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Shakspere's Troilus and Cressida erschien zuerst im Jahre 1609 in einer Quartausgabe mit folgendem Titel: The Famous Historie of Troylus and Cresseid. Excellently expressing the beginning of their loues, with the conceited wooing of Pandarus Prince of Licia. Written by William Shakespeare. London. Imprinted by G. Eld for R. Bonian and H. Walley, and are to be sold at the spred Eagle in Paules Church-yeard, ouer against the great North doore, 1609.

Dem Texte geht folgendes an den Leser gerichtete Vorwort voran, das auf der zweiten Seite The Epistle überschrieben ist:

A never writer to an ever reader. News. Eternal reader, you have here a new play, never staled with the stage, necer clapper-clawed with the palms of the vulgar, and yet passing full of the palm comical; for it is a birth of your brain, that never undertook anything comical vainly: and were but the vain names of comedies changed for the titles of commodities, or of plays for pleas, you should see all those grand censors, that now style them such vanities, flock to them for the main grace of their gravities; especially this author's comedies, that are so framed to the life, that they serve for the most common commentaries of all the actions of our lives, showing such a dexterity and power of wit, that the most displeased with plays are pleased with his comedies. And all such dull and heavy-witted worldlings as were never capable of the wit of a comedy, coming by report of them to his representations, have found that wit there that they never found in themselves, and have parted better witted than they came ; feeling an edge of wit set upon them more than ever they dreamed they had bruin to grind it on. So much and such favoured salt of wit is in his comedies, that they seem (for their height of pleasure) to be born in that sea that brought forth Venus. Amongst all there is none more witty than this: and had I time I would comment upon it, though I know it needs not (for so much as will make you think your testern well bestowed), but for so much

worth as even poor I know to be stuffed in it. It deserves such a labour, as well as the best comedy in Terence or Plautus. And believe this, that when he is gone, and his comedies out of sale, you will scramble for them, and set up a new English Inquisition. Take this for a warning, and at the peril of your pleasures' loss and judgments, refuse not, nor like this the less for not being sullied with the smoky breath of the multitude; but thank Fortune for the scape it hath made amongst you, since by the grand possessors' wills I believe you should have prayed for them rather than been prayed. And so I leave all such to be prayed for (for the states of their wit's healths) that will not praise it. Vale.

Es erhellt aus dieser Vorrede, dass zur Zeit das Drama noch nicht zur Aufführung gelangt war, und dass dasselbe ohne die Genehmigung der Besitzer, *) (ohne Zweifel der Shakspere'schen Schauspielergesellschaft) hier im Druck erschien. Offenbar hat der erstere Umstand die Verleger, die sich auf unrechtmässige Weise in den Besitz einer Handschrift gesetzt hatten, veranlasst, ihrer Ausgabe ein empfehlendes Vorwort für ein Drama voranzuschicken, das dem Publikum noch durch keine Bühnenaufführung bekannt geworden war. Aus einer Einzeichnung in die Register der Buchhändler von Seiten der genannten Verleger (28. Jan. 1608—9) geht zugleich hervor, dass um dieselbe Zeit das Schauspiel Troilus and Cressida, hier The History of Troylus and Cressula genannt, der Theatercensur vorlag, welche die Erlaubniss zur Aufführung zu ertheilen hatte. Nachdem diese Genehmigung erfolgt und das Stück über die Bühne gegangen war, liessen die Verleger in den noch vorräthigen Exemplaren ihrer Quartausgabe die nunmehr überflüssig gewordene Vorrede weg, und fügten statt des alten Titelblattes ein neues hinzu, das folgendermassen lautete: The Historie of Troylus and Cresseida. As it was acted by the Kings Maiesties seruants at the Globe. Written by William Shakespeare. London. Imprinted by G. Eld for R. Bonian and H. Walley etc. 1609. Das Drama muss mithin zwischen dem Erscheinen der ersten Quartausgabe und der nur durch Weglassung der Vorrede so wie durch das Titelblatt davon verschiedenen zweiten, im Jahre 1609 von der Shakspere’schen Schauspielergesellschaft, the King's Players genannt, auf dem Globustheater zuerst dargestellt sein.

In der Gesammtausgabe der Shakspere’schen Dramen in Folio findet sich The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida zwischen der zweiten Abtheilung dieses Bandes, welche die Histories enthält, und der dritten, der Tragedies, als seien, wie Charles Knight vermuthet, die Herausgeber der Folio zweifelhaft gewesen, welcher Kategorie ein Drama ange


In dem Satze since by the grand possessors' wills, I believe you should have prayed for them etc. ist das them auf das vorhergehende his comedies, auf Sh.'s Dramen, zu beziehen.

