Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/39

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WHAT IS A KISS?

Yet 'tis not lost; I'll give it back,
And that right blithely, too, I ween.

W. F. H.

There is a French anecdote of the present day about a student who took the liberty of kissing a young girl. She got very angry however, and called him an insolent puppy, whereupon he retorted with irrefutable logic: Pour Dieu! Mademoiselle ne vous fâchez pas, si ce baiser vous gêne, rendez-le-moi (For goodness' sake, don't be cross, young lady. If that kiss annoys you, give it back to me). It seems to have had a more amicable settlement in the case of a Danish couple who had resolved to break off their engagement: "It is best, I suppose, that we return each other's letters?" said he. "I think so too," replied she, "but shall we not at the same time give each other all our kisses back?" They did so, and thus agreed to renew their engagement.

This little story shows us that a kiss is something which cannot be so easily lost, and I hope, not least for the sake of my book, that we shall concur in the Italian proverb which says: Bacio dato non e mai perduto (a kiss once given is never lost).