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

and Art. 
Political fatire in the middle ages appeared chiefly in the form of 
poetry and fong, and it was efpecially in England that it Hourilhed, a fure 
Iign that there was in our country a more advanced feeling of popular 
independence, and greater freedom of fpeech, than in France or 
Germanyf M. Leroux de Lincy, who undertook to make a collection of 
this poetry for France, found fo little during the mediaeval period that 
came under the character of political, that he was obliged to fubftitute 
the word "hifiorical" in the title of his book.1- Where feudalilin was 
fupreme, indeed, the fongs which arofe out of private or public ftrife, 
which then were almoft infeparable from fociety, contained no political 
fentiment, but confllled chiefly of perfonal attacks on the opponents of 
thofe who employed them. Such are the four {hort fongs written in the 
time of the revolt of the French during the minority of St. Louis, which 
commenced in 1226; they are all of a political character which 
M. Leroux de Lincy has been able to collect previous to the year 
1270, and they confill merely of perfonal taunts againtt the courtiers by 
the diifatisfied barons who were out of power. We trace a fimilar feeling 
in fome of the popular records of our baronial wars of the reign of 
Henry III., efpecially in a fong, in the baronial language (Anglo-Norman), 
preferved in a fmall roll of vellum, which appears to have belonged 
to the minilrel who chanted it in the halls of the partifans of Simon de 
Montfort. The fragment which remains coniifts of Ptanzas in praife of 
the leaders of the popular party, and in reproach of their opponents. 
Thus of Roger cle Clifford, one of earl Simon's friends, we are told that 
" the good Roger de Clifford behaved like a noble baron, and exercifed 
 I have published from the original manuscripts the mass of the political poetry 
composed in England during the middle ages in my three volumes-"The Political 
Songs of England, from the Reign of john to that of Edward II." 4to., London, 
I839 (issued by the Camden Society) ; and 4' Political Poems and Songs relating to 
English History, composed during the Period from the Accession of Edward III. 
to that of Richard III." 8v0., vol i., London, 1859; vol. ii., 1861(published by 
the Treasury, under the direction of the Master of the Rolls.) 
T " Receuil de Chants Historiques Frangais depuis le xiie. jllsqu'a11 Xviiie- 
Siecle, par Leroux dc Lincy     Premiere Serie, xiii, xiiiB., xive., et xve-, Sibcles." 
8vo., Paris, 1841.


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