höre, das in der Vorrede der ersten Quartausgabe als Comedy charakterisirt und mit den Lustspielen des Plautus und Terenz verglichen wird, das auf dem Titelblatt der Quartos, und in dem Vermerk der Buchhändlergilde History heisst, das endlich der Titel in der Folioausgabe als Tragedy bezeichnet, vermuthlich mehr der in dem Drama auftretenden Helden wegen, als in Folge der Behandlung des Stoffes, wie sie Shakspere in dieser Parodie des trojanischen und griechischen Heldenthums unternahm. - Collier sucht den Grund zu der abgesonderten Stellung, welche Troilus and Cressida in der Folio einnimmt, darin, dass das Stück abgesondert von den übrigen und von einem andern Drucker gedruckt und erst nachher der Folio einverleibt sei. Zur Unterstützung dieser Hypothese macht er auf die überaus grosse Nachlässigkeit des Druckes, auf die zahlreichen Druckfehler aufmerksam, die sich indess auch in manchen andern Dramen der Folio in kaum geringerem Masse bemerklich machen. Jedenfalls ist der Text der Folio nicht so ohne Weiteres aus dem gleichfalls sehr nachlässig behandelten Texte der Qs. abgedruckt worden, sondern verräth in Einzelnheiten und Zusätzen überall die verbessernde Hand des Dichters, wogegen, was die Qs. an einzelnen nur in ihnen enthaltenen Versen, wie an bessern Lesarten vor der Fol. voraus haben, zuversichtlich auf Rechnung der Fahrlässigkeit zu setzen ist, mit welcher der Text beim Drucke für die Fol. behandelt worden sein muss. Eine Abtheilung in Acte und Scenen fehlt in beiden alten Ausgaben.

Den Grundstoff zu seiner Tragikomödie, die Liebesschicksale des treuen Troilus und seiner treulosen Geliebten, fand Sh. in Chaucer's Epos Troilus and Creseide, das in fünf Büchern dasselbe Thema, aber im ernsten Style mittelalterlicher Sagen behandelt. Chaucer beginnt nach einer Apostrophe an den Leser folgendermassen: It is well wist, how that the Greekes strong He cast anone out of the toune to go: In armes with a thousand shippes went

For well he wist by surt, that Troie sholde To Troie wardes, and the citie long

Destroyed be, ye would who so or n’olde. Besiegeden, nigh then yeres ere they stent,

Wherefore he to departen softely, And how in divers wise, and one entent,

Tooke purpose full, this forknowing wise, The ravishing to wreake of queen Heleine , And to the Greekes host full prively By Paris don, they wroughten all hir peine.

He stale anone, and they in courteous wise Now fell it so, that in the toune there was Did to him both worship and servise, Deelling a lord of great authorite

In trust that he hath cunning hem to rede A great divine that cleped was Calcas,

In every perill, which that was to drede. That in science so expert was, that he

Great rumour rose, whan it was first espied, knew well, that Troie should destroyed be,

In all the toune, and openly was spoken, By answere of his god, that hight thus,

That Calcas traitour fled was and alied Dan Phebus, or Apollo Delphicus.

To hem of Grece: and cast was to be wroken So whan this Calcas knew by calculing, On him, that falsely hath his faith broken, And eke by the answere of this god Apollo, And sayd, he and all his kinne atones, That the Greekes should such a people bring, Were worthy to be brent, both fell and bones, Thorow the which that Troie must be fordo,

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Now had Calcas lefte in this mischaunce, Creseide was this ladies name aright,
Unwist of this false and wicked dede,

As to my dome, in all Troies citie
A daughter, whiche was in great penaunce, Most fairest ladie, far passing every wight
And of her life she was full sore in drede, So angelike shone her native beaute,
And wist ne never what best was to rede: That no mortall thing seemed she:
And as a widdow was she, and all alone, And therewith was she so perfect a creature,
And n'iste to whome she might make her mone. As she had be made in scorning of nature.

Die Unterhaltung des Pandarus mit seiner Nichte (A. 1, Sc. 3.) findet sich bei Chaucer vorgebildet, wie aus folgendem Bruchstück hervorgeht: Till she gan asken him how Hector ferde, This knoweth many a wise and worthy knight: That was the tounes wall, and Greekes yerde. And the same prise of Troilus I sey, Full wel I thanke it God," said Pandarus,

God helpe me so, I know not suche twey.Save in his arme he hath a little wound By God,(quod she) of Hector that is sooth, And eke his fresh brother Troilus,

keth me,

And of Troilus the same thing trou I: The wise worthy Hector the secound,

For dredelesse, men telleth that he dooth In whom that every vertue list habound, In armes day by day so worthely, And first all trouthe, and all gentlenesse, And beareth him here at home so gently Wisedom, honour, freedom, and worthinesse.To every wight, that all prise hath he In good faith, eme,(quod she) that li

Of hem that me were levest praised be."

„Ye say right sooth ywis," (quod Pandarus) They faren well; God save hem both two: For yesterday, who so had with him been, For treuliche, I hold it great deintie,

Mighten have wondred upon Troilus, A kinges' sonne in armes well to do,

For never yet so thicke a swarme of been And be of good conditions thereto:

Ne flew, as Greekes from him gan fleen, For great power, and morall vertue here And through the field in every wightes care, Is selde iseene in one persone ifere."

