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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [3 October 1736]

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The Honble Mr Horace Walpole
at Chelsea
Penny Post Paid

[           ]

The best News from Cornhill-shire is, that I have a little fever, which denies me the pleasure of seeing either You, or Alexander, or Downing-Street to day, but when that leaves me at my own Disposal, I shall be at yours; Covent-Garden has given me a Sort of Surfeit of Mr Rich & his Cleverness, for I was at the Way of the World, when the Machine broke t'other Night; the House was in Amaze for above a Minute, & I dare say a great many in the Galleries thought it very dextrously perform'd, & that they scream'd as naturally, as heart could wish; till they found it was no jest by their calling for Surgeons; of whom several luckily happen'd to be in the Pit: I stayed to see the poor creatures brought out of the House, & pity poor Mrs Buchanan not a little, whom I saw put into a Chair in such a fright, that as she is big with child, I question whether it may not kill her,

I am
Yours ever
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Letter ID: letters.0031 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 19
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 19


Date of composition: [3 October 1736]
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: [London, United Kingdom]
Place of addressee: [London, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To / The Honble Mr Horace Walpole / at Chelsea (postmark: Penny Post Paid)


Language: English
Incipit: The best News from Cornhill-shire is, that I have a little fever...
Mentioned: Congreve, William

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/25, 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. 45, vol. i, 106-108
  • 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. i, 113-114
  • 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. 28, vol. i, 51-52