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The Rev. John Bowle's quixotic woes further explored (1).

One cannot imagine that John Bowle will ever receive a warmer tribute than he did recently in the great Barcelona edition of Don Quixote. There Francisco Rico writes: "Nos faltan palabras para alabar la tarea de don Juan (como gustaba llamarse ...), la documentacion, amplitud, exigencia, acierto y sobriedad de su comentario: con que nos contentaremos con decir que se halla en la raiz de todos los posteriores y que son abundantes las glosas que ningun cervantista parece haber querido llevar mas alla de donde las dejo Bowle" (Rico 1: ccxvi-ccxvii).

It would be nice to think that Bowle had received some comparable recognition of his achievement in his own lifetime. After all, he repeatedly writes of what a wearisome labour it had often been to get through the reading necessary to enable him to write those three hundred pages of annotations and indices that accompany his edition of Don Quixote. So, when he had been at the task for several years, he writes to Thomas Percy in October 1777: "With my accustomed Perseverance I have toild, & turmoild thro El verdadero suceso de la famosa batalla de Roncesvalles, con la muerte de los doze Pares de Francia, por Fr. Garrido de Villena, en Toledo, 1583. 4to, Six and thirty as dull & tedious cantos as ever merited Fire, or perpetual Oblivion" (Percy-Bowle 49). And nearly three years earlier: "I have gone thro the dry desert of the many thousand lines of the Morgante Maggiore of Pulci, &, fortifyd with a proper share of Patience--Bowle was always strong on the subject of his patience and perseverance--have traversed the less fertile & more ungrateful soil of Alamanni in his Gyrone il Cortese: In both I have discoverd that Cervantes went this road before me." (2) Fortunately, Bowle did enjoy Ariosto. His list of works consulted in preparing his annotations contains well over 200 entries. When, in early 1776 or perhaps a little before, he discovered Sebastian de Covarrubias's Tesoro de la lengua castellana o espanola, he settled down to read the work right through and spent a month and more on it. (3) And yet the very labour that he put into all this research became the main object of a 300-page (and more) onslaught on him that finally put paid to any hopes he might have had of success for his edition in his own country. After he died, in 1788, a friend of many years wrote (as we shall see) that the impact of this attack certainly shortened Bowle's life.

Bowle very largely brought this unhappiness upon himself--by a singular act of imprudence in print and, still more strikingly, by a remarkable act of insensitivity towards his most devoted friend and collaborator in the mid-1770s, when his whole life was taken up with the preparation of his edition. This collaborator was a former naval captain, John Crookshanks.

Much of Bowle's life and literary activities as they relate to his magnum opus has been extensively covered by R. Merritt Cox and Cleanth Brooks in particular; (4) and, of course, we have the invaluable edition of Bowle's correspondence with Thomas Percy by Daniel Eisenberg in the Exeter Hispanic Texts, to which reference has already been made. There remains, though, something more to be said, I think, especially as regards Bowle's dealings with Crookshanks ("the elusive Mr Crookshanks," as Cox calls him) and their consequences for Bowle, especially when Joseph Baretti became involved.

Bowle had shown his interest in literary scholarship when he was still only in his mid-twenties. It was then that he received a highly flattering mention from the Rev. John Douglas (later, Bishop of Salisbury) in his Milton Vindicated from the Charge of Plagiarism brought against him by Mr. Lauder, and Lauder himself convicted of Several Forgeries and gross Impositions on the Public (1751) for having "the justest Claim to the Honor of being the Original Detector of this ungenerous Critic." (5)

The Percy-Bowle correspondence shows how Bowle came to take over what was initially Percy's own project of producing an extensively annotated edition of Don Quixote. Presumably, Percy had himself been encouraged to envisage such a project by the impressive scholarly editions and studies of Chaucer and, above all, Shakespeare being produced in the middle decades of the eighteenth century, especially in the 1760s, and that by people with some of whom Bowle was himself to have direct contact. Although he lived his life mainly in his handsome vicarage in the village of Idmiston, a few miles north of Salisbury, he was often in London and was very much in touch with the scholarly literary life of his time. He refers to the work of Theobald, the first scholarly editor of Shakespeare, of whom David Nichol Smith long ago wrote that "he endeavoured to explain and illustrate Shakespeare by the writings of his contemporaries. He recognized that the time had come for an English classic to be treated like the classics of Greece and Rome." (6) This aim was explicitly applied to Don Quixote by Bowle. (7) He shared the general high regard for Richard Farmer's Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare, of 1767, though not seeing it as in all points beyond criticism. (8) Late in his life, we find him mentioning to the great Shakespeare editor, Edmond Malone, the "3 vols of Shakespeares quarto playes" which he had lent to another editor of Shakespeare, Edward Capell, back in the mid-1760s. (9)

In his fifty-page trailer for his edition of Don Quixote--the Letter to Dr. Percy--Bowle sets his own project in this larger context, remarking that Shakespeare's plays had recently been much examined with a view to establishing the genuine text. Boccaccio, he adds, had received similar attention in the Giunta edition of the Decameron. He continues: "it may be hoped, therefore, that an Edition of Don Quixote, executed with equal fidelity in this particular [that is, "as being a Re-impression of the true and most approved text, page by page, and line by line, with the same orthography and punctuation"] may prove equally acceptable." (10) Another editorial model that he had in mind was the French "Dauphin Classics." (11) It was not until the end of 1778 that he learned of what the Spanish Benedictine Martin Sarmiento had written on the importance of reading what Cervantes had read if one was to understand Don Quixote, but he quotes his words at length in the Prologue to his own edition (1: iii-iv). (12)

It was after Percy discovered that Bowle shared his own devotion to Don Quixote that Bowle became, in effect, his collaborator and assistant. But Percy was chaplain to the Duke of Northumberland and had other calls on his time, and by a point not very far into the 1770s the Quixote edition had become Bowle's project. In this he was to find his own devoted collaborator in Captain John Crookshanks. "I look upon you as a cooperator with me in my intended work," Bowle wrote to him on 14 January 1777. (13)

The correspondence between the two of them kept in the British Library begins in July 1774. (14) In August Crookshanks was writing to Bowle: "If I can do anything for you here [in London], pray don't spare me"; and a fortnight later, "I have & shall always have a pleasure in any commission you will give me," and he clearly meant it. (15) So, for example, he went looking in London for the books Bowle said he needed; he sent him "Trueman's Catalogue" (August 1775); he took things to Percy at the Duke of Northumberland's London home (4 April 1776), and in that same month put himself to trouble to interest the Spanish consul in London, Don Miguel de Ventades, in the enterprise; he worked with the draftsman preparing maps for the edition, helping him "to understand your last directions and corrections, some of which he could not make out," and at the same time helped Mr. Ben White, the Fleet Street bookseller, with proofs. (16) He shows himself a man of tact and good sense. In June 1776 one finds him writing to Bowle about his Letter to Dr. Percy:
   I shall go or send to Mr Ben White before I leave this & bring
   anything he has to send. There is an expression in the last
   sheet I saw that I can't get out of mind, it comes across me
   continually, viz. "Cervantes perhaps with the undistinguishing
   Herd of his countrymen"--might not this be softened, even
   preserving the sense [?] Mr White did not like it better than
   myself, that expression, & the best reason he gave for not
   altering it, for I own I would have done so, was, this Question,
   may not Mr Bowle think we take too great Liberties with
   his Diction[?] I answered[,] Mr Bowle is master to determine
   at last; we mean as his friends to defend him from Cavillers
   or Criticks when it is made publick, & some, nay often, times
   a cool reader is more aware, than the writer can be, especially
   a head so fraught with abundant various matter as that of our
   friend Mr Bowle[.] Pray think of this before the sheet is
   work[ed] of[f]. If I am wrong when you have reflected, me
   hincare de rodillas." (17)


