Monday, January 18, 2016


Labial Courtesies, Hideous to English Eyes

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) and Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), History of a Six Weeks' Tour Through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland (London: T. Hookham, 1817), pp. 67-68:
We took our places in the diligence-par-eau for Cologne, and the next morning (September 4th) departed. This conveyance appeared much more like a mercantile English affair than any we had before seen; it was shaped like a steam-boat, with a cabin and a high deck. Most of our companions chose to remain in the cabin; this was fortunate for us, since nothing could be more horribly disgusting than the lower order of smoking, drinking Germans who travelled with us; they swaggered and talked, and what was hideous to English eyes, kissed one another...
Thomas Hood (1799-1845), Up the Rhine, new ed. (London: E. Moxon, Son, & Co., 1869), p. 150:
The bell now rang, forewarning the passengers and their friends that it was time to separate; whereupon, to the infinite surprise of my aunt, two remarkably corpulent old gentlemen tumbled into each other's arms, and exchanged such salutes as are only current in England amongst females, or between parties of opposite sexes. To our notions there is something repulsive in this kissing amongst men; but when two weather-beaten veterans, "bearded like the pard," or like Blücher, indulge in these labial courtesies, there is also something ludicrous in the picture.

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