A Russian princess of great beauty, in company with her father and a young French marquis, visited a celebrated Swiss doctor of the eighteenth century, Michael Scuppack, when the French marquis began to pass one of his jokes upon the long white beard of one of the doctor's neighbors who was present. He offered to bet twelve gold pieces that no lady present would dare to kiss the dirty old fellow. The Russian princess ordered her attendant to bring a plate, and she deposited twelve gold pieces and sent it to the French marquis, who was too polite to decline his bet. The fair Russian then approached the old peasant, saying, "Permit me, venerable father, to salute you after the manner of my country," and embracing him, gave him a kiss. She then presented him the gold, which was on the plate, saying, " Take this as a remembrance of me, and as a sign that the Russian girls think it their duty to honor old age."
Well Springs of Truth" 1883
Each time I read this story I get a lump in my throat. When someone with position acts with humility and respect it somehow moves me; and when the weak, poor or elderly are respected it it floods me with admiration.