It should be added at once that, just two months before Crookshanks had sent him these thoughts, Bowle had expressed himself very differently in his Letter to Dr. Percy: "I profess the highest reverence and esteem for that Country which has produced so wonderful a Genius [and] I can find no excuse for Father Feijoo's total silence of his name in his Glorias de Espana, of which he was so great an ornament" (47-48 of the original edition, 134 of the modern one). (18)

Bowle and Crookshanks invited each other to their houses. In the middle of this correspondence we find Bowle writing on 15 February 1776 to express pleasure at Crookshank's promise to visit him: "The sooner the better. Both larders are pretty well stored. Food for the Body, Food for the mind, and the last bottle of Narbonne at your service." The following month, in another warm letter--this time about visiting Crookshanks--he signs himself "your Affectionate Friend." Invitations from Crookshanks urging Bowle to visit him at his home in Penton in Hampshire (only a dozen miles or so from Idmiston) are no less warm and a good deal more frequent. So he writes in September 1776: "If in the current of next week you will like to take bed & board at Penton, I hope you are sure, I shall rejoice to see you." Meanwhile, if Bowle would like him to send a two-dozen hamper of the Narbonne wine he has now got, he will gladly do so. He had practical advice for wintery weather: "keep your head doubly warm in Bed & my life for it you will drive away the cold." In the last of these letters, after offering Bowle sound advice on the steps he should take to get his edition well known in Spain, he writes: "I wish you all & every species of satisfaction in your pursuit--pleasure, honour, credit, profit. De dicho al echo [sic] se va gran trecho. Non obstante, if any Co-operation of mine can be of any use or significance, my pleasure will reward & gratify me highly, and you may depend on me for the best I can do." (19) It was in harmony with this disposition that Crookshanks subscribed for five copies of Bowle's Quixote: more than any other of the subscribers listed.

"Many happy new Years to Mr Bowle and his fireside," he had wished him at the start of that same month of January 1777. (20) We now move on to 1785, four years after Bowle's edition of Don Quixote had appeared, and find that relations between them had radically changed. Now, in a forty-four-page work dated January of that year and published soon afterwards, Bowle quotes from what he says was his final letter to Crookshanks (no date is given): "What a man must I have been, after your many professions, after acquainting you with my progress, and accidental lucky discoveries, if it could have entered into my thoughts, that you was treasuring up a load of concealed malevolence, to be discharged against me at a certain season, when there was a prospect of doing me essential injury? I should loath and detest myself, if such had been the frame of my mind." These words appear in his Remarks on the Extraordinary Conduct of the Knight of the Ten Stars and his Italian Esquire, to the Editor of Don Quixote (41; henceforth Remarks). (21) What had happened to so poison relations between Bowle and Crookshanks when they had been such good friends? Bowle himself leads us to an answer in this same work.

First, as he acknowledges here, he had failed, in the Prologue to his edition, to include any word of gratitude to Crookshanks for his collaboration, or indeed even to mention him. This contrasts with the effusive thanks that Bowle offered here to another person, John Talbot Dillon, who had no part at all in the enterprise until late in 1777, when he wrote from Rome offering Bowle (as Bowle reported to Percy) "a very large Collection of Notes critical historical with Illustrations of Don Quixote, explaining all the hard words & difficult passages." (22) The two quickly became frequent correspondents and admiring friends. On 1 October 1780, Bowle wrote to Dillon: "I have particularly made choice of this day to answer your last favour, it being the anniversary of an event, to me the most agreeable of all others in the annals of my correspondence: and that is your first letter from Rome 1777" (Cox 81). Dillon assisted Bowle's work on his Quixote in other ways too, as we shall see; so thanks were indeed due to him, but it is understandable that Crookshanks should have been greatly offended at being totally ignored--all the more so, perhaps, since he and Dillon had come into contact with each other through Bowle. It seems that the three occasionally met together socially. And if Dillon could report to Bowle in October 1780 that he had taken steps to advertise his Quixote in the Gazette du Bas Rhin, Crookshanks (as Bowle reported to Dillon that same month) had "been very earnest in my business whilst abroad, and has given an account of what I have done to a Marquis de St. Simon of Utrecht." Bowle added that he had sent Crookshanks "Sheets A, B, and T of my Anotaciones. This last includes part of the forty-eighth, all the forty-ninth, and part of the fiftieth chapters of the First Part" (Cox 82).

It may well be that Crookshanks was all the more inclined to react angrily in a situation where he felt himself to have been affronted and unjustly treated because of a lingering resentment over another--very public--affront that he had suffered many years before, in 1747, in an episode of his naval career which had continued to be a matter of public dispute long afterwards. When he, in command of one ship, in company with another British warship, failed to capture a 70-gun Spanish vessel on single passage across the Atlantic, his fellow commander in the other ship (which had suffered severe damage from the Spaniards) saw to it that Crookshanks--his senior officer--was brought before a court-martial in Jamaica. The outcome was that Crookshanks was dismissed the Service, and although it was expressly recorded (as one reads in Charnock) that there was no suggestion of cowardice or want of zeal on his part in failing to engage the enemy, he was left with a deep sense of injustice and a determination to clear his name. (23)

As early as 1749 he had submitted a Humble Petition to the King asking that the verdict of the court-martial be reviewed. However, a decade later, and after repeated applications from him had gone before no less than five Boards of Admiralty, he had not obtained any redress. He therefore brought things into the open by publishing, in December 1758, an account of the unhappy episode as he saw it: The Conduct and Treatment of John Crookshanks, Esq. This quickly caused a stir and did bring results. Admiral Knowles, who had been Commander-in-Chief in the Caribbean and whom Crookshanks charged with gross impropriety in his handling of the whole episode of the court-martial, answered in print with the anonymously published A Refutation of Capt. Crookshanks' Charge against Admiral Knowles. This soon brought The Reply of John Crookshanks, Esq. to a Pamphlet lately set forth by Admiral Knowles. In which Reply that Charge is supported; and the Partiality and Injustice of the Admiral are Further Proved. Beyond this exchange, in that same year of 1759, a "Gentleman in the Country" published A Letter ... to a Member of Parliament in Town, containing remarks upon a Book lately published, intitled The Conduct and Treatment of John Crookshanks, Esq.--this Letter having been written in response to the M.P.'s request for information on the matter. The "remarks" of this writer (who is unnamed) amount to a strongly argued protest at Crookshanks' treatment: "There never was a more glaring Instance of a confederate Kind of Partiality to destroy the Reputation of a Man, than what appears throughout the whole of this Affair"; and he invites the M.P. to read Crookshanks' own account.

There was a further contribution (for our present purposes the most relevant of all) to this war of words more than a decade later, in 1772. Crookshanks had made it very clear, at the end of the 1750s, that he was almost as indignant at the conduct of the Judge-Advocate involved in the court-martial--one Robert Kirke--as he was at Knowles' behaviour. In 1771, in an action before the Ecclesiastical Court, a Lady Warren charged this Robert Kirke with having been "one of the Persons hired by Sir George Warren [her husband] to carry off Lady Warren" from the protection of her father's home, where she had sought refuge, Kirke being"a Person of a most infamous Character." Crookshanks was brought in as a witness on the side of Lady Warren. As to Kirke's character, he declared on oath--"that from the unfair and partial Manner in which the said Robert Kirke proceeded against the Deponent [= Crookshanks] on the said Trial [his court-martial] in the Year 1748, he has ever since looked upon, and doth still look upon him, the said Robert Kirke, to be a Man whose Heart is capable of bad Acts." Kirke's revenge was to publish the entire official record of the court-martial, followed by the questions put to Crookshanks in the Warren case, together with his answers, and a detailed commentary by himself on those answers. For good measure, he dedicated the work to the Earl of Sandwich, First Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty.

