Kiss or Kick?

4475_Interview-between-Tom-Jones_1000

 

“I wull have satisfaction o’thee,” answered the squire; “so doff thy clothes. At unt half a man, and I’ll lick the as well as wast ever licked in they life.” He then bespattered the youth with abundance of that language which passes between country gentlemen who embrace opposite sides of the question; with frequent applications to him to salute that part which is generally introduced into all controversies that arise among the lower orders of the English gentry at horse-races, cock-matches, and other public places. Allusions to this part are likewise often made for the sake of jest. And here, I believe, the wit is generally misunderstood. In reality, it lies in desiring another to kiss your a— for having just before threatened to kick his; for I have observed very accurately, that no one ever desires you to kick that which belongs to himself, nor offers to kiss this part in another.

It may likewise seem surprizing that in the many thousand kind invitations of this sort, which every one who hath conversed with country gentlemen must have heard, no one, I  believe, hath ever seen a single instance where the desire hath been complied with;—a great instance of their want of politeness; for in town nothing can be more common than for the finest gentlemen to perform this ceremony every day to their superiors, without having that favour once requested of them.Squire-Western-Seizing-Jones-At-Upton

———

And sure, my dear, where here I sit and this, of Fielding’s Jones and Western’s words transcribe, are many such parts kissed and no few kicked, or I’ll a monkey’s uncle’s brother be; this town where ranks are deeper than the files, and the heavy top grown hangs o’er its teetering base; but thanks, my dear, if you should read my verse, for turning and turning about, my constant goad.

Advertisements

About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.