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

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espy one thing in me. What is that, Torn P said the men. Marry, said Scogin, I have 
a wallveye. What meanest thou by that? said the men. Marry, said Scogin, I 
have spyed a sort of knaves that doe mocke me, and are worse foolcs themselves." 
" Ho-w Scagin draw his some up and downe the court, 
" After this Scogin went from the court, and put off his foole's garments, and 
came to the court like an honest man, and brought his son to the court with him, 
and within the court he drew his sonne up and downe by the heeles. The boy 
cried out, and Scogin drew the boy in every corner. At last every body had pity 
on the boy, and said, Sir, what doe you meane, to draw the boy about the court? 
Masters, said Scogin, he is my sonne, and I doe it for this cause. Every man doth 
say, that man or child which is clrawne up in the court shall be the better as long 
as hee lives; and therefore I will every day once draw him up and downe the 
court, alter that hee may come to preferment in the end." 
The appreciation of a good joke cannot at this time have been very 
great or very general, for Scogin's jeits were wonderfully popular during 
at leafc a century, from the firft half of the fixteenth century. They palfed 
through many editions, and are frequently alluded to by the writers of the 
Elizabethan age. _The next individual whofe name appears at the head 
of a collection of his jefts, was the Well-known wit, Richard Tarlton, who 
may be fairly confidered as court fool to Queen Elizabeth. His jeits 
belong to the fame clafs as thofe of Skelton and Scogin, and if poflible, they 
prefent a {till greater amount of dulnefs. Tarlton's jefts were foon followed 
by the "merrie conceited jellzs " of George Peele, the dramatift, who is 
defcribed in the title as "gentleman, fometimes Itudent in Oxford 5" and 
it is added that in thefe jelts " is {hewed the courfe of his life, how he 
lived; a man very well knovvne in the city of London and elfewhere." 
In faift, Peele's jelts are chiefly curious for the ltriking picture they give 
us of the wilder [hades of town life under the reigns of Elizabeth and 
James I.  
During the period which witneifed the publication in England of 
thefe books, many other jett-books appeared, for they had already 
become an important clafs of Englilh popular literature. Molt of 
them were publifhed anonymoufly, and indeed they are mere com- 
pilations from the older colleelions in Latin and French. All that 
wasliatvall good, even in the jells of Skelton, Scogin, Tarlton, and 
Peele, had been repeated over and over again by the {tory-tellers and 


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