This commentary is both informative and, in one respect, highly damaging. It tells us that the Lords of the Admiralty (stirred at last into decisive action--clearly--by the publicity suddenly acquired in 1758-59 by the Crookshanks affaire) submitted a report, dated 26 October 1759, to the King-in-Council declaring that they had "carefully examined" and "maturely considered" the Minutes and Resolutions of Crookshanks' court-martial and had concluded that the sentence passed on him--that he be dismissed the Service--"was just." Nevertheless, they recommended that now, when twelve years had elapsed, "Crookshanks be placed on half-pay according to his rank at the time of his dismissal." The recommendation was approved at a Privy Council on 9 November 1759. What, however, is contended--and stressed--by Kirke (who had evidently been at some pains to consult the relevant documents, from which he quotes) is that Crookshanks was not restored to his rank of Captain, even though he continued to be treated with that title and, in the Warren case, stated on oath, in reply to a direct question on the point, that he was so reinstated. (24) And Kirke's book was known to Bowle.

He had already read it by the time he "first saw Capt. Crookshanks" in July 1773. As he also noted in his "Card": "June 27. 1786. I first knew Captn Crookshanks from Mr Kirke's publication of the Minutes & Proceedings of his Court Martial Lond. 1772. 8vo. then lent me by a Gentleman: which I believe to be true: having received at his hands together with Mr Kirke, Hatred without cause & malice without end p. 143."

As regards Crookshanks' insistence ("he swears") that he had been restored to his rank Bowle asks here: "Is this true?" The following February he was referring bitterly to Crookshanks as "the no Captain" (Cox 101). It is abundantly clear that, by this time, he had long since come to share the hostility towards Crookshanks that Kirke had expressed in his book of 1772. How far the latter coloured Bowle's view of Crookshanks in those earlier years of their collaboration on the Quixote must remain uncertain; but the fact that Bowle had the knowledge that he did of the episode of Crookshanks' court-martial as presented by Kirke may help to explain his otherwise puzzling silence about Crookshanks in the Prologue to his edition. This was not a person--he may have thought--to place in the company of "Senor D. Juan Talbot Dillon, Baron y Cavallero del sacro Romano Imperio" (as he had become) and the other luminaries to whom he was here expressing his gratitude and admiration.

On the other hand, this background of Crookshanks' professional misfortunes that brought his service in the Navy to an unhappy end may offer a partial explanation of why his response to the snub he perceived himself (as we can take it) as having suffered from Bowle was so disproportionately fierce. Another part of the explanation for this was, of course, the alliance of resentment against Bowle that, from the early 1780s, formed between Crookshanks and Joseph Baretti, as he was known in London.

The immediate cause of Baretti's hostility was a remark of Bowle in his Letter to Dr. Percy advertising his forthcoming edition. Here, at the point where he acknowledges his debt to Covarrubias's Tesoro de la lengua, he adds, quite needlessly, that "Baretti's account of it, and of Spanish Literature [in] general, is egregiously defective and erroneous" (24 of the original edition, 114 of the modernized one). This was a gratuitously offensive remark, for Baretti acknowledges and indeed stresses more than once, in the account that he gives of Spanish literature, the limits of his knowledge of the matter. "I write down what I know on the subject of Spanish literature as it comes into my head. Being but little, it is not worth the while to think of throwing it into method; and I rely on your indulgence for the want of it" (Journey 3: 44). He explains that "I have had Spanish enough these many years (he was writing in 1760) for common converse, and can even feel many of its elegancies and prettinesses, but could never apply [myself] to it with any great degree of vigour, never having been possessed of any considerable number of books at any time. (25)

Bowle would have been wise to show the indulgence for which Baretti asked. Had he been able to read the references to him in Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, he would have realized that any offence given in that quarter was likely to bring a violent response. In October 1769, Baretti stabbed and killed a man in the Haymarket in a confrontation with three ruffians. When he went on trial for murder at the Old Bailey, Johnson was one of those who gave testimony on his behalf, as did Edmund Burke, Garrick, and others, and he was acquitted. Boswell records Johnson's words of praise for Baretti the previous year: "His account of Italy is a very entertaining book; and, Sir, I know no man who carried his head higher in conversation than Baretti. There are strong powers in his mind. He has not, indeed, many hooks; but with what hooks he has, he grapples very forcibly. " (26) Bowle was now to find this out for himself.

His relationship with Crook, shanks (at least, face to face) could not have lasted long after the publication of his Quixote in June 1781. Already before its publication, in early April of that year, Bowle was putting into a letter to Dillon: "I gave Mr Crookshanks your letter in Salisbury the 3rd and he was with me the 6th. He has been of late much in the negative mood." (27) Looking back to this year, Bowle noted in his "Card ": "Oct.13.1781 was the last time I saw him at Penton, where Baretti then called, & this was the only time I ever met him under the Captain's roof." It must have been a difficult social occasion, with Baretti smarting over the put-down he had received in Bowle's Letter to Dr. Percy and Crookshanks resentful over being ignored in Bowle's Prologue and possibly suspecting too that the reason for this lay in Bowle's thoughts about the publicity that had attached itself over the years to Crookshanks' court-martial.

The situation now deteriorated sharply. In March 1782 Bowle wrote to Dillon: "I am sorry to inform you that I have too much reason to pronounce Mr Crookshanks's late (I fear I may say with truth whole) conduct towards me to be unfriendly and injurious. What wonder? He is now the pupil of Baretti for Italian, who is also his confidential friend, and my constant reviler" (Cox 92). On 19 May 1783, Bowle wrote to Crookshanks: "that man [Baretti], by the uniform account of all that know him, is a bad man; which I believe, that I may not affect a singularity of sentiment." Baretti himself quotes these words in his Tolondron, of 1786 (246); clearly Crookshanks had let him see the letter. In 1784-85 Bowle published, under pseudonyms, a series of letters of complaint against both men in The Gentleman's Magazine. The first and longest of these begins:
   As I have within a few days past discovered some very unfair
   practices respecting the admission of an account of my edition
   of Don Quixote into two periodical publications, to
   which I had some reason to think I was entitled, and have
   found the perpetrators of them to have been a false friend,
   and another, whose encomium I should regard as an affront
   and real slander; the one as fond of the grossest flattery, as
   the other ready to give it, and both alike wholesale dealers in
   abuse and detraction ... (28)


However, it is in his Remarks on the Extraordinary Conduct of the Knight of the Ten Stars, and his Italian Esquire, to the Editor of Don Quixote, undertaken, Bowle insists, as an act of self-defence, that one finds the full force of his anger and sense of betrayal.
   From my outset to the exhibition of my Prologo to him
   [Crookshanks], as far as I can recollect, I had his
   concurrence. On shewing him this, when set up for revisal,
   the weather-cock of his opinion veer'd about, and he at once told
   me it would damn my whole work: ... Had he said, if it stands as
   it now does, I will damn your whole work, he had spoke out, and
   more to the purpose. But it had not then been told him, that I
   had been more grossly deceived by him, than by any man I
   ever knew; he had not then been directed not to look into
   Tom Jones, B[oo]k II, Chap. 1, for the odious character of a
   Slanderer; nor did it enter my thoughts, that in conjunction
   with his colleague, he would have gone the lengths he has. (29)


