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

Ifzflory 0f Caricature 
chapter, and received the tonfure, the cowl, and the other infignia of 
mcnachifm. At length they put him to fchooi, and he was to learn the 
'Paterno[ter,' but he always replied, ' lamb ' (agnus) or 'ram' (aries). 
The monks taught him that he ought to look upon the crucifix and upon 
the facrament, but he ever direnited his eyes to the lambs and rams." The 
fable is droll enough, but the moral, or application is fiill more grotefque. 
" Such is the conduct of many of the monks, whofe only cry is 'aries,' 
that is, good wine, and who have their eyes always fixed on fat Hefh and 
their platter; whence the faying in Engli{h- 
T key thou til: way" bore 
Izod to prefie, 
they thou lzim tofkolejlettz 
falmex Io Ierne, 
be-vere bet lzffe gen: 
to tire grove grene." 
Though thou the hoary way 
conferrate to a jvriefi, 
though thou put him tofkhaal 
to learn Pfalms, 
2-vzr are his ear: turned 
ta the green gro-ue. 
Thefe lines are in the alliterative verfe of the Anglo-Saxons, and {how 
that fuch fables had already found their place in the popular poetry of the 
Englifh people. Another of thefe fables is entitled " Of the Beetle 
(fcrabo) and his Wife." " A beetle, flying through the land, paired 
among molt beautiful blooming trees, through orchards and among rofes 
and lilies, in the molt lovely places, and at length threw himfelf upon a 
dunghill among the dung of horfes, and found there his wife, who atked 
him whence he came. And the beetle faid, 'I have flown all round the 
earth and through it ; I have feen the flowers of almonds, and lilies, and 
rofes, but I have feen no place F0 pleafant as this,' pointing to the dung- 
hill." The application is equally droll with the former and equally un- 
complirnentary to the religious part of the community. Odo de Cirington 
tells us that, " Thus many of the clergy, monks, and laymen liften to the 
lives of the fathers, pals among the lilies of the virgins, among the rofes 
of the martyrs, and among the violets of the confeffors, yet nothing ever 
appears fo pleafant and agreeable as a firumpet, or the tavern, or a finging 
party, though it is but a iiinking dunghill and congregation of tinners." 
Popular fculpture and painting were but the tranflation of popular 
literature, and nothing was more common to reprefent, in pi6tures and 


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