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Quixotic quests and texts: enlightenment Quijotes and Vargas, a tale of Spain.

Don Quijote was an immediate best-seller when Part I was published in 1605. The second part of the novel came out ten years later, just a year before Cervantes died, in 1616, and four hundred years later we celebrate the novel and its influence. During these four centuries, other writers have looked to the Quijote: they have imitated and continued it, or have otherwise turned to it for inspiration. Now, its iconic characters are found not only in literature but throughout pop culture as well. From political candidates whose campaigns are called quixotic or who are portrayed fighting windmills in caricatures on editorial pages to a Peanuts cartoon by Charles Schultz in which Peppermint Patty marvels that Marcia will be reading the novel during summer vacation, to the don and his squire pitching manchego cheese in a Trader Joe's newsletter, quixotism has made don Quijote and Sancho Panza famous well beyond the sphere of hispanists and literary critics.

Just what quixotism and quixotic mean though is open to interpretation. defines quixotic as: "resembling or befitting Don Quixote. or, 2. extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable. and 3. impulsive and often rashly unpredictable." (22) In political cartoons, candidates are called quixotic because their quest for election is considered impractical or impulsive. The quest to create another Quijote, as Avellaneda found out in 1614, was similarly impractical as Cervantes used his characters to attack Avellaneda's characters and the novel itself, and the apocryphal continuation did not reverberate the way Cervantes' novel did. Spanish Enlightenment texts such as Don Quixote de la Manchuela (1767) or El Quijote de la Cantabria (1792-1800) (to name only a couple) share the quest of trying to create another Don Quijote or replicate it, as they imbued their texts with enlightenment values. (23)

Beyond the continuations or adaptations of the novel mentioned, Don Quijote was greatly admired in Enlightenment Spain. Alvarez Barrientos and Jurado Santos, among others, have noted that in Spain it was the novel's verisimilitude that attracted commentators as they sought to see in it the tenets that fit their values (Jurado Santos 281; Alvarez Barrientos, La novel del siglo XVIII 173). Citing Cotarelo, Alvarez Barrientos suggests that there were basically two paths taken by writers: those who imitated it or those who continued it (La novela del siglo XVIII 124). Jose Marchena, the 18thcentury literary preceptor, acknowledged the supremacy of the Quijote when he commented on what Montesquieu had written about it, saying that "[e]ven if Montesquieu's exaggerated opinion were true that there is no Spanish work worth reading besides this one [the Quijote], in it we would have one which would be worth an entire library...." (343, my translation). (24) In his Elojio a Cervantes, Jose Mor de Fuentes admired both the tenets of the novel as well as Cervantes' use of prose, and he both praised Cervantes and imitated the Quijote in other works as well (Malin 137). Another Spanish writer, but writing in England to where he emigrated in 1810, Jose Maria Blanco White, in the prologue to Luisa Bustamante, his unfinished novel written in 1839, remarks: "Bien quisiera yo, amigos lectores espanoles, tener la pluma de Cervantes para con ella ganar vuestra benevolencia en favor de la narracion que me propongo escribir" (25). In his benevolentiae, Blanco admits to his own quixotic enterprise, but only hopes to aspire to the greatness that Cervantes achieved.

Discussing just what quixotic means, Aaron Hanlon explains how slippery the terminology related to the influence of Cervantes's masterpiece is. He notes that critics have mused on what it means "to call a narrative 'quixotic'" many times, and he tentatively distinguishes between associations between works that bear "resemblance to Don Quixote (the text) or Don Quixote (the figure)" ("Towards a Counter-Poetics" 143). The direct influence of the novel was not limited to Spain. Hanlon and many other critics, including Ronald Paulson in his Don Quixote in England, or Edwin Knowles, have noted that its influence was, in fact, as great in England as it was in Spain. Paulson writes that "[b]y 1700 at least, Don Quixote was an immensely popular work in England, [and] one that we can be sure everyone we discuss in this book had read and probably reread" (xi). Henry Fielding, as he points out, announced on the title page of his 1742 Joseph Andrews that his novel is "'Written in Imitation of the Manner of Cervantes'" (Paulson ix-x), and this is but one of a myriad of English writers who felt Cervantes's influence. However, as we will discuss later, how they imitated him, or what aspects of the novel they emphasized changed from one generation of writers to another. Though written early in the nineteenth century, another English novel in which the imprint of the Quijote is palpable is Vargas, a Tale of Spain, whose authorship was formerly widely attributed to Jose Maria Blanco White, long associated with the mores of the Spanish Enlightenment, and who was living in exile in London at the time of the novel's publication in 1822. In Vargas, we also see the anxiety of influence that Don Quijote exerted over others who attempted prose fiction. Published anonymously, its author turned to Cervantes's novel to flesh out the plot, but Vargas, as we shall see, was based on another Spanish novel, Cornelia Bororquia (1801).

