Abstract For Miguel de Cervantes and Mateo Alemán, honour culture generates an excessively volatile interplay of shame and anger. More often than justice, the results are deception, vindictiveness and disproportionate violence. Alemán depicts such agonistic passions as deeply embedded in human nature, and attempts to channel them to positive effect via rational reflection, creating the conditions for empathy and even compassion. Cervantes, also recognizing the common inclination to anger, revenge and duplicity, proposes the affective bonds of friendship as an antidote to the divisive operations of honour. The medieval Cantar de mío Cid, which suggests a transition from personal, zealous vengeance towards collective, rational justice, is an important background work for both early modern authors. Amidst Counter-Reformation avowals of Catholic doctrine and scepticism-inducing advances in knowledge, the notion of truth was especially fraught in early modern Spain. Emphasizing the unreliability of the senses, the confounding multiplicity of the natural world, cultural variety, subjectivity, mutability and the equivocal signifiers that comprise language, the great sceptic Francisco Sánchez arrived at a bleak assessment of contemporary epistemology: ‘How can one call science this weaving and unravelling of dreams, impostures and deliriums, this invention of charlatans and prestidigitators?’1 Despite Felipe II’s attempt at codification and organization, the legal system was a cacophony of Roman and Visigoth precedent, local fueros, amendments and additions.2 It is not surprising that two contemporary authors with extensive experience and interest in law, Miguel de Cervantes and Mateo Alemán, produced narratives in which the presentation and judgment of proof are rarely straightforward, and justice frequently deficient. Both authors depict scenes in which characters are on trial, both formally (legal cases) and more generally (disputes with other characters, subject to the scrutiny of narrator and reader). Narrative itself, with its inspection of motives and circumstances, emerges as the most capacious form of proof. Cervantes and Alemán were keenly aware of emotion in its myriad functions: as rhetorical aid, catalyst for pursuing justice, distorter of judgment, and contributor to both social cohesion and strife. If there exists in early modern Spain what Barbara Rosenwein calls an ‘emotional community’, it is defined by the passions of honour culture: shame and anger, and the economy of affront and revenge.3 While Cervantes generally responds to the emotional volatility of honour with an Erasmian cultivation of affective moderation, friendship and clemency, Alemán – following Augustine – attempts to channel emotional extremes to positive social and theological ends. The resulting representations of amicability and empathy offer socially constructive alternatives to the divisive emotions surrounding honour. We will begin by considering the relationship between emotions and legal argument within an ‘ideal’ honour context. * * The archetypal honour narrative of Spanish literature is the Cantar de mío Cid, the medieval epic depicting the loss and recuperation of the hero’s favour with King Alfonso VI. Although the facts behind the Cid’s exile are unclear, the outpouring of popular affect as his retinue passes through Burgos suggests an injustice. The hero’s profound pathos as he leaves home, ‘With eyes full of tears’ (Cid, i. 1. 1), is mirrored in the citizens of Burgos, whose affective solidarity is accompanied by judgment: with tears in their eyes, suffering, all exclaiming the same: God, what a good vassal, if only he had a good lord! (Cid, i. 1. 18–20)4 The burgueses function as a chorus eliciting an empathic response in the poem’s audience, which is already predisposed by the initial sorrow of the Cid. The affect thus feeds a collective expectation for restitution, the Cid’s social and political reintegration, surrounded by an assenting community. Contrarily, strong emotions are also destructive in the poem, as when the shamed Infantes de Carrión defile their matrimony to the Cid’s daughters. The climactic trial scene of the Infantes illustrates the role of emotions in the transition from private revenge to institutional justice. It also represents a repudiation of the disruptive pride of the high nobility, and the formation of a cohesive community under the King. Well along his upward trajectory from disgraced exile to hero of the Reconquista by dint of martial victories and loyalty to his sovereign, the Cid abides by the King’s decision to wed his daughters to the socially superior Infantes de Carrión. The arrangement quickly goes awry, and the Infantes’ abuse and abandonment of the Cid’s daughters sets the stage for the poem’s central examination of justice. Rather than exorcise his ire in righteous slaughter of his enemies, the Cid submits to the authority of the King, who convenes a court. The trial is a combination of reasoned argument, exchange of insults, and armed combat. Part of the scene’s hybridity is due to the Romanization of Visigoth law, the integration of single combat within court trials: ‘The elaborate Romanized procedure of the riepto was established and developed to control the old Germanic practice of duelling, which often degenerated into simple acts of private revenge, a practice abhorrent to – and, indeed, forbidden by – Roman law.’5 Emotions are not repressed, but rather integrated, acknowledged as fundamental to a satisfactory restitution. As Richard Posner’s comments on revenge suggest, an honour code corresponds to a particular type of emotional community: Cultures in which revenge plays a significant role in the regulation of social interactions place great emphasis on honour. Shame, the reaction to being dishonoured, helps