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

0f Caricature 
It was in the cathedral churches that they elected the archbifhop or bifhop 
of fools, whofe election was confirmed, and he was confecrated, with a 
multitude of butfooneries. He then entered upon his pontiiical duties, 
wearing the mitre and carrying the crofier before the people, on whom 
he beftowed his folemn benediction. In the exempt churches, or thofe 
which depended immediately upon the Holy See, they elected a pope of 
fools (unum papam fatuorum), who wore timilarly the enfigns of the 
papacy. Thefe dignitaries were afiifled by an equally burlefque and 
licentious clergy, who uttered and performed a mixture of follies and im- 
pieties during the church fervice of the day, which they attended in 
difguifes and mafquerade dreffes. Some wore mafks, or had their faces 
painted, and others were dreffed in women's clothing, or in ridiculous 
coitumes. On entering the choir, they danced and fang licentious fongs. 
The deacons and fub-deacons ate black puddings and faufages on the altar 
While the priell was celebrating; others played at cards or dice under his 
eyes; and others threw bits of old leather into the cenfer iu order to 
raife a difagreeable fmell. After the mats was ended, the people broke 
out into all forts of riotous behaviour in the church, leaping, dancing, and 
exhibiting themfelves in indecent poitures, and fome went as far as to 
[trip themfelves naked, and in this condition they were drawn through 
the ftreets with tubs full of ordure and filth, which they threw about at 
the mob. Every now and then they halted, when they exhibited 
immodeit poitures and actions, accompanied with fongs and fpeeches of 
the fame character. Many of the laity took part in the proceflion, dreffed 
as monks and nuns. Thefe diforders feem to have been carried to their 
greateft degree of extravagance during the fourteenth and Hfteenth 
it On the subject of all these burlesques and popular feasts and ceremonies, the 
reader may consult Fl6gel's " Geschichte des Grotesk-Komischen," of which a new 
and enlarged edition has recently been given by Dr. Friedrich W. Ebeling, 8vo., 
Leipzig, I862. Much interesting information on the subject was collected by Du 
Tilliot, in his " Memoires pour servir 2'1. l'His'tOil'6 dc la Fete des Fons," 8vo., 
Lausanne, 1751. See also Rigollot, in the work quoted above, and a popular article 
on the same subject will be found in my " Archaeological Album."


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