To the Hon ble Mrs H---n [in Heneage's hand, pasted over ample space, original heading censured]
MS Wellesley, 93-5*.
1988 Ellis d'Alessandro prints Wellesley text, 123-5; McGovern & Hinnant, 63-5.
1910 Dowden prints from Wellesley text, 240-1, lines 7-21.
The poem has to have been written before August 1712, as there is a gay reference to Charles off "perusing his books" or "reading the news" at the Cocoa.
Lady Hatton is Elizabeth Hazelwood Hatton, the widow of Christopher, 1st Viscount Hatton. This is the Northamptonshire cousin Anne grew up with; see "'Tis not my lord that verse with me". Lady Temple was the widow of John Temple, William Temple's son, a French Protestant. There are two candidates for Mrs Hatton: Lady Hatton's sister-in-law, wife of Christopher Lord Hatton's brother, Charles (sometimes Captain) Hatton, Mrs Elizabeth Scroggs (sometimes Sister) Hatton; or Christopher Lord Hatton's daughter by his second Frances Yelverton, Mrs. Alice Hatton. There is a reference to a French diploment, Cardinal Guillaume Dubuis who worked long to conclude the Triple Alliance on January 14, 1717. The poem recalls Anne Finch's 1715 "A Letter to Mrs Arrabella Marow" ("Their piety th'Egyptians show'd by Art, No 214, see October 18th) in its many unexplained references to members of the Finch, Hatton, and other households.
It is probable Anne never expected this poem to be published; however, since Heneage crossed out the original circumstances, it seems he feared the book he was preserving might get beyond the family and friends mentioned. This is another in the mode of Deshouliers, light, teasing and gay, and presents a lively picture of the everyday experience of Anne Finch's circle in playful octosyllabic triplets on how, as Anne Finch says, although a mouse who frightened the ladies "perished without a squeak/A man before he dies will speak." Finch does seem again to identify with the mouse, recalling her 1707-8 epistle to Ann Tufton ("The white mouses petition ... , 1707-9, No 156).
Page Last Updated 8 January 2003