overcome fear and so makes it more likely that a victim will retaliate if attacked or abused. Out of the interplay of honour, shame, and revenge grow notions of exchange, balance, reciprocity, ‘keeping score’ – notions later taken up by law, initially under the rubric of ‘corrective justice’.6 The trial scene of the Cid involves revenge feeding into an operation of corrective justice. Of course, shame can also work against the achievement of equilibrium; it may lead to excessive action, or a perpetual revenge cycle. The crime against the daughters of the Cid is catalysed by the ridicule from the Cid’s men after the Infantes fail to display valour in battle. Taking their wives to the wooded outskirts of town and disrobing them, the Infantes whip them with leather cinches and metal spurs, leaving them bloodied and near death – prompting the poet to entertain a fantasy of revenge: ‘What a joy it would be if the Cid would now appear!’ (Cid, iii. 129. 2753).7 The Cid, however, appeals to King Alfonso, who sets up a court in Toledo: I will order that the Infantes of Carrión go there and that they respond to mio Cid el Campeador, and that there be no dispute as long as I am able to prevent it. (Cid, iii. 133–34. 2965–67)8 The nobility is convened to witness and affirm justice, and the curtailment of ‘rencura’. The word signifies legal dispute, but also evokes the strong affective antipathies between the parties. The Infantes’ rancour entails a threat to the King’s polity, since Alfonso himself had arranged the marriage they desecrated. In submitting to the King’s court, the Cid also recognizes that the greater honour in question is that of the King. Private revenge, and the emotional intensity required for credibility within an honour culture, cedes to institutional violence, in which rules and judgment are privileged. There is an emphasis on the deliberative faculty as the King seeks to attenuate violent affect in the trial: may count don Enrique and don Remond be judges of this […] and the others who are not of the [Carrión] band. Everyone consider carefully, since you are familiar with it, and decide what is just, because I do not order injustice. (Cid, iii. 137. 3135–38)9 Rather than reflexive retaliation, we have meditation [‘meted ý mientes’] preceding legal action. After an inventory of the dowry, there is restitution of the swords that the Cid had gifted to his sons-in-law. The return of the dowry may satisfy the broken bonds of matrimony, but it does little to assuage the Cid for the treatment of his daughters and the lasting dishonour. Scott K. Taylor has noted that ‘Truth, and controversy over whether the affront was accurate, lay at the core of the duel.’10 There is no dispute regarding the facts of the dowry, nor of the Infantes’ acts. The deeper truth at play is the worth of the disputants: the Infantes’ defence is their claim to social superiority; the Cid seeks to affirm his own value, based on deeds and his loyalty to the crown. There are thus two additional stages in the trial, and a primary component of each is the stimulation of strong emotions. First comes a spirited exchange of insults, a practice related to the Scandinavian and Germanic traditions of ‘whetting’ and ‘flyting’.11 Johan Huizinga describes the verbal agon as part of the ludic foundation of law: ‘Here it is not the most meticulously deliberated juristic argument that tips the balance, but the most withering and excoriating invective.’12 The Infantes’ side ridicules the Cid’s lowly social origins, exhorting him to return to manual labour, and claiming that his daughters are unfit even to serve as their concubines. The Cid reminds Garci Ordóñez of the tuft of beard he managed to pluck from him during the battle of Cabra (iii. 140). Such competitions could sublimate physical aggression by giving vent to emotions; conversely, they could incite violence. The Cid’s trial is notable because it is able to accommodate affective release and physical violence within its order. The trial’s final stage involves armed combat, proscribed in space, time, weaponry and rules that are negotiated by both parties. The Cid’s men prevail, inflicting significant bodily harm on their adversaries. Pavlović and Walker have convincingly argued that the duels do not form part of the ‘trial by ordeal’ tradition, but rather are examples of the elaborate legalistic procedures that were progressively overlaying and replacing such customs: ‘The formalities which precede the actual combats in the [Cid] are described in considerable detail, and they conform exactly to the regulations set out in the territorial legislation of the Partidas and the Fuero Real.’13 As the last of the single combats concludes, and the final admission of defeat is sounded on the Infantes’ side, the judges confirm the result, and the King asserts his dominion: The field is vanquished, this is over! The judges declared: We heard this. Good King don Alfonso ordered the field cleared, and claimed for himself the weapons that lay there. (Cid, iii. 152. 3691–94)14 The Cid’s honour is restored, his worth affirmed as that of his adversaries is tarnished [‘menos valer’]. Julio Hernando notes that the King’s collection of the weapons confirms that the trial is not merely a quarrel between private enemies. At stake is a transgression against the social order, an order headed by the King, who manages to regulate the volatile passions of honour and revenge.15 The violent, emotionally charged aesthetics of epic are thus preserved, while the rational organization of institutional justice and national unity is promoted. * The protagonist of Mateo Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache (1599/1604) describes his proclivity for vengeance in terms of gestation: ‘I was queasy, like a pregnant woman, with the cravings of my desire for revenge’ (Guzmán, ii. 2. 