The thought of referring to Crookshanks and Baretti in terms of "the Knight of the Ten Stars and his Italian Esquire" seems to have been prompted by a work of Baretti himself. This was his Dissertacion epistolar acerca unas obras [sic] de la Real Academia Espanola, where he sets forth his views (in often flawed but nevertheless lively Spanish) on the 1780 four-volume Spanish Academy edition of the Quixote. He was critical alike of the system of orthography employed there and of the successive pronouncements on Spanish orthography made by the Academy over the preceding decades. He tells us that he proposed to leave to that institution his copy of its edition of Don Quixote, so that it might profit from his annotations. For the Academy Dictionary (the Diccionario de autoridades) he also had much criticism (together with some praise) on grounds of both orthography and lexicography. Furthermore, he recommends that the Academicians should learn from Dr. Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, with its briefer and more succinct definitions of terms. (30) (One may note here in passing that the position which Baretti adopts now as regards such matters differs strikingly from the practice he followed in his revision and enlargement of Giral del Pino's Dictionary of 1763, where, as he writes of himself: "As to the orthography, he had adhered to Johnson and the Academicians, without the least deviation." He also remarks that "he has added little less than ten thousand words, and made many erazures." (31))

However, this work of Baretti's has two points of more immediate interest. First, it is addressed "Al Senor Don Juan C**********," where the asterisks clearly stand for the letters of Crookshanks' name. (32) Secondly, there is a mocking reference here to Bowle. The occasion may well seem trivial: the fact that he has followed the Spanish Academy's Quixote in banishing "la pobrecita de la ese doblada" from his own. "Senor Don Juan, yo no creo que Usted querra jamas apadrinar a essa reforma tan monstruosa, como hizo el tolondron de Juan Bowles [sic]"--since to do so is to "matar a palos la pronunciacion y la etimologia juntas." (33) What is of more interest is the fact that Baretti here applies to Bowle the term--"tolondron'--which was to serve as a leitmotif of mockery running through the work that he wrote now with such destructive and unpitying polemical power in response to Bowle's Knight of the Ten Stars and where it would stand first in its title: Tolondron. Speeches to John Bowle about his Edition of Don Quixote; Together with Some Account of Spanish Literature. (34)

His attack on Bowle, sustained over chapter after chapter with a mastery of English that is indeed remarkable, has two main aspects. He sets out to destroy, in the eyes of his readers, Bowle's personal reputation and any claim he might have been thought to have to respect as a student of Spanish literature; and he ridicules the aims that Bowle set himself in producing his edition (especially as regards its volume of textual annotations).

Baretti takes the case of Bowle's Prologue to his edition. Here--he recognizes--was the root of the enmity that developed between Bowle and Crookshanks. Bowle had shown Crookshanks the text of this Prologue and Crookshanks had responded by declaring: "Master Bowle, this Prologo will damn your edition at once" (Tolondron 238). At this Bowle had taken deep offence, and, from then on, adopted an attitude of deep hostility towards Crookshanks. Baretti adds that the latter had advised Bowle to take his text to his friend Dillon, who was fluent in Spanish, for correction. Bowle should then write it out again and, as a further precaution, put this before the eyes of a Spaniard. After all that, he could publish his Prologue as his own work. "This, Mr John Bowle, is, within a hair's breadth, what Captain Crookshanks has told me with regard to you and your Prologo, when I asked him the reason of your actual great enmity to him, after having been very good friends during many years" (240). Baretti at once goes on to cite the passage (quoted supra, 25) on this point in Bowle's Remarks. As Baretti comments, these words in Bowle's Remarks do offer corroboration of what Crookshanks had told him.

In this part of his attack on Bowle, Baretti was mostly on strong ground. The Spanish of the Prologue stood and stands in need of correction and revision at numerous points. Dillon, moreover, as he himself mentions elsewhere, had lived "many years" in Spain in his youth, (35) so he was an obvious person to approach for help. However, Baretti's account of the matter is itself at fault in claiming (allegedly on the authority of Crookshanks) that Bowle did no such thing. In fact, on 18 January 1781 he wrote to Dillon: "I send you for inspection and correction the first part of my Prologo. What is strictly my own will probably want more of the latter; the rest which I have carefully extracted [from other writers] may probably be found not very erroneous." The following 4 April he could write to Dillon: "Mi prologo a las Anotaciones I have at length compleated, and the part which I communicated to you is at the press" (Cox 83 and 86). It was nevertheless unwise of him (even though now he was under pressure of time) not to get the entire Prologue corrected--all the more so when one of Bowle's reasons for writing his Prologue in Spanish must have been to present his edition to Spanish readers and elicit their interest. Baretti's account of the matter suggests that Crookshanks concluded that Bowle's Prologue as it stood would damn his edition in Spanish eyes. (36) He may also have thought that a Prologue in Spanish was likely to put off potential English buyers--even those who knew Spanish and felt some interest in Cervantes' text. Apart from linguistic issues, Crookshanks may have judged--with some reason--that the general shape and character of the Prologue (so far as it extended at the time he saw it) lacked appeal.

Bowle claims, in his Remarks, that his omission from his Prologue of any mention of Crookshanks had been "inadvertently" done (41). This is unconvincing. After showing Crookshanks the text of the Prologue "when set up for revisal," he could easily have inserted some richly deserved words of thanks to him. Moreover, it is clear from his letters of January and April 1781 to Dillon that he had given careful thought to the question of whom he should thank in his Prologue. So, in the second of these letters: "I have made my acknowledgements to Dr Percy, Mr Tyrwhit, to yourself, D. J. A. Pellicer, y D. Casimiro de Ortega." The fact that he still made no mention of Crookshanks seems to signify a petulant resentment at the latter's response to the text (as well as, one suspects, the deeper motive already suggested here).

At all events, Baretti made this the occasion to wield his stick:
   But, what use, Master Bowle, did you make of the captain's
   good advice? Conceited, infatuated, ridiculous Tolondron!
   Positively sure, lapideously sure, that your Prologo was a diamond
   of the first water.--A Prologo not a jot inferior to that of
   Cervantes to the Desocupado Letor.--You rejected scornfully
   the captain's advice, turned your back upon him, went away
   in the dumps, began to mutter about, that he was not the
   man you took him for, and grew sparing of your visits at Penton.
   Your spleen began thus to simmer in the caldron of disappointment:
   and to make it bubble up, not a word of praise
   from any quarter; and what was still worse, no body called
   with poor three guineas in his hand, for Bowle's edition of Don
   Quixote, either in London, in Salisbury, at Idmistone, or any
   where else in this world.... By gander! John Bowle of Idmistone
   will have no good advice from any body in breeches, or
   with petticoats on! Ay! but what will John Bowle of Idmistone
   have? Have! What a question! He will have approbation and
   admiration. Do you hear him, you individuals of this nation!
   Give him approbation and admiration without the least hesitation;
   or everyone of you shall suffer laceration and amputation
   in his reputation, by calumniation and misrepresentation
   from the arrantest dolt throughout the creation! (37)


Sixty pages further on, Baretti addresses himself with fullest energy to Bowle's--and the Benedictine Sarmiento's--conviction that (in Baretti's words) "one needs to have read all that Cervantes had read, in order to understand Don Quixote" (307). From a much longer diatribe the following quotation will serve to show Baretti's response to this and the force of his mockery.
   But, to be serious, if it is possible to be serious when about so
   merry a matter: whatever the learned Benedictine may have
   said, or the unlearned Tolondron may have believed, Don
   Quixote is a book that wants no Comento but what may be
   contained in two or three pages, as very few are the things in
   it that want explanation and clarification....

