Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/34

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how dangerous the mere reading about kisses may be; but, apart from literature, a kiss is something which has to be dealt with most cautiously. Now hear what Socrates said to Xenophon one day: "Kritobulus is the most foolhardy and rash fellow in the world; he is rasher than if he meant to dance on naked sword-points or fling himself into the fire; he has had the audacity to kiss a pretty face."—"But," asked Xenophon, "is that such a deed of daring? I am certainly no desperado, but still I think I would venture to expose myself to the same risk."—"Luckless wight," replied Socrates, "you are not thinking what would betide you. If you kissed a pretty face, would you not that very instant lose your freedom and become a slave? Would you not have to spend much money on harmful amusements, and would you not do much which you would despise, if your understanding were not clouded? Hercules forbid what dreadful effects a poor kiss can have! And dost thou marvel at it, Xenophon? You know, I take it, those tiny spiders which are not half the size of an obol, and yet they can, through merely touching a person's