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Thomas Gray to James Brown, 25 July 1757

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Dear Sr

I thank you for the second little letter, for your Cambridge-Anecdotes, & (suffer me to say too) for the trouble you have had on my account. I am going to add to it by sending you my poetical Cargo to distribute, tho' whatever the Advertisement says, it will not be this fortnight yet. for you must know (what you will like no more, than I do; yet it was not in my power any how to avoid it) Mr W:, who has set up a printing-press in his own house at Twickenham, earnestly desired, that he might print it for Dodsley, & as there is but one hand employ'd, you must think it will take up some time to dispatch 2000 Copies, as soon as may be, you will have a parcel sent you. wch you will dispose of, as follows. Mrs Bonfoy,Mr Bonfoy, Dr Long, Gaskarth, & all the Fellows resident, Mr Montagu, & Southwell (if they happen to be there) Master of St Johns, (I know, he is at Rochester, but it suffices to send it to his lodge) Master of Bennet, Mr Hurd, Mr Balguy, Mr Talbot, Mr Nourse, Mr Neville (of Jesus) Mr Bickham, Mr Hadley, Mr Newcome. if you think, I forget any body, pray send it them in my name, what remain upon your hands, you will hide in a corner.

I am sorry to say I know no more of Mason, than you do. it is my own fault, I am afraid, for I have not yet answer'd that letter.

His Prussian Majesty wrote a letter to the K: owning himself in a bad situation, from wch (he said) nothing but a Coup de Maitre could extricate him. we have a secret expedition going forward: all I know is that Ld Ancram, Sr John Mordaunt, & Gen:l Conway are to bear a part in it. the Duke has been very ill with his leg; Ranby was sent for, but countermanded; the Mar:l d'Etrées having sent him his own Surgeons. I would wish to be like Mr Bonfoy, & think that every thing turns out the best in the world, but it won't do. I am stupid & low-spirited, but ever

Letter ID: letters.0274 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 40
Addressee: Brown, James, 1709-1784
Addressee's age: 48[?]


Date of composition: 25 July 1757
Date (on letter): July. 25. 1757
Calendar: Gregorian


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


Language: English
Incipit: I thank you for the second little letter, for your Cambridge-Anecdotes,...
Mentioned: Odes by Mr. Gray (1757)
Conway, Henry Seymour, 1721-1795
Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764
Hurd, Dr. Richard
Hurd, Richard, 1720-1808
Talbot, William, d. 1811
Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Surrogates: Digital facsimile [JPEG] and transcription from original letter

Holding Institution

W. L. Lewis Collection, Mary Couts Burnett Library, Texas Christian University Library , Fort Worth, TX, USA <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes; a photostat is in MS. Toynbee d.32, Bodleian Library, Oxford

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 XX, 89-91
  • 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. CXLIII, vol. i, 340-342
  • 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. 241, vol. ii, 508-511