Thomas Gray to John Chute, [12 October 1746]
John Chute Esq
at Mr Whithed's of Southwick
near Fareham in Hampshire
CAMBRIDGE 13 OC
You have not then forgot me, & I shall see you again: it suffices, & there needed no other Excuse. I loved You too well not to forgive you without a Reason; but I could not but be sorry for myself.
You are lazy (you say) & listless & gouty & old, & vex'd and perplex'd: I am all that (the Gout excepted) & many Things more, that I hope you never will be: so that what you tell me on that Head est trop flateux pour moi: our Imperfections may at least excuse, & perhaps recommend us to one another: methinks I can readily pardon Sickness & Age & Vexation for all the Depredations they make within & without, when I think they make us better Friends & better Men, wch I am persuaded is often the Case. I am very sure, I have seen the best-temper'd generous tender young Creatures in the World, that would have been very glad to be sorry for People they liked, when under any Pain, and could not; merely for Want of knowing rightly, what it was, themselves.
I find Mr Walpole then made some Mention of me to you. yes, we are together again. it is about a Year, I believe, since he wrote to me to offer it, & there has been (particularly of late) in Appearance the same Kindness & Confidence almost as of old. what were his Motives I can not yet guess: what were mine, you will imagine, & perhaps blame me. however as yet I neither repent, nor rejoice overmuch: but I am pleased. he is full, I assure you, of your Panegyric. never any body had half so much Wit as Mr Chute (wch is saying every thing with him, you know) & Mr W.d is the finest young Man, that ever was imported. I hope to embrace this fine Man (if I can) & thank him heartily for being my Advocate, tho' in vain: he is a good Creature, & I am not sure but I shall be tempted to eat a Wing of him with Sellery-Sauce – I am interrupted. whenever I know of your Time, I will be in Town presently. I can not but make Mrs Chute my best Acknowledgements for takeing my Part. Heaven keep you all!
Chute of The Vyne, Sherborne St John, The Vyne , Sherborne St John, UK <http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/vyne/>
[See this record from the Hampshire Record Office]
- The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter XII, vol. iii, 21-22
- 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. LXIX, vol. i, 145-147
- 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. 124, vol. i, 248-249