2 March 1714
The first version of The Rape of the Lock which appeared in 1712 consisted of only two cantos and lacked the 'machinery' of the sylphs. It attracted little attention. The publication of the enlarged version in 1714 is treated here as the first appearance of the poem.
March, May 1714
…I will tell you as fast as I can, that I have receiv'd…your kind present of The Rape of the Lock. You have given me the truest satisfaction imaginable, not only in making good the just opinion I have ever had of your reach of thought, and my Idea of your comprehensive genius; but likewise in that pleasure I take as an English Man to see the French, even Boileau himself in his Lutrin, outdone in your Poem: For you descend, leviore plectro,1 to all the nicer touches, that your own observation and wit furnish, on such a subject as requires the finest strokes, and the liveliest imagination. But I must say no more (tho' I could a great deal) on what pleases me so much: and henceforth I hope you will never condemn me of partiality, since I only swim with the stream, and approve what all men of good taste (notwithstanding the jarring of Parties) must and do universally applaud.
1 [Horace, Odes, II. i. 40: 'with a lighter mood']