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William Mason to Thomas Gray, 2 February 1767

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Dear Mr Gray

No, alass, she has not withstood the Severity of the Weather. It nipt her as it would have done a flower half witherd before, & she has been this last month in a most weak condition. Yet this present fine season has enabled me to get her three or four times out into the air, & it seems to have had some good effect, yet not enough to give me any substantial hopes of her recovery. There are few Men in the world that can have a competent Idea of what I have of late felt, & still feel, yet you are one of those few, & I am sure will give me a full share of your pity. Was I to advise Stonehewer to a Wife it should certainly be to a fine Lady, It should not be to one he could Love to the same degree that I do this gentle this innocent creature.

I hope she will be well enough to see Mr Brown when he comes–pray tell him we have changd our Lodgings & are to be found at Mr Mennis's a Taylor at the Golden Ball in Cleveland row the last door but one nearest the green park Wall. Would to God he would persuade you to come with him.

If I had spirits for it, I would congratulate You on the New Bishop of Cloyne. Is it not think you according to the order of things, I mean not the general but the peculiar order of our own times, That the Mitre wch so lately was on the Brows of the Man with every Virtue under heavn should now adorn those of our friend Frederic?

I think it probable that the Swelling You complain of in your throat is owing to some little swelling in a Gland. I had a complaint of the same kind a great while & after I used myself first to a flannel round my neck at Night & afterwards constantly lying in my stock the disorder left me. I wish you would try the same method, if you have not tryd it already.

Dear Mr Gray beleive me to be,
Yours most cordially

My Wife sends her kindest Compliment.

Letter ID: letters.0490 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Writer's age: 43
Addressee: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Addressee's age: 50


Date of composition: 2 February 1767
Date (on letter): Feb. 2d 1767
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: London, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Cleveland row


Language: English
Incipit: No, alass, she has not withstood the Severity of the Weather....
Mentioned: Stonhewer, Richard, 1728-1809

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 CIII, 371-372
  • 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. CCXCIV, vol. iii, 133-134
  • 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. 434, vol. iii, 950-951