Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/89

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not bear kissing," said the maiden, "when I am not taking any part in it.")

Now if, in spite of all I have quoted, some rigid moralist or other will persist that kissing young maids is always a "bad" habit, and if, peradventure, a still sterner moralist will maintain it is a sin into the bargain, I should reply that, in any case, it is one of those sorts of sin that are venial. The Pope himself will not refuse his absolution, say the Italians, and they certainly ought to understand things in Rome. "Kiss me," runs an Italian folk-song, "the Pope will forgive you; kiss me and I will kiss you, and the Pope will forgive us both."

O bella figlia, o bella garzona,
Baciate me, chè il Papa vi perdona;
Baciate me, chè io bacerò vui,
Chè il Papa ci perdona tutti e dui.

If the Pope is so complaisant then, to be sure, a subordinate servant of the Church such as Aarestrup's Father Hugo may well say:

Child, a kiss is but a trifle,
If it's only long and sweet.

W. F. H.