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

and Art. 
llruck Gibbon, and gave birth to his great hitiory of Rome-'s "decline and 
The pafqnils formed a body of fatire which {truck indifcriminately at 
everybody within its range, but fatirills were now rifing who took for 
their fubjects fpecial cafes of the general diforder. Rotten at the heart, 
fociety prefented an external gloffinefs, a mixture of pedantry and aife6la- 
tion, which offered fubjects enough for ridicule in whatever point of 
view it was taken. The eccleliallical body was in a llate of fermentation, 
out of which new feelings and new doctrines were about to rife. The 
old learning and literature of the middle ages remained in form after 
their fpirit had paffed away, and they were now contending clumfily 
and unfuccefsfully againfi. new learning and literature of a more retined 
and healthier character. Feudalifm itfelf had fallen, or it was [lruggling 
vainly againit new political principles, yet the ariflocracy clung to feudal 
forms and feudal affumptions, with an exaggeration which was meant 
for an appearance of flrength. Among the literary affesftations of 
this falfe feudalifm, was the fafhion for reading the long, dry, old 
romances of chivalry; while the churchmen and fchoolmen were cor- 
rupting the language in which mediaeval learning had been expreffed, 
into a form the moft barbarous, or introducing words compounded 
from the later into the vernacular tongue. Thefe peculiarities were 
among the Iirft to provoke literary fatire. Italy, where this clals of fatire 
originated, gave it its name alfo, though it appears {till to be a matter of 
doubt why it was called macaronic, or in its Italian form maccharonea. 
Some have conlidered this name to have been taken from the article of 
food called macaroni, to which the Italians were, and {till are, fo much 
attached; while others pretend that it was derived from an old Italian 
word macarone, which meant a lubberly fellow. Be this, however, as it 
may, what is called macaronic compofition, which confiils in giving a 
if Pasquil and Pasquin became, during the latter part of the sixteenth and the 
whole of the seventeenth centuries, a well-known name in French and English 
litcraturc- In English popular literature he was turned into a jester, and a book 
was published in 1604. under the title "Pasquil's jests; with the Merriments of 
Mother Bunch. Wittie, pleasant, and dclightfull."


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