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TRANSLATIONS OF THE VIE DE MARIANNE AND THEIR
RELATION TO CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH FICTION
The eighteenth-century vogue of Marivaux in England has been
discussed by both French and English critics chiefly from the view-
point of his possible influence upon Richardson. That this problem
is one of continued vitality recent studies have made evident. 1 As a
contribution to this question as well as to the wider problem of the
relation of contemporary translations of Marianne to English fiction
in general, I wish to make clear the following points:
1. Statements about the translations of Marianne have fre-
quently been inaccurate and incomplete.
2. Instead of the one translation usually assumed to be the
source of the vogue of Marivaux in English, there is evidence that
by 1746 three translations were in circulation.
3. Circumstances connected with the publication of the two
additional versions throw light upon the popularity of Marivaux;
the nature of the translations makes clear the ground of their appeal,
and the relation of Marivaux and Richardson to fictional develop-
ment before and during the period in which Pamela appeared.
The Vie de Marianne was first published in parts, as follows:
1731, Part 1; 1734, Part 2; 1735, Part 3; 1736, Parts 4, 5, 6; 1737,
Parts 7, 8; 1741, Parts 9, 10, 11. In 1742 the eleven parts were
published together in Paris. In 1745 an edition was published in
Amsterdam containing the original eleven parts and a spurious
1 Though Mr. Cazamian in 1913 in his chapter on Richardson in the Camb. Hist,
of Eng. Lit. assumed that Austin Dobson in 1902 had definitely settled the question in
the negative (Samuel Richardson, "English Men of Letters" [London, 1902], pp. 48-50),
yet in the year before Mr. Cazamian's chapter was published the controversy was reviewed
by Mr. E. C. Baldwin in a study of "Marivaux's Place in Character Portrayal," Pub.
Mod. Lang. Assoc, XXVII (1912), 184-85; in 1913 it was again discussed by Mr. G. C.
Macaulay in an article on "Richardson and His Predecessors," in the Mod. Lang. Rev..
VIII (1913), 463 ff. ; and within the last year the question has been reopened by Miss
Carola Schroers in her article, "1st Richardsons Pamela von Marivauxs Vie de Marianne
beeinflusst ? " in Englische Studien, XLIX (1916), 220-54.
491] 107 [Modeen Philology, December, 1917
108 Helen Sard Hughes
conclusion in the form of a twelfth part. These twelve parts were
published together in Paris in 1755. 1
An English translation came out under a title literally derived
from the French:
The Life of Marianne, or the Adventures of the Countess of ... . By
M. de Marivaux. Translated from the French Original.
According to contemporary notices in periodicals, quoted by Mr.
Esdaile, this translation appeared in parts in June, 1736, January,
1737, April, 1742. 2 The London Magazine for April, 1742, in announ-
cing Vol. II refers to it as " Printed for C. Davis." 3 I have been unable
to find a copy of this work, which Clara Reeve seems to have described
in 1785 as a "poor literal translation." 4
To clear up the confusion that has existed, I wish to call atten-
tion at this point to the inaccuracy with which this and other trans-
lations have been cited, in discussions of Marivaux and of his relation
to Richardson. The appearance of the story in parts has at times
been ignored. Thus Miss Thomson in her usually accurate study
says, "An English translation of Marianne appeared in 1736." 5
Mr. Macaulay fails to indicate that a second volume of this transla-
tion appearing in 1737 was also available to Richardson. He says:
It is clear that for his acquaintance with French romance he [Richard-
son] must have depended on translations. This, however, does not cause
any real difficulty. An English translation of La Vie de Marianne, so far
as it had then proceeded, was published in 1736, four years before the publi-
cation of Pamela. 6
Professor Raleigh writes, with inaccuracy at more than one point:
It was not until .... years after Marivaux by his Vie de Marianne
(1731) had singularly anticipated Richardson in subject and treatment,
although, so far as can be ascertained, without influencing him, that the
English Pamela was born in 1740 It seems likely that Richardson
1 Larroumet, Marivaux, sa vie et see osuvres (Paris, 1882), pp. 607-8. There is some
disagreement as to the date of the appearance of the eleventh part. Lanson, Man. Bibl
de la lift. /ran. mod. (Paris, 1911), III, 696, and Petit de Julleville, Hist, de la litt. et d
la lang. /ran. (Paris), VI, 465, give 1742 as the date.
3 A List o/ English Tales and Prose Romances Printed be/ore 1740 (London, 1912),
p. 369. The same data are given by A. Dobson, op. cit., p. 49.
■ Lond. Mag.. XX (1742), 208.
4 Progress o/ Romance (London, 1785), p. 129.
> Samuel Richardson, A Biographical and Critical Study (London, 1900), p. 148.
• Op. cit., p. 467.
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 109
had read The Life of Marianne with the continuation of Mme Riccoboni,
which appeared in three volumes, 12mo, in 1736. 1
Dunlop 2 and Max Gassmeyer 3 refer only to a translation of 1784,
which I shall consider later. Mr. Boas refers only to a translation
of 1743. 4 Whether this is an inaccurate citation of the 1736-42
translation or a reference to another is a question; I suspect the
former is the case.
We may note here that of this literal translation Richardson,
before writing Pamela, probably could have read only the first six
parts, which appeared by January, 1737. This carried the story to
the scene at the minister's house, where Marianne is rescued from a
marriage, plotted by Valvule's relatives, by the sudden appearance
of Valville and Mme Miran. This fact is not sufficiently recognized
in Miss Schroers' study. In her interesting array of parallel passages
in Pamela and Marianne, she finds most of her material in Parts I-
III of Marianne, the attempted seduction of Marianne by M. Climal
being comparable to the persecution of Pamela by Mr. B. Admitting
the similarities in these passages, and their possible significance,
one recognizes at the same time that many of the details are implicit
in the situation. It should be noted also that two of Miss Schroers'
parallels 6 are drawn from the seventh part of Marianne, which
Richardson probably could not have read in translation before 1740.
The popularity of Marianne in the early years of Richardson's
literary activity is attested not by one but by three translated
versions: one of them the literal translation already discussed; the
i English Novel (New York. 1911), p. 140. In regard to the date of Mme Ricco-
boni's translation see infra, p. 114.