   Far from harbouring any such idea, or hinting that, to understand
   his Don Quixote, we were to read the chivalry and other
   silly books he had read himself, Cervantes condemned them
   all to be burnt by means of the Curate: and the few that he
   did not doom to the flames were not saved with a view that
   they should assist readers to understand Don Quixote, but out
   of partiality to this and that, on some other account. Fling
   you, Mr John Bowle, fling into the fire your Comento likewise;
   as I tell it you again, that there is not one line throughout Don
   Quixote in want of any of your explanations; or point out only
   one that you have explained better than any Spanish girl
   could have done....

   What then signifies all your foolish erudition, brought into
   your foolish Comento, for the sole foolish purpose of showing
   your foolish self off? and what becomes of that immense farrago
   of quotations from your dictionaries, from your poems,
   songs, and chivalry-books, that illustrate nothing, expound
   nothing, and clear up nothing at all? ...

   You were much in the right, no doubt, in choosing the fastuous
   motto: Libera per vacuum posui vestigia princeps, Non aliena
   meo pressi pede; (38) as no body but a Princeps Tolondronorum
   would have attempted the princely undertaking of treading
   and wading through the spacious bog of miry nonsense you
   have trod and waded through during fourteen years, foundering
   knee-deep at every step, and with an admirable mulish
   fortitude, that you might bless us at last with as doltish and
   despicable a work as ever was seen since Noah's coming out
   of the Ark on the Armenian mountain! (39)


We have seen that, back in 1760, Baretti was willing to acknowledge in print the limitations of his knowledge of Spanish literature. (40) He acknowledges them again twenty-five years later in his Tolondron. (41) However, his continuing sense of these limitations did not stay his hand in making a mockery of Bowle's devotion to the task of presenting the literary sources behind the Quixote, above all those of chivalric romance. In Baretti's view, the romances of chivalry were nonsensical and worthless, and so, therefore, was Bowle's Comento. Baretti's conviction that he had a better knowledge of Spanish than Bowle made him all the less inclined to question his own belief on the point.

The impact of Baretti's onslaught on Bowle is described in the unsigned Note mentioned at the outset (14 n. 14). The writer, "the Rev. J. Baverstock," (42) refers to Bowle as "my old friend" and recalls, at the conclusion of this note, that "I became acquainted with him in the year 1760 and he seemed always pleased to see me, when we used to meet at the Salisbury Music Festivals." Bowle, he tells us, gave him his "Card" in September 1786, when Baretti's Tolondron had just appeared. His own Note, on the reverse side, reads:
   This paper was given to me Sep[tember] 1786 by my old
   friend The Revd John Bowle.

   We dined together at Ned Eastons [= Edward Easton, the
   Salisbury printer of Bowle's Quixote] during the time he [=
   Bowle] stayd with us, which was till near seven o'clock
   (when I went to the Music Meeting). He was in constant irritation,
   in consequence of Baretti's Book "Tolondron" just
   then published. He could allow himself to talk of Nothing
   else, and though we did all in our power to divert his attention
   to other Subjects, even Ned Eastons ludicrous stories
   had no effect on him and he constantly reverted to Crookshanks
   and Baretti.

   Indeed the failure, or rather the cool Reception, which the
   public gave to his Edition of Don Quixote, and the very severe
   attack made on his Book by Baretti, which it must be
   owned, he had in great measure occasioned by his Letter to
   Dr Simpson, had a visible effect on his general habit; instead
   of that ruddy and chearful Countenance which he was wont
   to wear, he appeared wan, emaciated and dispirited, gradually
   lost his appetite, his flesh and sleep, and I firmly believe
   never recovered either these or his Spirits afte[rwar]ds. (43) He
   died in October 1788, on the day on which he compleated his
   62nd [= 63rd] year.

   It has been asserted by the Literati that Milton, by his
   "Responsio pro populo Anglicano" in answer to Salmasius's "Clamor
   sanguinis" was the occasion of the death of Salmasius. It
   may be as truly asserted that Baretti's "Tolondron" was the
   efficient Cause of the Death of poor John Bowle.

   Peace to his Manes! [...]


Beyond the impact of Baretti's Tolondron in itself, Bowle had now to bear the loss of the friendship of Dillon, which he had so greatly valued. It was a loss that he attributed to what must have been said about him to Dillon by Crookshanks, aided by Baretti. A deeply pained expression of Bowle's feelings about this is found in what Cox regards as probably the last letter written by Bowle to Dillon (whether or not it was sent) and dating, apparently, from May in the last year of Bowle's life:
   I will venture yet once more to write to you and just hint my
   uneasiness for your change of conduct towards me. I cannot
   but often scrutinize my own and ask what I have done to
   merit that coldness, that unwonted reserve which I received
   from you and your brother when last in town and which I
   impute to the suggestions of a bad man. In that point of view
   I must regard him whom I introduced to your knowlege. This
   was a gentleman of as much candour as he is of superior
   knowlege and learning to most men I have had the luck to
   know. The arrows of his malevolence, assassin-like (for I will
   apply that term to him) shot against me when my back was
   turned, dipt in Baretti's venom, missed their aim and fell to
   the ground. Shall they meet with better success with my
   friend Mr D.? Heaven forbid. (44)


In this same letter Bowle refers to the fact that Crookshanks had twice attempted a reconciliation between them. Bowle angrily rejects any such approach: "Cursed be the day that brought me to the knowlege of such a man, for cursed is he who smiteth his neighbour secretly" (Cox 102). The pain inflicted by Crookshanks' secret betrayal (as Bowle saw it and of which he frequently speaks) is clearly as deep as ever. Crookshanks, for his part, wrote that same month to Bowle: "I tried with some industry to invite you to a reconciliation, but a nasty, vindictive, rotten heart and a Tolondron head would not let you accept a well-meant offer" (Cox 102). This, surely, must have been the last contact between them. By the end of that summer Bowle had died.

The Rev. J. Baverstock---or whoever was the old friend of Bowle's to whom he gave his "Card"--concluded his Note:
   John Bowle was a Man of more than common attainments in
   Literature, possessed of strong natural powers, and well skilled
   in languages. His great error, both as an editor and a Critic,
   was too fond an acquiescence in his first thoughts and a
   stubborn unyielding temper that would not allow him to submit
   to the slightest Retractation. (45)


It would be interesting to know just what the writer had in mind here. The conclusion to Bowle's Anotaciones strikes a very different note from what this suggests. Here he acknowledges the limitations of his work in terms that he takes over, as he points out, from an earlier writer, Hernan Nunez "El Comendador Griego," at the end of his glosses on Juan de Mena's Las trescientas (or Laberinto de fortuna):
   Esto es, Doctissimos Lectores, lo que se me ofrecio que dezir
   sobre la Historia de Don Quixote de la Mancha del famoso Poeta
   (1.497.13) (46) MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA. No soy
   tan arrogante, ni me atribuyo tanto en la doctrina que piense
   en tan varia obra como es esta aver satisfecho a todas las
   dificultades y lugares escuros, que en ella ay: bien se que se
   pudiera mas dezir, y que avre ignorado algunas cosas que fueran
   necessarias para la declaracion della, y por el consiguiente
   errado en otras muchas. No es maravilla; ca no todos podemos
   todas las cosas, y como dize Ausonio.

