At last, my old invetrate foe


Areta [Folger writes over original name: Ardelia] to Melancholy.

Primary Texts:

MS's: F-H 283, 70-3*; Folger, 16

Secondary Eds:

1903 Reynolds prints Folger text, 15-6; rpts of 1903 Reynolds: 1928 Murray, 30-1; 1930 Fausset, 6-7; 1979 Rogers AF, 19-20; 1987 Thompson, 34-5.


Rpt of 1713/1903: 1949 Bax, 25-6; 1972 Stanford (via 1928 Murray), 79-80; 1973 Goulianos, 74-5; 1991 Uphaus/Foster, 173-4.


Years of combating depression have been endured, and Anne "at last" yields -- or perhaps once again momentarily. I suggest a period of real illness "fell upon" Anne Finch in later 1690's; it was then she felt that "her numbers failed" her; it was also this crisis which may lead to a family invitation to Heneage and she to move to Eastwell which Finch loved, needed as a permanent home, and where they could obviously have companionship -- though this was a mixed blessing. The subject of the second stanza also intrigues me: Anne is recording the loss of some particular friendship; I suggest it was with a woman. She had become too much for a woman friend as she was to do later with Lady Worseley. See Annotated Chronology No. 175: The long the long expected Hour is come…". This crisis and moving to Eastwell may have lead Charles and Heneage to encourage Anne to write for publication resulting in 1701 Gilden. She turned to male companions for a while. She would confide in them less and thus was safer from hurt.

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