7).16 This is not the righteous indignation of the Cid; it leads to no just resolution sanctioned by legitimate authority. There are numerous instances of imagined and realized revenge in the novel, from Guzmán’s torture fantasy of the innkeeper who served him bad eggs (Guzmán, i. 1. 4), to his come-uppance with the Cardenal’s secretary (Guzmán, i. 3. 7). In the interpolated tale of Dorido and Clorinia (Guzmán, i. 3. 10), an appalling revenge is generated by male jealousy and suspicion of female infidelity – a drama of emotional excess that recalls the Infantes in the Cid, and reverberates with Cervantes’s own tale of male rivalry, suspicion and fabricated proof, ‘El curioso impertinente’ (Don Quijote, i. 33–35). Alemán initiated legal studies in Seville, and his theoretical and practical experience with the law is evident throughout Guzmán de Alfarache.17 There is commentary on judges, clerks and witnesses, fiscal and sumptuary laws, prison conditions; on antinomies such as divine vs human justice, law vs need, laws vs custom; on the reliability of proof, and the role of emotions in argument and judgment. The world of Guzmán is rife with sinfulness, and the protagonist wages a battle against his own base inclinations that does justice to its model, Augustine’s Confessions. If Augustine eschews a stoic expurgation of emotions in favour of redirecting them to suitable (pious) objects, Guzmán repeatedly asserts that just laws must be founded on reason.18 While many emotions frustrate this goal, Guzmán illustrates how rational justice requires affective engagement. Guzmán feels shame, anger, lust and remorse. Within the duplication of the self created by the autobiographical format, the remorse is primarily expressed by the narrator as he looks back upon and recounts his life; the shame, anger and lust are the purview of the acting Guzmán, his younger self. A satisfactory display of remorse can mollify judgment – in a court of law, in public opinion, before the Divine.19 Vindictiveness, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect: ‘What is baser than vengeance, which is a passion for injustice, nor uglier before the eyes of God and man?’20 While acting Guzmán consistently indulges the ‘passion for injustice’, narrating Guzmán recommends leaving revenge to God: ‘the Lord will take [revenge] of the evil sooner or later’ (Guzmán, i. 1. 3).21 This homiletic commonplace seeks to discourage revenge while acknowledging its emotional function, consoling the unfortunate with the imagined torments of their adversaries. A major premise of Guzmán is that society is unjust. Some judges are bribed, some swayed by vengeful emotions, others improvise arbitrary laws [‘leyes de encaje’]. Deception is rampant, falsified evidence renders proof unreliable, and the absence of true friendship deprives society of trust and good will. Justice becomes hollow theatre, mere rhetorical display. Deploying his characteristic mercantile vocabulary, Guzmán frequently speaks of how to ‘ganar crédito’, to gain trust and good reputation. But it is mostly the false credit of the swindler, the moral corrosiveness of deceptive appearance and the economic poison of speculation rather than productive work.22 Guzmán makes exaggerated displays of emotion in order to prevail in his disputes: ‘And since whoever is loudest prevails and gets justice most frequently, I was so loud that I didn’t let him speak, and if he spoke, they couldn’t hear him, and in this way I duped him’ (Guzmán, i. 2. 10).23 Justice becomes a game of deception [‘juego de maña’]. During a dispute in which he has falsified the account books of his adversary, Guzmán foams at the mouth and gesticulates like a madman. The simulation is premeditated [‘[c]on esta resolución’], and has the desired effect: ‘so they believed without a doubt to be true everything I said’ (Guzmán, ii. 2. 6).24 Judgment is won not by the most clearly reasoned argument, but through emotional arousal. Alemán proposes his novel as a remedy to all this, and not just by exposing vice in the satirical tradition of desengaño. It is the presentation of his protagonist as both abject and universal, both reprehensible and worthy of compassionate understanding, that points the way towards a more just commonwealth. Guzmán abounds in scenes meant to elicit disgust, involving excrement and other effluvia, abject nudity, animal corpses and rotten food. And Guzmán repeatedly experiences shame, both as the result of an inner compunction as he reflects upon past actions, and as a coercive social force. In her study of emotions, ethics and law, Martha Nussbaum discusses how these two emotions elicit attempts to suppress – rather than understand – their cause: ‘Like disgust, [shame] contains the judgment that weakness and need are bad things, to be kept at bay. And […] shame and disgust are frequently linked to hatred that seeks the total obliteration of the threatening object.’25 Nussbaum seeks to base an ethics on emotions that affirm attachment to worthwhile objects, rather than on the Stoic project of self-sufficiency and emotional neutrality. Compassion becomes the privileged emotion of a civil society, as it ‘pushes the boundaries of the self […] outward’, making people aware of their common cause.26 The jurisprudential implications of such an account of emotions, especially for what we would call the ‘sentencing phase’, are on display in Guzmán. Guzmán’s failure to remain neutral while watching two strangers play cards is linked to his inclination to gamble: ‘If you like watching card games, watch dispassionately, if you can; but you won’t succeed, you are like me and will do the same’ (Guzmán, ii. 2. 