Before going into quixotism in the novel, it is worth exploring the theme of the authorship of Vargas and its relationship to Cornelia. Martin Murphy, Antonio Garnica, and Manuel Moreno Alonso, among many others, following Mendez Bejarano's lead, were convinced that Blanco was the author of Vargas. These critics credit Blanco for its authorship because they felt that only a Spaniard from Seville, living in London in 1822, would be familiar enough with Spain, Spanish customs, and with Don Quijote to have written the text. They also suggest that only someone with such strong anti-Catholic sentiments as Blanco could have authored the novel (Duran Lopez 393-94). The one critic who never did feel that Blanco wrote Vargas was Vicente Llorens and his dubiety was finally substantiated by Fernando Duran Lopez in an article from 2013. (25) Duran Lopez too questioned Blanco's authorship because to him the reasoning that Blanco could have been the author simply did not equal "Blanco was the author," so he began to search for just who the author could have been (395). Serendipity led him to another Spanish-themed novel entitled Felix Alvarez or Manners in Spain..., which was published by Alexander Robert Charles Dallas (17911869) in 1818. In this text he found stylistic traits that others cited in Vargas as being consistent with Blanco's style (396). Regarding the internal evidence that led others to feel certain that Blanco was the author, Duran Lopez concludes that: "Una vez que conozcamos la peripecia de Alexander Dallas, ... se vera que la mayor parte de tales evidencias internas se ajustan a su perfil igual que al de Blanco" (394). Dallas served in the British army during the Spanish War of Independence, so he knew Spain and its customs well. And, as we have already seen, the Quijote was well known in England.

Seeking further evidence that Dallas may have been the author, Duran Lopez found his autobiography, published posthumously by his widow in 1871, and in it Dallas confesses to having written the novel (cited in Duran Lopez 397; in the original on p. 167). (26)

Regarding the evidence that the author of Vargas had to have known the Quijote, Duran Lopez writes: "respecto al cervantismo de Vargas, incontables europeos cultos, y Dallas tambien, leyeron y admiraron al Ingenioso Hidalgo" (395). Dallas was also familiar with other of Cervantes's writings, and he mentions La gitanilla in the notes to his poem "Ramirez," which is about the War of Independence (250). (27) Dallas also explicitly mentions his familiarity with the Quijote in his autobiography. In describing one particular experience in the war, he writes: "It was quite clear that to have proceeded in the ordinary way would have left the troops to starve, and the hazardous experiment I was making was in fact the only alternative. Andres and I went forth that morning very much like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza" (Incidents 57-58). (28) We will have more to say about the influence of and imprint of Cervantes' novel in Vargas later on, but I will turn now to the influence of the novel Cornelia Bororquia.

In declaring that he was indeed the author of Vargas, Dallas specifies in his autobiography that the novel "detailed the history of Cornelia Bororquia" (Incidents 167). The question then is just how Dallas might have come to know this novel. (29) Though Dallas could have seen an edition of the novel while he was travelling in Spain, it seems likely that he knew of it from an edition published in London in 1819. This was three years before the publication of Vargas and coincides with a time in his life in which Dallas turns from a potential career in law to taking vows as a Protestant minister. The London edition of Cornelia, edited and greatly expanded by another Spanish exile living in London named Diego Correa is a very interesting one, as are the details of how Correa ended up in London. Correa had been sent to Philadelphia as part of a plot to carry out an assassination of Napoleon, which was not successful. (30) From there he ended up in Cuba, and was later sent to Gibraltar where the English governor arrested him and sent him back to Spanish authorities who then sentenced him to ten years of hard labor in Ceuta. After impassioned pleas to British officials in Spain, and with the help of others in England, Correa was eventually freed and allowed to sail to London. (31) There, he wrote for the liberal newspaper El espanol constitucional and he published the aforementioned edition of Cornelia. (32) Antonio Garnica, as has already been mentioned, believed that Blanco was the author of Vargas and Garnica felt that Blanco could have read the novel in Spain before leaving for London, but that the publication of the London edition would not have gone unnoticed by him either (89-90). Ruben Benitez, on the other hand, in his article on Vargas, while he similarly concluded that Blanco White was the author of Vargas, wrote that Blanco must have learned of Cornelia from the London edition, though he does not bring up the issue of Correa's editorship (91-92). (33)

