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

zf Caricature 
a threw, and here gives a tolerable example of abulive language, as it 
might then come from a Woman's tongue. The quarrel arifes out of her 
obftinate refulal to go into the ark. In the New Teftament feries the play 
of " The Shepherds" was one of thofe molt fufceptible of this fort of em- 
bellifhment. There are two plays of the Shepherds in the "Towneley 
Mytteries," the firlt of which is amufing enough, as it reprefents, in clever 
burlefque, the acts and converfation of a party of media-zval {hephercls 
guarding their flocks at night 3 but the fecond play of the Shepherds 
is a much more remarkable example of a comic drama. The {hepherds 
are introduced at the opening of the piece converting very fatirically on 
the corruptions of the time, and complaining how the people were 
impoveriihed by over-taxation, to fupport the pride and vanity of the 
ariftocracy. After a good deal of very amufing talk, the fhepherds, who, 
as ufual, are three i11 number, agree to ting a fong, and it is this fong, it 
appears, which brings to them a fourth, named Mak, who proves to be a 
Iheep-ltealer; and, in fact, no fooner have the Ihepherds refrgned them- 
felves to fleep for the night, than Mak choofes one of the belt fheep in 
their flocks, and carries it home to his hut. Knowing that he will be 
fufpetited of the theft, and that he will foon be purfued, he is anxious to 
conceal the plunder, and is only helped out of his difficulty by his wife, 
who fuggefts that the carcafe {hall be laid at the bottom of her cradle, 
and that {he {hall lie upon it and groan, pretending to be in labour. 
Meanwhile the lhepherds awake, difcover the lofs of a (beep, and perceiv- 
ing that Mak has difappeared alfo, they naturally fufped him to be the 
depredator, and purfue him. They ind everything very cunningly pre- 
pared in the cottage to deceive them, but, after a large amount of round- 
about inquiry and refearch, and much drollery. they difcover that the boy 
of which Mak's wife pretends to have been jutt delivered, is nothing elfe 
but the iheep which had been ftolen from their flocks. The wife Ptill 
alferts that it is her child, and Mak fets up as his defence that the baby 
had been "forfpoken," or enchanted, by an elf at midnight, and that it 
had thus been changed into the appearance of a fheep; but the ihepherds 
refufe to be fatisfied with this explanation. The whole of this little 
comedy is carried out with great ikill, and with infinite drollery. The 


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