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

Literature and Art. 
the peoples of the Teutonic race before their converfion to Chrittianity, 
but the Chriilian clergy felt the neceflity of keeping up feltive religious 
ceremonies in fome form or other, and alfo of impretiing upon people's 
imagination and memory by means of rude fcenical reprefentations fome 
of the broader facts of fcriptural and eccletiaftical hiftory. Thefe per- 
formances at firlt confitted probably in mere dumb ihow, or at the mott 
the performers may have chanted the fcriptural account of the tranfaction 
they were reprefenting. In this manner the choral boys, or the younger 
clergy, would, on fome fpecial faint's day, perform fome ftriking act in 
the life of the faint commemorated, or, on particular feftivals of the 
church, thofe incidents of gofpel hiftory to which the feitival efpecially 
related. By degrees, a rather more impofing character was given to thefe 
performances by the addition of a continuous dialogue, which, however, 
was written in Latin verfe, and was no doubt chanted. This incipient 
drama in Latin, as far as we know it, belongs to the twelfth century, and 
is reprefented by a tolerably large number of examples {till preferved in 
mediaeval manufcripts. Some of the earlieft of thefe have for their author 
a pupil of the celebrated Abelard, named Hilarius, who lived in the iirft 
half of the twelfth century, and is undertiood to have been by birth 
an Englifhman. Hilarius appears before us as a playful Latin poet, 
and among a number of fhort pieces, which may be almott called 
lyric, he has left us three of thefe religious plays. The fubject of the 
firft of thefe is the raifing of Lazarus from the dead, the chief peculiarity 
of which confitts of the fongs of lamentation placed in the mouths of 
the two lifters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. The fecond reprefents 
one of the miracles attributed to St. Nicholas; and the third, the 
hittory of Daniel. The latter is longer and more elaborate than the 
others, and at_its conclution, the Itage direction tells us that, if it were 
performed at matins, Darius, king of the Medes and Perfians, was to 
chant Te Deum Laudamus, but if it were at vefpers, the great king was 
to chant Magngficat anima mea Dominumfi 
_ That 
Figta: Hilarii Versus ct I-"db" 3V0-Q P?-F15, I335. Edited by M. Champollion


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