Now that the issue of the authorship of Vargas has been cleared up, thanks to the research of Duran Lopez, it seems that Dallas, in all likelihood, knew of Cornelia through Correa's edition, and this seems even more likely given what William Walton says about Correa and Vargas in the note bound into the edition of Vargas in the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid. (34) This note, which has previously been cited as proof that Blanco was the author of Vargas, also confirms that Correa was the editor of Cornelia. In the note, from William Walton, dated Oct 3, 1855, and addressed to Benjamin Wiffen he says that he is sending along to Mr. Macnay to then be forwarded to Oswaldo Lodge, as requested, the three volumes of Vargas along with what he calls a "curious brochure" that was circulated by Captain Correa in London to members of a Spanish cache. This curious brochure presumably was Cornelia, and this is also what Ruben Benitez concludes (93). This cache could have included Dallas. While we cannot be sure that Dallas and Correa knew each other, it does corroborate that Walton knew him. In fact, Martin Murphy points out that "William Walton, the translator of Puigblanch's La inquisicion sin mascara, supported him in his campaign to obtain an indemnity from the British government" upon his release from Ceuta (241). Walton mentions his friendship with the publisher of Vargas, Baldwin, whom Dallas also knew (Incidents 167). And, while he errs on the identification of the novel's author, Walton certainly puts Dallas, Blanco and Correa in a similar circle of acquaintances. (35) Given all the coincidences, it does seem likely that it was through the 1819 London edition that Dallas knew Cornelia.

Vargas was based directly on Cornelia, but the influence of Don Quijote on the text is also palpable. The Quijote's influence begins with the invention of a second fictional author to whom credit is given for the writing of the book. Antonio Garnica Silva, in a comparative study of Cornelia and Vargas, notes though that it is not only in the play between "Cide Hamete Benengeli/Cornelius Villiers de los primeros capitulos, sino sobre todo en la inclusion de entretenidos argumentos secundarios que, relacionados de alguna manera con el tema central, anaden a la novela complejidad, misterio e interes" (90-91). I would like to explore how Dallas drew from the Quijote in more detail as well as to suggest what it was in Cervantes' novel that drew Dallas to it. (36) Garnica concludes, writing about Cornelia Bororquia, that the novel's plot is "totalmente adecuado para los distintos propositos que ha tenido la novela: critica anticatolica, critica antirreligiosa ... y, en una version volteriana del tema, una romantica llamada a la tolerancia religiosa" (81-82). However, while Cornelia Bororquia is anti-Inquisition, as Noel Valis has written in her book Sacred Realism, "[t]o categorize Cornelia Bororquia as simply an anti-clerical novel, does not do it justice" (77). In fact, the novel makes it clear that it is not religion in itself that is harmful, but rather, as a defrocked priest named Casinio convinces the protagonist, Bartolome Vargas, "El espiritu religioso es muy util en las sociedades pero es muy perjudicial cuando se hermana con el la politica" (63). Casinio emphasizes that it is corrupt officials, both religious and political, that blemish its complexion and not religion in and of itself. (37) The novel, in fact, is not so narrow in its commentary, criticizing, for example, a litany of Spain's ills, anticipating reforms that would be part of the Constitution of 1812.38 In his edition of the novel, Correa seizes upon these elements as he openly attacks Fernando VII and perceived flaws in the Constitution. Vargas, however, is much narrower in its scope as Dallas uses the strongly anti-Inquisition stance of Cornelia, and fleshes out the plot by drawing on Don Quijote for his own ideological purpose to more broadly attack Catholicism rather than just the Inquisition. (39) Dallas' adaptation of Gutierrez's novel, as Garnica suggested for Cornelia, is perfectly suited to his ideological goals of assailing Church doctrines.

For readers not familiar with the plot of Cornelia Bororquia, it is worth summarizing it in broad strokes. In the novel, the Archbishop of Seville has kidnapped the eponymous heroine at the beginning of the novel because she has refused to give in to his attempts to seduce her. Convinced, however, that it is her lover, Bartolome Vargas, who has abducted her, Cornelia's father, the governor of Valencia, sends his friend Meneses in search of Vargas. Eventually, through a series of letters, Meneses learns the truth and informs Cornelia's father of the real identity of his daughter's abductor. Meanwhile, the Archbishop has Cornelia interned in Seville's Inquisition prison and continues to attack her virtue. After one attempt, Cornelia takes the knife that Lucia brings in to cut the bread, and stabs the Archbishop in self-defense. In the throes of death, he vindicates her and blames himself for her situation, but the Inquisitors still find her guilty of crimes against the Church and she is executed in an auto da fe. Dallas will take the skeleton of this plot, especially its anti-Inquisition stance, and even more heavily lean on Don Quijote, as has already been mentioned, to stretch the scant action of Cornelia to a three-volume novel.