There was no crie, but Troilus is there. In good faith, that is sooth(quod Pandarus) Now here, now there, he hunted hem so fast, But by my trouth the king hath sonnes twey, There nas but Greekes blood, and Troilus, That is to meane, Hector and Troilus, Now him he hurt, and him all doun he cast, That certainly though that I should dey, Aye where he went it was arraied thus : They ben as void of vices, dare I sey, He was hir death, and shield and life for us, As any men that liven under Sunne,

That as the day ther durst him none withHir might is wide yknow, and what they


While that he held his bloody swerd in hond. Of Hector needeth it no more for to tell, Thereto he is the friendliest man In all this world there n'is a better knight of great estate, that ever I saw my live: Than he, that is of worthinesse the well, And where him list, best fellowship can And he well more vertue hath than might, To such as him thinketh able for to thrive."

Die Scherze und Spässe des Pandarus in seinem Gespräch mit Cressida (A. 4, Sc. 2.) haben ebenfalls ihr Vorbild bei Chaucer: Pandare a morow, which that commen was And nere he came and said, How stant it now Unto his nece, gan her faire to grete,

This merie morow, nece, how can ye fare?" And saied, All this night 80 rained it alas, Creseide answerde, Never thc bet for you, That all my drede is, that ye, nece swete , Foxe that ye been, God yeve your herte care, Have little leiser had to slepe and mete: God helpe me 80, ye caused all this fare, Al this night"(quod he),hath rain so do me wake, Trowe 1,(quod she) for all your wordes white, That some of us I trowe hir heddes ake,O who so seth you, knoweth you full lite.


With that she gan her face for to wrie, I passe all that, which chargeth naught to say, With the shete, and wore for shame all redde, What, God foryave his death, and she also And Pandarus gan under for to prie,

Foryave: and with her uncle gan to play, And saied Nece, if that I shall been dedde, For other cause was there none than so: Have here a sword, and smileth of my hedde:But of this thing right to the effect to go, With that his arme all sodainly he thrist Whan time was, home to her house she went, Inder her necke, and at the last her kist. And Pandarus hath fully his entent.

Der Rede des Calchas (A. 3, Sc. 3.) entspricht bei Chaucer Folgendes: Than said he thus, Lo, lordes mine I was Having unto my treasour, ne my rent, Troyan, as it is knowen out of drede, Right no regard in respect of your case, And if that you remember, I am Calcas , Thus all my good I left, and to you went, That alderfirst yave comfort to your nede, Wening in this you lordes for to please, And tolde well howe that you should spede, But all that losse ne doth me no disease, For dredelesse through you shall in a stound I vouchsafe, as wisely have I joy, Ben Troy ybrent, and beaten doun to ground. For you to lese all that I have in Troy. „And in what forme, or in what manner wise Save of a doughter that I left, alas, This toun to shend, and all your lust atcheve, Sleeping at home, whan out of Troy I stert, Ye have cre this well herde me devise :

Osterne, O cruell father that I was, This know ye my lordes, as I leve,

How might I have in that so hard an herte? And for the Greekes weren me so leve,

Alas, that I ne had brought her in my shert, I came my selfe in my proper persone

For sorow of which I wol nat live to morow, To teach in this how you was best to done. But if ye lordes rew upon my sorow.

Hier ein Bruchstück aus dem Abschiede des Troilus und der Cressida (A. 4, Sc. 4.), wie ihn Chaucer hat: „And over all this I pray you,(quod she tho) And while that God my wit will me conserve My owne hertes soothfast suffisaunce,

I shall so done, so true I have you found, Sith I am thine all hole withouten mo,

That aie honour to meward shall rebound. That while that I am absent, no pleasaunce

For trusteth well, that your estate royall, of other, do me fro your remembraunce :

Ne vain delite, nor onely worthinesse For I am ever agast, for why? men rede,

Of you in werre or turnay marciall, That love is thing aye full of busie drede.

Ne pompe, array, nobley, or eke richesse : For in this world there liveth lady none , Ne made me to rue on your distresse, If that ye were untrue, as God defend, But moral veriue, grounded upon trouth, That so betrayed were, or wo begon,

That was the cause I first had on you routh. As I, that all trouthe in you entend :

Eke gentle herle, and manhood that ye had, And doubtlesse, if that iche other wend, And that ye had (as me thought) in dispite I nere but dead, and ere ye cause find,

Every thing that sowned in to bad, For Goddes love, so beth ye nat unkind.As rudenesse, and peoplish appetite To this answered Troilus and seide,

And that your reason bridled your delite, Now God to whom there n'is no cause ywrie, This made aboven every creature, Me glad, as wis I never unto (reseide, That I was yours, and shall while I may Sith thilke day I saw her first with eye,

dure. Was false, ne never shall till that I die, And this may length of yeres nat fordo, At short wordes, well ye may me leve,

Ne remuablest fortune deface, I can no more, it shall be found at preve.But Jupiter, that of his might may do Graunt mercy, good herte mine, ywis(quod she) The sorowful to be glad, 80 yeve us grace, „And blisful Venus let me never sterve, Er nightes tenne to meten in this place, Er I may stonde of pleasunce in degre, So that it may your herte and mine suffise, To quite him well, that so well can deserve: And fareth now well, for time is that ye rise."

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