Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/96

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family circle, everywhere where deep affection unites people.

When Naomi bade her son's wife farewell, "they lifted up their voice and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her." When Moses went to meet his father-in-law, "he did obeisance and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent;" and when Jacob had wrestled with the Lord he met Esau, ran towards him, fell on his neck and kissed him.

The family kiss was also much in vogue with the Romans. Propertius, in one of his elegies, chides his mistress for inventing quite ad libitum a whole crowd of relations so as always to have at hand some one to kiss her. This is how that came to pass: In ancient times there was a so-called jus osculi, which allowed all a woman's relations to kiss her. There are several curious stories about this peculiar privilege. The old traditions, which have been solemnly discussed by several writers, relate that once upon a time women were forbidden to drink wine; the above-mentioned law must have been instituted so that the parties