Dallas weaves together a plot in large part based on episodes from the Quijote as a rhetorical strategy to malign Catholicism, and this is very much in keeping with some of his other writings, as Vargas is not the only work in which Dallas attacks the Papacy and the Romish Church. His sermon "The Light Thrown by Prophecy on the Recent Development of Papacy" is one of a number of other examples of anti-Catholic writings. He writes in his autobiography that one of his missions was to debunk Catholicism and convert Irish Catholics (18-19). He also translated The Spanish Reformed Church ... which was a Declaration of a group of Spaniards who met in 1868 to propose reforms and create a Spanish Protestant Church as a protest against the Catholic Church.

The episodic nature of Don Quijote provides the perfect vehicle for Dallas's attacks as in his travels from Zaragoza to Seville Vargas visits a number of sacred sites and witnesses a number of celebrations based on Catholic liturgy and rituals commemorating local saints. In his article on the influence of Cervantes in Britain, Edwin Knowles maintains that in the 17th century, "English interpretations ... emphasized only the surface farce" of Don Quijote in large part due to both a bad translation and to "uncordial social and religious affiliations between Spain and England of this era." (267, 272). He maintains, however, that by the 18th century, they enjoyed the comic aspects, but also "esteemed the satire." (267). Dallas takes advantage of the satiric implications, the narratological complexity of Cervantes' masterpiece as well as the episodic nature of Don Quijote's travels through the Spanish countryside to flesh out his plot. Just as Don Quijote points out the injustices of 17th-century Spain by commenting on practically every aspect of his society from slavery to the folly of war to politicians' empty words, Dallas borrows from the plot of the novel as both the narrator and the characters will comment on plot twists.

Dallas's indebtedness to Cervantes' novel is profound as a partial recounting of borrowings will show. Similar to the Quijote, especially Part I of the novel, much of the action takes place at an inn. Like in Cervantes' work, there are the surprising coincidental arrivals of a variety of characters to the same inn. There is a donkey that disappears and then later reappears, there is a braying scene, wine is spilled from animal skins, and there is even a scene in which unction is applied to cure wounds, which reminds us of the goatherds who treated Don Quijote's missing ear, and, well, the list of similarities would go on (I: 195-97, 202, 213). Dallas also borrows from Cervantine narrative devices, announcing to readers what is coming up. In Part I, chapter eight, for example, the narrator explains what has been happening in separate scenes while he has been busy explaining another: "While I have been introducing Master Rock to my reader, poor Vargas has been kindly received at the White Moor, where, having been placed under the care of Father Cachafuto ..." who, like the goatherds in chapter 10 of Part I of the Quijote, gave him an unction and a potion to cure his wounds (215). In another scene that also leans heavily on Volume I of Cervantes' novel, Vargas stays at an inn near a famous hermitage, at which several muleteers have also stopped. The muleteers staying at the inn help the innkeeper make fun of the postas boy, and it turns out that they are wine vendors, selling wine in animal casks, called borrachas (202). They all try to trick the postas boy, but he makes a plan of his own, and it includes a braying mule (that belongs to the innkeeper, but which he tries to convince the postas boy is his because the innkeeper wants to keep the boy's mule). Finally, the innkeeper gets kicked by his own mule, but uses the pigskin to stop it, and the narrator recounts that "the miserable Master Rock would, I believe, have been contented that the flood with which he was deluged had been his own blood, to have saved the discharge from his pigskin" (213). In this scene, Dallas borrows from Cervantes in an attempt to infuse the novel with humor as the innkeeper mimics Sancho in his gluttony and enjoyment of wine.

Earlier in the same volume, in a plot detail taken from Cornelia Bororquia, Vargas is headed from Zaragoza to Seville because he has just learned that his lover, Cornelia, has been abducted by the Inquisition. Coincidentally enough, he runs into Meneses, who is looking for him, believing he is Cornelia's kidnapper. The two end up in a sword fight and the injured Vargas is brought to the Castillo de Alange to recuperate. At this point, the narrator announces that the Count of Alange and his two castles ".deserve a whole chapter to themselves, and they shall have it" (155). (40) Another example of borrowing from Cervantes' narrative technique occurs when the narrator explains that "[w]hile Meneses is making the best of his way to Seville, the reader shall get there before him, and be admitted into the recesses of the palace of the Inquisition, by means of the powerful master-key of an historian" (89). These Cervantine techniques, the coincidence and the narrator's announcement of the content of the upcoming chapter, along with the plot similarities detailed above, are but a few of the many examples of how the Quijote influenced Dallas's style.