3).27 But his claim that we may be similarly incited suggests a commonality in sensibilities that is instrumental in his larger project of establishing an affective bond between character and reader. Human beings, Guzmán asserts, have difficulty considering each other dispassionately. His narrative strategy involves promoting an empathic account of his criminal youth, to both foster understanding of his earlier self and support the plausibility of his conversion. Guzmán’s misery and humiliations conform to a popular form of low comedy, in which laughter is an emotional response to deficiencies in others.28 Within the extensive narrative architecture of Guzmán, however, such scenes also establish the grounds for empathy, the ‘imaginative reconstruction of the experience of the sufferer’.29 Nussbaum points out how empathy does not necessarily lead to compassion, which involves a positive disposition towards the other. Guzmán seems to be aware that the vivid descriptions of his youthful debasement require considerable context and commentary in order to induce such a disposition in the reader. Here is Guzmán following his fall from the pig’s haunches in Rome: ‘I was a big lump of mud, only my eyes and teeth showing, like with Blacks’ (Guzmán, ii. 1. 6).30 Guzmán’s comparison of his soiled self to a black man whose only distinguishing features are eyes and teeth offers a crude comedy that would do little to promote an empathic reaction in the early modern reader. Lazarillo de Tormes, the urpicaresque that Alemán had in mind while writing his novel, contains a scene that also refers to race while underlining the tension between disgust and compassion. His widowed mother having taken up with a Moor, Lázaro points out the irony of his little brother’s fearful recoil when seeing his black father. The child’s assumption that his father is Other and that he is of his white mother and brother’s ilk points up a general human propensity: ‘How many there must be in the world who flee others because they don’t see themselves!’ (Lazarillo, i. 63–65).31Lazarillo contains much legalese, and its premise is a sort of deposition, a ‘caso’ or case that Lázaro is obliged to explain to an authority figure, ‘Vuestra Merced’ [Your Mercy]. It is therefore significant that the comic episode with the half-brother and stepfather should emphasize the tendency of people to overlook their own complicity when judging and rejecting others. Fear and disgust preclude self-reflection. The narrating Lázaro, like Guzmán, would have the reader reconsider the gulf between the pícaro and respectable society. Satirical as these works are, the obvious message is not one of compassion. We might rather conclude that the boy should also run from his mother and older sibling. Likewise, our filth-blackened Guzmán tries to escape himself: ‘I left covered, unrecognized and with long strides, fleeing myself on account of my filth and stench’ (Guzmán, ii. 1. 6).32 This is a pungent play on Juan de la Cruz’s ‘Noche oscura’: rather than escaping the body [casa] to unite with the Divine, Guzmán flees his stinking self. But the incorporation of the mystic register goes beyond travesty. As Cavillac argues, Guzmán’s Augustinian recognition of his own culpability is consistent with an affirmation of his free will, his responsibility to seek the good.33 Guzmán’s complaint regarding the generic identity of his narrative acknowledges the tension, and the accompanying risks of misinterpretation on the part of the reader: ‘this poor book of mine, which, having titled it Watchtower of Human Life, they have called Pícaro, and it is now known by no other name’ (Guzmán, ii. 1. 6).34 The ‘watchtower’ quality of the work presents Guzmán as an Everyman who must struggle amidst the mundane social ills that affect all of Spanish society. For the reader, this suggests a shift from an empathetic yet somewhat sadistic vicarious romp through chaos and depravity, to an ‘eudaimonistic’ view of Guzmán, which involves ‘[v]aluing another as part of one’s own circle of concern’.35 Guzmán illustrates particularly well how narrative itself, in its attention to circumstance and setting forth a plausible chain of cause and effect, is a capacious form of evidence. Nussbaum’s comments on mercy illuminate the type of case Guzmán proposes: Mercy does differ from compassion: for it presupposes that the offender has done a wrong, and deserves some punishment for that wrong. It does not say that the trouble the offender is in came to her through no fault of her own. Nonetheless […] it has much in common with compassion as well – for it focuses on obstacles to flourishing that seem too great to overcome. It says yes, you did commit a deliberate wrong, but the fact that you got to that point was not altogether your fault. It focuses on the social, natural, and familial features of the offender’s life that offer a measure of extenuation for the fault, even though the commission of the fault itself meets the law’s strict standards of moral accountability.36 Focusing on the ‘social, natural, and familial features’ of their protagonists, picaresque narratives are suited to promote legal sensibilities that would call for equity and balance in judging offenders, rather than the stern punishment articulated in the letter of the law, or the retaliatory anger of revenge. As in Shakespeare’s contemporaneous Measure for Measure (1603/4), mercy is called upon to temper harsh judgments. And the religious disposition of mercy may be brought into human affairs by an effort of empathic understanding. * Don Quijote (1605, 1615) contains allusions to the Cid, and much commentary on honour. In addition to examining how anger and revenge can catalyse or impede justice, Cervantes was interested in the emotions’ role in both cognition and social relationships. Sancho’s fear affects what he perceives during the night of the fulling mills (Quijote, i. 20); don Quijote’s preoccupations