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

in Literature and Art. 109 
place he was very often a poet himfelf, and compofed the pieces which it 
was one of his duties to ling or recite. Thefe were chiefly fongs, or 
ttories, the latter ufually told in verfe, and fo many of them are preferved 
in manufcripts that they form 21 very numerous and important clafs of 
mediaeval literature. The fongs were commonly fatirical and abutive, 
and they were made ufe of for purpofes of general or perfonal 
vitnperation. Out of them, indeed, grew the political fongs of a later 
period. There were female jougleurs, and both fexes danced, and, to 
create mirth among thofe who encouraged them, they practifed a variety 
of performances, fuch as mimicking people, making wry and ugly faces, 
dittorting their bodies into Itrange poitures, often expofing their perfons in 
a very unbecoming manner, and performing many vulgar and indecent 
acts, which it is not necelfary to defcribe more particularly. They 
carried about with them for exhibition tame bears, monkeys, and other 
animals, taught to perform the actions of men. As early as the 
thirteenth century, we Hnd them including among their other accom- 
plifhments that of dancing upon the tight-rope. Finally, the jouglenrs 
performed tricks of ileight of hand, and were often conjurers and 
magicians. As, in modern times, the jougleurs of the middle ages 
gradually pafied away, Height of hand appears to have become their 
principal accornplithment, and the name only was left in the modern 
word juggler. The jouglenrs of the middle ages, like the mimi of 
antiquity, wandered about from place to place, and often from country 
to country, fometimes fingly and at others in companies, exhibited their 
performances in the roads and ftreets, repaired to all great feitivals, and 
were employed efpecially in the baronial hall, where, by their fongs, 
ttories, and other performances, they created mirth after dinner.  
This clafs of fociety had become known by another name, the origin  
of which is not fo eatily explained. The primary meaning of the Latin 
word minjfier was a fervant, one who minilters to another, either in his  
wants or in his pleafures and amufements. It was applied particularly to 
the cup-bearer. In low Latinity, a diminutive of this word was formed,  
minegfiellus, or minjjirellus, a petty fervant, or minitter. WVhen we firit  
meet with this word, which is not at a very early date, it is ufed as  


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