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the marks of her body, and took away her bracelet, and after accused her of adultery to her love, &c. And, in the end, how he came with the Romans into England, and was taken prisoner, and after revealed to Imogen, who had turned herself into man's apparel, and fled to meet her love at Milford Haven; and chanced to fall on the cave in the woods where her two brothers were: and how by eating a sleeping dram they thought she had been dead, and laid her in the woods, and the body of Cloten by her, in her love's apparel that he left behind him, and how she was found by Lucius, &c.
Das Datum der Aufführung des Cymbeline fehlt zwar in Forman's Booke of Plaies and Notes thereof; da das Buch selbst jedoch aus den Jahren 1610— 1611 stammt, so wird auch die Darstellung des Dramas, der er beigewohnt hat, dieser Zeit angehören, und für die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass Cymbeline damals noch nicht lange auf dem Shakspere'schen Theater erschienen war, sprechen in Ermangelung äusserer Gründe innere des Styls und des Versbaus, welche auf die letzte Periode der dramatischen Thätigkeit des Dichters hinweisen. Auch die eingelegte Göttererscheinung (A. 5, Sc. 4.) deutet auf eine Zeit hin, wo die Shakspere'sche Bühne nöthigenfalls einen gewissen äusseren Prunk in Scenerie und Maschinerie aufzuwenden vermochte, der ihr in den früheren Abschnitten der dichterischen Laufbahn Shakspere's wohl kaum zu Gebote stand. Die meisten Herausgeber stimmen freilich darin überein, die erwähnte in Reimen eingefasste Episode als ein unshakspere'sches Einschiebsel der Schauspieler zu verwerfen, so wenig finden sie des Dichters Styl und Kunst darin wieder; aber es möchte schwer sein, sie aus dem Stücke zu entfernen, ohne eine merkliche Lücke zu lassen. Der Dichter selbst musste diese Scene als zu der ganzen Anlage unentbehrlich mit entworfen und mit geschrieben haben, und zwar, den darin auftretenden conventionellen mythischen Figuren gemäss, in einem andern Tone, als in dem er die dramatischen Personen seines Schauspiels reden lässt: in der conventionellen, opernhaften Redeweise, welche bei solchen, Masks genannten, mythologischen oder allegorischen Schaustellungen einmal eingeführt war. So mag Cymbeline mit Shakspere's Tempest, in welchem eine ähnliche Mask dargestellt wird, einer und derselben letzten Periode unseres Dichters angehören, wahrscheinlich kurz vor der Zeit geschrieben sein, als Forman es aufführen sah.
Was nun die Quellen betrifft, aus denen Shakspere den Stoff zu seinem Drama schöpfte, so fand er den historischen Rahmen in der von ihm so vielfach benutzten Chronik Holinshed's. Die Hauptstelle darin ist, mit Auslassung alles vom Dichter bei Seite Gelassenen, die folgende:
After the death of Cassibellane, Theomautius or Lenautius, the youngest son of Lud, was made king of Britain in the year of the world 3921, after the building of Rome 706, and before the coming of Christ 45. ********** Theomautius ruled the land in good quiet, and paid the tribute to the Romans which Cassibellane had granted, and finally departed this life after he had reigned twenty-two years, and was buried at London.
Kymbeline or Cymbeline, the son of Theomautius, was of the Britains made king, after the decease of his father, in the year of the world 3944, after the building of Rome 728, and before the birth of our Saviour 33. This man (as some write) was brought up at Rome, and there made knight by Augustus Cæsar, under whom he served in the wars, and was in such favour with him, that he was at liberty to pay his tribute or not. ******* Touching the continuance of the years of Kymbeline's reign some writers do rary, but the best approved affirm that he reigned thirty-five years and then died, and was buried at London, leaving behind him two sons, Guiderius and Arviragus. But here is to be noted that, although our histories do affirm that as well this Kymbeline, as also his father Theomautius, lived in quiet with the Romans, and continually to them paid the tributes which the Britains had covenanted with Julius Cæsar to pay, yet we find in the Roman writers, that after Julius Cæsar's death, when Augustus had taken upon him the rule of the empire, the Britains refused to pay that tribute: whereat, as Cornelius Tacitus reporteth, Augustus (being otherwise occupied) was contented to wink; howbeit, through earnest calling upon to recover his right by such as were desirous to see the uttermost of the British kingdom; at length, to wit, in the tenth year after the death of Julius Cæsar, which was about the thirteenth year of the said Theomautius, Augustus made provision to pass with an army over into Britain, and was come forward upon his journey into Gallia Celtica, or, as we may say, into these hither parts of France.