' Hist, of Fiction (London, 1911), II, 462.
> Richardsons "Pamela" und seine Quellen (Leipzig, 1890), pp. 19 II.; quoted by
•'•Richardson's Novels 8nd Their Influence," In Essays and Studies by Members
of the English Association (Oxford, 1911), II; quoted by Miss Schrders.
* Op. cit. p. 251. M. Larroumet describes the first edition (1737) of the seventh part
as follows: " 144 p., y compris le tltre et l'approbation de Saurln, du 27 Janvier 1737, au
bas de la page 144" (op. cit., p. 608). This probably, though not surely, did not appear
in the second volume of the translation advertised in the periodicals of January, 1737,
but did appear In the third volume in 1742. Note, too, that Miss Schroers seems to have
confused with Richardson's own continuation of Pamela the spurious continuation
brought out by Ward and Chandler, likewise In 1741, under the title Pamela in High
Life, probably written by John Kelly. See Dobson, op. cit., pp. 54 ff.
110 Helen Sard Hughes
others, two versions, slightly varied, of a translation furnished with
moralistic interpolations of a Richardsonian sort, and a moralistic
conclusion unnoticed, so far as I know, in discussions dealing with
the two well-known attempts to continue Marivaux's story in French.
The first reference I find to this second translation is on the title-
page of another novel translated from the French :
Memoirs of the Countess de Bressol .... Done from the French by
the Translator of the Virtuous Orphan : Or, the Life of Marianne. London,
Jacob Robinson, 1743. 2 vols. 12mo.
This translation of Marianne I have found in the 1784 edition (which
Dunlop probably had in mind) in Harrison's "Novelists' Magazine,"
with the following title-page :
The Virtuous Orphan; Or, the Life of Marianne, Countess of * * * .
Translated from the French of Marivaux. In four volumes [in one].
London: Printed for Harrison and Co. No. 18, Paternoster Row.
The volume is octavo, with 313 pages, double column. This work,
which contains a long Translator's Preface, is not merely a transla-
tion with such liberties as eighteenth-century translators allowed
themselves frequently; it is a translation, literal in the main, but
modified to moralistic ends by means of omissions, interpolations,
and a conclusion.
In 1746 appeared an altered version of this translation, possibly
pirated, in one volume, small octavo, pages viii+453:
The Life and Adventures of Indiana, the Virtuous Orphan. Illustrated
with Copper-Plates. London: Printed for C. Whitefield, in White-Fryers,
For the most part, this work is identical with that reprinted by
Harrison in 1784. There is, however, no translator's preface, and
the title-page gives no indication that the work is a translation.
Other differences are in the names of the characters: Marianne
becomes Indiana, Valville becomes Valentine, M. Climal becomes
Mr. Chambers, and other characters, similarly, are given English
names beginning usually with the same initial letter as the French
ones. More significant is the fact that this version is considerably
shorter than the 1784 version; the nature of the differences will be
discussed later. It is possible that at its first appearance the version
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 111
of The Virtuous Orphan; Or, the Life of Marianne was comparable
in length to Indiana; while the 1784 octavo edition of four volumes
in one may represent later revision and elaboration of an original
version common to both. On the other hand, Indiana may represent
a piratical abridgment of an original identical with the 1784 edition.
In 1747 appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine the notice of a
second edition of The Virtuous Orphan. The title and the format
of this edition are complicating factors. The publisher is the same
as for the Memoirs of the Countess de Bressol, in which appeared
in 1743 the reference already quoted to the Virtuous Orphan; Or,
the Life of Marianne; the format is also the same as that of the
Memoirs. The notice reads:
The Virtuous Orphan. Edit. 2. Robinson, in two volumes, 12mo.
This may well be a second edition of the translation referred to in
1743, and both may have been published by Robinson, who may have
brought out his second edition in 1747 to offset Whitefield's altered
version of 1746, published piratically or otherwise. Whether the
first edition appeared in 1743 or earlier, whether it could in any way,
in print or manuscript, have influenced the author of Pamela, I have
no way of knowing. It is conceivable, but less probable, I think,
that this is a second edition of Indiana.
To Indiana I find two other references. Mr. J. M. Clapp quotes
for me the following entry in Dobell's Catalogue 199 to an edition of
The Life and Misfortunes and Adventures of Indiana, the Virtuous
Orphan; written by herself. 12mo.
Clara Reeve, after referring to the "poor literal translation," writes:
Soon after another attempt was made by a still worse hand, this is called
Indiana or the Virtuous Orphan, in this piece of patch work, many of the
fine reflexions, the most valuable part of the work, are omitted, the story
left unfinished by the death of M. Marivaux, is finished by the same bungler,
and in the most absurd manner. It puts me in mind of what was said of a
certain translator of Virgil:
Read the commandments, friend, — translate no further,
For it is written, thou shalt do no murther. 2
» Gent. Mag.. XVII (1747), 156; see also Scots Mag., IX (1747), 147.
* Progress of Romance, pp. 129-30.
112 Helen Sard Hughes
The Virtuous Orphan is referred to, also, in two reviews of a later
work, soon to be quoted. Both The Virtuous Orphan and Indiana
are listed in Bent's General Catalogues. In the edition of 1779
appear the following entries:
Marianne, or Virtuous Orphan, 2 Vols. 12mo 6 0. 1
Virtuous Orphan, or Life of Indiana, 2 Vols. 12mo 6 0. 2
This refers, of course, to an edition before that of 1784 in the " Novel-
ists' Magazine." In the edition of 1786 the following entries appear:
Marianne, or Virtuous Orphan, 3 Vols. 12mo 9 0. 3
Virtuous Orphan, or Life of Indiana, 2 Vols. 12mo 6 0. 4
The change here indicated in Marianne; Or, the Virtuous Orphan
between 1779 and 1786 from two duodecimo volumes at six shillings
to three duodecimo volumes at nine shillings may possibly result
from typographical errors, or may result from additions to the work
within those years; possibly these additions may appear in the 1784
edition before me (in 313 double-column pages octavo, four volumes
bound in one). This is of a length which it would seem difficult
to have compressed into either two or three duodecimo volumes,
though it might possibly have been included in three. 6
Another interesting difference between the two translated ver-
sions is in the matter of Marivaux's intercalated story VHistoire de
la religieuse. This story does not appear at all in Indiana; instead,
the translator's conclusion follows immediately after the translation
of the eighth part of Marivaux's story, the point at which the French
author drops the story of Marianne. In the Virtuous Orphan;
1 A General Catalogue of Books in All Languages, Arts, and Sciences, Printed in Great
Britain, and Published in London, from the Year MDCC to the Present Time. Classed
under Several Heads of Literature, and Alphabetically Disposed under Each Head, with
Their Sizes and Prices (London, 1779), p. 69.
