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Richard West to Thomas Gray, [28 March 1742]

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I write to make you write, for I have not much to tell you. I have recovered no spirits as yet; but, as I am not displeased with my company, I sit purring by the fire-side in my arm-chair with no small satisfaction. I read too sometimes, and have begun Tacitus, but have not yet read enough to judge of him; only his Pannonian sedition in the first book of his annals, which is just as far as I have got, seemed to me a little tedious. I have no more to say, but to desire you will write letters of a handsome length, and always answer me within a reasonable space of time, which I leave to your discretion.

P.S. The new Dunciad! qu'en pensez vous?

Letter ID: letters.0116 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: West, Richard, 1716-1742
Writer's age: 26[?]
Addressee: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Addressee's age: 25


Date of composition: [28 March 1742]
Date (on letter): [March 28, 1742]
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: [Pope's, United Kingdom]
Address (on letter): [Popes]


Language: English
Incipit: I write to make you write, for I have not much to tell you....
Mentioned: Pope, Alexander

Holding Institution

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 i, section iii, 121-122
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by Thomas James Mathias. London: William Bulmer, 1814, section III, letter I, vol. i, 242
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section III, letter I, vol. ii, 121
  • The Letters of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. in one. London: J. Sharpe, 1819, letter XLIX, vol. i, 111-112
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section III, letter I, vol. ii, 145
  • Gray and his Friends: Letters and Relics, in great part hitherto unpublished.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. 35, 156-157
  • 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. 140, vol. ii, 20
  • 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. 100, vol. i, 187-188