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written and acted by "a Gentleman," namely Garrick, then beginning his triumphant career. He also wrote the Prologue, which is included in his Poetical Works. Another version of Pamela was prepared for the stage, but never acted. In 1765 it again supplied the material of the Maid of the Mill, a Comic Opera, which had a considerable run, and was afterwards revived successfully with additions by O'Keeffe. The author was Isaac Bickerstaffe. In Italy Pamela was turned into two plays, Pamela Nubile and Pamela Maritata. In France, Pamela; ou, La Vertu Mieux Éprouvée by Louis de Boissy, was acted at the Italiens in 1743; and, in the same year, Nivelle de la Chaussée also based a five-act play upon the book. La Déroute des Pamela, a one-act Comedy by Godard Daucour, afterwards a farmer-general, owes its origin to the same source. Finally, there is Voltaire's Nanine; ou, le Préjugé vaincu, a pleasant little three-act piece in verse suggested by Richardson through La Chaussée, and produced at the Comédie Française in 1749.
On the other side of the Channel, as will be seen, Richardson's first novel was the cause of considerable literary activity. It may therefore be well, in terminating this chapter, to touch briefly upon the recently-raised question of his alleged indebtedness to Marivaux's Vie de Marianne. That there are superficial affinities between Richardson and Marivaux may at once be conceded. Both hit upon the novel of analysis; and in this connection, no doubt, Marivaux precedes Richardson. Their manners of writing were also similar in some respects; and when Crébillon the younger, describing Marivaux, affirms that his characters not only say everything that they have
done, and everything that they have thought, but everything that they would have liked to think but did not, he almost seems to be describing Richardson as well. But Marivaux's accomplished biographer, M. Gustave Larroumet, although admitting that there is no great similarity between the two heroines, goes much farther than this. Richardson, he affirms, "a lu la Vie de Marianne; il en emprunte l'idée et le caractère principal." Elsewhere he writes, "tous les critiques du siècle dernier sont unanimes: la Vie de Marianne a inspiré Paméla et Clarisse Harlowe." Yet when we ask for the proofs, they are merely unsupported assertions. M. Larroumet does not even give them the honours of his text; he puts them in a footnote. Diderot said so; President Hénault said so; Grimm said so; Mme. du Boccage said that Marianne et le Paysan Parvenu were "peut-être le modèle" of Richardson's novels. What, however, are the facts of the case? The first part of the Vie de Marianne was published at Paris in 1731; the second part in 1734; the third part not until 1735; the fourth, fifth, and sixth parts in 1736; and the seventh and eighth parts in 1737. Nothing more came out until 1741, when the book was left unfinished. An English translation of the first four parts appeared at London in June 1736; a second instalment in January 1737; and a third in April 1742, when Pamela had been published for more than a year. There is not, as far as we are aware, a particle of evidence that Richardson ever saw the earlier volumes of this version. In fact, the only discoverable reference he makes to Marivaux is contained in the postscript to Clarissa, and that occurs in a quotation from
a French critic (translated) taken from the Gentleman's Magazine for August 1749. That he knew no French is demonstrable, and he could not therefore have studied Marivaux in the original. Moreover, he was not in any sense a novel-reader; and in Pamela, the idea of which had been in his mind twenty years before he wrote it,' he aimed at a moral work rather than a story. But what is still more to the point is, in the letter to Aaron Hill, quoted at the beginning of this chapter (to which M. Larroumet makes no reference), he has given so circumstantial and reasonable an account of the independent origin and development of the book, that it seems superfluous to go outside it in order to establish his obligation to a French author, however gifted, of whom, when he first sat down to write the Familiar Letters to which Pamela owed its birth, he had probably never even heard the name.
1 See note 1 to p. 27.
THE "Epistolary Correspondence" of Samuel Richardson may fairly be described, in vulgar parlance, as "a very large order." What remains of it—for it is incomplete even now - consists of no fewer than six vast folio volumes, of which the aspect alone is sufficient to appall the stoutest explorer. These six volumes comprise some eight hundred and fifty letters, or transcripts of letters, from Richardson and his friends, beginning in 1735, and extending to the year of his death. They are generally written - at least Richardson's are generally written in a small hand, on quarto paper; and as they are written on both sides, are, when necessary, "in-let." The effect of this arrangement, when they are mounted side by side, is frequently to give four pages of minute script to a single leaf of the volume in which they are contained. In an unpublished letter to Aaron Hill of 29th Oct. 1746, Richardson gives his reason for thus packing his matter. "Did I not crowd my Lines into a little Compass of Paper, my Prolixity would seem more intolerable" - a device which he goes on to admit will not help him when his work reaches the press. As it is, he certainly contrives to get into a quarto page as many words as Swift could put into a corre
sponding page of the Journal to Stella. The difference is, that while Swift's line bristles with fact and illustration of the most various kind, Richardson's is often nothing but monotonous verbiage, and you may toil in the "immeasurable sand" of his sentences (one of his letters runs to five thousand words, which is a longish magazine article) without coming to anything which throws any light upon any aspect of his life or character with which you are not already sufficiently familiar.
Copious as is this collection, it would have been larger still had its writer become famous earlier. But previously to the composition of Pamela, he does not seem to have kept copies of his letters; and, as already stated, his correspondence with the gentleman who was "master of the epistolary style" had been long destroyed. Moreover, what must be regarded as the more interesting section of his letters belongs rather to the period which immediately preceded and followed the production of Clarissa, when he was in active communication with some of the cleverest and most stimulating of his lady admirers, -a period which belongs to a later chapter of this book. Mrs. Barbauld's account of the letters is as follows. During his declining years, she tells us, Richardson amused himself by selecting and arranging them, with a view to their eventual publication, either during his life-time or afterwards. They ultimately came into the possession of his daughter Anne, who survived (according to the Dictionary of National Biography) until December 1803, when they passed to Richardson's grandchildren, who sold them to Mr. (afterwards Sir) Richard Phillips of 71 St. Paul's Churchyard, the compiler of A Million