Macaulay, it must be noted, exaggerated persistently the poverty of Johnson's pedigree, the squalor of his early married life, the grotesqueness of his entourage in Fleet Street, the decline and fall from complete virtue of Mrs Thrale, the novelty and success of the Dictionary, the complete failure of the Shakespeare and the political tracts.
In such work the painters of Upper Germany at this time, working in the spirit of the late Gothic style just before the dawn of the Renaissance, show considerable technical attainments, with a love of quaint costumes and rich draperies crumpled in complicated angular folds, some feeling for romance in landscape backgrounds, none at all for clearness or balance in composition, and in the attitudes and expressions of their overcrowded figures a degree of grotesqueness and exaggeration amounting often to undesigned caricature.
His eyes were keen and piercing, but a long hooked nose lent grotesqueness to a face marked with cunning rather than with dignity.
The people flocked to hear him, attracted by the force and homeliness of his language, the grotesqueness of his humour, and the impartial severity with which he lashed the follies of all classes of society and of the court in particular.
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