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

and Art. 
practices which were not quite in harmony with the facred character of 
thefe buildings? Such performances are forbidden by a council held at 
Treves in 1227.1" We learn from the annals of the abbey of Corbei, 
publiihed by Leibnitz, that the younger monks at Herefburg performed 
on one occafion a "facred comedy" (sacrum comwrliam) of the felling 
into captivity and the exaltation of Jofeph, which was difapproved by 
the other heads of the order.1 Such performances are included in a 
proclamation of the bilhop of Worms, in I316, againft the various abuies 
which had crept into the feflivities obferved in his diocefe at Eazlter and 
St. John's tide; Similar prohibitions of the acting of fuch plays in 
churches are met with at fubfequent periods. 
While thefe performances were thus falling under the cenfure of the 
church authorities, they were taken up by the laity, and under their 
management both the plays and the machinery for acting them under- 
went confiderable extenfion. The municipal guilds contained in their 
conllitution a conhderable amount of religious fpirit. They were great 
benefactors of the churches in cities and municipal towns, and had ufually 
fome parts of the facred edifice appropriated to them, and they may, 
perhaps, have taken a part in thefe performances, while they were Hill 
confined to the church. Thefe guilds, and fubfequently the municipal 
corporations, took them entirely into their own hands. Certain annual 
religious feflivals, and efpecially the feaft of Corpus Chrgfi, were Itill 
the occafions on which the plays were acted, but they were taken 
entirely from the churches, and the performances took place in the open 
flreets. Each guild had its particular play, and they acted on movable 
ftages, which were dragged along the Itreets in the procefiion of the 
guild. Thefe Rages appear to have been rather complicated. They 
_ e 
4' " Interdum ludi Hunt in ecclesiis  lib iii. (it. 1, 
1" " Item non permittant sacerdotes ludos theatrales Geri in ecrlesia et alios ludos 
I " juniores fratres in Heresburg sacram habuere comcediam dejosepho vendito 
et exaltato, quod vero reliqui ordinis nostri przzlati male interpretati  
Script. Brzm:'u., tom. ii. p. 311. 
Q The acts of this synod of Worms are printed in Harzheim, tom. iv.p. 258.


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