum sîmt bun de sărutat
La neveste cu bărbat?

To judge from the part the heidukes play in the ballad literature of the Roumanians and Serbs, they must be very experienced in everything that has to do with women and love, and their testimony must therefore be