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

of Caricature 
in for their lhare of fatire. The different groups are diltributed fo natu- 
rally, that it is di1T1cult to fay who is the principal character of the piece 
-and who ever was the principal character in Bartholomew Fair? Per- 
haps the charatfter of Cokes, the young booby fquire from Harrow-for in 
thoie times even fo near London as Harrow, a young fquire was confidered 
to be in all probability but a young country booby-{trikes us molt. It 
is faid to have been at a later period the favourite character of Charles II. 
Among the other principal characters of the play are a proctor of the 
Arches Court named Littlewit, who imagines himfelf to be a bel cgfbrit of 
the tirft order; his wife, and her mother, dame Purecraft, who is a widow ; 
Juiiice Overdo, a London magiih-ate, to whofe ward, Grace Wellborii, 
Cokes is afiianced in marriage; a zealous Puritan, named Zeal-of-the-laud 
Buly, who is a fuitor to the widow Purecraft, herfelf alto a Puritan; 
Winwife, Bufy's rival; and a gameiler named Tom Quarlous, who 
figures as Winwife's friend and companion. All thefe meet in town, on 
the morning of the fair, Cokes under the care of a fort of fteward or 
upper fervant, named WVafpe, who was of a quarrelfome difpofition, 
and feparate in groups among the crowd which tilled Smithfield and its 
vicinity, each having their feparate adventures, but meeting from time to 
time, and realfembling at the end. Cokes behaves as a fnnpleton from 
the country, longs for everything, and wonders at everything, buys up 
toys and gingerbread, is feparated from all his companions, robbed of his 
money and even of his outer garments, and in this condition finally 
fettles down at a puppet-ihow. Meanwhile the Puritan Bufy, by his zeal 
againft the "heathen abominations" of the fair on one hand, and 
Wafpe, by his quarrelfome temper on the other, fall into a feries of 
fcrapes, which end in both being carried to the ftocks. They are there 
joined by another important perfonage. Juftice Overdo, who is ditiin- 
guifhed by an extraordinary zeal for the right adminillration of jutiice 
and the fupprefiion of focial vices of all kinds, has come into the fair in 
difguife, in order to make himfelf acquainted with its various abuft-5, and 
he patfes among them unknown ; and his inquifitive intermeddling brings 
him into a variety of rniihaps, in the courfe of which he alfo is feized by 
the conttable, and allows himfelf to be taken to the ftocks, rather than 


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