Thomas Gray to William Mason, 6 October 1759
If you have been happy, where you are, or merely better in health for any of your employments, or idlenesses, you need no apologies with me: my end is answer'd, & I am satisfied. one goes to school to the World some time, before one learns precisely how long a Visit ought to last. at this day I do not pretend to know it exactly, & very often find out (when it is too late) that I have stay'd half an hour too long. I shall not wonder therefore, if your Friend should make a mistake of half a year, if your occasions did not call you to Town sooner. when you come, I should hope, you would stay the winter, but can advise nothing in a point, where my own interest is so much concerned. pray, let me know of your arrival immediately, that I may cut short my visitation here, or at least (if you are taken up always at Sion, or Kensington) may meet you at Hounslow, or at Billy Robinson's, or somewhere. my only employment & amusement in Town (where I have continued all the summer (till Michaelmas) has been the Musæum: but I have been rather historically than poetically given. with a little of your encouragement perhaps I may return to my old Lydgate & Occleve, whose works are there in abundance. I can write you no news from hence; yet I have lately heard ill-news, wch I shall not write.
At the Lady Viscountess Cobham's at Stoke-House near Windsor, Bucks.
Your Friend, Dr Plumptree, has lately sate for his picture to Wilson. the Motto in large letters (the measure of wch he himself prescribed) is, Non magna loquimur, sed vivimus; i:e: We don't say much, but we hold good livings.
Robinson, William, Rev., c. 1726-1803
Stoke Manor House
Henry W. And Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, New York Public Library , New York, NY, USA <https://www.nypl.org/about/divisions/berg-collection-english-and-american-literature>
- The Correspondence of Thomas Gray and William Mason, with Letters to the Rev. James Brown, D.D. Ed. by the Rev. John Mitford. London: Richard Bentley, 1853, letter XLVIII, 192-195
- The Letters of Thomas Gray, including the correspondence of Gray and Mason, 3 vols. Ed. by Duncan C. Tovey. London: George Bell and Sons, 1900-12, letter no. CXCIII, vol. ii, 108-109
- Correspondence of Thomas Gray, 3 vols. Ed. by the late Paget Toynbee and Leonard Whibley, with corrections and additions by H. W. Starr. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971 [1st ed. 1935], letter no. 304, vol. ii, 645-646