But here receiving advertisements that the Pannonians, which inhabited the country now called Hungary, and the Dalmatians, whom now we call Slavons, had rebelled, he thought it best first to subdue those rebels near home, rather than to seek new countries, and leave such in hazard whereof he had present possession, and so, turning his power against the Pannonians and Dalmatians, he left off for a time the wars of Britain, whereby the land remained without fear of any invasion to be made by the Romans till the year after the building of the city of Rome 725, and about the nineteenth year of king Theomautius reign, that Augustus with an army departed once again from Rome to pass over into Britain, there to make war. But after his coming into Gallia, when the Britains sent to him certain ambassadors to treat with him of peace, he staid there to settle the state of things among the Galles, for that they were not in very good order. And having finished there, he went into Spain, and so his journey into Britain was put off till the next year, that is, the 726th after the building of Rome, which fell before the birth of our Saviour 25, about which time Augustus eftsoons meant the third time to have made a voyage into Britain, because they could not agree upon covenants. But as the Pannonians and Dalmatians had aforetime staid him, when (as before is said) he meant to have gone against the Britains; so even now the Salasstians (a people inhabiting about Italy and Switzerland), the Cantabrians and Asturians, by such rebellious stirs as hey raised, withdrew him from his purposed journey. But whether this controversy, which appeareth to fall forth betwixt the Britains and Augustus, was occasioned by Kymbeline, or some other prince of the Britains, I have not to avouch: for that by our writers it is reported that Kymbeline, being brought up in Rome, and knighted in the court of Augustus, ever showed himself a friend to the Romans, and chiefly was loth to break with them, because the youth of the Britain nation should not be deprived of the benefit. to be trained and brought up among the Romans, whereby they might learn both to behave themselves like civil men, and to attain to the knowledge of feats of war. But whether for this respect, or for that it pleased the Almighty God so to dispose the minds of men at that present, not only the Britains, but in manner all other nations, were contented to be obedient to the Roman empire. That this was true in the Britains, it is evident enough in Strabo's words, which are in effect as followeth: -“At this present (saith he) certain princes of Britain, procuring by ambassadors and dutiful demeaners the amity of the emperor Augustus, have offered in the capitol unto the gods presents or gifts, and have ordained the whole ile in a manner to be appertinent, proper, and familiar to the Romans. They are burdened with sore customs which they pay for wars, either to be sent forth into Gallia, or brought from thence, which are commonly ivory vessels, shears, onches or earrings, and other conceits made of amber and glasses, and such like manner of merchandise: so that now there is no need of any army or garrison of men of war to keep the ile, for there needeth not past one legion of footmen, or some wing of horsemen, to gather up and receive the tribute; for the charges are rated according to the quantity of the tributes : for otherwise it should be needful to abate the customs, if the tributes were also raised; and if any violence should be used, it were dangerous least they might be provoked to rebellion. Thus far Strabo.
Auch die übrigen historischen Notizen, die sich hie und da einge streut finden, wie z. B. die in Act 3, Sc. 1. von dem Siege Cassibelan's über Cäsar und der Siegesfeier in London (Lud's town), sowie ebendaselbst von dem gesetzgebenden Britischen Könige Mulmutius, entlehnte der Dichter aus Holinshed. An einer andern Stelle in Holinshed, wo von den Kriegen der Dänen und der Schotten berichtet wird, fand Shakspere einzelne Züge und Ausdrücke zu der Erzählung des Posthumus (A. 5, Sc. 3.) von dem mannhaften Widerstande, den er mit Belarius und dessen Pflegesöhnen den verfolgenden Römern entgegengesetzt. Es wird dort von Lord
Hay und seinen Söhnen berichtet: The Danes rushed forth with such violence upon their adversaries that first the right, and then after the left wing of the Scots was constreined to retire and flee back. Haie beholding the king, with the most part of the nobles, fighting with great valiancie in the middle ward, now destitute of the wings etc., und: There was neere to the place of the battell, a long lane fensed on the sides with ditches and walles made of turfe, through the which the Scots which fled were beaten down by the enemies on heapes. Here Haie with his sonnes supposing they might best staie the flight, placed themselves overthwart the lane, beat them backe achom they might fleeing, and spared neither friend nor fo; but down they went all such as came within their reach, wherewith divers hardie personages tried unto their fellowes to returne backe unto the battell etc. -- Wenn aber, wie das Obige zeigt, Holinshed die beiden Söhne Cymbeline's ebenso nennt, wie sie bei Shakspere heissen, so erwähnt er doch nichts von ihrer heimlichen Entführung, ihrem Leben in der Wildniss und ihrer Rückkehr an den Hof ihres Vaters. Alles das scheint Erfindung des Dichters zu sein.
