It is desultory to a degree; it is a base libel on religion and history; it differs from its model Ariosto in being, not, as Ariosto is, a mixture of romance and burlesque, but a sometimes tedious tissue of burlesque pure and simple; and it is exposed to the objection - often and justly urged - that much of its fun depends simply on the fact that there were and are many people who believe enough in Christianity to make its jokes give pain to them and to make their disgust at such jokes piquant to others.
Between the lessons the ass was solemnly fed, and at the conclusion of the service was led by the precentor out into the square before the church (conductus ad ludos); water was poured on the precentor's head, and the ass became the centre of burlesque ceremonies, dancing and buffoonery being carried on far into the night, while the clergy and the serious-minded retired to matins and bed.
The day had arrived with more bumps and grinds than a burlesque matron.
Martin Luther was the most ancient type of early Reformation preacher, and he was succeeded by the mystic Johann Arndt (1555-1621); the Catholic church produced in Vienna the eccentric and almost burlesque oratory of Abraham a Santa Clara (1642-1709).
Finally, although in the sanctuary of Aesculapius healing came directly or indirectly as the patients dreamed, it appears from the burlesque of Aristophanes (Plutus, 653 sqq.) that they first bathed in the sacred spring.
But we have to picture him as anon coming out and gathering about him a tatterdemalion company, and jesting with them until they were in fits of laughter, for the sake of observing their burlesque physiognomies; anon as eagerly frequenting the society of men of science and learning of an older generation like the mathematician Benedetto Aritmetico, the physician, geographer and astronomer Paolo Toscanelli, the famous Greek Aristotelian Giovanni Argiropoulo; or as out-rivalling all the youth of the city now by charm of recitation, now by skill in music and now by feats of strength and horsemanship; or as stopping to buy caged birds in the market that he might set them free and watch them rejoicing in their flight; or again as standing radiant in his rose-coloured cloak and his rich gold hair among the throng of young and old on the piazza, and holding them spellbound while he expatiated on the great projects in art and mechanics that were teeming in his mind.
The fabliaux, the early burlesque romances of the Audigier class, the farces of the t5th century, equal (the grotesque iteration and amplification which is the note of Gargantua and Pantagruel being allowed for, and sometimes without that allowance) the coarsest passages of Rabelais.
The burlesque ritual which characterized the Feast of Fools throughout the middle ages was now at its height.
Allowed to return, he again fell under suspicion of having been concerned in the composition of two violent libels - one in Latin and one in French - called from their first words the Puero Regnante and the J'ai vu, was inveigled by a spy named Beauregard into a real or burlesque confession, and on the 16th of May 1717 was sent to the Bastille.
His genius tended naturally in the direction of burlesque and satire.