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

fact, might be recognifed as one of themfelves; and fuch heroes appear 
to have exilted at all times. They ufually reprefented a clafs in fociety, 
and efpecially that clafs which confitted of idle fharpers, who lived by 
their wits, and which was more numerous and more familiarly known in 
the middle ages than at the prefent day. Folly and cunning combined 
prefented a never-failing fubject of mirth. This clafs of adventurers firilz 
came into print in Germany, and it is there that we find its firft popular 
hero, to whom they gave the name of Eulenfpiegel, which means literally 
" the owl's mirror," and has been iince ufed in German in the fenfe of a 
merry fool. Tyll Eulenfpiegel, and his ftory, are fuppofed to have be- 
longed to the fourteenth century, though we firft know them in the printed 
book of the commencement of the fixteenth, which is believed to have 
come from the pen of the Well-known popular Writer, Thomas Murner, 
of whom I {hall have to fpeak more at length in another chapter. The 
popularity of this Work was very great, and it was quickly tranflated 
into French, Englilh, Latin, and almoit every other language of Weitern 
Europe. In the Engliih veriion the name alfo was tranflated, and 
appears under the form of Owleglafs, or, as it often occurs with the 
fnperfluous afpirate, Howleglalsfe According to the Rory, Tyll Eulen- 
fpiegel was the fon of a peafant, and was born at a village called Kneit- 
lingen, in the land of Brunfwick. The Itory of his birth may be given in 
the words of the early Englith verlion, as a fpecimen of its quaint and 
antiquated language  
"Yn the lande of Sassen, in the vyllage of Ruelnige, there dwelleth a man 
that was named Nicholas Howleglas, that had a. wife named Wypeke, that lay a 
childbed in the same wyllage, and that chylde was borne to christening and named 
Tyell Howleglass. And than the chyld was brought into a taverne, where the 
father was wyth his go."-seppes and made good chere. Whan the mydwife had wel 
'1" The title of this English translation is, " Here be-ginneht a merye Jest of a 
man that was called Howleglas, and of many marveylous thinges and jestes that 
he dyd in his lyle, in Eastlande, and in many other places." It was printed by 
Coplande, supposed about 1520. An edition of Eulenspiegel in English, by 
Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, has recently been published by Messrs. Triibner 8: Co-, 
of Paternoster Row.


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