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

of Caricature 
grew up next year, after a meeting of the council, at which it was {tiffiy 
difputed whether it ought to be reaped, or mowed, or gathered in in fome 
other manner, it was finally difcovered that the crop confitted of nothing 
but nettles. After many accidents of this kind, the Schildburgers are 
noticed by the emperor, and obtain a charter of incorporation and freedom, 
but they profit little by it. In trying fome experiments to catch mice, 
they fet tire to their houfes, and the whole town is burnt to the ground, 
upon which, in their iorrow, they abandon it altogether, and become, like 
the Jews of old, fcattered over the World, carrying their own folly into 
every country they vifit. 
The earlielt known edition of the hifioty of the Schildburgers was 
printed in 1597;)? but the ftory itfelf is no doubt older. It will be feeu 
at once that it involves a fatire upon the municipal towns of the middle 
ages. A nmilar feries of adventures, only a little more clerical, bore the 
title of " Der Pfarrherrn vom Kalenberg," or the Parfon of Kalenberg, 
and was tirft, as far as we know, publifhed in the latter half of the 
Iixteenth century. The Iirti known edition, printed in I582, is in profe. 
Von der Hagen, who reprinted a fubfequent edition in verie, in a volume 
already quoted, feerns to think that in its firtt form the Ptory belongs to 
the fourteenth century. 
The Schildburgers of Germany were reprefented in England by the 
wife men ot Gotham. Gotham is a village and parith about feven miles to 
the fouth-weft of Nottingham, and, curioufly enough, a ftory is told accord- 
ing to which the folly of the men of Gotham, like that of the Schild- 
burgers, was at firtt affumed. It is pretended that one day king John, on 
his way to Nottingham, intended to pafs through the village of Gotham, 
and that the Gothamites, under the influence of fome vague notion that 
his pretence would be injurious to them, railed dirhculties in his way 
which prevented his vitit. The men of Gotham were now apprehenlive 
of the king's vengeance, and they relblved to try and evade it by alfuming 
the charaffter of fimpletons. VVhen the king's officers came to Gotham 
"E It was reprinted by Von dc!" Hagen, in a little volume entitled "Narrenbuch ; 
herausgegeben durch Friedrich Heinrich von dcr Hagen." 12m0., Halle, 1811.


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