Monday, November 25, 2013


March 15, 1903
100-year-old newspapers have some of the finest unintended comedy. Some reporters were intentionally witty, which makes it even better. Sometimes I strike gold and find an article with a  ridiculous subject matter, cleverly written by one of those dazzling journalists. My favorite article lately is kissing guidelines + instructions from Victorian/Edwardian aesthetic authority, Delsartean Disciple, Edmund Russell. 

"Since I have been besieged by women who have asked me how to get a lover, I have had to tell them I  do not know, and the Brahmin sages do not tell us. But they do tell us about kisses. The chapter on that important subject begins without preamble, an example I have not been able to follow, in this wise:
'One may kiss the eyes, the cheeks, the lips and the mouth.'
That appears to be the general rule, and it is particularly Oriental. In India they do not rush things. An Englishman or an American would not dream of observing a formula like that.
The chapter goes on to say it is forbidden to bite the mouth, but you may kiss it if you can. I never could understand what they meant by that, although I have studied it a good deal."
-Edmund Russell

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health 
and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.
--James Henry Leigh Hunt

Though I've been busy in dreamland, lots of vivid technicolor activity, my actual dreams haven't had the shimmering brilliance of any of the described kisses. Rather than recount the last few swirling's St. Vincent "Surgeon."

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