Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/99

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Then Penelope the wise-heart from her chamber forth she sped,
Like to golden Aphrodite or Artemis the fair,
And she cast her arms amidst weeping round her son beloved and dear;
And therewithal she kissed him, his head and his lovely eyes.[1]

We have another famous scene of recognition, but of far later date, in the old French epic of Girart de Roussillon. Girart, after many years' absence, returns in poverty and sickness to France. He presents himself to the queen, who recognises him by means of a ring, and, "although it was Good Friday, she fell on Girart's neck and kissed him seven times."

It would perhaps be superfluous to quote more instances of the kisses of affection. We meet with it in all ages in grave and solemn moments, not only among those who love each other, but also as an expression of profound gratitude. When the Apostle Paul took leave of the elders of the congregation at Ephesus, "they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him" (Acts xx. 37).

When De Malesherbes had solicited for himself the perilous honour of undertaking

  1. William Morris' Translation.