"At the party was a
widower who has but lately
come into these
says the record; "and, to be sure, he was an exceedingly melancholy
for he did sit away from the company during the most part of the
We afterwards heard that he had been keeping a secret account of all
kisses that were given and received under the mistletoe bough.
would not have suffered any one to kiss me in that manner had I known
that so unfair a watch was being kept.
Other maids beside were in a
way shocked, as Betty Marchant has since told me."
But it seems that
melancholy widower was merely collecting material for the following
little osculatory problem.
consisted of the Squire and his wife
and six other
couples, one widower and three widows, twelve bachelors
and boys, and
ten maidens and little girls.
Now, everybody was found to have kissed
everybody else, with the following exceptions and additions:
course, kissed a male.
No married man kissed a married woman, except
All the bachelors and boys kissed all the maidens and girls
The widower did not kiss anybody, and the widows did not kiss
The puzzle was to
ascertain just how many kisses
had been thus
given under the mistletoe bough, assuming, as it is charitable to do,
that every kiss was returned—the double act being counted as