Skip main navigation

William Mason to Thomas Gray, 1 March 1755

Back to Letters page

Dear Sr

I am gathering together my disjecta Membra & as a specimen I send you the enclosd Ode, of wch perhaps you may remember one Stanza. It is not what I can make it at present, but I wont give myself any more trouble with it, till it has had your desp'rate Hooks. but spare it as much as you can, for I dont mean to draw you into any scrape by the conclusion of it but shall leave you quite at your liberty to write my Epitaph or no, as you please. As soon as you have interlind it send it me back again & dont let any body see it except the President & Tuthill and Old Cardale & the Master.

Marcello has set out from Newcastle & is travelling hither as fast as a Northumberland Waggon can bring him you must not expect him at Cambridge this fourthnight. Pray is the Thane of Glamis come.

I wish I could put that good creature Fraser up in his own frank, to transcribe your Ode for me for I want it vastly.

I have no Lueurs yet about Hanover. My Lord did speak to Lord Hertford to make me Chaplain to his Embassy. but he was preengaged; tell this to no Body but Old Cardale and the Master.

I send you also an Epistle wch Folks say Voltaire writ lately to himself, but you must Judge whether they are right in their Assertion [ ] .... you must return it in a Post or two.

I am (as you must say if youve any gratitude in you)
Your very obliging friend

I am dissapointed of Voltaires Verses. but you shall have them very soon.

Letter ID: letters.0226 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Writer's age: 31
Addressee: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Addressee's age: 38


Date of composition: 1 March 1755
Date (on letter): March 1st-55
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: London, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Arlington Street


Language: English
Incipit: I am gathering together my disjecta Membra & as a specimen I send you...
Mentioned: Hanover
Mason, William, 1724-1797

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 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 VIII, 26-29
  • 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. CXVII, vol. i, 259-261
  • 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. 195, vol. i, 418-419