Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/81

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LOVE KISSES

your act deserves ridicule rather than revenge or rage.' No sensible woman can be pleased with such a compliment, as there is nothing worse than being treated like a puppet; and I hope no maid or matron will take this opinion of mine in ill part, but will rather regard it as a proof of the justice I have always shown to women by always taking them seriously. A kiss is nothing but a salutation, and cannot be looked on as anything else. We are no longer living in the golden age, when a young lady almost fainted at hearing the word pronounced."

English ladies regard the matter from quite another point of view. In 1837 Mr Thomas Saverland brought an action against Miss Caroline Newton, who had bitten a piece out of his nose for his having tried to kiss her by way of a joke. The defendant was acquitted, and the judge laid it down that "when a man kisses a woman against her will she is fully entitled to bite his nose, if she so pleases."—"And eat it up, if she has a fancy that way," added a jocular barrister half aloud.

Let us next consider how the thing stands when it is apparently only a question of a kiss snatched by force—for it is, you know,