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.