Still, whose reputation as a serious churchman cannot be easily reconciled with the buffoonery of A Ryght Pithy, Pleasaunt and merle Comedie: Intytuled Gammer Gurtons Nedle, was first credited with its authorship by Isaac Reed in his edition (1782) of Baker's Biographia dramatica.
But when this habit becomes the characteristic of any wit, it is impossible to prevent it from degenerating into occasional buffoonery, and from supplying a cheap and ready resource, whenever the true vein of humour becomes thin or rare.
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.
He did so, and then governed like an evil-disposed boy - indulging the merest animal passions, listening to a small camarilla of low-born favourites, changing his ministers every three months, and acting on the impulse of whims which were sometimes mere buffoonery, but were at times lubricous, or ferocious.
He possessed some oratorical ability and adopted a very theatrical style of elocution, "tuning his voice and balancing his hands"; and his addresses were a strange medley of solemnity and buffoonery, of clever wit and the wildest absurdity, of able and original disquisition and the worst artifices of the oratorical charlatan.
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