Page:Poems of Anne Countess of Winchilsea 1903.djvu/61

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INTRODUCTION Ivii ���either case the strain on Pope's stock of "sad civility" must have been considerable, and it may be set down to his credit that author and critic parted on good terms. They were certainly friends in 1714 when the first separate edition of the Rape of the Lock came out. To Ardelia's playful pro- test against the satiric lines on women, Pope responded in a highly eulogistic Impromptu in which, even if perchance the " sickness at his head and stomach " had proved too much for his gallantry at the memorable dinner, he made amends by acknowledging Ardelia the bright particular star among female wits. Her gay answer is written in an intimate, friendly, bantering tone such as she could not assume. It marks the moments when she was least self-conscious and restrained, when she was most at ease, most certain of pleas- ing. Another evidence of literary amity is that when the quarto edition of Pope's Works came out in 1717, one of the seven commendatory poems he saw fit to print was by Lady Winchilsea. This poem, doubtless with Pope's consent, appeared also in the publications of 1727 and 1732. Either Pope liked the lady, or he liked the lady's verses, or he liked to have a countess speak well of him, even if her admiration found but bald and prosaic expression. �There is, however, another side to the picture. There are certain serious lapses from this attitude of friendship. In the second Epistle, written about twelve years after Lady Winchilsea 's death, the lines, �Arcadia's Countess here in ermined pride, Is there, Pastora by a fountain side, �are said by Croker to refer to Lady Winchilsea. " She is," he adds, "here and elsewhere sneered at." The "else- where " in Croker's note, if it is not a mere guess, probably refers to the farce Three Hours after Marriage which is commented on in the next section. In this farce the satiric flings at Lady Winchilsea doubtless express more exactly the ��� �