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

of Caricature 
Wife, and Sir John the Prielt," written by John Heywood, the plot 
of which prefents the fame fimplicity as thofe of the farces which were 
fo popular in France. John has a {hrew for his wife, and has good caufes 
for fufpeeting an undue intimacy between her and the prieft; but they 
nnd means to blind his eyes, which is the more eafily done, becaufe he is 
a great coward, except when he is alone. Tyb, the wife, makes a pie, 
and propofes that the prieft [hall be invited to afiift in eating it. The 
huiband is obliged, very unwillingly, to be the bearer of the invitation, 
and is not a little furprifed when the prieft refufes it. He gives as his 
reafon, that he was unwilling to intrude himfelf into company where he 
knew he was diiliked, and perfuaded John that he had fallen under the 
wife's difpleafure, becaufe, in private interviews with her, he had laboured 
to induce her to bridle her temper, and treat her huiband with more gentle- 
nefs. John, delighted at the difcovery of the prieft's hone[ty,inf1{is on 
his going home with him to feait upon the pie. There the guilty couple 
contrive to put the hufband to a difagreeable penance, while they eat 
the pie, and treat him otherwife very ignominioufly, in confequence of 
which the married couple fight. The priefi interferes, and the fight thus 
becomes general, and is only ended by the departure of Tyb and the 
prieft, leaving the huiband alone. 
The popularity of the moralities in England is, perhaps, to be explained 
by peculiarities in the condition of fociety, and the greater pre-occupation 
of men's minds in our country at that time with the religious and focial 
revolution which was then in progrefs. The Reformers foon faw the ufe 
which might be made of the Rage, and compiled and caufed to be acted 
interludes in which the old doctrines and ceremonies were turned to 
ridicule, and the new ones were held up in a favourable light. VVe have 
excellent examples of the fuccefs with which this plan was carried out in 
the plays of the celebrated John Bale. His play of " Kyng Johan," an 
edition of which was publithed by the Camden Society, is not only a 
remarkable Work of a very remarkable man, but it may be confidered as 
the firft rude model of the Englifh hiftorical drama. The Iiage became 
now a political inftrument in England, almoft as it had been in ancient 
Greece, and it thus became frequently the object of particular as well as 
A general


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