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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, 10 August 1757

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I am extremely sorry to hear of poor Mr Bentley's illness. what I can not account for is, that You or He should trust such a Dog of an Apothecary, after he had shew'd himself, to do any thing, even to sell medecines; when it is just as easy for him to put in a grain of slow poison, as to administer a dose of pure & innocent brown-Paper.

Dodsley sent me some copies last week: they are very pleasant to the eye, & will do no dishonour to your Press. as you are but young in the trade, you will excuse me if I tell you, that some little inaccuracies have escaped your eye, as in the 9th page Lab'rinth's & Echo's, (wch are Nominat:s plural,) with Apostrophes after them, as tho' they were Genitives singular; & P: 16, sorrow & solitude without capital letters. besides certain Commas here & there omitted. if you do not commit greater faults in your next work, I shall grow jealous of Hentzerus.

I am going to add to the trouble I have given you by desiring you would tell me, what you hear any body say, (I mean, if any body says any thing). I know you will forgive this vanity of an Author, as the vanity of a Printer is a little interested in the same cause. the Garricks have been here for three days much to my entertainment. if you see him, do not fail to make him tell you the story of Bull & Poker.

Adieu, I am ever
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Letter ID: letters.0276 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 40
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 39


Date of composition: 10 August 1757
Date (on letter): Aug: 10. 1757
Calendar: Gregorian


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


Language: English
Incipit: I am extremely sorry to hear of poor Mr Bentley's illness....
Mentioned: Odes by Mr. Gray (1757)
Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764
Hentzner, Paul
Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/77, College Library, Pembroke College, Cambridge , Cambridge, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • 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. 205, vol. ii, 171-173
  • The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence. Ed. by W. S. Lewis. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP; London: Oxford UP, 1937-83, vols. 13/14: Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton i, 1734-42, Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray ii, 1745-71, ed. by W. S. Lewis, George L. Lam and Charles H. Bennett, 1948, vol. ii, 99-100
  • 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. 243, vol. ii, 512-514