» Ibid., p. 74.
» A General Catalogue of Books .... from the Year MDCC to MDCCLXXXVl
. . . (London, 1786), p. 74.
« Ibid., p. 79.
« A rough estimate shows that the Vie de Marianne, in twelve parts in French,
contains about 220,000 words; Indiana about 150,000 words; Marianne (in English)
about 263,000 words; the Memoirs of the Countess de Bressol, in two volumes duodecimo,
about 154,000 words. The difterence in length between Indiana and Marianne appears
less in the conclusion than in the translated portions; the conclusion contains about
48,000 words in the former, and about 57,000 words in the latter. The inequality may be
partly explained by the fact that in Marianne the division into twelve books as in the
French original is retained, and by the practice of beginning and concluding each book
with a paragraph or more of informal comment addressed by the narrator to her friend.
These divisions and comments are omitted in Indiana.
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 113
Or, the Life of Marianne, on the other hand, the nun's story is intro-
duced, but not in its proper place at the end of the eighth book. In
this version the conclusion begins at the same point as in Indiana,
and runs through the ninth book and most of the tenth; then,
toward the end of the tenth book (p. 226), "The Life of Miss, de
Terviere" (de Tervire, Marivaux spells it) is introduced, and continues
through the eleventh book; at the beginning of the twelfth book
(p. 275) the conclusion is resumed where it was dropped (on p. 226).
A hypothesis as to the date of the translation may be hazarded
from the misplacement of this story. Possibly the first eight parts
were translated, and the conclusion appended, before the last three
instalments of Marivaux's work (Parts 9, 10, 11, Paris, 1741) ap-
peared; then at some later date, when the whole work was well
known and in its final state, the intercalated story was translated
and introduced into the earlier translated version, at a point in the
conclusion where it could be made to fit. The nun and her story
are again referred to in this version at the very end. Should this
hypothesis be the true explanation, the original version of the trans-
lation may well have appeared before Pamela, since the first eight
parts were accessible to the translator by the end of the year 1737,
and since nothing more appeared until 1741, when I'Histoire de la
religieuse began in the ninth part. This explanation is by no means
the only one possible, however; the nun's story may have been
inserted as late as 1784, or, again, it may have been introduced in the
original version, which needs only to have appeared by 1743.
Other differences between Indiana and Marianne appear in
slight variations in phrasing, the changes in the latter suggesting a
later attempt to revise and polish an earlier draught. How late
these changes were made I have no way of determining.
The authorship of these translations I identify by means of the
two book notices already referred to. In 1767 there was translated
into English a continuation of the Vie de Marianne by Mme Ricco-
boni — la suite to which Fleury refers. 1 The legend is that in response
to a challenge from Saint-Foix, author of Essais sur Paris, Mme
Riccoboni undertook to prove that Marivaux's style in Marianne
was susceptible of imitation. She made what was called at the time
1 Marivaux et le marivaudage (Paris, 1881), pp. 192 fl.
114 Helen Sard Hughes
une suite a ce roman. This appeared in part in a collection entitled
le Monde comme il est, by the author of the Nouveau Spectateur,
4 vols., 1760-61, edited by Bastid; the second part appeared in
Mme Riccoboni's works. The whole was composed ten years
before its first publication, or about 1751, according to Mme Ricco-
boni's own statement. 1
M. Fleury pointed out in 1881 that critics down to Edouard
Fournier in his 1877 edition of Marianne have confused the anony-
mous twelfth part (lefiri) of the 1745 edition with this suite by Mme
Riccoboni. M. Fleury published them both in the appendix to his
volume and pointed out the radical difference in content and style
between the two. He attributed the fin of the twelfth part to some
writer of the sixth order who had been hired by a Dutch bookseller
to increase the price of the edition by giving an end to the story.
"Ces supercheries 6taient fr6quentes au dix-huitieme siecle," he
says. Such a supercherie the English conclusion also appears to be,
and the motive that inspired it may have been similarly commercial.
Announcing the translation of Mme Riccoboni's work, there
appeared in 1768 in the Monthly Review the following notice:
The continuation of the Life of Marianne. To which is added the
History of Ernestina; with letters and other Miscellaneous Pieces. Trans-
lated from the French of Mme Riccoboni, 12mo., 3s. Becket and de Hondt.
This is not the first attempt that has been made to carry on the un-
finished Life of Marianne, written by the celebrated Marivaux; but it is a
less successful one than that of an English writer; [Note: "Mr. Joseph
Collyer, author of Letters from Felicia to Charlotte; and translator of the
Death of Abel."] who, about twenty years ago, translated Marivaux's work,
and also brought the story to a conclusion; under the title of The Virtuous
Orphan. There was likewise another translation made about the same time;
entitled The Life of Marianne; or the Adventures of the Countess of .... ;
but in this version the story remains in the same unfinished state in which
the French Author left the original. — As to Mme Riccoboni's continuation,
it still leaves the tale incompleat, and is not the best of her performances. 2
In 1767 in the Gentleman's Magazine had appeared the following
' Marivaux et le marivaudage (Paris, 1881), p. 195; see also Dunlop, op. cit.,
» Monthly Rev., XXXVIII (1768), 72.
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 115
The first part of the life of Marianne was published some years ago, under
the title of La Paissanne Parvenu 1 and was translated into English under the
title of The Virtuous Orphan, by the author of Some Letters from Felicia to
Charlotte, who also concluded the story. The events related by the English
translator are very different from those in this continuation, in which the
story is not concluded. 2
The author of Letters from Felicia to Charlotte and the trans-
lator of the Death of Abel was probably not Mr. Joseph Collyer, but
his wife Mary Collyer, who was also, I think, the translator of the
Memoirs of the Countess de Bressol, 3 a translation which I suspect of
having likewise been fitted with a conclusion foreign to the French
Mrs. Collyer's variations upon Marivaux's theme are worthy
of note primarily for the light they throw upon the highly romantic
taste of her day and upon its readiness to make use of the novel as
a vehicle of didactic purpose. Her work here and elsewhere makes
Richardson seem less extraordinary than does the frequent juxta-
position of his work with that of his great rival, Fielding. Mrs.
