Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art
Person:
Wright, Thomas Fairholt, Frederick William
Persistente ID:
urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1429385
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1432762
282 
Hzlivry 
C aricafure 
of 
and 
Grotefgue 
there can be no doubt that this fafhion had a great influence on the fate 
of the Englifh itage. The cuttom of performing plays in the univerlities, 
great fchools, and inns of court, had alfo the effect of producing a number 
of very clever dramatic writers; for when this literature was fo warmly 
patronifed by princes and nobles, people of the higheft qualifications 
{ought to excel in it. Hence we Hnd from books of houfehold expenfes 
and fimilar records of, the period, that there was, during the {ixteenth 
century, an immenfe number of fuch plays compiled in England which 
were never printed, and of which, therefore, very few are preferved. 
The earlieft known plays of this defcription in the Eugliih language 
belong to the clafs which were called in France moralities. They are 
three in number, and are preferved in a manufcript in the polleflioii of 
Mr. Hudfon Gurney, which I have not feen, but which is faid to be of 
the reign of our king Henry VI. Several words and allufions in them 
feem to me to (how that they were tranflated, or adapted, from the 
French. They contain exactly the lame kind of allegorical perfonages. 
The allegory itfelf is a Iimpledone, and eaiily underftood. In the firll, 
which is entitled the " Cattle of Perfeverance," the hero is Hu-manum 
Genus (Mankynd), for the names of the parts are all given in Latin. On 
the birth of this perfonage, a good and a bad angel offer thernlelves as 
his protectors and guides, and he choofes the latter, who introduces him 
to Mundlzs (the World), and to his friends, Stultilia (Folly), and Vbluptcw 
(Pleafure). Thefe and fome other perfonages bring him under the 
iniluence of the feven deadly fins, and Humanum Genus takes for his 
bedfellow a lady named Luxuria. "At length  and Poenitentia 
fucceed in reclaiming Humanum Genus, and they conduct him for fecurity 
to the Cattle of Perieverance, where the feven cardinal virtues attend 
upon him. He is befieged in this cattle by the feven deadly Iius, who 
are led to the attack by Belial, but are defeated. Humanum Genus has 
now become aged, and is expofed to the attacks of another aifailant. 
This is Avaritia, who enters the Callle Ilealthily by undermining the 
wall, and artfully perfuades Humanum Genus to leave it. He thus comes 
again under the influence of Mzznrlu.s, until Mars (Death) arrives, and the 
bad angel carries off the victim to the domains of Satan. This, however,
        

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