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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [17 March 1771]

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He must have a very good stomach that can digest the Crambe recocta of Voltaire. Atheism is a vile dish, tho' all the cooks of France combine to make new sauces to it. As to the Soul, perhaps they may have none on the Continent; but I do think we have such things in England. Shakespear, for example, I believe had several to his own share. As to the Jews (tho' they do not eat pork) I like them because they are better Christians than Voltaire.

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Letter ID: letters.0626 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 54
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 53


Date of composition: [17 March 1771]
Date (on letter): [March 17, 1771]
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]


Language: English
Incipit: He must have a very good stomach that can digest the Crambe recocta ...
Mentioned: Shakespeare, William

Holding Institution

Availability: The original letter is unlocated, a copy, transcription, or published version survives

Print Versions

  • The Poems of Mr. Gray. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life and Writings by W[illiam]. Mason. York: printed by A. Ward; and sold by J. Dodsley, London; and J. Todd, York, 1775, section v, 385 note
  • 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, 187-188
  • 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. 545*, vol. iii, 1175