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Thomas Gray to Norton Nicholls, 20 March 1770

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To The Revd Mr Nicholls at Blundeston near Leostoff Suffolk By Yarmouth

Dear Sr

I am sorry for your disappointments & my own. do not believe, that I am cold to Mr Cl:s translation: on the contrary I long to see it, & wonder you should hesitate for want of Franks (wch here I have no means of getting) do I care about postage, do you think?

On Wednesday next I go (for a few days) with Mons: de B: to London. his cursed F:r will have him home in the autumn, & he must pass thro France to improve his talents & morals. he goes for Dover on Friday. I have seen (I own) with pleasure the efforts you have made to recommend me to him, sed non ego credulus illis, nor I fear, he neither. he gives me too much pleasure, & at least an equal share of inquietude. you do not understand him so well as I do, but I leave my meaning imperfect, till we meet. I have never met with so extraordinary a Person. God bless him! I am unable to talk to you about any thing else, I think.

I wonder'd, you should think of Paris at the time of the Dauphin's marriage: it will be a frippery spectacle, & the expence of every thing triple. as to Wales, doubtless I should wish it this summer, but I can answer for nothing, my own employment so sticks in my stomach, & troubles my conscience. when I return hither, I will write to you better & more fully.

Adieu! I am very sincerely yours
Letter ID: letters.0577 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 53
Addressee: Nicholls, Norton, c. 1742-1809
Addressee's age: 28[?]


Date of composition: 20 March 1770
Date (on letter): March 20. 1770
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]
Place of addressee: Blundeston, United Kingdom

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.; 2 pages
Addressed: To The Revd Mr Nicholls at Blundeston near Leostoff Suffolk By Yarmouth (postmark: CAMBRIDGE)


Language: English
Incipit: I am sorry for your disappointments & my own. do not believe, that I am...
Mentioned: Bonstetten, Charles Victor de, 1745-1832
Clark, John

Holding Institution

College Library, Eton College , Windsor, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes; bound into a copy of Mathias's Works of Thomas Gray (London, 1814), vol. II, part 2; a photocopy is at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, OSB MSS c 467, box 1, folder 90

Print Versions

  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, letter XXV, vol. v, 103-104
  • 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. CCCLVII, vol. iii, 267-269
  • 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. 513, vol. iii, 1113-1114