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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [10 January 1738]

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The Honble Horace Walpole Esq
at the Treasury, St James's

[           ]

I am in good hopes, that by this time the Eclipse is over with you, & that your two Satellit's have recover'd their usual light; the Sublimity of which two metaphors, after you have taken them out of their pantoufles, & reduced 'em to their just value, will be found to amount to my wishes for your health, & that of your eyes, whose warmth I have been too sensible of, when they used to shine upon me, not to be very apprehensive of any damage that might befall 'em: I should have taken care to write upon Green paper, & dip'd my Pen in Copperas-water, if you had not assured me, that they were on the mending hand, & pretty well able to sustain the whitemaking rays: now as for the transactions here, you are to be ascertain'd; that the Man at the Mitre has cut his throat, that one Mr White of Emanuel a week ago drown'd himself, but since that has been seen a few miles of, having the appearance of one that had never been drown'd; wherefore it is by many conjectured, that he walketh: Dr Bouquets verses have been return'd by Mr Vice-chancellour to undergo several corrections; the old Man's invention is much [admired as] having found out a way to make bawdy verses upon a Burying: the wind was so high last night, that I every minute expected to pay you a visit at London perforce, which was the place I certainly should have directed the storm to, if I had been obliged to ride in the Whirlwind: if I don't hear from you this week, I shall be in a thousand Tyrrit's & frights about you;

I am, my dear Horace,
yrs most affect:tely
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Letter ID: letters.0049 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 21
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 20


Date of composition: [10 January 1738]
Date (on letter): [Jan 10]
Calendar: Julian


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

Physical description

Addressed: To / The Honble Horace Walpole Esq / at the Treasury, St James's (postmark: CAMBRIDGE 111A)


Language: English
Incipit: I am in good hopes, that by this time the Eclipse is over with you...

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/33, 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. 72, vol. i, 170-171
  • 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, 146-148
  • 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. 45, vol. i, 73-74