Dallas admires Cervantes' novel for its humor and Cide Hamete's narrative technique to maintain the reader's interest, but the real purpose of the novel, as I stated earlier, is to criticize the tenets and fundaments of Catholicism. Dallas begins his assaults on Catholicism when the narrator explains Vargas' biography. (41) As a young man, Vargas begins to question his faith, and talks to a Priest to try to help him clarify and affirm his beliefs. However, after he talks to the Priest, the narrator explains that Vargas left " greater confusion than he began, and at length got so completely entangled in the maze of traditional tenets, and so disgusted with the inconsistencies of papal infallibility, that he lost the guiding star which had hitherto directed him in his anxious search after truth ..." (228-29). (42) The novel will expand upon these inquiries into perceived inadequacies of Catholic tenets and will profess the superiority of Protestantism as the plot unfolds. (43)

As a young man, Vargas lived with the Bororquia family (spelled Bohorquia in the novel), and, so consumed was he with the study of theology, that he did not realize Cornelia's growing feelings for him. It is, however, not his desire to marry her and to forego celibacy when he did discover his own feelings, but his doubts about Church doctrine that led him leave the Church. The narrator explains that he was not "content to wear the cloak of hypocrisy, [and] become a teacher of those tenets which he himself rejected" (I, 232). When he told the Marquis of his decision to abandon the priesthood, Cornelia's father responded: "I shall instantly deliver you over to the Inquisition, with an accusation of heresy" (235). To avoid the prospect of jail, Vargas leaves for England. There, to allay suspicions of being Catholic, he goes to the Church of England and praises Anglicanism, whose simplicity contrasted with the "pompous decorations" and "ridiculous emblems" of the Catholic Church (256). With the counsel of a "moderate, amiable, and intelligent clergyman," Vargas, the narrator explains that he "... became in a short time a sincere and earnest Protestant upon the conviction of his reason" (260-61).(44) Vargas is able to return to Spain when Cornelia's father forgives him, and once there, he converts Cornelia to Protestantism and they are secretly betrothed.

Cornelia though falls prey to the Archbishop of Seville who attempts to seduce her. This plotline, common to both Cornelia and Vargas, allows Dallas to move from criticizing Catholic theology to reveal the hypocrisy and corruption of some of the Church's highest officials. Cornelia responds to the Archbishop's assaults by eviscerating him with insults that don Quijote would have been proud to have used against Sancho Panza. Cornelia tells her abductor "'Hold--pollute not the air with one word more, thou livid mass of carrion corruption; thou most execrable villain, every drop of whose blood carries a crime from the heart to be hatched in thy brain.--Thou black load of deformity, dost thou not hear the thunder of the Almighty in thy ears speaking curses to thy conscience--?'" (II, 112).

Since she refuses to give in to his base desires, the Archbishop has Cornelia imprisoned in the Inquisition jail. Hoping to free her, Vargas follows the post road from Zaragoza to Seville, and as mentioned earlier, convalesces from his sword fight wounds at the castle of Alange. And he stays, as did don Quijote and Sancho, in an inn, as echoes of the Quijote continue. While he convalesces, Vargas witnesses a hermit who does daily penitence for having attempted to murder a child many years previously and, predictably enough, the child turned out to be Vargas himself, as he will find out at the end of the third volume. This priest is a "bigoted ascetic, who was tremblingly alive to the enormity of his crime, but whose proud mind sought to purchase an atonement for the rooted corruptions of his heart, by insane inflictions of corporal punishment" (192). The practice of self-flagellation allows clergy who have committed crimes to receive religious atonement instead of having to face the civil judicial system. This practice and the highly secret actions of the Inquisition allow the Church to act outside the law. Dallas uses the metaphors of light and dark to compare the Reformation to Catholic orthodoxy, saying that the Reformation has shed light over the "growth of religious despotism, which thrives in darkness" (II, 212). The lack of transparency has allowed the Inquisition to enjoy unbridled power and, like Gutierrez in Cornelia, Dallas insists on the veracity of the horror stories of its practices. He remarks that "[s]ome of the crimes recorded of the Inquisition even so far exceed the common depth of the depravity of our nature, wretched as it is, that we might be allowed to doubt the best authenticated historian, if there were not existing undeniable indications of their truth, in the convincing remains of that monstrous engine of fanaticism which have been handed down to us" (II, 212). In Vargas, Dallas excoriates the offices and practices which allow the Church to act outside the law.

