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

and Art. 
them, for his love of poetry, and his gaiety of character, led him to 
neglect them, and at length his irregularities became fo great, that he 
was obliged to make a hafty flight from Bologna. He was ill received at 
home, and he left it alfo, and appears to have fubfequently led a wild life, 
during part of which he adopted the profefilon of a foldier,until at length 
he took refuge in a Benediitine convent near Brefcia, in I507, and 
became a monk. The difcipline of this houfe had become entirely 
relaxed, and the monks appear to have lived very licentioufly; and 
Folengo, who, on his admiflion to the order, had exchanged his former 
baptifmal name for Teofilo, readily conformed to their example. Even- 
tually he abandoned the convent and the habit, ran away with a lady 
named Girolama Dedia, and for fome years he led a wandering, and, it 
would feem, very irregular life. Finally, in 1527, he returned to his 
old profefiion of a monk, and remained in it until his death, in the 
December of 1544.. He is faid to have been extremely vain of his poetical 
talents, and a ftory is told of him which, even if it were invented, illut'- 
trates well the charaiter which was popularly given to him. It is faid 
that when young, he afpired to excel in Latin poetry, and that he wrote 
an epic which he himfelf believed to be fuperior to the jEneid. When, 
however, he had communicated the work to his friend the bilhop of 
Mantua, and that prelate, intending to compliment him, told him that 
he had equalled Virgil, he Was fo mortified, that he threw the manufcript 
on the fire, and from that time devoted his talents entirely to the 
compofition of macaronic verfe. 
Such was the man who has juilly earned the reputation of being the 
tirit of maearonic poets. When he adopted this branch of literature, 
while he was in the univerfity of Bologna, he aifurned in writing it the 
name of Merlinus Cocaius, or Coccaius, probably from the name of his 
profellbr at Ferrara. Folengo's printed poems conlilt of-t. The Zani- 
tonella, a paitoral in feven eclogues, defcribing the love of Tonellus for 
Zanina ; 2, the macaronic romance of Baldus, Folengo's principal and 
mofi remarkable work ; 3, the Mofchaea, or dreadful battle between the 
flies and the ants; and 4., a book of Epiftles and Epigrams. 
The firfi edition of the Baldns appeared in 1517. It is a fort of 


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