regarding his chivalric identity generate the distorted visions in the Cave of Montesinos (Quijote, ii. 22); in El coloquio de los perros (1613), the veracity of the tale is impugned in part because of the feverish state of its implied author, the syphilitic Campuzano. If Cervantes’s scepticism sows uncertainty, as dogmas are questioned and alternative accounts of phenomena are considered, he consistently represents the affective bonds of friendship as a basis on which to found human community. According to contemporary humoral theory, don Quijote is a colérico, and his ire is frequently aroused. Michael McGaha has noted don Quijote’s tendency to utter oaths when he is angered by self-doubt and challenges to his chivalry.37 This emotional disposition is dramatized when he fights the Basque, who delivers his own oath when his status is questioned: ‘Me not gentleman? I swear God you lie as me Christian. If leaving lance and taking sword, soon you see monkey making! Basque on land, gentleman on sea, gentleman for devil, and see lie if other saying.’ ‘ “Now you shall see,” quoth Agrages,’ quoted don Quixote. (Quixote, i. 8, p. 69)38 In addition to the popular comedy of accents and linguistic error, the exchange of insults (what we referred to above as the practice of flyting) shows that don Quijote’s quickness to anger is not unique. The benevolent neighbour, Sansón Carrasco, acquires a new motivation after don Quijote foils the initial attempt to cure his delusions: ‘what’s going to make me search him out now isn’t any desire for him to recover his senses but a desire for revenge’ (Quixote, ii. 16, p. 581).39 Vengeful inclinations in Don Quijote often arise in the absence of another tenet of the honour code: the efficacy of vows, of being true to one’s word. When don Quijote encounters Juan Haldudo whipping the young Andrés for negligent shepherding, the knight assures the boy that restitution is at hand: ‘and provided that he gives me his oath by the laws of the order of chivalry into which he has been admitted, I shall allow him to go free, and personally guarantee the payment’ (Quixote, i. 4, p. 43).40 The peasant Haldudo doesn’t give the vow a second thought, and, as soon as the ‘buen juez’ [good judge] is out of sight, the whipping resumes. Don Quijote then confronts the Toledan merchants, demanding an affirmation of Dulcinea’s supreme beauty. Here the idea of obligation becomes more interesting, since the merchants, although disposed toward placating their unstable interlocutor, request empirical evidence – in the form of a portrait – before agreeing to swear. Don Quijote rejects the request: ‘The whole point is that, without seeing her, you must believe, confess, affirm, swear and uphold it; if not, monstrous and arrogant wretches, you shall face me in battle forthwith’ (Quixote, i. 4, p. 46).41 The knight, incensed, resorts to insults, which are again a prelude to physical aggression. The use of mercantile and legalistic registers (debt [‘la deuda’], payment [‘la paga’]; satisfaction and sureties [‘quedaremos satisfechos y seguros, y vuestra merced quedará seguro y pagado’]) throughout the sequence points up the overlap in the lexicon of revenge and commerce. It also accentuates the disparity between don Quijote’s archaic honour code and an emergent world of bureaucracy and business interactions. Not all vows in Don Quijote are inefficacious. When, on the beach of Barcelona, disguised as ‘The knight of the White Moon’ [‘El caballero de la Blanca Luna’], Sansón Carrasco finally defeats don Quijote, the knight honours the agreed-upon conditions, and returns home. En route, don Quijote and Sancho encounter don Álvaro Tarfe, a character from Avellaneda’s spurious continuation of Don Quijote. In this proto-postmodern confrontation, knight and squire argue their own authenticity against the false Quijote and Sancho known by Tarfe in Avellaneda’s novel. On the evidence of Sancho’s comicality and don Quijote’s reasoning, don Álvaro accedes: ‘and I repeat and confirm that I have not seen what I have seen and that what has happened to me has not happened’ (Quixote, ii. 72, p. 969).42 They proceed to the mayor, where a notary takes down Tarfe’s ‘declaración’. Cervantes deploys a legalistic idiom to affirm what is, amidst the epistemological mischief he insistently sows, an important truth: the authenticity and artistic superiority of his narrative over the apocryphal version of Avellaneda. In Part I, the galley slave Ginés de Pasamonte touted the genuineness of his own life story, which he favourably compares to Lazarillo: ‘What I can tell you is that it deals with facts, and that they’re such fine and funny facts no lies could ever match them’ (Quixote, i. 22, p. 182).43 While Cervantes had great interest in discrediting Avellaneda, his relationship to picaresque literature, and the sort of truths [‘verdades’] it represented, was considerably more complicated. Cervantes’s fullest engagement with Guzmán is El coloquio de los perros (1613), but there there are links between Alemán’s aforementioned interpolated story of Dorido and Clorinia in ‘El curioso impertinente’ (Quijote, i. 33–35).44 Alemán’s tale involves male friendship dissolving in rivalry for a woman, and frustrated desire producing horrific vengeance: not only does the object of desire, Clorinia, die after her hand is severed by the spurned Oracio; this act converts Dorido’s love for Clorinia and friendship with Oracio into hatred and pursuit of punishment, spurred by his ‘just rage’ [‘justo enojo’; Guzmán, i. 3. 10]. The result is more dismemberment, this time of Oracio’s hands, which dangle from the neck of his hanged corpse, an explanatory sonnet affixed. This is the gruesome justice of Baroque exemplarity, and its emotional excess leaves a lingering lack of placation: ‘given my guilt, the punishment remains light’ (Guzmán, i. 3. 