After recovering from his wounds, Vargas continues his journey to Seville, and the episodes of the plot allow Dallas to use his adventures to comment on other fundaments of Catholicism. In one episode, reminiscent of don Quijote's adventures in the Cave of Montesinos or, perhaps, when Sancho falls into a cavern on his way back to the duke and duchess's castle after abandoning his governorship (II, LV), Vargas unmasks the recreation of a famous miracle. Vargas takes refuge in a grotto to escape the heat outside the town of Llerena, famous for its festival venerating St. Mark. The basis for the ceremony was a priest's miraculous taming of a bull, and each year the ceremony recreates the miracle. In the grotto, awakened by the bull that has been taken there by villagers, Vargas witnesses the giving of wine to the bull to make him drunk and then watches as they tie his legs together with fishing line. For Vargas, the townspeople were being duped and were "the gay slaves of bigotry, who hugged their chains and laughed at their own mental blindness" in a display of what he calls "disgraceful paganism" (II, 255, 259). (45) Dallas unmasks the theater of re-enacting purported miracles, but he goes one step further at the end of the novel, suggesting that miracles were brazenly invented to dupe the public or to cover up grievous actions. To distract the crowd from attacking his companion, Vargas tells them of the trickery, revealing that "The bull is not domesticated but drunken; stupefied with the fumes of wine, and tamed by torture" (266). (46)

Vargas does finally arrive in Seville, and he is ultimately able to free Cornelia, but to do so he also has to kidnap the Archbishop. Three months after his abduction, the Archbishop returns to Seville, and Church officials are faced with a dilemma as they had earlier decided to make him a saint to cover up his absence. Not being able to afford revealing that the miracle attributed to the Archbishop that lead to his beatification was a farce, they decide to lock him up in prison rather than admit their invention (III, 322). Ridiculing the public's gullibility, the narrator explains that "[t]he bigotry with which the people gave credit to all that was told them, was amply exemplified in this, as in many other of the miracles recorded in the Romish calendar" (315).

In conclusion, in 1819, Diego Correa published an edition of the anti-Inquisition Cornelia, to be able to comment from England on constitutional reform and to denounce Fernando VII. One of his main lines of criticism was that the Constitution insisted on the supremacy of Catholicism by declaring it the official national religion. In his Cartas de Juan Sintierra, Blanco also criticizes the Constitutional Courts for the same thing, calling it a blemish on the dawning of liberty in Spain. Correa echoes Blanco's criticism because he felt that establishing Catholicism as the only permitted religion in Spain gave Fernando VII carte blanche to take control of the country and to revoke the Constitution. (47) Correa did not criticize the Catholic religion but rather the Courts for making it the only religion permitted in his homeland. (48) In his quixotic Vargas, Dallas goes much farther as he augmented Cornelia's plot, which he almost certainly learned about from Correa's edition, along with his extensive commentary, with Cervantine plot details to openly attack not only the Inquisition but Catholic orthodoxy in general. Over four hundred years ago, Cervantes satirized seventeeth-century Spain in Don Quijote and the novel's verisimilitude, narrational style and humor revolutionized prose fiction and influenced novelists who turned to Cervantes' text for inspiration in a myriad of different fashions. Dallas's quixotic enterprise was more limited in scope than was Cervantes' work in that his initiative was to lambaste Catholicism rather than to comment more broadly on late Enlightenment Spain. Returning to the definitions and descriptions of just what quixotic or quixotism is, we can conclude that Dallas was neither impractical nor impulsive, but rather that he made calculated use of plot elements of the Quijote to achieve his satirical goals.


Randolph Macon College

(22) The URL for the definition is

(23) Ana Rueda goes into more depth about some of these texts in her article in this cluster. She also discusses the role of Avellaneda's novel in the canonization of Cervantes' text.

(24) Montesquieu, for his part, had one of his characters make the remark that the Quijote was the only worthwhile piece of Spanish literature in his Lettres persanes (cited in Marchena 343).

(25) For more about Llorens and his doubts on the matter, see the Duran Lopez article (393).

(26) In his autobiography, Dallas writes: "Encouraged by my friend the bookseller, I occupied myself in writing another work, a story mainly founded on one of the Spanish chronicles, which detailed the history of Cornelia Bororquia. This was called 'Vargas, tale of Spain.' It was a long time before this was finished, but I had engaged to write it for Mr. Baldwin, by whom it was published. This attracted more attention than its predecessor, and was reviewed in some of the periodicals with favour; the manner in which the features of Spanish character were portrayed, led to the idea that its author was Spanish, and it was attributed to Blanco White" (Incidents 167). While I quote from Dallas's autobiography, it is thanks to Duran Lopez's article that I found a copy of it in Google Books (397). In the Biblioteca Nacional, the copy of Vargas is now attributed to Dallas while the translation of it still lists Blanco White as the author.

(27) I cite from a notice about the poem's publication in a Boston publication, The Atheneum. For more, please see the list of works cited.

(28) His wife, Anne Briscoe Dallas, published the text posthumously under the title Incidents of the life and ministry of the Rev. Alex. R C. Dallas....

(29) There were more than twenty editions of Cornelia printed in the first half of the 19th century in Spain, and it was translated into French, German and Portuguese and I recently found an English translation, which dates from 1844. The translation can be found in the July 27, 1844 of The New World.

