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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [3 July 1735]

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The Honble Horace Walpole Esq
in St Jame's Square London

My Dearest Horace
Donec gratus eram tibi

I was happier than Dr Heighington, or his Wife Lydia; however I find being from you agrees as ill with me, as if I never had felt your absence before: I have composed a hymn about it mighty moving, & thrum it perpetually, for I've changed my harp into a harpsicord & am as melodious, as the Day is long: I am sorry, I can give you no further Information about Mr Cornwallis, there was a Congregation held yesterday, but nothing further done about his degree for the present: I received a long letter mighty pretty, in Latin, from West yesterday; partly about butter'd Turnips, partly about an Eclipse, that I understood no more than the Man in the Moon; he desired his love to you in English:

I wish a great deal of happiness to you, a good journey to Houghton, & a more entertaining Companion, than

yours most sincerely
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Letter ID: letters.0017 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 18
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 17


Date of composition: [3 July 1735]
Date (on letter): July-3d-
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]
Place of addressee: [London, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To / The Honble Horace Walpole Esq / in St Jame's Square London (postmark: CAMBRIDGE 4 IY)


Languages: English, Latin
Incipit: I was happier than Dr Heighington, or his Wife Lydia;...
Mentioned: Houghton
West, Richard, 1716-1742

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/15, College Library, Pembroke College, Cambridge , Cambridge, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Correspondence of Gray, Walpole, West and Ashton (1734-1771), 2 vols. Chronologically arranged and edited with introduction, notes, and index by Paget Toynbee. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915, letter no. 15, vol. i, 36-38
  • The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence. Ed. by W. S. Lewis. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP; London: Oxford UP, 1937-83, vols. 13/14: Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton i, 1734-42, Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray ii, 1745-71, ed. by W. S. Lewis, George L. Lam and Charles H. Bennett, 1948, vol. i, 83-84
  • 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. 16, vol. i, 27-29