10).45 Cervantes’s ‘El curioso impertinente’ presents Lotario and Anselmo, known by all as los dos amigos. After marrying the beautiful Camila, Anselmo becomes obsessed with testing her virtue, and entreats his friend to attempt to seduce her. After strenuously yet unsuccessfully arguing against the plan, Lotario concedes, only to sit in uninterested silence when left alone with Camila. As Anselmo confronts Lotario with his (benevolent) deception, the story veers further from the unifying emotions of love and friendship: ‘he had said enough to cover Lotario in shame and confusion; and, as if he took being caught in this lie as a blemish on his honour, he swore’ (Quixote, i. 33, p. 309).46 After much earnest resistance, Camila gives in. An inordinate concern with honour overrides rational deliberation throughout the tale. The trial of fidelity exemplifies the injustice of expecting human beings to remain morally flawless under extreme circumstances. Some critics have plausibly claimed that the testing of female virtue is secondary to competition between the men. Anselmo, a former don Juan, wants to humiliate Lotario in a sexual contest. Similarly, Alemán’s philanderer Dorido communicates to Clorinia his friend Oracio’s desire to marry her, and takes satisfaction in her preference to remain Dorido’s lover.47 In both cases, love is the desire to possess an object that others admire; friendship succumbs to narcissism and aggression. As with the Infantes episode of the Cid, the agonistic nature of honour culture emerges violently, social appearance takes precedence over human dignity, and women become pawns in dramas of male rivalry and revenge. El celoso extremeño (1613) presents the opposite pole, with a jealous husband removing all possible threats to his young wife’s virtue, imprisoning her in an infantilized domestic space – and with similarly destructive results. Cervantes suggests that human virtue endures somewhere between total protection and extravagant testing. A striking feature of both tales is the realization that the guilt of the wives in fact belongs to the husbands, whose immoderate curiosity and jealousy make them more than complicit. The ‘evidence’ they create is merely the foregone conclusion of their ill-conceived enterprises. It is notable that El celoso extremeño ends in clemency: the husband, Carrizales, recognizes his culpability: ‘such may be my revenge, taking it on myself as the guiltiest of this crime’ (Novelas, 455).48 Carrizales has gained a measure of compassion, and seeks to provide the conditions for Leonora’s well-being. If such eudaimonistic concern bespeaks an approximation of love on Carrizales’s part, we will see that true friendship in Cervantes is also unifying and socially constructive. In Rinconete y Cortadillo (1613), two urchins meet en route to Seville and, after a brief colloquy, seal their vow of perpetual friendship with a close embrace. In Seville, they are initiated into a picaresque community presided over by Monipodio, who functions as judge, peacemaker and sovereign. The resolution of a particular conflict in Rinconete provides a final illustration of our themes. A midday banquet at Monipodio’s is interrupted by Juliana la Cariharta, a prostitute who has a complaint against her pimp and lover, Repolido. Suspecting she has withheld profits, Repolido abuses Cariharta in a manner that, in its deployment of sexual sadism and isolated venue, recalls the Infantes’ treatment of the daughters of the Cid. Like King Alfonso in El Cid, Monipodio presides in his own courtyard, and promises Cariharta justice: ‘Tell us your affront; you will be longer in the telling of it than I will in avenging you’ (Novelas, 272).49 Revenge is in fact avoided, narrowly. When Repolido enters, Cariharta hides in a storage room and refuses to come out. But Monipodio does not demand her return: ‘Cariharta will come out, not by threats, but for love of me’ (Novelas, 277).50 Fellow-feeling is to prevail over executive order. But before brokering forgiveness and sociability, Monipodio has to assuage inflamed honour. Repolido shows signs of softening, with the condition that the terms of his concession not diminish his honour (Novelas, 278), but rather conform to Cariharta’s desire, in which case he claims he would even brand his forehead in sign of servitude. The hyperbole elicits the laughter of two toughs, Chiquiznaque and Maniferro. Laughing at, as we recall from the Cid, can only have a poisonous effect in honour culture: it is one of the surest ways of stirring revenge. A newly provoked Repolido makes a display of ire [‘con muestra de infinita cólera’] and insults Chiquiznaque and Maniferro, who in turn exchange menacing looks. Realizing the proximity of a new outburst of violence, Monipodio admonishes them all, attempting to reduce the gravity of their mutual insults. There is a final volley of threatening oaths, and when Repolido prepares to leave, Cariharta emerges, recognizing the danger of his emotional upheaval: ‘Can’t you see he’s angry?’ (Novelas, 279).51 The toughs begin to doubt their own feelings: ‘they didn’t know whether to get angry or not, so they stayed still, waiting for what Repolido would do’ (Novelas, 279).52 The anger of the characters is experienced not only as a spontaneous emotion, but also as a decision, based on the processing of social cues. After considering the appeals of both his beloved and his sovereign, Repolido checks his anger and affirms a social bond: ‘Friends should never anger friends nor make fun of friends, especially when they see that friends are angry.’ ‘There’s no friend here,’ answered Maniferro, ‘who wants to anger or make fun of another friend, and since we are all friends, let us shake hands like friends.’ (Novelas, 279)53 Citing a 1392 codicil by Enrique III, in which the King stipulates that ‘leagues and monipodios’ should be prohibited, but the law should not ‘legislate against good friendships’, Susan Byrne maintains that Cervantes’s effusive repetition of amistad indicates an ironic use of such an exemption by Monipodio’s company: their friendship overlays an illicit association.54 Alternatively, the scene may allude to the contemporary legal practice of fee de amistades, which allowed disputants to cease a legal process by avowing friendship.55 Insofar as the affirmation of friendship defuses anger and potential violence, we would also do well to recall the 1588 treatise on Natural Philosophy by Oliva Sabuco de Nantes, which offered among other remedies for anger the conversation of good friends.56 Cervantes often represents friendship affirming connection and mutual understanding despite divisions based on nationality, religion and laws. In this, he follows Aristotle, who considers friendship not only essential for a happy life, but also indispensable for society: ‘[F]riendship seems to hold cities together, and lawmakers seem to take it more seriously than justice.’57 Peter Dunn has observed that Monipodio’s underworld is ‘less a travesty of the respectable world than an extension of it’.58 The complicity of the two worlds is made explicit in legalistic, religious and commercial registers that abound in the story: the Memorias (lists of dirty deeds couched in the language of law and bureaucracy), aranceles [duties], estatutos y ordenanzas [statutes and ordinances]. While depicting an underworld that is highly regimented, Cervantes uses the rhetoric of positive law to underline the degree to which contemporary society, beholden to the cycle of honour and revenge, is mired in a more primitive legal state. Despite the bureaucratic efficiency of Felipe II, Spanish justice still had not fulfilled the promise held out by the Cid’s ordered appeal to a fair trial – or by the efforts towards reform and empathy of Alemán’s pícaro as Everyman. And yet, Monipodio’s community of hypocrites, thieves and prostitutes manages to resolve its conflicts without recourse to revenge, exemplifying in its own way Aristotle’s observation on laws, friendship and social cohesion. Footnotes 1 ‘¿Cómo llamarle ciencia a ese tejer y destejer de sueños, de imposturas y delirios, a esa invención de charlatanes y prestidigitadores?’ Francisco Sánchez, Que nada se sabe (1580) (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1972), p. 151. English translations are mine unless otherwise stated. 2 See Susan Byrne, Law and History in Cervantes’s ‘Don Quixote’ (Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 2012), pp. 6–20. 3 Barbara Rosenwein, Generations of Feeling: A History of Emotions, 600–1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). 4 ‘De los sos ojos tan fuertemientre llorando’ (Cid, I. 1. 1); ‘plorando de los ojos, tanto avién el dolor, | de las sus bocas todos dizían una razón: | – ¡Dios, qué buen vassallo, si oviesse buen señor! –’ (Cid, I. 1. 18–20). Anonymous, Cantar de mío Cid, ed. by Alberto Montaner (Madrid: RAE, 2011). All quotations from El Cid are from this edition and given in the notes. The English translations, in the main text, are mine. 5 Milija Pavlović and Roger Walker, ‘A Reappraisal of the Closing Scenes of the Poema de mío Cid II: The Duels’, Medium Aevum, 58.2 (1989), 189–205 (p. 197). See also Pedro Corominas y Montaña, ‘Las ideas jurídicas en el Poema del Cid’, Revista general de legislación y jurisprudencia, 97 (1900), 61–74; and Roberto González Echevarría, Love and the Law in Cervantes (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005), pp. 1–34. 6 Richard Posner, Law and Literature: A Misunderstood Relation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), p. 51. 7 ‘¡Cuál ventura serié | si assomás essora el Cid Campeador!’ 8 ‘mandaré cómmo ý vayan infantes de Carrión | e cómmo den derecho a mio Cid el Campeador, | e que non aya rencura podiendo yo vedallo.’ 9 ‘alcaldes sean d’esto […] | el conde don Anrich e el conde don Remond | e estos otros condes que del vando non sodes. | Todos meted ý mientes, ca sodes coñoscedores, | por escoger el derecho, ca tuerto non mando yo.’ 10 Scott K. Taylor, Honor and Violence in Golden Age Spain (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008), p. 18. 11 See Valentine A. Pakis, ‘Insults, Violence, and the Meaning of Lytegian in the Old English Battle of Maldon’, Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 12.1/2 (2011), 198–229. 12 Johan Huizinga, Homo ludens (Boston, MA: Beacon, 1950), p. 84. 13 Pavlović and Walker, ‘A Reappraisal’, p. 193. 14 ‘¡Vençudo es el campo cuando esto se acabó! – | Dixieron los fieles: – Esto oímos nós. – | Mandó librar el campo el buen rey don Alfonso, | las armas que ý rastaron él se las tomó.’ 15 Julio Hernando, Poesía y violencia: representaciones de la agresión en el Poema de mío Cid (Palencia: Ediciones Cálamo, 2009), p. 141. 16 ‘el estómago traía con bascas y revuelto, como mujer preñada, con los antojos del deseo de mi venganza.’ Mateo Alemán, Guzmán de Alfarache, ed. by Luis Gómez Canseco (Madrid: Real Academia Española, 2012). All references to this work are from this edition and given parenthetically in the text as Part, Book and Chapter numbers. The English translations are mine. 17 See Luis Gómez Canseco, ‘Mateo Alemán y el “Guzmán de Alfarache” ’, in Mateo Alemán, Guzmán de Alfarache, ed. by Luis Gómez Canseco (Madrid: Real Academia Española, 2012), pp. 761–929 (pp. 764–66). 18 Martha Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 535–47. 19 For both the instrumentality of remorse in legal sentencing and the lack of a clear understanding of it, see Susan A. Bandes and Jeremy A. Blumenthal, ‘Emotion and the Law’, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 8 (2012), 161–81 (p. 163–64). 