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Richard West to Thomas Gray, [29 August 1738]

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I return you a thousand thanks for your elegant ode, and wish you every joy you wish yourself in it. But, take my word for it, you will never spend so agreeable a day here as you describe; alas! the sun with us rises only to shew us the way to Westminster-Hall. Nor must I forget thanking you for your little Alcaic fragment. The optic Naiads are infinitely obliged to you.

I was last week at Richmond Lodge, with Mr Walpole, for two days, and dined with Cardinal Fleury; as far as my short sight can go, the character of his great art and penetration is very just, he is indeed

Nulli penetrabilis astro.

I go to-morrow to Epsom, where I shall be for about a month.

Excuse me, I am in haste, but believe me always, &c.
Letter ID: letters.0059 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: West, Richard, 1716-1742
Writer's age: 22[?]
Addressee: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Addressee's age: 21


Date of composition: [29 August 1738]
Date (on letter): [August 29, 1738]
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: [London, United Kingdom]


Language: English
Incipit: I return you a thousand thanks for your elegant ode, and wish you...
Mentioned: Ad C: Favonium Aristium
Richmond (Surrey)
Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
[Alcaic Fragment]

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Availability: The original letter is unlocated, a copy, transcription, or published version survives

Print Versions

  • The Poems of Mr. Gray. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life and Writings by W[illiam]. Mason. York: printed by A. Ward; and sold by J. Dodsley, London; and J. Todd, York, 1775, letter xv, section i, 33-34
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by Thomas James Mathias. London: William Bulmer, 1814, section I, letter XV, vol. i, 162
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section I, letter XV, vol. ii, 26
  • The Letters of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. in one. London: J. Sharpe, 1819, letter XV, vol. i, 29-30
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section I, letter XV, vol. ii, 29-30
  • Gray and his Friends: Letters and Relics, in great part hitherto unpublished. Ed. by Duncan C. Tovey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1890, section II, letter no. 20, 115
  • 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. 81, vol. i, 189-190
  • 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. 55, vol. i, 88-89