Pescetti has been no more fortunate in his Continental critics. The mere mention of his name from Tiraboschi on is all one finds till Emilio Bertana, in his "La tragedia" (1904), gives a brief analysis and critique of the play. Ferdinando Neri, in his “La tragedia italiana nel Cinquecento" (1904) has a brief mention, but none of his countrymen have ever discussed Pescetti's drama as a possible Shakespearean source. It seems unknown to French and German critics.

Owing to the absence in America of material bearing upon Pescetti, I was compelled to base my study upon a very carefully executed transcript of the 1594 edition of "Cesare' now in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence. Through the courtesy of Professor Ayres, I have been enabled carefully to check all quotations by reference to his own copy of the 1594 edition. The references to “Julius Caesar" are to the Globe Edition. The copy of Lydgate referred to is in the Library of Columbia University, while the quotations from Ovid are taken from Golding's 1575 translation in the Yale University Library. To the latter I am also indebted for the extracts from the 1578 translation of Appian. The references to Plutarch are to Professor Skeats' edition.

To Mr. Emilio Bruschi of Florence I am indebted for his careful transcriptions of documents, and to Professor Salomone Morpurgo, the head librarian of the Biblioteca Nazionale, for his courtesy in putting the available material contained therein at my disposal. To Professor Harry Morgan Ayres I wish to express my thanks for permitting me to use his copy of “Cesare."

To Professor Theodore F. Jones and Mr. Arthur H. Nason of New York University I owe many valuable suggestions regarding the arrangement of subject matter. My many obligations to Professor M. W. MacCallum's "Shakespeare's Roman Plays and their Background," and to Professor F. H. Sykes' edition of "Julius Caesar" are in evidence throughout.

I am above all indebted to my colleague, Dr. Edoardo San Giovanni, for his kind help and encouragement, without which this work would probably never have been consummated.


of Caesar's Nobler Qualities—Their Submergence in the Action and his
Emphasis of Caesar's Weaknesses—Caesar's Susceptibility to Flat-
tery, his Pride, his Boastfulness, his Vacillation-Reasons for
Pescetti's Delineation–The Parallels in Shakespeare's Treatment
-Caesar's Relative Inferiority in the Action-His Spiritual Domina-
tion of the Tragedy.




I intend in this monograph to demonstrate the probability of Shakespeare's indebtedness in the composition of the first three acts of his "Julius Caesar," to the “Cesare" of Orlando Pescetti, an Italian tragedy on the same theme, first published at Verona in 1594.*

This connection has never yet been demonstrated. The work seems almost totally unknown to the English literary world.† Shakespearean criticism, eager to investigate the smallest matters in regard to the great poet, is silent on Pescetti. I know of no French or Germanț references. In Italy, Pescetti has received scant notice; few writers have so much as mentioned “Cesare," while not one has made any suggestion as to a possible connection between this play and "Julius Caesar."

* A second edition followed in 1604 from the same press (Girolamo Dise cepolo) in 4o.

This is exceedingly rare; the only copy which I have traced is in the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice. I use the 1594 text, following the copy in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale at Florence.

† The only reference in English with which I am acquainted is by Harry Morgan Ayres in the June, 1910, number of the Proceedings of the Am. Modern Language Association. In his article, “Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in the Light of some other Versions" he makes a brief mention of this play. But see Preface.

I A careful search of the forty volumes of Jahrbücher, published by the “Deutsche Shakespeare Gesellschaft", failed to reveal any mention of Pescetti. A search of the registers of the very complete collection of German literary periodicals contained in the library of New York University was equally unproductive.

$ For a brief sketch of Pescetti see G. B. Gerini, Gli scrittori pedagogici italiani nel secolo decimo settimo. 1900. In addition to the above the following are the only works known to me which mention Pescetti's “Cesare":

Fonte, Michelangelo, [Paolo Beni), Il Cavalcanti, 1614.
Quadrio, Fr. Saverio, Della storia e della ragione d'ogni poesia, 1739.

Fontanini, Giusto, Biblioteca dell'eloquenza italiana con le annotazioni del Sig. Apostolo Zeno, 1753. Allaci, Leone, Drammaturgia, 1755.


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The inscription upon the title page of the 1594 edition is as follows:

Il Cesare

d'Orlando Pescetti

al Sereniss. Principe
Donno Alfonso II. d'Este
Duca di Ferrara, etc.


In Verona
Nella stamparia di Girolamo Discepolo


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Pescetti's work is in quarto, and consists of six pages of dedicatory matter, and one hundred and fifty pages of verse, for the most part hendecasyllabic varied with septenarians. In the tragedy proper there are nearly four thousand lines.

The author in his dedication establishes, to his own satisfaction at least, the descent of the family of Este from the mighty Julius, and ventures the belief that Brutus and Cassius, though they could not abide Caesar's rule, would rejoice in Alfonso's. At the end of several pages of this sort of flattery we read: "Di Verona il di 19 di Febraio 1594. Di V.A.S. Divotiss. et umiliss. Servitore Orlando Pescetti."

Tiraboschi, Girolamo, Storia della letteratura italiana, 1822.
Ginguené, P. L., Histoire Littéraire d'Italie, 1824.
De Sanctis, Natale, G. Cesare e M. Bruto nei poeti tragici, 1895.
Salvioli, Bibliografia universale del teatro drammatico italiano, 1903.
Bertana, Emilio, La tragedia, 1904.
Neri, Ferdinando, La tragedia italiana nel Cinquecento, 1904.

Flamini, Francesco, A History of Italian Literature. Translated by Evan. geline O'Connor, 1907.

Of the above only Bertana has more than a brief mention. He alone attempts an analysis of the play.

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