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Thomas Gray to Thomas Wharton, [14 November 1745]

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Thomas Wharton, Esq, Fellow of
Pembroke College
16 NO

I am not lost: here am I at Stoke, whither I came on Tuesday, & shall be again in Town on Saturday, & at Cambridge on Wednesday or Thursday. you may be curious to know what has past. I wrote a Note the Night I came, & immediately received a very civil Answer. I went the following Evening to see the Party (as Mrs. Foible says) was something abash'd at his Confidence: he came to meet me, kiss'd me on both Sides with all the Ease of one, who receives an Acquaintance just come out of the Country, squatted me into a Fauteuil, begun to talk of the Town & this & that & t'other, & continued with little Interruption for three Hours, when I took my Leave very indifferently pleased, but treated with wondrous Good-breeding. I supped with him next night (as he desired) Ashton was there, whose Formalities tickled me inwardly, for he I found was to be angry about the Letter I had wrote him. however in going home together our Hackney-Coach jumbled us into a Sort of Reconciliation: he hammer'd out somewhat like an Excuse; & I received it very readily, because I cared not two pence, whither it were true or not. so we grew the best Acquaintance imaginable, & I set with him on Sunday some Hours alone, when he inform'd me of abundance of Anecdotes much to my Satisfaction, & in short open'd (I really believe) his Heart to me with that Sincerity, that I found I had still less Reason to have a good Opinion of him, than (if possible) I ever had before. next Morning I breakfasted alone with Mr W: when we had all the Eclaircissement I ever expected, & I left him far better satisfied, than I had been hitherto. when I return, I shall see him again. such is the Epitome of my four Days. Mr & Mrs Simms & Madlle Nanny have done the Honours of Leaden Hall to a Miracle, & all joyn in a Compliment to the Doctor. your Brother is well, the Books are in good Condition. Madme Chenevix has frightened me with Ecritoires she asks three Guinea's for, that are not worth three half pence: I have been in several Shops & found nothing pretty. I fear it must be bespoke at last.

the Day after I went you received a little Letter directed to me, that seems wrote with a Skewer. please to open it, & you'll find a receipt of Dan: Adcock for ten Pound, wch I will beg you to receive of Gillham for me. if the Letter miscarried, pray take care the Money is paid to no one else. I expect to have a Letter from you when I come to Town, at your Lodgeings.... Adieu, Sr,

I am sincerely Yours
T G:
Letter ID: letters.0134 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 28
Addressee: Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794
Addressee's age: 28[?]


Date of composition: [14 November 1745]
Date (on letter): Thursday
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: Stoke Poges, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Stoke

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 2 pages, 186 mm x 150 mm
Addressed: To / Thomas Wharton, Esq, Fellow of / Pembroke College / Cambridge (postmark: 16 NO)


Language: English
Incipit: I am not lost: here am I at Stoke, whither I came on Tuesday,...
Mentioned: Ashton, Thomas, 1715-1775
Congreve, William
Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797

Holding Institution

Egerton MS 2400, ff. 7-8, Manuscripts collection, British Library , London, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section IV, letter III, vol. ii, 144-146
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter III, vol. ii, 173-175
  • 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. LXIII, vol. i, 124-126
  • 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. 116, vol. i, 226-228