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

and Art. 
Ruth was, in truth, a fpirit of darknefs, whofe million it was to 
wander on the earth tempting and impelling people to do evil. Perceiv- 
ing that the internal condition of a certain abbey was well fuited to his 
purpofe, he prefented himfelf at its gates in the difguife of a youth who 
wanted employment, and was received as an afiiitant in the kitchen, but 
he pleafed the monks beft by the ikill with which he furnifhed them all 
with fair companions. At length he quarrelled with the cook, and threw 
him into the boiling caldron, and the monks, allhming that his death 
was accidental, appointed Ruth to be cook in his place. After a fervice 
of feven years in the kitchen-which appears to have been coniidered a 
fair apprenticefhip for the new honour which was to be conferred upon him 
-the abbot and convent rewarded him by making him a monk. He now 
followed [till more earneftly his defign for the ruin of his brethren, both 
foul and body, and began by railing a quarrel about a woman, which led, 
through his contrivance, to a fight, in which the monks all fuffered grievous 
bodily injuries, and in which Brother Rufh was efpecially active. He 
went on in this way until at laft his true chara6ter was accidentally 
difcovered. A neighbouring farmer, overtaken by night, took {helter in 
a hollow tree. It happened to be the night appointed by Lucifer to 
meet his agents on earth, and hear from them the report of their feveral 
proceedings, and he had felected this very oak as the place of rendezvous. 
There Brother Ruth appeared, and the farmer, in his hiding-place, heard 
his confeliion from his own lips, and told it to the abbot, who, being as 
it would appear a magician, conjured him into the form of a horfe, and 
baniihed him. Ruth hurried away to England, where he laid afide his 
equine form, and entered the body of the king's daughter, who fufliered 
great torments from his poifeilion. At length fome of the great doctors 
from Paris came and obliged the fpirit to confefs that nobody but the 
abbot of the dittant monaftery had any power over him. The abbot 
came, called him out of the maiden, and conjured him more forcibly 
than ever into the form of a horfe. 
Such is, in mere outline, the itory of Brother Ruth, which was 
gradually enlarged by the addition of new incidents. But the people 
wanted a hero who prefented more of the character of reality, who, in 


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