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

396 Hzffory of Caricature and Gratcjfgue 
difcontented fop, an immoderate hater of London, and a lover of the 
country above meafure, a hearty true Engliih coxcomb." Then we have 
" two cheating, fharking, cowardly bullies." The citizens of London are 
reprefented by Biiket, " a comfit-maker, a quiet, humble, civil cuckold, 
governed by his wife, whom he very much fears and loves at the fame 
time, and is very proud of," and Fribble, " a haberdalher, a furly cuckold, 
very conceited, and proud of his wife, but pretends to govern and keep 
her under," and their wives, the Brit " an impertinent, imperious ftrumpet," 
and the other, " an humble, fubmitting wife, who jilts her hufband that 
Way, a very  One or two other characters of the fame ftamp, 
with "two young ladies of wit, beauty, and fortune," who behave them- 
[elves not much better than the others, and a full allowance of " parfons, 
hectors, conftables, watchmen, and fiddlers," complete the dramalis 
perfmoe of "Epfom WVells." With fuch materials anybody will under- 
(land the charadter of the piece, which was brought out on the Rage in 
I672. " The Squire of Alfatia," by the fame author, brought upon the 
Rage in the eventful year 1688, is a vivid picture of one of the wildeft 
phafes of London life in thofe {till rather primitive times. Alfatia, as 
every reader of Walter Scott knows, was a cant name for the White 
Friars, in London, a locality which, at that time, was beyond the reach of 
the law and its officers, a refuge for thieves and rogues, and efpecially for 
debtors, where they could either retilt with no great fear of being over- 
come, or, when refiftance was no longer pofiible, efcape with eate. With 
fuch a fcene, and fuch people for characters, we are not furprifed that the 
printed edition of this play is prefaced by a vocabulary of the cant words 
employed in it. The principal characters in the play are of the fame clais 
with thofe which form the Itaple of all thefe old comedies. F irft there is 
a country father or uncle, who is rich and fevere upon the vices of youth, 
or arbitrary, or avaricious. He is here reprefented by fir William Belfond, 
"a gentleman of about 53000, per annum, who in his youth had been a 
fpark of the town; but married and retired into the country, where he 
turned to the other extreme-rigid, morofe, molt fordidly covetous, 
clowniih, obitinate, pofitive, and forward." He mutt have a London brother, 
or near relative, endowed with exactly contrary qualities, here reprefented 


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