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

of Caricature 
remotelt ages of antiquity. The fame Itory is found in an oriental form 
among the tales of the Tartars published in French by Guenlette. 
The people of the middle ages, who took their wordfal-le from the 
Latinfal-ula, which they appear to have underitood as a mere term for 
any {hort narration, included under it the ftories told by the mimi and 
jougleurs; but, in the fondnefs of the middle ages for diminutives, by 
which they intended to exprefs familiarity and attachment, applied to 
them more particularly the Latin faZ'elZa, which in the old French 
becamefallel, or, more ufually,fal"liau. The fabllaux of the jougleurs 
form a moi? important clak of the comic literature of the middle ages. 
They mull have been wonderfully numerous, for a very large quantity of 
them {till remain, and thefe are only the fmall portion of what once 
exifted, which have efcaped perifhing like the others by the accident of 
being Written in manufcripts which have had the fortune to furvive; 
while manufcripts containing others have no doubt perilhed, and it is 
probable that many were only preferved orally, and never written down 
at all." The recital of thefe fabliaux appears to have been the favourite 
employment of the jougleurs, and they became fo popular that the 
mediaeval preachers turned them i'nt0 fhort Ilories in Latin profe, and 
made ufe of them as illuitrations in their fermons. Many collections of 
thefe {hort Latin frories are found in manufcripts which had ferved as 
note-books to the preachers,T and out of them was originally compiled 
that celebrated mediaeval book called the " Gefia Romanorum." 
It is to be regretted that the fubjects and language of a large portion 
of thefe fabliaux are fuch as to make it impofiible to prefent them before 
modern readers, for they furniih fingularly intereiling and minute pictures 
of mediaeval life in all claifes of fociety. Domeftic fcenes are among 
thofe mofl: frequent, and they reprefent the interior of the mediaeval 
5' Many of the Fabliaux have been printed, but the two principal collections, 
and to which I shall chiefly refer in the text, are thoie of Barbazan, re-edited 
and much enlarged by Meon, 4- vols. 3vo., x8o8, and of Meon, z vols. 8v0., 181.3, 
1' A collection of these short Latin stories was edited by the author of the 
present work, in a volume printed for the Percy Society in 184.2.


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