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

parody on the romances of chivalry, and combines a jovial fatire upon 
everything, which, as has been remarked, fpares neither religion nor 
politics, fcience nor literature, popes, kings, clergy, nobility, or people. 
It contifts of twenty-five cantos, or, as they are termed in the original, 
phantqfice, fantaties. In the firlt we are told of the origin of Baldus. 
There was at the court of France a famous knight named Guy, defcended 
from that memorable paladin Renaud of Montauban. The king, who 
lhowed a particular efteem for Guy, had alfo a daughter of furpalling 
beauty, named Balduine, who had fallen in love with Guy, and he was 
equally amorous of the princefs. In the fequel of a grand tournament, 
at which Guy has diftinguithed himfelf greatly, he carries off Balduine, 
and the two lovers fly on foot, in the difguife of beggars, reach the 
Alps in fafety, and crofs them into Italy. At Cipada, in the territory 
of Brefcia, they are hofpitably entertained by a generous peafant named 
Berte Panade, with whom the princefs Balcluine, who approaches her time 
of confinement, is left; while her lover goes forth to conquer at leafl a 
marquifate for her. After his departure the gives birth to a fine boy, which 
is named Baldus. Such, as told in the fecond canto, is the origin of 
Folengo's hero, who is deftined to perform marvellous acts of chivalry. 
The peafant Berte Panade has alfo a fon named Zambellus, by a mother 
who had died in childbirth of him. Baldus paffes for the fon of Berte 
alfo, fo that the two are fuppofed to be brothers. Baldus is fuccefiively 
led through a feries of extraordinary adventures, fome low and vulgar, 
others more chivalrous, and fome of them exhibiting a wild fertility of 
imagination, which are too long to enable me to take my readers through 
them, until at length he is left by the poet in the country of F alfehood and 
Charlatanitin, which is inhabited by aitrologers, necromanoers, and poets. 
Thus is the hero Baldus dragged through a great number of marvellous 
accidents, fome of them vulgar, many of them ridiculous, and forne, 
again, wildly poetical, but all of them prefenting, in one form or other, 
an opportunity for fatire upon fame of the follies, or vices, or corruptions 
of his age. The hybrid language in which the Whole is written, gives 
it a fmgularly grotefque appearance; yet from time to time we have 
patfages which {how that the author was capable of writing true poetry, 


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