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Thomas Gray to Mrs Jennings, 27 October 1759

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I have stay'd thus long, that I might be the better able to say something more determinate on the cause of Lady Cobham's illness & the probability of her recovery: but find myself after all very little the wiser in either point. no day has pass'd, but she has gone ten or twelve miles & more in her chaise, & never the worse for so much exercise. almost always an appetite both at dinner & supper, wch in my mind she satisfies, as usual, a little too freely. her breath at times short (particularly in the evening,) & sinking of the spirits by fits: but none of those convulsive gaspings, nor that bar across the stomach she complain'd of at Stoke. the great malady now is want of sleep, wch I can not say, she has enjoy'd in a natural way (except for an hour or two at most, & that in the day-time) since we came to Town. she has taken draughts with Laudanum in them over night; but they have succeeded only twice or thrice in procuring quiet slumber, after wch the whole following day she has appear'd, as one in perfect health. the rest of her nights are pass'd in continual inquietude. her medecines have been several times changed: these three last days she has left off Laudanum & every thing else, and taken crude Quicksilver in the morning only. it seems to take some effect; at least she is certainly not the worse for it, & flatters herself, she is rather better. if any new symptom of consequence should follow, I will take care to inform you. Dr Duncan is still the Man.

Our small Family present their best Compliments to Yourself & Miss Jennings.

I am
Your most humble Servant
T Gray
Letter ID: letters.0351 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 42
Addressee: Jennings, Mrs, 1703-1790
Addressee's age: 56[?]


Date of composition: 27 October 1759
Date (on letter): Oct: 27. 1759
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: London, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Hanover-Square


Language: English
Incipit: I have stay'd thus long, that I might be the better able to say...
Mentioned: Stoke Manor House

Holding Institution

MS 444, Cely-Trevilian Bequest V, 138-139, Library, Society of Antiquaries of London , London, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant, but there is no further information about its availability

Print Versions

  • 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. 304*, vol. ii, 647-648