Collyer's moralizing of the theme shows, too, how easily the heavy
didacticism of a Richardsonian type could be engrafted upon the
Gallic psychology of Marivaux. 4
Perhaps the most interesting interpolation in the translated part
of the story occurs in the description of the person and home of the
good clergyman and his sister who adopt Marianne. I will quote
the accounts as given in the French original, in the English Indiana,
and in the English Marianne, to illustrate in an extreme case the
method of the translator. Marivaux had written of his two minor
• This title marks a confusion not uncommon, according to Clara Reeve (op. cit., 130)
between Marivaux's other novel, le Paysan Parvenu, and a novel by the Chevalier de
Mouhy entitled la Paysanne Parvenue, translated by Mrs. Haywood under the title ol
the Virtuous Villager (see Whicher, The Life and Works of Eliza Haywood [New York,
1915], p. 152).
' Gent. Mag. (1767), p. 80.
'Letters from Felicia to Charlotte and its author I have discussed in "An Early
Romantic Novel," in Jour. Eng. and Germ. Phil., XV (1916), 564-98. Further facts about
Mrs. Collyer and her work I hope to present soon in my forthcoming dissertation.
* Mr. Macaulay, though somewhat committed to the theory of Richardson's indebt-
edness to Marivaux, remarks, "It is needless to say, moreover, that the rather heavy
morality of Richardson has no counterpart in Marivaux's work," op. cit., p. 464.
116 Helen Sard Hughes
Le Cur6, qui quoique Cur6 de Village, avoit beaucoup d'esprit, et qui
6toit un homme de tres-bonne famille . . . ; j'aurois 6t6 fort a plaindre,
sans la tendresse que le Cure 1 et sa sceur prirent pour moi.
Cette soeur m'eleva comme si j'avois 6t6 son enfant. Je vous ai d6ja
dit que son frere et elle 6toient de trSs-bonne famille; on disoit qu'ils avoient
perdu leur bien par un proces, et que lui il 6toit venu se r&ugier dans cette
Cure ou elle 1'avoit suivi, car ils s'aimoient beaucoup.
Ordinairement, qui dit niece ou sceur de Cure" de Village, dit quelque
chose de bien grossier, et d'approchant d'une paysanne. Mais cette fille-ci
n'&oit pas de m6me, c'^toit une personne pleine de raison et de politesse,
qui joignoit a cela beaucoup de vertu. . . .
. . . Je passai tout le temps de mon education dans mon bas age,
pendant lequel j'appris a faire je ne sais combien de petites nippes de femme;
industrie qui m'a bien servie dans la suite. 1
In Indiana appears the following passage amplifying this:
Mr. Robinson, for that was the name of my benefactor, was a gentleman
of a good family, and formerly enjoyed an estate which was exhausted by a
tedious law-suit: However his living brought him in a handsome sub-
sistance, and he knew how to be contented without enjoying many of the
superfluities of life, (a) His generosity and the agreeable gaiety of his
temper, in spite of his age, in which he was pretty far advanced, made him
beloved by all who knew him; and he knew how to keep up the two characters
of the accomplished gentleman and the judicious divine. Mrs. Robinson,
his sister, (6) was a lady of good sense, free from affectation, and though an
old maid, had such a sweet disposition, such true politeness, and undissembled
goodness, as abundantly recompensed the loss of those charms, which had
been destroyed by the smallpox, she being extremely scared (c) by it.
There are the persons to whom I owe my education, and that virtue
which has supported me under all my afflictions, and has raised me from the
lowest and most miserable condition to my present station. We lived in
the greatest harmony. Their affection for me knew no bounds, and I in
turn, honoured and loved them as my parents. The house that we lived
in was an ancient building, (d) and had for some ages past belonged to the
vicars of the place; the rooms were large, (e) but the ceilings low. We had
behind the house a pretty commodious garden (/) which seemed rather the
product of nature than of art; there was fruit in abundance of almost
(g) every kind, which grew promiscuously among the other trees that never
bore any, so that they altogether formed a thick and shady grove, (h) for
it was a maxim with Mr. Robinson, that nothing but what is natural can be
pleasing to the subjects of nature, nor can art any further delight than as
it resembles it. (i)
1 La Vie de Marianne, ou les Aventures de Madame la Comtetee de . . . , par
Monsieur de Marivaux (London, 1778), I, 10-12.
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 117
Opposite the middle door of the house was a long shady walk which
extended itself to the bottom of a piece of pasture ground behind the garden,
and at the foot of several of the trees were raised seats of earth covered with
camomile. When fatigued with severe study, Mr. Robinson took delight
with working here, and acting the part of a laborious gardner; an employ-
ment he chose to preserve his health and recreate his mind. He committed
the management of his kitchen garden and vineyard to a poor laborer in the
neighborhood, whom he had released from prison, by paying a debt for him,
and who besides he rewarded for his labour.
This good man began every day with paying (j) his duty to God in prayer;
after breakfast the sister and 1' worked with our needles, played upon a
harpsicord, (k) or amused ourselves with reading; and in the afternoon we
walked in the garden to see Mr. Robinson work, and be entertained with his
conversation, and in the evening he (0 acted the part of an arbitrator of the
differences of his quarrelsome neighbors, which he was frequently so happy
as to adjust to the satisfaction of all parties concerned; and after supper
concluded the day with prayer as he began it.
This worthy gentleman began early to show his zeal for my happiness,
by establishing in my mind the nicest sentiments of virtue and honour.
