Volltext: A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art

of C aricazure 
perhaps poems. Its character is altogether feudal, and it is Ptrictly 8 
picfture of fociety, in France primarily, and fecondly in England and the 
other nations of feudalifm, in the twelfth century. The earlieil form in 
which this romance is known is in the French poem-or rather poems, 
for it confilts of feveral branches or continuations-and is fuppofed to date 
from about the middle of the twelfth century. It foon became fo 
popular, that it appeared in different forms in all the languages of VVeItern 
Europe, except in England, where there appears to have exiited no edition 
of the romance of Reynard the Fox until Caxton printed his profe 
Engliih verfion of the Rory. From that time it became, if pofiible, more 
popular in England than elfewhere, and that popularity had hardly 
diminifhed down to the commencement of the prefent century. 
The popularity of the {tory of Reynard caufed it to be imitated in a 
variety of ihapes, and this form of fatire, in which animals acted the part 
of men, became altogether popular. In the latter part of the twelfth 
century, an Anglo-Latin poet, named Nigellus Wireker, compofed a very 
fevere fatire in elegiac verfe, under the title of Speculum Stultoru-m, the 
" Mirror of Fools." It is not a wife animal like the fox, but a fimple 
animal, the afs, who, under the name of Brunellus, pafiies among the 
various ranks and claffes of fociety, and notes their crimes and vices. A 
profe introduction to this poem informs us that its hero is the reprefenta- 
tive of the monks in general, who were always longing for fome new 
acquiiition which was inconiiftent with their profeilion. In fact, Bmnellus 
is abforbed with the notion that his tail was too ihort, and his great 
ambition is to get it lengthened. For this purpofe he confults a phyiician, 
who, after reprefenting to him in vain the folly of his purfuit, gives him 
a receipt to make his tail grow longer, and fends him to the celebrated 
medical fchool of Salerno to obtain the ingredients. After various 
adventures, in the courfe of which he lofes a part of his tail initead of its 
being lengthened, Brunellus proceeds to the Univerlity of Paris to Rudy 
tures de Maitre Renart et d'Yseng1-in son compere." On the debated question of 
the origin of the Romance, see the learned and able Work by Ionckbloet, 8v0., 
Groningue, 1863-


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