The Chaste Mouth
By Monseigneur De La Roche.
_Of a woman who would not suffer herself to be kissed, though she
willingly gave up all the rest of her body except the mouth, to her
lover--and the reason that she gave for this._
A noble youth fell in love with a young damsel who was married, and
when he had made her acquaintance, told her, as plainly as he could, his
case, and declared that he was
ill for love of her,--and, to tell truth,
he was much smitten.
She listened to him graciously enough, and after their first interview,
he left well satisfied with the reply he had received. But if he
had been love sick before he made the avowal, he was still more
so afterwards. He could not sleep night or day for thinking of his
mistress, and by what means he could gain her favour.
He returned to the charge when he saw his opportunity, and God knows,
if he spoke well the first time, he played his part still better on
the second occasion, and, by good luck, he found his mistress not
disinclined to grant his request,--at which he was in no small degree
pleased. And as he had not always the time or leisure to come and see
her, he told her on that occasion of the desire he had to do her a
service in any manner that he could, and she thanked him and was as kind
as could be.
In short, he found in her so great courtesy, and kindness, and fair
words, that he could not reasonably expect more, and thereupon wished to
kiss, but she refused point-blank; nor could he even obtain a kiss when
he said farewell, at which he was much astonished.
After he had left her, he doubted much whether he should ever gain her
love, seeing that he could not obtain a single kiss, but he comforted
himself by remembering the loving words she had said when they parted,
and the hope she had given him.
He again laid siege to her; in short, came and went so often, that his
mistress at last gave him a secret assignation, where they could say
all that they had to say, in private. And when he took leave of her, he
embraced her gently and would have kissed her, but she defended herself
vigorously, and said to him, harshly;
"Go away, go away! and leave me alone! I do not want to be kissed!"
He excused his conduct as he best could, and left.
"What is this?" he said to himself. "I have never seen a woman like
that! She gives me the best possible reception, and has already given
me all that I have dared to ask--yet I cannot obtain one poor, little
At the appointed time, he went to the place his mistress had named, and
did at his leisure that for which he came, for he lay in her arms all
one happy night, and did whatsoever he wished, except kiss her, and that
he could never manage.
"I do not understand these manners," he said to himself; "this woman
lets me sleep with her, and do whatever I like to her; but I have no
more chance of getting a single kiss than I have of finding the true
Cross! Morbleu! I cannot make it out; there is some mystery about it,
and I must find out what it is."
One day when they were enjoying themselves, and were both gay, he said,
"My dear, I beg of you to tell me the reason why you invariably refuse
to give me a kiss? You have graciously allowed me to enjoy all your fair
and sweet body--and yet you refuse me a little kiss!"
"Faith! my friend," she replied, "as you say, a kiss I have always
refused you,--so never expect it, for you will never get it. There is
a very good reason for that, as I will tell you. It is true that when
I married my husband, I promised him--with the mouth only--many fine
things. And since it is my mouth that swore and promised to be chaste,
I will keep it for him, and would rather die than let anyone else touch
it--it belongs to him and no other, and you must not expect to have
anything to do with it. But my backside has never promised or
sworn anything to him; do with that and the rest of me--my mouth
excepted--whatever you please; I give it all to you."
Her lover laughed loudly, and said;
"I thank you, dearest! You say well, and I am greatly pleased that you
are honest enough to keep your promise."
"God forbid," she answered, "that I should ever break it."
So, in the manner that you have heard, was this woman shared between
them; the husband, had the mouth only, and her lover all the rest,
and if, by chance, the husband ever used any other part of her, it was
rather by way of a loan, for they belonged to the lover by gift of the
said woman. But at all events the husband had this advantage, that his
wife was content to let him have the use of that which she had given to
her lover; but on no account would she permit the lover to enjoy that
which she had bestowed upon her husband.