Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/97

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concerned should, in a pleasant and practical way, be able to satisfy themselves about observing the prohibition. This highly improbable explanation has been defended in a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy even in the eighteenth century.

The kiss of affection is often mentioned by the early Greeks. Odysseus, on reaching his home, meets his faithful shepherds, discloses his identity to them, and shows them, as a certain proof, the cicatrix of a wound that he had on one occasion received when out hunting:

"But come, another token most manifest will I show,
That the truth in your souls may be strengthened, and my very self ye may know.
Lo the scar of the hurt, which the wood-boar with his white tooth drave on a tide,
When with Autolycus' children I sought Parnassus' side!"[1]

So saying, the rags about him from the mighty weal he drew,
And they twain looked upon it, and all the tale they knew;
And they wept, and o'er wise Odysseus they cast their hands, they twain,
And kissed his head and his shoulders, and loved him and were fain.[1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 William Morris' Translation.