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John Fletcher und Francis Beaumont.

Die Namen dieser beiden Dichter, Shakspeare's Zeitgenossen und talentvollsten Nachfolger, sind nicht wohl von einander zu trennen, da sie ihre bedeutendsten Leistungen, nach damaliger Sitte, gemeinschaftlich verfassten. Fletcher, der ältere der beiden Freunde, ward 1576 in Northamptonshire geboren, studirte zu Cambridge und schloss hier den innigen Bund mit Beaumont, den erst der Tod löste. Beaumont war der Sohn eines Richters in Leicestershire und soll 1585 geboren, aber bereits 1615 gestorben sein, während Fletcher erst zehn Jahre nach ihm, 1625, von der Erde abgerufen wurde. Weiteres über ihre Lebensverhältnisse ist nicht auf die Nachwelt gekommen. Ein und funfzig Dramen sollen sie gemeinschaftlich gedichtet haben; Fletcher schrieb später noch mehrere allein oder in Verbindung mit Anderen.

Phantasie, Witz und gute Characterzeichnung, sowie ein lebendiger, wahrer Dialog und Reichthum der Erfindung zeichnen ihre Werke aus und weisen diesen den nächsten Rang nach denen Shakespeares an, aber ihnen fehlt die tragische Grösse, das tiefe Gefühl und die komische Grazie des grossen Meisters,

Ihre Werke sind wiederholt, auch in der neuesten Zeit wieder aufgelegt worden, doch betrachtet man die von Theobald, Seward und Sympson, 1750 zu London in 10 Octavbänden besorgte Ausgabe als eine der besten. Eine hinsichtlich des Commentars nicht so reiche, aber nicht minder correcte ist folgende: The dramatic Works of Ben Jonson and Beaumont and Fletcher (by P. Whalley and G. Colman). London 1811; 4 Bde gr. 8.

Scenes from

Did signify; and how all order'd thus,

Exprest his grief: and to my thoughts did read Philaster; or, Love lies a bleeding. A Tragi - Comedy. By Francis Beau

The prettiest lecture of his country art

That could be wish'd, so that, methought, I mont and John Fletcher.


Have studied it. Philaster tells the Princess Arethusa

I gladly entertain'd him,

Who was as glad to follow; and have got how he first found the boy Bellario.

The trustiest, loving'st, and the gentlest boy, I have a boy sent by the gods,

That ever master kept: him will I send
Not yet seen in the court; hunting the buck, To wait on you, and bear our hidden love.
I found him sitting by a fountain side,
Of which he borrow'd some to quench his thirst,
And paid the nymph again as much in tears,
A garland lay him by, made by elf,

Philaster prefers Bellario to the SerOf many several flowers, bred in the bay,

vice of the Princess Arethusa. Stuck in that mystic order, that the rareness Delighted me: but ever when he turn'd

Phi. And thou shalt find her honourable, His tender eyes upon them, he would weep,

boy, As if he meant to make them grow again. Full of regard unto thy tender youth, Seeing such pretty helpless innocence

For thine own modesty; and for my sake, Dwell in his face, I ask'd him all his story; Apter to give, than thou wilt be to ask, aye, or He told me that his parents gentle died,

deserve. Leaving him to the mercy of the fields,

Bell. Sir, you did take me up when I was Which gave him roots; and of the crystal

nothing, springs,

And only yet am something by being yours; Which did not stop their courses; and the sun, You trusted me unknown; and that which you Which still, he thank'd him, yielded him his

are apt light.

To construe a simple innocence in me, Then took he up his garland and did shew, Perhaps might have been craft, the cunning of What every flower, as country people hold,

a boy

fair yet.

Harden'd in lies and theft; yet ventur'd you
To part my miseries and me: for which,

Bellario describes to the Princess I never can expect to serve a lady

Arethusa the manner of his master That bears more honour in her breast than you.

Philaster's love for her. Phi. But, boy, it will prefer thee; thou art


Are. Sir, you are sad change your service, And bear'st a childish overflowing love

is't not so? To them that clap thy cheeks and speak thee Bell. Madam, I have not chang'd: I wait

on you, But when thy judgment comes to rule those To do him service.