Die mit der Geschichte Cymbeline's und seiner Söhne verflochtenen Schicksale der Imogen sind, französisch und englisch, in Poesie und Prosa, schon vor Shakspere vielfach behandelt, obwohl unser Dichter zuerst dieselben auf eine von ihm geschaffene Tochter Cymbeline's, Imogen benannt, übertragen hat. Er lernte diesen Stoff vielleicht aus Boccaccio (Decamerone Giornata Il. Novella 9.) kennen, sei es in Englischer Bearbeitung, die jetzt verloren gegangen ist, oder aus dem Original. Wie viel er im Einzelnen abgewichen ist, und andrerseits beibehalten hat, ergiebt sich aus der Novelle selbst, die hier in Skottowe's abgekürzter Uebertragung folgen mag:
Several Italian merchants met accidentally in Paris at supper, and conversed freely of their absent wives. “I know not,' one jestingly remarked, 'how my wife conducts herself in my absence; but of this I am certain, that whenever I meet with an attractive beauty, I make the best advantage I can of the opportunity.' And so do I,' quoth another; (for whether 1 believe my wife unfaithful or not, she will be so if she pleases.' A third said the same, and all readily coincided in the licentious opinion, except Bernabo Lomellia, of Genoa, who maintained that he had a wife perfectly beautiful, in the flower of youth, and of such indisputable chastity, that he was convinced if he were absent for ten years she would preserve her fidelity. A young merchant of Piacenza, Ambrogiulo, was extremely facetious on the subject, and concluded some libertine remarks by offering to effect the seduction of this modern Lucretia, provided opportunity were afforded him. Bernabo answered his confident boast by the proposition of a wager, which was instantly accepted.
. She world chastity
According to agreement, Bernabo remained at Paris, while Ambrogiulo set out for Genoa, where his enquiries soon convinced him that Ginevra, the wife of Bernabo, had not been too highly praised, and that his wager would be lost without he could effect by stratagem what he had certainly no probability of obtaining by direct solicitation. Chance threw in his way a poor woman often employed in the house of Ginevra, whom he secured in his interest by a bribe. Pretending unavoidable absence for a few days, the woman entreated Ginevra to take charge of a large chest till she returned. The lady consented, and the chest, with Ambrogiulo secreted in it, was placed in Ginevra's bed-chamber. When the lady retired to rest, the villain crept from his concealment, and, by the light of a taper, took particular notice of the pictures and furniture, and the form and situation of the apartment. Advancing to the bed, he eagerly sought for some mark about the lady's person, and at last espied a mole and tuft of golden hair upon her left breast. Then taking a ring, a purse, and other trifles, he returned to his concealment, whence he was not released till the third day, when the woman returned, and had the chest conveyed home.
Ambrogiulo hastily summoned the merchants in Paris, who were present when the wager was laid. As a proof of his success he produced the stolen trinkets; called them gifts from the lady, and described the furniture of the bed-room. Bernabo acknowledged the correctness of the account, and confessed that the purse and ring belonged to his wife; but added, that as Ambrogiulo might have obtained his account of the room, and procured the jewels also, from some of Ginevra's servants, his claim to the money was not yet established. The proofs I have given, said Ambrogiulo, ought to suffice; but as you call on me for more, I will silence your scepticism at once: Ginevra has a mole on her left breast. Bernabo's countenance testified the truth of this assertion, and he shortly acknowledged it by words: he then paid the sum he had wagered, and instantly set out for Italy. Arriving near his residence, he despatched a messenger for Ginevra, and gave secret orders that she should be put to death upon the road. The servant stopped in a lonely place, and declared his master's harsh instructions. The lady vehemently protested her innocence of any crime against her husband, besought the compassion of her conductor, and promised to conceal herself in some distant and obscure abode. Her life was spared, and the servant returned to his master with some of Ginevra's clothes, reporting that he had killed her, and left her body to the ferocity of beasts of prey.
Ginevra disguised herself in the garments of a man, and entered into the service of a Catalonian gentleman, who carried her to Alexandria. Here she was fortunate enough to attract the attention of the Sultan, who solicited her from her master. She soon became a favourite, and, under the name of Sicurano, was appointed captain of the guard. For the security