He represented religion in a light that made it appear all amiable and lovely,
and as the highest happiness of a rational being: He painted the substantial
pleasures of conscious innocence, the exquisit happiness of the mind that can
survey itself with tranquillity and self-approbation, in such pleasing colours,
as perfectly charmed me. (m)
Mrs. Robinson was not behind hand with her brother in her care of my
education. She taught me everything necessary for a young woman to
learn A country vicar's niece or sister is commonly an awkward,
untoward, unbred, country-like woman; but Mrs. Robinson was perfectly the
reverse; she was polite and virtuous; her behaviour was free and easy; in
short, she had good sense, good breeding, and abundance of virtue. 1
The thread of the narrative is then resumed in a literal translation.
The Virtuous Orphan differs from Indiana, at the points marked
in the foregoing quotations, as follows:
(a) Inserted: "Pride and ostentation he was utter stranger to."
(6) Omitted: "his sister."
(c) "Seamed" for "scared" (i.e., scarred).
(d) Altered: "one of the most antique buildings I ever saw."
(e) Altered: "the rooms were spacious and numerous."
(/) Inserted: "a beautiful sylvan scene."
(g) Inserted: "almost."
(h) A long insertion appears here: "The vine supported his feeble
branches by encircling the oak, and the flowers seemed scattered with a
1 Indiana, pp. 7-9.
118 Helen Sard Hughes
careless hand over the verdant turf; those whose tender stalks were liable
to be broke down by unfriendly feet, creeped in clusters round the trunks of
the trees; while the woodbine and jessamine were made to rise above, and
twine amongst the branches; there the trees were never pruned but in order
to make them fruitful, or to let in the prospect of the fine meadows, or the far
distant hills; which, seeming to mingle with the clouds, formed a delightful
horizon. We had no answering platforms, no cut-walks, nor anything like
that studied affectation of regularity which disgusts the eye by a repetition
of uniformity, and a constant sameness of design." 1
(i) Another insertion of similar import: "The agreeable intermixture
of opening and shade was contrived with such exquisit art, as not only to
appear natural, but to let in or exclude the prospect of the adjacent country
to the advantage of the whole scene." 2
(f) Altered: "paying a grateful homage to the supreme being."
(fc) Altered: "spinet" for "harpsicord."
(I) Inserted: "this pattern of benevolence" for "he."
(to) Here is a continuation, over a column in length, of the clergyman's
religious exhortations, in the same vein as what precedes.
In this version the clergyman and his sister, unnamed by Marivaux,
named Mr. and Mrs. Robinson in Indiana, are called Mr. and Mrs.
This passage illustrates, as I have said, in an extreme way, the
alteration of Marivaux's original in the Collyer translation, and the
variations resulting either from elaboration or abridgment between
the two English versions. The details belonging to an essentially
English vicarage inserted into the French context are as amusingly
incongruous as much of the solid Anglo-Saxon moralizing and
the artless conclusion. The discussion of gardening, and the prefer-
ence for nature over art, are quite in keeping with other utterances
of Mrs. Collyer in Letters from Felicia to Charlotte (1744^49). Aside
from the interpolations, the translation follows with fair accuracy
the original, many more omissions occurring, of course, in Indiana
than in the longer version.
In speaking of the two French attempts to carry on Marivaux's
story, M. Fleury praises Mme Riccoboni's continuation because
she appears "fidele au procede constant de Marivaux de placer le
drame dans le cceur humain et de ne faire intervenir les causes
'exteneures que pour cr6er les situations et jamais pour les denouer." s
i The Virtuous Orphan (London, 1784), p. 10. > Ibid. » Op. «'(., p. 199.
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 119
On the other hand, he condemns the French conclusion, which was
published in 1745 as the douzieme partie, because the anonymous
author "a recouru pour ramener Valville a Marianne a des causes
extrinseques que non seulement Marivaux n'aurait pas avou6es,
mais qui l'auraient profond6ment choqu6." 1
Mrs. Collyer's conclusion is subject to much the same criticism
as is the douzieme partie of the French edition. External events, for
the most part, are responsible for the reconciliation and happy
Through an accident the mother of the hero [Mme Miran in Marivaux's
original, Mrs. de Valville in the English Marianne, Mrs. Valentine in Indiana]
gets possession of a letter to her son explaining that the commission he was
seeking was lost through deliberate negligence on his part, negligence due
to his affair with Miss Varthon [Miss Wharton in Indiana]. The mother's
affection for the heroine is increased by this evidence of her son's unworthi-
ness. Her anxiety, however, seriously affects her health. The heroine
tells of the Officer's proposal, and together they decide that she cannot accept
it. The mother becomes dangerously ill, and the heroine goes with her to
her country place. Valville [Valentine] hearing of his mother's illness,
arrives unexpectedly. Marianne [Indiana] faints, and the prodigal hero's
love returns to her on the instant, just as it had left her previously on the
occasion of Miss Varthon's [Miss Wharton's] fainting. The heroine's
recovery from the resulting illness is hastened by a complete reconciliation.
The mother dies, and the heroine returns to a convent for a proper period of
mourning. Knowing that the girl has inherited a fortune from her friend,
a mercenary abbess plots to separate her from those interested in her and to
persuade her to take the veil. This plot frustrated, the heroine goes to stay
with Mrs. Dorsin [Mrs. Dawson] until her marriage to the hero. While
she is there the discovery of her parentage is made; the devoted officer
proves to be her uncle, and she the heiress to a title and a fortune. Behav-
ing with marked generosity to her new-found family, she accepts only a
portion of her estate, is presented at court, is married, and when last heard
of is devoting herself to the education of a growing family in the love of
virtue and noble sentiments.
Obviously the intercepted letter, the fatal illness of the mother,
the heroine's fainting, the final identification of her parentage, all
these items fall under condemnation as causes extkrieures. The
material is of distinct interest to students of English literature,
' Ibid., p. 200. M. Fleury summarizes the conclusion in the douzieme partie. and
Mme Riccoboni's continuation, op. cit.. pp. 196-98; the latter he also reprints in full in
an appendix, pp. 372-408.
