Page:Poems of Anne Countess of Winchilsea 1903.djvu/75

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INTRODUCTION Ixxi ���this chivalrous enterprise he counts himself but as the coadju- tor of his friend Richardson, whose "Pamela" and "Clarissa" John Duncomb's nac ^ proved him "the sex's champion and Feminead constant patron." Duncomb heads the list of �"lettered nymphs" with the chaste Orinda, but Ardelia, who is commended in a foot-note as a "lady of great wit and genius," makes a close second. It is her Spleen that rouses Mr. Duncomb's admiration. �Who can unmoved hear Winchilsea reveal Thy horrors, Spleen! which all, who paint, must feel. My praises would but wrong her sterling wit, Since Pope himself applauds what she has writ. �In 1752 George Ballard in his Memoirs of several Ladies who have been celebrated for their writings or skill in the Baliard's learned languages, arts, and sciences, referred �Memoirs to Lady Winchilsea as "a lady of excellent �genius especially in poetry," and quoted her answer to Pope's Impromptu. �Gibber in the Lives of the Poets (1753) quotes Pope's Impromptu with the comment: "The answer which the Gibber's Lives countess makes to the above is rather more of the Poets exquisite than the lines of Mr. Pope ; he is foiled at his own weapons, and outdone in the elegance of compliment." Referring to the poems in Birch's Dic- tionary he says: �If all her poetical compositions are executed with as much spirit and elegance as these, the lovers of poetry have some reason to be sorry that her station was such as to exempt her from the necessity of more frequently exercising a genius so furnished by nature to have made a great figure in that divine art. �Of the "excellent picturesqueness " of her Spleen he speaks in the warmest terms, and affirms that this poem alone would give her a " very high station among the inspired tribe." ��� �