(30) For more details on Correa's life, see Manuel Hernandez Gonzalez's biography, which is in his edition of a collection of Correa's writings entitled Entre dos mundos y otros escritos: Diego Correa.

(31) For more on this situation, see Correa's letter to Fernando VII published in London in 1819 and entitled: Letter transmitted to Ferdinand VII by Don Diego Correa, ex-captain in the Spanish Army, in that inmminent crisis when the king was proceeding to destroy and trample of the political Constitution of the Spanish Monarchy, sanctioned and sworn to by that nation, and acknowledged by England, Russia, and the other Allies of Spain, in the war of the Revolution against Bonaparte; with various documents and papers, relative to his imprisonment by general Smith, Governor of Gibraltar, who delivered him to the Spanish Government, which sentenced him to ten years Confinement in the fortress of Ceuta (with cost of suits), from whence he was claimed, In consequence of the earnest Remonstrances in the Hon. the House of Commons, by the representations of the British Governement. Published by the author, in vindication of his patriotic character. While Gil Novato mentions this version in English translation in his Diccionario biografico del trienio liberal (155), the Spanish version of this document was published a year before in El Espanol Constitucional from 1818 (229+), and continued in early 1819 in the same publication. In Entre otros mundos, Hernandez Gonzalez includes a fragment of the original in Spanish as representative of Correa's writings. 32 *

(32) For more on his activities, see Gil Novato's Diccionario biografico del trienio liberal (155). See also Moreno Alonso's La forja del liberalismo ... (324, 332). While these sources detail his activities in London, as does Hernandez Gonzalez's biography, they do not mention his edition of Cornelia.

(33) There is a good bit of confusion in the bibliographic record regarding the identity of the editor of the 1819 London edition of Cornelia. Benitez writes that the editor was a "Don A.C. y G." (92), citing Dufour's 1987 edition of the novel. In Dufour's 1995 edition of the novel for Catedra, he writes that the London edition "se trataba de la tercera edicion <<corregida y aumentada por A.C. y G.>>. Bajo tales iniciales se ocultaba (apenas) el capitan Antonio Correa y Garcia, entusiasta liberal que habia sido internado en el presidio en Ceuta ..." (22). Martin Murphy also refers to him as "Don Diego Antonio Correa y Garcia" ("Luis Gutierrez, Novelist and Impostor" 241). To clear up this issue, I cite the title page of the 1819 edition, which reads: "Tercera edicion corregida y aumentada por Don D.A.C. y G." It is published by E. Justins, who also printed his letter to Fernando VII. The editor of this edition certainly is not Correa y Garcia, but rather Diego Antonio Correa y Gorbalan.

(34) The native of Tenerife continued a career as a liberal newspaper correspondent that he had begun when he wrote for two papers in the Cadiz of the Cortes (Entre dos mundos 100+). About El espanol constitucional, Hernandez Gonzalez writes jocosely that El Espanol Constitucional was published by "un liberal exaltado, Pedo Pascacio Fernandez Sardino, and it will be "el organo y portavoz de los exiliados espanoles en Londres" (120). In his additions to the novel, Correa both comments on Spain's 1812 Constitution and openly attacks Fernando VII.

(35) Regarding the authorship of Vargas, Walton writes that: "'Vargas', as I before said, is partly founded upon it and the appreciation of one could not be perfect without a sight of the other. At the time everyone conversant with Spanish affairs, considered Blanco White as the author among whom was Lord Holland. Baldwin, the publisher of Vargas, in conversation acknowledged the fact to me more than once, notwithstanding the disguise attempted in the preface. No other than a native and a Sevillano, could have written such a work. If I remember well, B. White gave me the copy in question, but in a subsequent period he regretted having written the novel, and endeavoured to suppress and call it in" (note bound in to Vol.I of the edition of Vargas in the Biblioteca Nacional). While Walton does assert that Blanco was the author, Duran Lopez, I think correctly, suggests that we have to take into account the time that lapsed between the publication of the novel and the writing of the letter (Duran Lopez 399).

(36) While Garnica highlights the entertaining quality of the episodes, Lockhart, a contemporary reviewer of the novel, wrote on the author's scant ability to compose a fictitious tale (cited in Garnica 91).

(37) I do agree with what Ana Rueda notes in Cartas sin lacrar that "Meneses cuestiona la religion, mientras que Vargas adopta una postura acusatoria al estamento del clero" (310). Meneses, Vargas's confidant in the novel, is strident in his criticism of religion, but Vargas's faith in religion is restored by Casinio's logical arguments. I thank Ana for her perceptive reading and her helpful comments on this article. In a note, she remarked that "There's quite a range of opinions among the different characters [in Cornelia} and the reader is, of course, a participant in the debate."

