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

of Caricature 
anfwers." The word jgji itlelf arofe from the circumtiance that the things 
defignated by it arofe out of the older ftories, for it is a mere corruption 
of geltes, the Latin ggfia, in the fenfe of narratives of acts or deeds, or 
tales. The Latin writers, who firft began to collect them into books, 
included them under the general name of facetiee. The earlier of thele 
collections of facetiae were written in Latin, and of the origin of the firft 
with which we are acquainted, that by the celebrated fcholar Poggio of 
Florence, a curious anecdote is told. Some wits of the court of pope 
Martin V., eleoted to the papacy in 1417, among whom were the pope's two 
fecretaries, Poggio and Antonio Lufco, Cincio of Rome, and Ruzello of 
Bologna, appropriated to themfelves a private corner in the Vatican, where 
they affernbled to chat freely among themfelves. They called it their 
buggiale, a word which Iignifies in Italian, a place of recreation, where they 
tell ftories, make jefts, and amufe themfelves with difculiing latirically the 
doings and characters of everybody. This was the way in which Poggio 
and his friends entertained themfelves in their buggiale, and we are affured 
that in their talk they neither {pared the church nor the pope himfelf or 
his government. The facetiae of Poggio, in ea, which are faid to be a 
[election of the good things laid in thefe meetings, {how neither reverence 
for the church of Rome nor refpect for decency, but they are rnofily ftories 
which had been told over and over again, long before Poggio came into 
the world. It was perhaps this fatire upon the church and upon the 
ecclefiaftics which gave much of their popularity to thefe facetiae at a time 
when a univerfal agitation of men's minds on religious affairs prevailed, 
which was the great harbinger of the Reformation; and the next Latin 
books of facetiae came from men fuch as Henry Bebelius, who were zealous 
reformers thernfelves. 
Many of the jefts in thefe Latin colleetions are put into the mouths of 
jefters, or domeilic fools, fatui, or moriones, as they are called in the Latin ; 
and in England, where thefe jeft-books in the vernacular tongue became 
more popular perhaps than in any other country, many of them were 
publilhed under the names of celebrated jefiers, as the "Merle Tales of 
Skelton," "The Jefts of Scogin," " Tarlt0n's Jeits," and " The Jefis of 
George Peele." 


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