Are. Thou disclaim'st in me; Thou wilt remember best those careful friends

Tell me thy name. That placed thee in the noblest way of life:

Bell. Bellario. She is a princess I prefer thee to.

Are. Thou can'st sing and play? Bell. In that small time that I have seen

Bell. If grief will give me leave, madam, the world,

I can. I never knew a man hasty to part

A re. Alas! what kind of grief can thy years With a servant he thought trusty; I remember,

know? My father would prefer the boys he kept Had'st thou a curst master when thou went'st to To greater men than he, but did it not

school? Till they were grown too saucy for himself.

Thou art not capable of any other grief; Phi. Why, gentle boy, I find no fault at all Thy brows and cheeks are smooth as waters be, In thy behaviour.

When no breath troubles them: believe me, Bell. Sir, if I have made

boy, A fault of ignorance, instruct my youth; Care seeks out wrinkled brows, and hollow I shall be willing, if not apt, to learn.

eyes Age and experience will adorn my mind And builds himself caves to abide in them. With larger knowledge; and if I have done

Come, sir, tell me truly, does your lord love A wilful fault, think me not past all hope.

me? For once; what master holds so strict a hand

Bell. Love, madam? I know not what it is. Over his boy, that he will part with him

Are. Canst thou know grief, and never yet Without one warning? Let me be corrected

knew'st love? To break my stubbornness if it be so,

Thou art deceiv’d, boy. Does he speak of me Rather than turn me off, and I shall mend. As if he wish'd me well ?

Phi. Thy love doth plead so prettily to stay, Bell. If it be love, That (trust me) I could weep to part with thee

To forget all respect of his own friends, Alas, I do not turn thee off; thou knowest

In thinking of your face; if it be love, It is my business that doth call thee bence, To sit cross-arm'd and sigh away the day, And when thou art with her thou dwell'st with Mingled with starts, crying your name as loud

And hastily, as men i' the streets do fire : Think so, and 'tis so; and when time is full,

If it be love to weep himself away, That thou hast well discharg'd this heavy trust, When he but hears of any lady dead, Laid on so weak a one, I will again

Or kill'd, because it might have been your With joy receive thee; as I live, I will;

chance; Nay weep not, gentle boy; 'tis more than time

If when he goes to rest (which will not be) Thou didst attend the princess.

'Twixt every prayer he says to name you once, Bell. I am gone;

As others drop a bead, be to be in love; But since I am to part with you, my lord, Then, madam, I dare swear he loves you. And none knows whether I shall live to do

Are. ( you're a cunning boy, and taught More service for you, take this little prayer;

to lie Heaven bless your loves, your fights, all your For your lord's credit; but thou know'st a lie


That bears this sound, is welcomer to me May sick men, if they have your wish, be well;

Than any truth that says he loves me not. And heaven's hate those you curse, though I be



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Phi. Come, come, I know she does. Philaster is jealous of Bellario with the Princess.

Bell. No, by my life.

Aye, now I see why my disturbed thoughts Bell. Health to you, my lord;

Were so perplext when first I went to her; The princess doth commend her love, her life, My heart held augury:

You are abus'd, And this unto you.

Some villain has abus'd you; I do see Phi. O Bellario,

Whereto you tend; fall rocks upon his head, Now I perceive she loves me, she does shew it That put this to you; 'tis some subtil train In loving thee, my boy, she has made thee To bring that noble frame of yours to nought.


Phi. Thou think'st. I will be angry with Bell. My lord, she has attired me past my

thee. Come. wish, Thou shalt know all my drift.

I hate her more, Past my desert, more fit for her attendant, Than I love happiness, and plac'd thee there Though far unfit for me who do attend.

To pry with narrow eyes into her deeds. Phi. Thou art grown courtly, boy. O let all Hast thou discover’d? is she fal’n to lust,

As I would wish her? Speak some comfort to That love black deeds learn to dissemble here. Here by this paper she does write to me

Bell. My lord, you did mistake the boy you As if her heart were mines of adamant

sent: To all the world besides, but unto me

Had she a sin that way, hid from the world, A maiden snow that melted with my looks. I would not aid Tell me, my boy, how doth the princess use Her base desires; but what I came to know


As servant to her, I would not reveal,
For I shall guess her love to me by that. To make my life last ages.
Bell. Scarce like her servant, but as if I Phi. 0 my heart!