120 Helen Sakd Hughes
however, for the romantic quality of the feeling, philosophy, and
As illustrative of a typically British attitude toward Marivaux's
novel, and of the sort of interpretation it received in translated
form, I wish to quote a few passages from the Translator's Preface
to the 1784 edition of The Virtuous Orphan; Or, the Life of Marianne,
an interesting critical document to be compared, as evidence of
general tendencies of the period, with the prefaces to Richardson's
works. I cannot tell whether this preface appeared in earlier edi-
tions of the translation or whether it is a late addition. In it the
translator of Marivaux appears to utter sentiments obviously similar
to those of "the author of Clarissa." It begins:
The reading of that part of history that relates to human life and manners
has always been considered by allowed judges as one of the best means of
instructing and improving the mind. When we see the heart laid open,
and the secret springs and movements that actuate it exposed, and set in one
impartial light, with their different good and evil tendencies, we are enabled
to form a true estimate of human nature, and are taught what ought or
ought not to be our conduct in every similar instance.
Compare with this Richardson's statement in the preface of
Clarissa that it is a "History of life and manners .... proposed
to carry the force of an example," and his description of the novel
on the title-page as a history "comprehending the most important
concerns of private life; and particularly showing the distresses that
may attend the misconduct both of parents and children in relation
to marriage." Likewise compare with what follows in the quotation
from the Translator's Preface Richardson's statement in the Post-
script to Clarissa to the effect that if in a depraved age, devoid of
both private and public virtues, " if in an age given up to diversion
and entertainment, he could steal in, as may be said, and investigate
the great doctrines of Christianity under the fashionable guise of an
amusement," the author would be throwing in "his mite toward
introducing a reformation so much wanted."
The Translator's Preface continues :
But the instruction, I think, is not carried to it's proper extent: the
scene of action is generally laid in exalted and publick life; among deep
politicians and martial heroes
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 121
But when history is reduced to our own level, and applicable to our
real circumstances in life, much extensive and lasting benefit may accrue
from the perusal of it; for, in the right discharge of the common duties of
humanity, and in a proper conduct, either in affluent or in embarrassed or
difficult circumstances, every one has an immediate and important concern;
in the frailties too, and little foibles of our nature, we are all pretty equal
sharers. An example, therefore, given to these purposes, that describes
every different disposition of the mind, according to the variety of it's situa-
tions, and the actions naturally flowing from these dispositions; and all
guarded, too, with just encomiums on the side of virtue, and severe censures
and remonstrances against vice; cannot fail, I think of making a strong
impression on the mind of every person not wholly lost to all sense of moral
excellence, and producing some of the genuine fruits of it in his conduct.
Besides histories of this kind are generally made publick by way of
entertainment; and, under that notion, even a libertine may be induced to
read them with eagerness and delight; and, it is highly probable that if he
goes through them with attention, and is not past all reflection and serious
thought, some instance, or applicable circumstance may strike him, and
tend greatly to his reformation. And what an entertainment, indeed, will
they be to a sober and judicious reader, when he finds religion and virtue
painted in most lovely colours, and set in every attractive light.
This last sentence is so similar in diction and sentiment to the
religious discussions both in this translation 1 and in Letters from
Felicia to Charlotte, as to suggest the probability that this Preface
was written either by Mrs. Collyer or by her husband, who outlived
her. Equally like Mrs. Collyer's utterances elsewhere is the para-
graph on educational ideals, which follows. These discussions in
the Preface make very clear the translator's personal interests and
her moral intention, which appear in the interpolations and in the
conclusions she supplies for Marivaux's more objective original:
The advantage, too, that these entertaining pictures of human nature may
be of to youth, is very considerable. Those who have been concerned in the
important business of education, must know that the love of pleasure is the
most easy inlet to young minds: everything that presents itself through this
channel is sure to gain a ready access; close and abstract reasoning are above
their capacity; grave and serious discourses may sometimes fail of the
intended effect; for (not to insist on the aversion common in young people
to everything gloomy and solemn, and that is imposed as a task) it requires
great exercise of thought and reflection to attend to the thread of a discourse,
and conceive immediately every idea the writer or speaker would express.
1 See above, p. 171.
122 Helen Sabd Hughes
But lively examples and plain matters of fact, are easily comprehended;
and, the moment their understandings are informed, the affections are
excited; which being free from all false biasses, are properly and exactly
suited to each particular incident as it occurs to them; and thus if due care
is taken to fix the application deeply in their minds, a love of virtue and an
abhorrence of vice, is insensibly instilled into them, and the impressions
may last for ever.
It must be acknowledged then, that a history in familiar and common
life is in point of real usefulness preferable to any other; since the benefits
arising from it are universal, and extend to all stations and circumstances;
for even the statemen and general (in which two peculiar views mankind are
commonly represented in history) cannot be said to form a complete char-
acter, without attending to the offices and duties of private life; and it is
this last branch of conduct (when this history is related) that can be of real
advantage to the generality, and point out anything to them capable of
The history before us deserves to be considered as a useful piece of instruc-
tion; a lesson of nature; a true and lively picture of the human heart
As to this translation, I have not much to offer. When I read the
original, I thought it would admit of an English dress, that might do justice
to the fine spirit that reigns throughout: with this view, and to give my
female readers especially a piece worthy of their attention, entire, and in
some measure perfect, I immediately set about it. How I have succeeded
in my attempt, the publick must determine; and the encouragement it
meets with will sufficiently declare their sentiments.
Reference in the last paragraph is apparently to the interpolations
and conclusion supplied, which may be conceived of as making for
the production of the piece "entire, and in some measure perfect."
A less candid justification of these additions appears in a footnote
early in the first part :
