1691 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Beaumont

Gerard Langbaine, in Account of the English Dramatick Poets (1691) 205-07.



I am extreamly sorry, that I am not able to give and Account of the Affairs of these Great Men; Mr. Beaumont's Parentage, Birth, County, Education, and Death being wholly unknown to me: And as to Mr. Fletcher, all I know of him is, That he was Son to the Eminent Richard Fletcher, created Bishop of Bristol, by Queen Elizabeth, An. 1559. and by her preferr'd to London, 1593. He died in London of the Plague in the First Year of King Charles the Martyr, 1625. being Nine and fourty Years of Age, and was bury'd in St. Mary Overies Church in Soutwarke....

Where, or when Mr. Beaumont died, I know not; but I have met with an Epitaph, writ by Dr. Corbet, immediately after his Death, that well deserves the Reader's perusal.

On Mr. Francis Beaumont (then newly dead.)
He that hath such Acuteness, and such Wit,
As would ask Ten good Heads to husband it;
He that can write so well, that no man dare
Refuse it for the best, let him beware:
BEAUMONT is dead, by whose sole Death appears,
Wit's a Disease consumes men in few years.

There are two and fifty Plays written these worthy Authors; all which are now extant in one Volume, printed fol. Lond. 1679. each of which I shall mention Alphabetically [omitted; see Fletcher].