This is a salve worse than the main disease. Something allied to her; or had preserv'd Tell me thy thoughts; for I will know the least Her life three times by my fidelity;

That dwells within thee, or will rip thy heart As mothers fond do use their only sons; To know it; I will see thy thoughts as plain As I'd use one that's left unto my trust, As I do know thy face. For whom my life should pay if he met harm, Bell. Why, so you do. So she does use me.

She is (for aught I know) by all the gods, Phi. Why this is wond'rous well:

As chaste as ice; but were she foul as hell, But what kind language does she feed thee And I did know it, thus; the breath of kings,


The points of swords, tortures, nor bulls of Bell. Why, she does tell me, she will trust

brass, my youth

Should draw it from me. With all her loving secrets, and does call me Phi. Then it is no time Her pretty servant, bids me weep no more To dally with thee; I will take thy life, For leaving you; she 'll see my services For I do hate thee; I could curse thee now. Regarded: and such words of that soft strain, Bell. If you do hate, you could not curse me That I am nearer weeping when she ends

worse, Than ere she spake.

The gods have not a punishment in store Phi. This is much better still.

Greater for me than is your hate. Bell. Are you ill, my lord ?

Phi. Fie, fie, Phi. Ill? No, Bellario.

So young and so dissembling! fear'st thou not Bell. Methinks your words

death? Fall not from off your tongue so evenly, Can boys contemn that? Nor is there in your looks that quietness,

Bell. O, what boy is he
That I was wont to see.

Can be content to live to be a man,
Phi. Thou art deceiv'd, boy. And she That sees the best of men thus passionate,

strokes thy head? Thus without reason? Bell. Yes.

Phi. Oh, but thou dost not know what 'tis Phi. And she does kiss thee, boy, ha ?

to die. Bell. How, my lord ?

Bell. Yes I do know, my lord. Phi. She kisses thee?

'Tis less than to be born; a lasting sleep, Bell. Not so, my lord.

A quiet resting from all jealousy;

A thing we all pursue; I know besides
It is but giving over of a game

Bellario, discovered to be a Woman, That must be lost.

confesses the motive for her disPhi. But there are pains, false boy,

guise to have been Love for Prince For perjur'd souls: think but on these, and then

Thy heart will melt, and thou wilt utter all.
Bell. May they fall all upon me whilst I My father would oft speak


Your worth and virtue, and as I did grow If I be perjured, or have ever thought

More and more apprehensive, I did thirst Of that you charge me with: if I be false, To see the man so prais’d, but yet all this Send me to suffer in those punishments

Was but a maiden longing, to be lost You speak of; kill me.

As soon as found, till sitting in my window, Phi. O, what should I do?

Printing my thoughts in lawn, I saw a god
Why, who can but believe him? He does swear I thought (but it was you) enter our gates;
So carnestly, that if it were not true,

My blood flew out, and back again as fast
The gods would not endure him. Rise, Bellario, As I had puft it forth, and suck'd it in
Thy protestations are so deep, and thou

Like breath; then was I call'd away in haste Dost look so truly when thou utter'st them,

To entertain you. Never was a man That though I know them false, as were my Heav'd from a sheep-cot to a sceptre, rais'd


So high in thoughts as I; you left a kiss I cannot urge thee further; but thou wert Upon these lips then, which I mean to keep To blame to injure me, for I must love

From you for ever; I did hear you talk Thy honest looks, and take no revenge upon

Far above siuging; after you were gone Thy tender youth: a love from me to thee

I grew acquainted with my heart, and search'd Is firm whate'er thou dost: it troubles me What stirr’d it so. Alas! I found it love, That I have call’d the blood out of thy cheeks, Yet far from lust, for could I have but liv'd That did so well become thee: but, good boy, In presence of you, I had had my end. Let me not see thee more; something is done For this I did delude my noble father That will distract me, that will make me mad, With a feign'd pilgrimage, and drest myself If I behold thee; if thou tender'st me,

In habit of a boy, and, for I knew Let me not see thee.

