an epic of the Middle Ages, in which animals represent men, "full of broad rustic mirth, inexhaustible in comic devices, a world Saturnalia, where wolves tonsured into monks and nigh starved by short commons, foxes pilgrimaging to Rome for absolution, cocks pleading at the judgment-bar, make strange mummery." The principal characters are Isengrim the wolf and Reynard the fox, the former representing strength incarnated in the baron and the latter representing cunning incarnated in the Church, and the strife for ascendency between the two one in which, though frequently hard pressed, the latter gets the advantage in the end.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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