20 ‘¿Qué cosa más torpe que la venganza, pues es pasión de injusticia, ni más fea delante de los ojos de Dios y de los hombres […]?’ 21 ‘el Señor la tomará de los malos tarde o temprano’. 22 The major study on mercantile thought and social reform in Alemán is Michel Cavillac, Pícaros y mercaderes en el ‘Guzmán de Alfarache’ (Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1994). 23 ‘Y porque quien da más voces tiene más justicia y vence las más veces con ellas, yo daba tantas que no le dejaba hablar y, si hablaba, que no le oyesen, haciéndole el juego de maña.’ 24 ‘de manera que creyeron ser sin duda verdad cuanto decía’. 25 Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought, p. 300. 26 Ibid. 27 ‘Si gustas de ver jugar, mira dispasionadamente, si puedes; mas no podrás, que eres como yo y harás lo mismo.’ 28 For a discussion of this Aristotelian tradition of laughter, see James Wood, The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel (New York: Picador, 2005). 29 Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought, p. 327. 30 ‘Que todo yo era un bulto de lodo, sin descubrírseme más de los ojos y dientes, como a los negros.’ 31 ‘¡Cuántos debe de haber en el mundo que huyen de otros porque no se ven a sí mismos!’. Anonymous, Lazarillo de Tormes, ed. by Francisco Rico (Barcelona: Planeta, 1980). 32 ‘Salí encubierto, sin ser conocido y a paso largo, huyendo de mí mismo por la mucha suciedad y mal olor que llevaba.’ 33 Cavillac, Pícaros y mercaderes, pp. 100–17. 34 ‘este mi pobre libro, que, habiéndolo intitulado Atalaya de la vida humana, dieron en llamarle Pícaro y no se conoce ya por otro nombre’. 35 Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought, p. 336. For the ‘vicarious’ view of picaresque reading, see Ulrich Wicks, ‘The Nature of Picaresque Narrative: A Modal Approach’, PMLA, 89 (1974), 240–49 (p. 242). 36 Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought, p. 397. 37 Michael McGaha, ‘Oaths in Don Quixote’, Romance Notes, 14.3 (1973), 561–69 (p. 565). 38 ‘– ¿Yo no caballero? Juro a Dios tan mientes como Cristiano. Si lanza arrojas y espada sacas, ¡el agua cuán presto verás que al gato llevas! Vizcaíno por tierra, hidalgo por mar, hidalgo por el diablo, y mientes que mira si otra dices cosa. – Ahora lo veredes, dijo Agrajes – respondió don Quijote’ (Quijote, i. 8). Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha, ed. by Luis A. Murillo, 5th edn, 2 vols (Madrid: Castalia, 1978). All Spanish quotations are taken from this edition, with references given as Quijote followed by Part and Chapter numbers. English translations are by John Rutherford, Don Quixote (New York: Penguin USA, 2003), and are cited as Quixote. 39 ‘no me llevará ahora a buscarle el deseo de que cobre su juicio, sino el de la venganza’ (Quijote, ii. 15). 40 ‘y con que él me lo jure por la ley de caballería que ha recebido, le dejaré ir libre y aseguraré la paga’ (Quijote, i. 4). 41 ‘La importancia está en que sin verla habéis de creer, confesar, afirmar, jurar y defender, donde no, conmigo sois en batalla, gente descomunal y soberbia’ (Quijote, i. 4). 42 ‘y vuelvo a decir y me afirmo que no he visto lo que he visto ni ha pasado por mí lo que ha pasado’ (Quijote, ii. 72). 43 ‘Lo que le sé decir a voacé es que trata de verdades y que son verdades tan lindas y tan donosas que no pueden haber mentiras que se le igualen’ (Quijote, i. 22). 44 For the influence of Alemán’s tale, see Francisco Ramírez, ‘Alemán y Cervantes: en torno a las fuentes del “Curioso impertinente” ’, in El Quijote desde América, ed. by Gustavo Illades and James Iffland (Puebla: Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades ‘Alfonso Vélez Pliego’, 2006), pp. 309–30. 45 ‘según mi culpa, aun es poco castigo’. 46 ‘bastó para dejar corrido y confuso a Lotario, el cual, casi como tomando por punto de honra el haber sido hallado en mentira, juró a Anselmo’ (Quijote, i. 33). 47 See Ramírez, ‘Alemán y Cervantes’, p. 317. 48 ‘así sea la venganza que tomaré, tomándola de mí mismo como del más culpado en este delito’. Miguel de Cervantes, Novelas ejemplares, ed. by Jorge García López (Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg, 2005), p. 455. All references to this work are from this edition and given parenthetically by page number. English translations are mine. 49 ‘Cuéntanos tu agravio, que más estarías tú en contarle que yo en hacerte vengada.’ 50 ‘la Cariharta saldrá, no por amenazas, sino por amor mío’. 51 ‘No ven que va enojado?’ 52 ‘no sabían si enojarse o si no, y estuviéronse quedos esperando lo que Repolido haría’. 53 ‘Nunca los amigos han de dar enojo a los amigos, ni hacer burla de los amigos, y más cuando ven que se enojan los amigos.’ ‘No hay aquí amigo – respondió Maniferro – que quiera enojar ni hacer burla de otro amigo, y pues todos somos amigos, dense las manos como los amigos.’ 54 Byrne, Law and History in Cervantes’s ‘Don Quixote’, p. 99. 55 See Taylor, Honor and Violence, p. 81. 56 Oliva Sabuco de Nantes y Barrera, Nueva filosofía de la naturaleza del hombre (1588), fol. 19. Accessed at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. 57 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, ed. and trans. by Joe Sachs (Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing, 2002), 1155 a23. 58 Peter Dunn, Spanish Picaresque Fiction: A New Literary History (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993), p. 225. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Court of the University of St Andrews. All rights reserved. The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland: No. SC013532.
Forum for Modern Language Studies – Oxford University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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