      Alius alio plura invenire potest, nemo omnia. (47)

   ... Y si toda via por el juyzio de los scientes y doctos hombres
   (a la correccion de los quales en todo me someto) fuera aprovado
   aver sido este mi trabajo vano y inutil, y no oviere alcanzado
   el fin de mi proposito, podre alomenos dezir aquel
   dicho Ovidiano,

      Si desint vires tamen est laudanda voluntas. (48)


IDEMESTONE, en su Estudio, Y Octubre 26, M.DCC.LXXX. (49)

As to the remark of Bowle's friend on the "failure, or rather the cool reception which the public gave to his edition," one finds striking support for this statement in a note at the end of the Catalogue printed for the sale of Bowle's library after his death in 1788. It reads: "The remaining copies of Mr. Bowle's elegant edition of Don Quixote, in the original Spanish, with his Notes and copious Indexes, in 6 vols. 4to. will be sold at the very low price of one Guinea, in boards; and the large paper copies one Guinea and a half. (50)

This Catalogue, which lists 12,779 items, is a less helpful guide to Bowle's library than one would wish because it incorporates the contents of "several other collections." However, it seems safe to conclude that it was Bowle who had Montaigne and Machiavelli and an Italian version of Paradise Lost; he also had Cipriano de Valera's Spanish version of Calvin's Institutes, Dr. Constantino's Doctrina christiana of 1555 (soon to be placed on the Index), the Spanish New Testament of Casiodoro de Reina, but also Ignatius Loyola's Exercises. He had three copies of the ten-volume Johnson-Steevens edition of Shakespeare, and also Malone's supplement to it; and three copies too of the Spanish Academy's 1780 edition of Don Quixote, along with three copies of the corrected edition of 1782. But among all these works there seems not to have been a single Spanish romance of chivalry--even though Bowle had been so eager to examine them in order to elucidate Cervantes' chivalric sources and help the reader see what was being done with them. Their absence from this sale catalogue emphasizes the extent to which Bowle had benefited from--and, indeed, relied on--loans from what Percy called his "Quixotic Library," his partial re-creation of the library of Don Quixote, books "which I have bought, latterly as much for your use, as my own." (51) From Crookshanks, we learn, he had borrowed Las sergas de Esplandian. (52) For the rest, almost all the dozen or so romances of chivalry in Bowle's list of "Autores citados en las Anotaciones" were Percy's. (53) That so avid a book-collector and so devoted a Cervantine editor as Bowle did not, as it seems, exert himself to acquire such works for himself is intriguing and leads us back to the question of just what it was about "this great work" of Cervantes that drew from him such long dedication and, in the end, brought him so much pain.

Bowle's dedication and achievement as a Spanish scholar found only sparing recognition in the memorial tablet commemorating him in the chancel of his little church at Idmiston:
   Litteris Graecis et Latinis
   Linguarum Gallicae Hispanicae et Italicae
   peritiam adjunxit.
   In omni fere Literarum genere versatus
   praesertim studio Antiquitatis trahebatur.

   Die 26.Octobris.An.Dom. 1788
   Aetatis suae 63 (54)


(1) This article is a revised version of "The Revd John Bowle's Quixote--and What Went Wrong," a paper presented at the Taylor Institution Graduate Seminar in Spanish, 29 May 2001 (http://www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/2000-1/weekly/ 170501/lecs.htm, 15 March 2003), and "The Sad Story of John Bowle's Edition of the Quijote," a paper presented at the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland Annual Conference, Cork, April 13, 2002 (abstract at http://www.ukc. ac.uk/secl/spanish/ahgbi/abstracts.htm, 14 March 2003).

(2) Letter to Percy of 11 February 1775 (Percy-Bowle 36).

(3) Letter to Percy of 25 March 1776 (Percy-Bowle 42). Bowle repeats this claim in his Letter to the Reverend Dr. Percy, of 1777 (p. 23 of the original edition, 114 of the modernized one by Eisenberg).

(4) My present study owes a large debt to the second of Cox's books especially. All subsequent references to Cox will be to this work, An English ilustrado.

(5) Douglas writes that Bowle "has been so kind as to communicate to me, by the Hands of a Friend, what he knows relative to Lauder's Forgeries. And no body knoweth so much as this Gentleman, who long before I examined the Bodleian Library, had collected materials for an Answer to Lauder.... I thought this Acknowledgement due from me to Mr Bowle, who will, also, I flatter myself, have the Thanks of the Public" (52). As early as March 1750, Bowle had written from Oxford about Lauder's forgeries to Edward Easton, the Salisbury bookseller and publisher, whose son Edward was to print Bowle's Quixote (Cox 29).

(6) Smith 41; see also Brooks 261. For Bowle's reference, see his Preface to his Miscellaneous Pieces of Antient English Poesie, fol. A2v. He had recorded purchasing "Theobald's Shakespeare" in December 1750, just at the time he was meeting Douglas in London (Cox 29).

(7) "I cannot give over all thoughts of a Classical Edition of this great work, & should reluctantly make publick in a Translation what the Author perused in the Originals, which should be pointed out" (letter to Percy of 31 March 1774; Percy-Bowle 34). Again, "From the commencement of my intimacy with the text of Don Quixote, I was induced to consider the great author as a Classic, and to treat him as such" (Letter to Dr. Percy, p. 1 of the original edition, p. 98 of the modernized one). Compare Percy to Bowle, 2 April 1768: "I shall sometime attempt, if not a new edition, of the Original: yet an improved Translation with large Notes & Illustrations: as well containing Criticisms on the Spanish Phraseology of the Author, as large Extracts from the old Romances by way of a Key to his Satire" (Percy-Bowle 13).

(8) He begins the paper he read to the Society of Antiquaries of London in November 1779 by remarking: "Among the several writers who have exercised their talents on that inexhaustible fund of criticism the works of Shakespeare, Dr Farmer in his Essay on his learning confessedly stands the foremost," but goes on to argue against an observation of Farmer's on the history of French pronunciation ("Remarks on the Antient Pronuntiation" 76).

(9) Bodleian MS Eng.Letters c.15 ("Letters and Papers 1734-1833, mainly addressed to Edmond Malone"), fols. 23r-24v (fol. 23r). Bowle notes that Capell had made a transcript of the edition during the nearly twelve months that he had kept it. A richly illuminating recent account of the character of English literary scholarship at this time is given by Walsh.

(10) Bowle is here quoting (26 of the original edition, 116 of the modernized one), as he admiringly points out, words from Nicola Francesco Haym's "Al Lettore," in his edition of Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata (London: Tonson & Watts, 1724). He later remarks that "As it is my ultimate wish to have the text pure and genuine, I would spare no pains to effect this" (33 of the original edition, 122 of the modernized one).

(11) Letter, 45 of the original edition, 130 of the modernized one. What he picked out for praise here was the provision of maps showing "the travels of their heroes."

(12) In the Postscript to his Remarks on the Extraordinary Conduct (of 1785), he quotes, in support of his own approach to Don Quixote, Thomas Warton's comment in a note on Spenser: "If Shakespeare is worth reading, he is worth explaining" (45).

(13) British Library Add. MS 23143, fol. 54v.

(14) Add. MS 23143. However, Bowle "first saw Captain Crookshanks" a full year earlier, on 4 July 1773. This fact is recorded by Bowle in an autograph note dating from not earlier than the end of June 1786 and headed "A CARD" (Bodleian MS Eng. misc. d.244, fol. 108r).

