The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1479 Wednesday, 7 September 2005
From: Susan St. John <
Date: Tuesday, 6 Sep 2005 17:48:23 -0700
Subject: 16.1469 Kissing the Rod
Comment: Re: SHK 16.1469 Kissing the Rod
We also find "kiss the book" as a way of swearing your honesty...the
book referring to the Bible, as I've seen it glossed. In TEMPEST
Stephano asks other characters to "kiss the book" but he gives them the
bottle of sack and they drink, and it seems to convey the concept that
they are swearing they tell the truth.
I always thought "kiss the rod" meant accept the fact that the
punishment is good for you, and "kiss the book" meant swear on the bible.
Is there any relationship between these phrases?
Susan St. John
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