My birth no match for you, I was past hope Bell. I will fly as far

Of having you. And understanding well, As there is morning, ere I give distaste

That when I made discovery of my sex, To that most honour'd mind. But through these I could not stay with you, I made a vow


By all the most religious things a maid Shed at my hopeless parting, I can see

Could call together, never to be known, A world of treason practis'd upon you,

Whilst there was hope to hide me from men's And her, and me. Farewell for ever more;

eyes, If you shall hear that sorrow struck me dead, For other than I seem'd; that I might ever And after find me loyal, let there be

Abide with you: then sate I by the fount A tear shed from you in my memory,

Where first you took me up. And I shall rest at peace.

George Chapman.

Dieser Dichter ward 1557 geboren, studirte auf einer englischen Universität und wandte sich dann nach London wo er 1634 starb. Er war ein Freund Spensers und Shakspeare's, zeichnete sich vorzüglich als l'ebersetzer des Homer, Musaeus und Hesiod aus und schrieb ausserdem sechzehn Bühnenstücke in welchen sich manches sehr Gelungene findet; besonders athmet sein Trauerspiel Bussy d'Ambois, aus dem wir hier eine Scene mittheilen, einen wahrhaft ritterlichen Geist.


Scene from

Offer'd remission and contrition too: Bussy d'Ambois, a Tragedy: By George Or else that he and D'Ambois might conclude Chapman.

The others' dangers. D'Ambois lik'd the last:

But Barrisor's friends, (being equally engag'd A Nuntius (or Messenger) in the presence of King in the main quarrel) never would expose Henry the Third of France and his court tells the manner of a combat, to which he was witness, of His life alone to that they all deserv'd. three to 'three; in which D'Ambois remained 'sole And (for the other offer of remission) survivor : begun upon an affront passed upon D'Ambois (that like a laurel put in fire D'Ambois by some courtiers.

Sparkled and spit) did much much more than Henry, Guise, Beaupre, Nuntius etc.

That his wrong should incense him so like chaff Nuntius. I saw fierce D'Ambois and his To go so soon out, and, like lighted paper,

two brave friends Approve his spirit at once both fire and ashes: Enter the field, and at their heels their foes, So drew they lots, and in them fates appointed Which were the famous soldiers, Barrisor, That Barrisor should fight with fiery D’Ambois; L'Anou, and Pyrrhot, great in deeds of arms : Pyrrhot with Melynell; with Brisac L'Anou All which arriv'd at the evenest piece of earth And then like flame and powder they commixt, The field afforded, the three shallengers So spritely, that I wish'd they had been Spirits; Turn'd head, drew all their rapiers, and stood That the ne'er-shutting wounds, they needs must rank'd;

open, When face to face the three defendants met them, Might as they open'd shut, and never kill. Alike prepar'd and resolute alike.

But D'Ambois' sword (that lightned as it flew) Like bonfires of contributory wood

Shot like a pointed comet at the face Every man's look shew'd, fed with other's Of manly Barrisor; and there it stuck :


Thrice pluck'd be at it, and thrice drew on As one had been a mirror to another,

thrusts Like forms of life and death each took from From him, that of himself was free as fire;


Who thrust still, as he pluck’d, yet (past belief) And so were life and death mix'd at their heights, He with his subtil eye, hand, body, 'scap'd ; That you could see no fear of death (for life) At last the deadly bitten point tugg'd off, Nor love of life (for death): but in their brows On fell his yet undaunted foe so fiercely Pyrrho's opinion in great letters shone; | That (only made more horrid with his wound) That “life and death in all respects are one.” Great D'Ambois shrunk, and gave a little ground Henry. Past there no sort of words at their But soon return'd, redoubled in his danger,


And at the heart of Barrisor seal'd his anger. Nuntius. As Hector 'twixt the hosts of Then, as in Irden I have seen an oak

Greece and Troy, Long shook with tempests, and his lofty top When Paris and the Spartan king should end Bent to his root, which being at length made The nine years war, held up his brazen lance

loose For signal that both hosts should cease from (Even groaning with his weight) he 'gan to nod


This way and that, as loth his curled brows And hear him speak: so Barrisor (advis'd) (Which he had oft wrapt in the sky with storms) Advanc'd his naked rapier 'twixt both sides, Should stoop; and yet, his radical fibres burst, Ript up the quarrel, and compar'd six lives Storm-like he fell, and hid the fear-cold earth : Then laid in balance with six idle words ; So fell stout Barrisor, that had stood the shocks

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