(38) The novel points out issues such as the lack of rights of Inquisition detainees, the ability of its officials to confiscate prisoners' personal effects, the inability of those same prisoners to know what they are being accused of or who their accusers were. He also criticizes the lack of freedom of press, and all these issues were addressed by the Cortes de Cadiz, in the Constitution itself or in edicts published subsequent to its promulgation. For more on this, see my article on Cornelia and the constitution (Malin, "CorneliaBororquia," 727-34).

(39) Cornelia also owes a debt of gratitude to the Quijote, as Dufour, in his edition of the novel for Catedra, notes. In a footnote to letter 28, from Vargas to Meneses, he alerts the reader that the letter recalls the scene between don Quijote and the cabreros. He notes too that the letter was added to the third edition to soften criticism of the Church (166).

(40) Dallas mentions his real life experiences and encounter with the Castle of Alange in his autobiography: "The spurs of the Sierra Morena branch down into an extensive plain in Estremadura; in the midst of this plain there is a very remarkable object--an enormous solid rock, rising some five or six hundred feet, exactly shaped as a right-angled triangle, rising on the smaller base; one side perfectly perpendicular, more completely so than the Rock of Gibraltar; and on the summit there is celebrated Ermita, to which pilgrims resorted, but how they attained the height could not divine. It is called the Rock of Alange" (Incidents 66).

(41) Autobiographical elements which mirror events in Blanco White's are one of the details in the novel that led critics to conclude that he was the author, but there are similarities between the protagonist's life and Dallas's own biography.

(42) As revealed in both his biography and his autobiography, Dallas abandoned his study of law to enter Oxford to study for the Anglican priesthood somewhere around 1818, and he was ordained in 1821 (Religious Tract Society 18-20).

(43) Dallas wrote a book against popery entitled Popery in Ireland: a warning toprotestants in England, but I have not been able to consult it. It is in the British Library. He also wrote Proselytism in Ireland: the Catholic Defence Association versus the Irish Church Missions on the charge of bribery and intimidation. In 1868 he translated The Spanish Reformed Church. The Declaration set forth by the Central Consistory of the Spanish Reformed Church. With some account of the members and their meetings at Gibraltar, on the 25th April and the 1 st June, 1868. Translated from the Spanish, by ... A. Dallas. Another work is Controversy with the Cardinal Archbishop of Santiago, on the great questions between Protestantism and Romanism; in letters between the Cardinal and the late Rev. Alexander Dallas. In fact, his bibliography is vast.

(44) This plot detail mirrors Blanco White's own life story, and this makes one wonder if Dallas and Blanco were not friends or at least acquaintances in London.

(45) Cervantine allusions continue in this scene when his traveling companion's horse kicks the bull, recalling the scene when Rocinante wanted to "refolcilarse con las senoras facas" (I, XV, 191).

(46) About idolatry, he writes the following in his autobiography: "The city was all astir upon the occasion of the Corpus Christi day, so that we saw Ceuta in its holiday condition. I will not refer to the exhibition of idolatry which the procession afforded, nor to the painful evidence of devotion of the people to what they imagined to be God, in whose train number of images of various saints (so called) were carried. Though at that time I did not feel what I have since felt when I have witnessed similar scenes of Romish idolatry, yet even then I was struck by the dullness of the minds which give their worship to such objects; and the remembrance of the procession at Ceuta has often helped me to expose the delusion since it has been manifested more plainly to myself" (46).

(47) In his edition of the Cartas de Juan Sintierra, Moreno Alonso reprints Blanco's comments on this facet of the Constitution in an Appendix. Blanco wrote that "El articulo 12 de la Constitucion es una nube que oscurece la aurora de la libertad que amanece en Espana" (142).

(48) Blanco was a pragmatist and he realized that the legislative structure as adopted by the Cortes would not work as he recognized the need to give a voice to the nobles and to the clergy in their own legislative body (cited in Cartas a Lord Holland ..., edited by Manuel Moreno Alonso, 78-79). In a recent article, Javier Fernandez Sebastian, instead of pointing out negative effects of the establishment of Catholicism as the official religion of the country, describes the motives of the Cortes, writing that "The objective for those liberal elites, at the turn of the nineteenth century, was ... to constitutionalize Catholicism, making it the national religion, a measure which implied the abolition of the Inquisition and the subjection of the Church to civil authority" (196). Later in this same article, entitled "Toleration and Freedom of Expression in the Hispanic World Between Enlightenment and Liberalism," he cites Agustin de Arguelles, who, twenty years after he wrote article 12, which established this provision, oberved that doing so was "un error desastroso" (195).
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Author:Malin, Mark
Publication:Dieciocho: Hispanic Enlightenment
Article Type:Ensayo critico
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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