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Thomas Gray to William Mason, [21 September 1753]

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Dear Mason,

It is but a few days, since I was inform'd by Avison, that the alarm you had on your sister's account served but to prepare you for a greater Loss, wch was soon to follow. I know, what it is to lose a Person, that one's eyes & heart have long been used to, & I never desire to part with the remembrance of that loss, nor would wish you should. it is something, that you had a little time to acquaint yourself with the Idea beforehand (if I am inform'd right) & that He probably suffer'd but little pain, the only thing that makes death terrible.

It will now no longer be proper for me to see you at Hull as I should otherwise have tried to do. I shall go therefore to York with intention to make use of the Stage-Coach either on Friday or Monday. I shall be a week at Cambridge, & then pass thro' London into Buckinghamshire. if I can be of any use to you in any thing it will give me great pleasure. let me have a line from you soon, for I am very affectionately

Letter ID: letters.0209 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 36
Addressee: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Addressee's age: 29


Date of composition: [21 September 1753]
Date (on letter): Sept: 21:
Calendar: Gregorian


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


Language: English
Incipit: It is but a few days, since I was inform'd by Avison, that the alarm...
Mentioned: Hull
Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794

Holding Institution

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 <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

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 xviii, section iv, 229
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by Thomas James Mathias. London: William Bulmer, 1814, section IV, letter XVIII, vol. i, 339-340
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section IV, letter XLII, vol. ii, 243-244
  • The Letters of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. in one. London: J. Sharpe, 1819, letter LXXXVI, vol. i, 181-182
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter XLIX, vol. iii, 116-118
  • 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 IV, 16-17
  • 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. CVII, vol. i, 236-237
  • 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. 180, vol. i, 380-381