The Paris edition, and that of the Hague of 1735, have omitted this,
and several of the foregoing particulars, but for what reason we cannot
This note may not be the work of the translator herself; in the
Preface I, not we, is used. The date 1735 is of course incorrect; the
edition was 1745. This dates the composition of the note as after
that year, but not necessarily the rest of the work. I suspect the
note of being an addition of much later date by a wary and sophisti-
1 The Virtuous Orphan. (London, 1784), p. 14.
Translations of the "Vie de Makianne" 123
Certain artistic and moralistic attitudes common to this Preface
to the Collyer translation of Marianne and to some of Richardson's
critical statements enforce a point which, while not new, has not, I
think, been sufficiently stressed; namely, that to prove specific
indebtedness on Richardson's part to the reading of Marivaux's
Marianne is after all less significant and less possible, perhaps, than
to prove that Richardson and Marivaux held similar positions in
relation to literary predecessors of similar sort; that both illustrate
fictional tendencies growing out of literature of other genres imme-
diately preceding them, so that like results, not only in their novels,
but in the works of their contemporaries, may spring from like causes
of earlier date in England and in France, and not from the influence
of a particular Frenchman upon his English contemporary. As
indicative, then, of certain widespread influences and tendencies
at work in the fiction of the Richardsonian period, the following
points may be noted:
1. The Translator's Preface to the Collyer version seems to
suggest the relation of Marianne to that drama to which I feel Rich-
ardson's work is certainly related, that is, to Domestic Tragedy and
Sentimental Comedy, 1 to what Mr. Bernbaum has termed the Drama
of Sensibility, which immediately preceded both Richardson and
Marivaux. This drama Richardson quotes and cites repeatedly in
Pamela and Clarissa 2 and to this drama, in France, Marivaux con-
tributed. 3 This common background, out of which may have
emerged similar effects with nothing more than a subconscious con-
nection, I think has not been sufficiently considered. For instance,
in the prologue to Rowe's Fair Penitent (1705), a domestic tragedy,
avowedly admired by Richardson, which perhaps in the character of
Lothario provided the prototype for Lovelace, appear the following
lines, similar in thought and feeling to the second and third para-
graphs just quoted from the Translator's Preface to Marianne, and
to statements by Richardson quoted later:
1 The choice of the name Indiana seems an echo of Steele's Conscious Lovers, in
which the heroine of that name is also a child of mystery, identifled at the end, and
reunited to her family.
' On Richardson's relation to Rowe, especially to his Fair Penitent, see H. G. Ward,
"Richardson's Character of Lovelace," in Mod. Lang. Rev., VII (1912), 494-98.
• On Marivaux and the sentimental drama see E. Bernbaum, The Drama of Sensi-
bility (Boston and London, 1915), pp. 188 ff.
124 Helen Sard Hughes
Long has the fate of kings and empires been
The common business of the tragic scene,
As if misfortune made the throne her seat,
And none could be unhappy but the great.
Stories like these with wonder we may hear,
But far remote and in a higher sphere,
We ne'er can pity what we ne'er can share.
Therefore an humbler theme our author chose,
A melancholy tale of private woes:
Who writes shou'd still let nature be his care,
Mix shades with lights, and not paint all things fair,
But shew you men and women as they are.
Moreover, just as Richardson and Marivaux may both be shown
to be influenced by the Drama of Sensibility, just so a common indebt-
edness may be proved to the periodical essays, particularly to the
Spectator. Marivaux's debt to the Spectator has been clearly set
forth in Mr. Baldwin's study, "Marivaux's Place in Character
Portrayal." 1 Richardson's familiarity with the Spectator, as well
as with the Tatler and Guardian and with other works of Addison
and Steele, is indicated by the quotations from his correspondence
and from Pamela and Clarissa collected in Dr. Erich Peotzsche's
dissertation. 2 This common influence Mr. Gosse suggests when he
The direct link between Addison as a picturesque narrative essayist
and Richardson as the first great English novelist is to be found in Pierre de
Marivaux (1688-1763), who imitated the Spectator, and who is often assumed,
though somewhat too rashly, to have suggested the tone of Pamela. 3
2. The passages quoted from the Translator's Preface to Marianne
may be compared in their statement of the author's purpose with a
temporary preface to one of Richardson's works — the Preface
reprinted by Mr. Macaulay 4 from the beginning of the fourth
volume of the first edition of Clarissa (1748), omitted from subse-
i Pub. Mod. Lang. Assoc. XXVII (1912), 168-87.
* Samuel Richardsons Belesenheit (Kiel, 1908), pp. 6, 46-47.
" A History of Eighteenth Century Literature (London, 1896), p. 243. (Quoted by
Baldwin, op. cit., p. 168, note.)
« Op. cit., pp. 465-66.
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 125
This Preface is admittedly not by Richardson, but by "a very
learned and eminent hand"; therefore I think it hardly deserves
the credence Mr. Macaulay accorded it as " a definite statement made
on Richardson's own authority that in the writing of Pamela he had
been following the lead of those French writers who had at length
hit upon the true secret" of making fiction improve as well as enter-
tain. I do not believe that in this preface Richardson himself
necessarily " acknowledges obligation to the way of writing in which
some of the late French writers had greatly excelled," or that he
ascribes not to himself but to the French " the discovery of the true
secret of fiction." 1 Richardson, I believe, sincerely felt what he
expressed in the much quoted letter to Aaron Hill:
I thought the story if written in an easy and natural manner, suitable
to the simplicity of it, might possibly introduce a new species of writing,
that might possibly turn young people into a course of reading different from
the pomp and parade of romance-writing, and dismissing the improbable
and marvellous, with which novels generally abound, might tend to pro-
mote the cause of religion and virtue. 2
But I believe that the more learned and cosmopolitan writer of his
temporary preface interpreted in the light of his own wider reading
the intention of the provincially minded author, while expressing
views not at all unusual to his time. That this Preface was later
omitted, that the comparison to French fiction was not incorporated
in Richardson's own Preface or Postscript, that his correspondence
(so far as it has been published) makes no reference, appreciative
or hostile, to this Preface or to the ideas expressed in it, seems to me
to indicate that Richardson did not necessarily value highly nor,
indeed, suggest or authorize the sentiments involved.
For its similarities at certain points to the Preface to the Collyer
translation of Marianne — both of them signs of one time, I repeat —
this temporary preface is of interest to my purpose. For in this
anonymous Preface to Clarissa, in Richardson's letter about Pamela
to Aaron Hill, and in the Translator's Preface to Marianne, appear the
same desire to purvey instruction in the guise of entertainment, the
same emphasis on the portrayal of life and manners by reducing
> Ibid., p. 467.
5 Dobson, op. cit., p. 26. Compare this with the quotation from the Translator's
126 Helen Sard Hughes
history to the level of the readers. The temporary preface to
If it may be thought reasonable to criticize the Public Taste, in what
are generally supposed to be Works of mere Amusement; or modest to direct
its judgment, in what is offered for its Entertainment; I would beg leave to
introduce the following Sheets with a few cursory Remarks, that may lead
the common Reader into some tolerable conception of the nature of this
work, and the design of its Author.
