Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/37

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23
WHAT IS A KISS?

repeated as if for the purpose of duly impressing the moral of the song.

It is said in Als: Et kys er et stow, den der it vil ha et, ka vask et ow (a kiss is like a grain of dust, which any one who would be rid of it can wash away). We read as far back as Peder Syv[1]: Et kys kan afviskes (a kiss can be washed away), but he adds solemnly, and for our warning: "She who permits a kiss also permits more; and he who has access to kisses has also access to more." Even the Germans say: Kuss kann man zwar abwischen, aber das Feuer im Herzen nick löschen (a kiss may indeed be washed away, but the fire in the heart cannot be quenched).

Thus hardly the shadow of a doubt ought to exist as to kisses being extraordinarily dangerous—or, in any case, capable of becoming so—far more dangerous, for instance, than dynamite or gun-cotton; in the first place, at any rate, inasmuch as people are not in the habit of walking about with such explosives in their pockets, whereas every one has kisses always at hand, or, more correctly speaking,

  1. A Danish poet, philologist, and collector of proverbs (1631–1702).