(15) Fols. 6r (11 August), 8r (23 August).

(16) Fols. 18r, 32r, 34r

(17) Fol. 44r. The point was taken: "herd" became "multitude." Benjamin White (1725?-1794), having originally been a partner with John Whiston, carried on an extensive bookseller's business of his own at Horace's Head, Fleet Street, from the mid 1760s and made a speciality of books on natural history and expensive books of other kinds. He has been said to be the brother of Gilbert White, author of the celebrated Natural History of Selborne. See Plomer 261 and Maxted 244.

(18) A week before his letter to Bowle just quoted, Crookshanks had written: "I am just come from White's who will send you back [the] last sheet this Post we have worked to correct[. W]e have taken liberties, with great good wishes for your and the public's approval[;] you can easily alter again if you disaprove. This we are sure of, we have made it more easily intelligible to common readers, & more musical to our London ears" (fol. 42v; 9 June 1776).

(19) Fols. 25v (February 15, 1776); 28r (March 17, 1776); 48r (January 9,1776); 11r (February 15, 1775); 56r-v (January 25, 1777).

(20) Fol. 58r.

(21) The full title of this work concludes: "in a Letter to the Rev. J.S. D.D." The only copies known are in the Bodleian Library. Cox (95-96) is surely right in revising his earlier view of the identity of "the Rev. J.S. D.D." and concluding that "we can now be fairly certain" that this was "the Rev. Dr Simpson"--this on the basis of a brief memoir of Bowle, written after his death, where reference is made to Bowle's "letter to Dr Simpson." (See also infra, p. 33.) This identification seems beyond reasonable doubt. The Rev. Joseph Simpson matriculated at The Queen's College, Oxford, in 1728, became a fellow there in 1736, took his D.D. in 1761, and from 1756 until his death in 1796 was rector of Weyhill, near Andover, in Hampshire (which was a college living); see Foster 4: 1300a. That means that he was a close neighbour of Crookshanks, at Penton. It seems, too, from other evidence that he was regarded as an informed admirer of Cervantes. All this gives point to the fact that Bowle made "the Rev. J.S. D.D." the addressee of this self-justificatory epistle. He sent him two copies of his Remarks early in February 1785 (Cox 95).

(22) Letter to Percy of 27 October 1777 (Percy-Bowle 50).

(23) For an account of the whole episode, see Charnock 5: 149-60. In the entry--by J. K. Laughton--on Crookshanks in Dictionary of National Biography it is claimed that the account of him given in Charnock was contributed by Crookshanks himself and that it contains "many statements which are grossly partial and sometimes positively untrue," among these being the statement that the court-martial "did, by a unanimous resolve, acquit him even of the suspicion of cowardice, disaffection, or want of zeal." No specific evidence is adduced, and the whole account of him given here is notably hostile. Whatever judgement on Crookshanks' naval career may be the right one, it is clear that this entry is erroneous on some points of fact and in certain other respects is misleading.

(24) See Knowles, Refutation 21; Crookshanks, Reply 4, 32-33, 40, and 43; Letter ... to a Member of Parliament 1 and 16; Kirke vi, 138-39, and 162-66. It should be noted that Crookshanks also asserted in the clearest terms in a letter addressed to the King, George III, no less (asking that he might be restored to active service "as this is a time of war," though he was then past sixty) that "in consequence of a report from the lords commissioners of the said board [of Admiralty] made to his [late] majesty in council, he [George II] was farther graciously pleased to order that your petitioner should be restored to his rank, which is now done, and his name stands in the naval books, in the list of captains according to his rank of seniority." According to Charnock this letter (which he prints) went as an appendix to another letter (which he also prints) addressed to the same Earl of Sandwich to whom Kirke dedicated his book. In this letter, dated simply 1771, Crookshanks yet again restates his position as regards the incident that led to his court-martial. It emerges that he had recently had a meeting with the Earl and that his reception had been frosty. See Charnock 5: 158-60.

(25) Journey 3: 17-18. He describes here the extent of his reading in Spanish literature: "Don Quixote, some lyrick poetry by Boscan and Garcilasso, some plays of Calderon and De Vega, the histories of De Solis [=Antonio de Solis, author of Historia de la conquista de Mexico, Madrid, 1684 and much reprinted], Sandoval [presumably Prudencio de Sandoval's Primera parte de la vida y hechos del Emperador Carlos Quinto, Valladolid, 1604], and Herrera [=Antonio de Herrera Tordesillas, author of Historia general de los hechos de los castellanos en las Islas i Tierra firme del mar Oceano, Madrid, 1601-15, and of the three-part Historia general del mundo, Madrid, 1601 and thereafter], half a dozen Books of chivalry, with Lazarillo de Tormes, the poem of the Araucana, and the Translation of Orlando Furioso, [which] make near the whole of my Spanish reading." At the end of the account of Spanish literature that he nevertheless undertakes, moved by his interest in the subject and his conviction that it should be much better known, he writes: "I have little more to add with regard to the Spanish Literature, because I know but little more" (3: 87). Such candid remarks on Baretti's part no doubt encouraged the learned and toiling literary scholar that was Bowle to regard him as no more than a light-weight.

(26) Boswell 394-95 and 419. Johnson was more generous to Baretti than the latter to him. The following year (before Baretti went on trial), at a dinner party given by Boswell, when another guest "regretted that Johnson had not been educated with more refinement, and lived more in polished society," Baretti had replied: "No, no, my Lord, do with him what you would, he would always have been a bear" (Boswell 400). A native of Piedmont, Giuseppe Baretti (1719-89) had first come to London in 1751, after making serious trouble for himself at Turin with a satirical piece directed at a professor of literature there. Having returned to Italy in 1760 (via Portugal, Spain, and France), he wrote and published between 1763 and 1765 a fortnightly review at Venice, La Frusta Letteraria, whose stinging satirical manner in its treatment of books which Baretti judged to be worthless got it banned by the Venetian censors. He then returned to London. See Hainsworth and Robey, The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature, s.vv. "Baretti, Giuseppe Marc' Antonio," and "Frusta Letteraria"; and Cooper. Johnson's reference here is to Baretti's An Account of the Manners and Customs of Italy (London, 1768).

(27) Cox 85. Cox points out that this sentence is crossed out in Bowle's draft of the letter, so we can take it that it was not in the letter sent.

(28) Gentleman's Magazine, 54 (1784): 565-66. The letter is dated 17 August. For the other letters of Bowle's here, see: 55 (1785): 497-98, 608, 675, and 760. [Ed. note: the first letter is reproduced in the selection of Bowle's letters, and the following four in notes to Baretti's Tolondron, both in this same issue of Cervantes.]

(29) Remarks 2. (The reference is no doubt to Captain Blifil in Fielding's Tom Jones and in particular, it seems, to Book II, Chapter 2.) Much later in this work Bowle refers to "that railing, that vulgar, abusive language, those genuine effusions of Wapping oratory, and Billinsgate rhetorick, with which he [Crookshanks] has larded his letters to me; the last of which, I hope, came back safe to his hands, unanswered" (42-43). Bowle writes further that he knows that "the animata maledicenza [sic] of the Italian has received fuel from him [Crookshanks] and that he [Baretti] has been his agent for his defamatory purposes" (43).

(30) See 16-17 and 19-20. The only known copy is in the Bodleian library, and bears the author's MS. corrections. The Bodleian catalogue gives it the impossible date of 1734, which is an error for 1784.