It traces the corruption of public taste and moral standards through
the stories of enchantment, the stories of intrigue, and finally through
the heroical romances of the French. Then it goes on to say :
At length this great People .... hit upon the true secret, by which
alone a deviation from strict fact, in the commerce of Man, could be really
entertaining to an improved mind, or useful to promote that Improvement.
And this was by a faithful and chaste copy of real Life and Manners: In
which some of their late Writers have greatly excelled.
It was on this sensible plan, that the Author of the following Sheets
attempted to please
.... He apprehends that, in the study of Human Nature, the knowl-
edge of those apprehensions leads us farther into the recesses of the Human
Mind, than the colder and more general reflections suited to a continued and
more contracted Narrative.
This is the nature and purport of his Attempt. Which, perhaps may
not be so well or generally understood. For if the Reader seeks here Strange
Tales, Love Stories, Heroical Adventures, or, in short, for anything but a
Faithful Picture of Nature in Private Life, he had better be told before hand
the likelihood of his being disappointed. But if he can find Use or Enter-
tainment; either Directions for his Conduct or Employment for his Piety,
in a HISTORY of LIFE and MANNERS, where, as in the world itself, we
find Vice, for a time, triumphant, and Virtue in distress, an idle hour or two,
we hope, may not be unprofitably lost." 1
Compare with this final paragraph the concluding paragraphs of
the Translator's Preface to Marianne, and the prologue to Rowe's
The Fair Penitent, just quoted.
The Translator's Preface to The Virtuous Orphan; Or, the Life
of Marianne appears to me, then, an interesting piece of literary
criticism of the Richardsonian period, indicating a current popular
view of Marivaux's novel, and revealing, as do Richardson's prefaces
(both those of his own writing and the temporary one just quoted)
■ Macaulay, op. cit., pp. 465-66.
Translations of the "Vie de Marianne" 127
a well-developed attitude toward fiction of that period, an attitude
of which Pamela and Clarissa were perhaps the full expressions and
not the initial inspiration. These documents indicate the deliberate
acceptance of the novel as a moral, democratic force, setting forth
the popular philosophy of the day — a strange compound of Locke,
Shaftesbury, and Hume, devoted to the doctrine of the rewards of
innate virtue and the harmony of a divinely created universe. 1
For the student of English fiction, then, what are the conclusions
to be drawn from the known facts about the translations of Mari-
1. That before the publication of Clarissa at least three trans-
lated versions of Marianne were at hand. Of the first one (which
appeared in parts in 1736, 1737, 1742) the first two volumes, available
before the publication of Pamela, probably contained only the first
six parts of the story. That this translation continued on sale long
after the appearance of the second translation is evidenced by its adver-
tisement among "Books Sold by C. Davis. Octavo. Duodecimo.,"
in the back of Lockman's translation of Marivaux's Pharsamond in
1750. The second translation — which I believe to be the work of
Mary Collyer — probably appeared first at some time between 1737
and 1743 under the title The Virtuous Orphan; Or, the Life of Mari-
anne; and in 1746 under the title The Life and Adventures of Indiana,
the Virtuous Orphan. Both titles reappear in the later editions, as
attested by Bent: the former reappeared in a reprint in Harrison's
"Novelists' Magazine" in 1784; the latter was known to Clara
Reeve and was described by her in 1785. The Virtuous Orphan is
vaguely referred to in the periodicals of 1767 and 1768. Apparently,
therefore, quite apart from the wide reading it had in French among
the more cosmopolitan of the English reading-public, Marivaux's
»Miss Schroers points out (op. cil., p. 252) that Marivaux was not without some
moralistic intention: "Richardson mit seinem strengen, puritanischen ansichten liess
deutlicher als Marivaux die moralische seite seines werkes hervortreten. Aber jene
kritiker haben unrecht, die beweisen wollen, das Marivaux in Marianne absolut nicht
an einen moralischen zweck dachte. Er drtickt sich in klaren worten tiber seine absichten
aus: 'Si vous (les lecteurs) regardez La Vie de Marianne comme un Roman . . . votre
critique est juste; il y a trop de reflexions, et ce n'est pas la la forme ordinaire des Romans,
ou des Histoires laites simplement pour divertir. Mais Marianne n'a point songS a
faire un Roman non plus' [La Vie de Marianne par Marivaux. Avertissement, 2nde
partie, tome I"]."
128 Helen Sard Hughes
novel must have had an extensive vogue in translated form, since
no canny publisher of any time would risk the duplication of current
translations unless the demand very obviously justified such an
augmentation of the supply.
2. It seems legitimate to argue, quite apart from the question
of Richardson's indebtedness to his reading of Marianne, that
though the germinal idea of Pamela originated at an early date in a
veritable situation, yet the method of treating it might have been
influenced, perhaps even unconsciously to the author, by the current
interest in bourgeois psychology which was stimulated by the wide
reading of Marianne. 1 In similar fashion, Richardson's use of the
epistolary method was doubtless the result of the current interest in
letter-writing in various forms and the popularity of previous experi-
ments for purposes of fiction by Mrs. Behn, Mrs. Manley, Mrs.
Haywood, and others. That Richardson should have felt the back-
wash from literary currents which he himself had not directly per-
ceived is not incredible. Just as Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress is not
the first but the greatest of a long line of allegories, French and
English, several of which resemble it in essential particulars, but to
none of which specific indebtedness has been proved, so Richardson's
"new species of writing" may well have been the spontaneous result
of antecedent conditions unaffected by conscious borrowing or
Helen Sard Hughes
University op Montana
1 As indication of the effect upon even minor fiction of the tone and method of
Marianne I quote a paragraph from a review of The History of Cornelia, a novel attrib-
uted to Mrs. Sarah Scott:
"The author of Cornelia has distinguished his attempt to gratify the taste of man-
kind for works of imagination, from most authors, by the graver turn of his performance.
In this, as well as several of the incidents he affects an imitation of Marianne; but has
unfortunately carried his seriousness too far. For the history of Marianne, tho' grave,
is not stiff; and tho' serious, not formal, but an agreeable vein of freedom and good humor
runs through the whole, and sets it at an equal distance from what is loose and trifling
on the one hand and dull and pedantic on the other" (Mon. Rev., Ill [May, 1750], 59)