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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 29, 1905)
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AS Nature the " author of kissing"? And did
3 A the practice begin, as has been alUgod, "with
I the first courtship"?
f V I The question came ui for discussion by the
Society for tho Advancement of Science In
Philadelphia a few days ago In connection with
monkeys. It was asserted that monkeys knew
what kissing meant, and, In Illustration thereof.
mention m made of two chimpanzees which, as observed by
cne" eminent scientist, when they were first brought together,
tat face to face, embracing and touching each other with
their much protruded lips. Then, standing up, each with one
firm on, the shoulder of the other, they opened their mouths
and yelled with delight.
So far as the reason for the rnjoyahlencss of a kiss was
concerned, especially when exchanged between two persons
of opposite sexes, there seemed to be no dispute. It was de
clared that osculation owed Its agreobleness to a closeness
Tift.Mlcal touch. There Is no skin over the lips, which are
crveremerely by the mueunus membrane of the inferior of
the bc-dV. Hence the extreme intimacy of the contact, In
which tl o lovers become for the moment as one.
i milling III l lie II litcniiiiy j
But, as one grave scientist remarked, there are manv
K'nds of tylsscs. There Is the kiss reverential, such as a child
mar bestow upon the forehead of Its parent. The kiss devo
tional, such as a believer Imprints upon a holy relic, is simi
lar In character. One klssis the holy book In a court of law,
and that Is mere symbolism. Two women kiss each other,
barely brushing each other's cheeks with their Hps. and
r hat la naught but a conventional salute. A maiden wafts a
kiss to a young man with her fingers a gesture simply. All
of these kisses have different meanings, but the swe-test Is
that which the mother bestows upon her child, while dis
tinctively of the earth earthy Is the kiss of passion given
by a youth In the ardor of a moment to a girl.
Discussion of the subject brought out the fact that what
we call a kiss Is the contraction of a muscle, called the
"orbicularis oris," which surrounds the mouth. In some
persons this muscle Is overdeveloped a peculiarity which
gives the Hps the apiearance of being too fleshy. This Is an
unattractive physical trait and nearly always goes with a
v Just How It Is Done.
However, the contraction of this muscle does not In Itself
comprise the whole of a klRS. It constitutes merely the be
ginning of the operation, which Is concluded by a relaxation
of the muscle, the upper Hp being at the same time lifted by
the two "levator" muscles at either corner of the mouth,
while the lower Hp Is pulled down by the two corresponding
" depf'sSor " muscles. This, as the lips part, frequently re
sults In an audible " smack."
It Is certainly gratifying to know so accurately what hap
fens when one gives or receives a kiss. Hut for this scientillc
information one might go on to the end of one s life, kissing
and being kissed, without realizing the exact nature of the
't v w . m am m .. .m i ' i st
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i."rfortvnce. So far as the " smack " Is concerned, we all
Mnow-ttiat a country bumpkin does not consider an osculation
eonj(ilt irtiless It winds up with a sound which some un-
Ti'ifd but tUscrlpttvcly gifted person has compared to that
mad by,. COW pujling her foo out of the mud. Of lingering
iMid long drawn kisses ai.ll of us have heard, and most of us
lutv bestowed a few of them where they seemed to be mwt
'emanded; but at this', point the discussion invades a realm
: f hlghwr aeivtlment too sacred perhaps for careless inlru-
v.oa ven by the aclentiflo student.
Where Kissing Is Unknown.
To auppose that kissing Is a matter of Instinct with human
wings In general would be an obvious error, inasmuch as
i ers are many races of mankind which never indulge In the
. luetics of osculation, mong these are the Ksklmo, the
ew Zealanders. the Pfpuans. the Pueglans. and the native
ustralians. In former days the Japanese were nonklssers,
tt they have adonj the habit together with other civilized
urdoymetits and they seem to And It enjoyable.
Dr. Paolo Mantegazza of Florence, who calls himself an
expert on the subject, declares that there Is an extreme dif
i.rtnct between a ktxa given and reeelwd and a kls only
vvo or only received. Jlany women conf. es without Mush
K that they have relved numerous kisses, but deny that
f.rj have ever given any to men. A Wis not returned Is a
t uts ,f exchange not accepted. A kiss given and received Is
i murrlsgs. Religion. Interest, space, or time may sep.
ite a man and a woman who have exchanged a kiss; but
;:y hava possessed, and they belong to each ther."
Guesses at Its Origin.
At for tns origin of the kiss, the naturalists who et.jraged
! Ilu d'scusalon were Incllmd to the opinion that It had Its
i iglnnlnf In nothing more poetic than thx lick which the
i i inkey. like many other snimals. bentonn upon mate or
. 7fi)rtnf.AWbether this be true or not, it U hardly to be
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denied that In these days ton much kissing (s done. Babies
would be sincerely grateful if the frequent osculations to
which they are obliged to submit were omitted. It would be
Just as well If women gave up the practice of kissing each
other as a conventional salute. Indeed, both common sense
f.nd sentiment agree in Indicating that this form of caress
ought to be reserved solely as an expression of affection.
Four Lips Must Be Used.
At the same time It should be realized that It takes four
lips to make a real kiss, and all four must be in play. Says
the poetic Mantegazza: " When two mouths abandon them-
Ives to eaoh otiier, when the lips which touch are no longer
either two or four, but one only; when all frontier had dis
appeared between mine ami thine; when soul and body touch,
intermingle, and merge one Into tho other, then It is a true
kiss perhaps the most perfect expression of love."
Another philosopher, the famous Dr. Herder, says:
"Compare tho two different emotions which two beautiful
eyes or a beautiful mouth In a female face awaken in you.
In the first case you may be struck with admiration, but In
tho stc.ind you cannot sav? yoifrself from loving ardently.
The woman whose eyes have awakened our love inspires us
with enthusiasm, exalts us. thTows us Into an Intellectual
ecstasy; hut she whose niouih fascinates us, twines us round,
binds us, belongs to us already, at least In the Irresponsible
world of desires."
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