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

and Art. 
mediaeval imitators was a lady. There lived in the tenth century a 
maiden of Saxony, named Hrotfvitha-a rather unfortunate name for one 
of her fex, for it means limply "a loud noife of voices," or, as the explains 
it herfelf, in her Latin, clamor validus. Hrotfvitha, as was common enough 
among the ladies of thofe days, had received a very learned education, 
and her Latin is very refpeetable. About the middle of the tenth century, 
the became a nun in the very arittocratic Benedictine abbey of Gandell 
heim, in Saxony, the abbeffes of which were all princeifes, and which 
had been founded only a century before. She wrote in Latin verfe a 
lhort hiltory of that religious houfe, but the is bett known by feven pieces, 
which are called comedies (comaediw), and which confitt {imply of legends 
of faints, told dialogue-wife, fome in verfe and fome in profe. As may 
be fuppofed, there is not much of real comedy in thefe competitions, 
although one of them, the Dulcitius, is treated in a Ptyle which 
approaches that of farce. It is the Ptory of the martyrdom of the three 
virgin faints-Agape, Chione, and Irene-who excite the lutt of the per- 
fecutor Dulcitius; and it may be remarked, that in this " comedy," and 
in that of Callirnachus and one or two of the others, the lady Hrotfvitha 
difplays a knowledge of love-making and of the language of love, which 
was hardly to be expefted from a holy nun?" 
Hrotfvitha, in her preface, complains that, in fpite of the general love 
for the reading of the Scriptures, and contempt for everything derived 
from ancient paganifm, people {till too often read the "lictions" of Terence, 
and thus, feduced by the beauties of his Ityle, foiled their minds with the 
knowledge of the criminal acts which are defcribed in his writings. A 
rather early manufcript has preferved a very curious fragment illultrative 
" Several editions of the writings of Hrotsvitha, texts and translations, have 
heen published of late years both in Germany and in France, of which I may point 
out the following as most useful and complete-" Thziatrede Hrotsvitha, Religieuse 
Allemande du xe siiecle.  .  par Charles Magnin," 8v0., Paris, 1845 ; " Hrotsvithw 
Gandeshemensis, virginis et monialis Germanicae, genre Saxonica ortae, Comoe- 
dias sex, ad fidem codicis Emmeranensis typis expressas edidit. .    Benedixen," 
16mo., Lubecae, I857 ; "Die Werke der Hrotsvitha: Herausgegeben von Dr. K. 
A. Barack," 3vo., Niirnberg, 1853. 


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