In his Tolondron Baretti explains his particular motives in writing this twenty-three-page pamphlet, which "I printed here in London, at my own expense, about three years ago, and made a present of near the whole edition (which was not large, as you may imagine) to the well-known Spanish bookseller and printer, Senor Antonio Sancha, who happened to be in England at that time; that he might show his countrymen, the Academicians, and other good folks in Spain, what were the thoughts and ideas of a foreigner about their orthography and lexicography: two districts of their academical province, which, to me, seem, as yet, but poorly cultivated" (Tolondron 270-71; see further 271-98).

(31) See Giral del Pino, A Dictionary, Spanish and English ..., "Advertisement." It is ironical that, in what appears to be Bowle's earliest recorded reference to Baretti, in April 1772, he writes to a London bookseller that, if Baretti ever thinks of publishing a Spanish-English dictionary, "I will send him an exact list of several omissions in Delpino of genuine Castillian words which occur in Cervantes, Aleman, and others." "My respects to that gentleman" (Cox 58-59).

(32) In the Bodleian copy of this work, at the head of the text on page 3, the name "Crookshanks" is supplied in a MS annotation to the "C**********" (with the additional information: "formerly a Post Captain"). This annotation appears to be in the same hand as a series of marginal annotations revising the spelling of a number of words in the text. These, it seems, may well be in Baretti's own hand.

(33) Dissertacion 10. For Bowle's comments on this work, see his Remarks 20-40. He makes ironic play (at p. 33) of the term "tolondron" as applicable, in Baretti's eyes, to the Academicians who had produced their great Spanish dictionary.

(34) Under "Tolondro o Tolondron," the Diccionario de autoridades first gives the literal meaning of "a bump on a part of the body, especially the head, caused by a blow," and then gives the metaphorical sense: "Llaman [tolondro o tolondron] al desatentado, desatinado, o que no tiene tiento en lo que hace." The verb "atolondrarse" brings out more of the meaning: "Metaphoricamente vale confundirse, atontarse, turbarse, assf en los discursos y operaciones intelectuales como en los movimientos de pies y manos sin saber acertar en cosa alguna."

(35) Letter of Dillon to Mr. B. White, Bowle's London bookseller, of 1 October 1777 (Cox 68).

(36) On the other hand, it is clear from occasional passages in Spanish in Crookshanks' letters to Bowle, and especially in a letter of his written entirely in Spanish to the Spanish consul, Ventades, that he himself had only limited competence in the language. Indeed, in his letter to Ventades, of late 1775 or early 1776 (of which he made a copy for Bowle), he refers to himself--then in his late sixties--as "un Pobrete Moco Estudiante en la Lengua Castellana" (Bowle-Crookshanks Correspondence [supra, n. 14], fol. 25r). His capacity, therefore, to recognize the weaknesses of Bowle's Spanish is open to question--as also, in consequence, is the sense of the remark of his to which both Bowle and Baretti refer.

(37) Tolondron 241-42 and 245. Another charge brought against Bowle by Baretti is that, when Baretti "went to spend a summer in your neighbourhood" to give lessons in Spanish to two pupils--young friends of Crookshanks', it seems--Bowle resented that fact that Crookshanks would drive over to "hear my Spanish lessons to them." Baretti claims that this was one of the things that lay behind Bowle's Letter to the Rev. J.S.D.D., "wherein you laid before your Doctor, and the public, your reasons, why you know Spanish, and I know it not" (243-44). Baretti was by this time all the less inclined to accept any such imputation, now that, as we have seen, he had presented himself to the world as the reviser of Giral del Pino's Dictionary (and without Bowle's assistance).

(38) "I was the first to plant free footsteps on a virgin soil; I walked not where others trod" (Horace, Epistles, I, xix, 21-22). Bowle makes this an epigraph on the title-page of his volume of Anotaciones (vol. 5 of his edition), adding a quotation from Don Quixote: "Por caminos desusados, por atajos, y sendas encubiertas." Baretti, in his allusion here, makes play of the meanings of "princeps."

(39) Tolondron 308-12.

(40) See supra, n. 25.

(41) "Of the Spanish Literature in particular, I said but little [i.e. in the Journey from London to Genoa], and that little with fear and trembling, as I knew but little of it, which, to my sorrow, is still the case, and will surely be as long as I live, for want of books and conversation, that I may not say, for want of sufficient brains. ... But, Jack! A word in your ear. Have you any idea, any conception, any clear notion, of what an Account of Spanish Literature must be, not to be an imperfect and erroneous one?" (Tolondron 180).

(42) This identification is taken from an MS annotation in one of the Bodleian copies of Bowle's Remarks and the Tolondron, Bodleian Vet.A5.e.216.

(43) Baretti refers, early in Tolondron (25-26), to the physical decline evident in Bowle as something that had been widely noted.

(44) Cox 101-02. Bowle is here implicitly referring back to his Remarks, where he had asserted that it was not himself but Crookshanks who had referred to Baretti as the "Italian Assassin" (Remarks 1).

(45) Bodleian Ms Eng.misc.d.244 (fol. 108v).

(46) This reference, to Part I, p. 497, line 13 of Bowle's edition, recalls the concluding sentence of Don Quixote I, 47: "la epica tan bien puede escribirse en prosa como en verso."

(47) "One person can discover more than another; no one can discover everything."

(48) "Even if a man's capabilities fall short, his intention still merits praise."

(49) 5 [Anotaciones]: II 166-67. At the end of his Letter to Dr. Percy (48-49 of the original edition, 134-35 of the modernized one) Bowle had quoted and translated similar sentiments from Dr. Alfonso Villadiego's "Advertencias" to his edition of the Fuero juzgo (Madrid, 1600).

(50) A Catalogue of the Library of the Rev. John Bowle, M.A., F.S.A [Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries], late of Idmiston, near Salisbury, and Editor of Don Quixote in Spanish, with Notes and Various Readings: with Several Other Collections. The sale will begin on Tuesday, January 19,1790. By Benjamin White & Son. It is available on microfilm on Reel 5135 of the series The Eighteenth Century (Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Microfilm, 1982-).

(51) Letter to Bowle of 6 April 1772 (Percy-Bowle 22). In the "Prologo del Editor" of Bowle's edition: "Se deben principalmente Agradecimientos al Reverendo Senor el Dr. Thomas Percy, Dean de Carlisle, que de su Libreria Cavalleresca de Quixote [sic] me regalo el uso de quantos Libros tuvo, necessarios para ilustrar su Historia" (5 [Anotaciones]: I, xi). Percy of course was a medievalist in his interests, and thought of Don Quixote's romances as medieval works. Bowle found the romances boring, he speaks of "the drudgery of such painful reading" (Letter to Dr. Percy, p. 3 of the original edition and p. 99 of the revised one), and his beloved Cervantes had of course condemned them.

(52) Letter of Crookshanks to Bowle of 30 December 1776 (Bowle-Crookshanks correspondence [supra, n. 14], fol. 54r).

(53) A "List of the Romances which have in numerous instances illustrated the text of Don Quixote" is found in Bowle's Letter to Dr. Percy, p. 67 of the original edition and p. 145 of the modern one.

(54) To [his learning in] Greek and Latin literature he added skill in the French, Spanish, and Italian languages. Adept in almost every kind of literature, he was especially drawn to the study of Antiquity. [He died] October 26, 1788, at the age of 63."

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Christ Church

Oxford, U.K. OX1 1DP

ron.truman@christ-church.oxford.ac.uk
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Title Annotation:editor of Eighteenth-Century edition of Don Quixote
Author:Truman, R.W.
Publication:Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America
Date:Sep 22, 2003
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