Thomas Gray to Edward Bedingfield, 25 December 1755
It is not oweing to insensibility (as by this time you may possibly imagine) but to the misfortune I had of staying longer than usual this winter in Town, that I have not sooner return'd you my thanks for the particular honour you did me, when you were at Cambridge. You tell me with so much warmth & frankness, that I have given you pleasure, that it would be mere hypocrisy in me, if I did not confess to you with the same openness of mind, that I am pleased. my wish & the only reward I ask in writing is to give some little satisfaction to a few Men of sense & character. I say a few, because there are but few such: were they more numerous, I would wish (I own) to please them all; & yet not fear being censured for too eager a desire of fame. but as much as your proceeding may have raised my vanity, I shall by no means promise that you will like your new acquaintance, when you see him out of print. however with all his imperfections on his head he will, be assured, make the experiment the very first opportunity, & claim in person the honour you offer him, whenever he is so happy to find himself in the same place with you.
I am much obliged to you for the Iris & Aurora they are more elegant & have more of the relish of antiquity than any thing I have met with in modern Italy. permit me to present my Compliments to Lady Swinburn. I am not known to her at all, and yet have had the honour of passing three days in her company. when & where it was, I leave to her Ladyship's recollection.
Your obliged & obedient Servant
HM 21910, Huntington Manuscripts, Department of Manuscripts, The Huntington , San Marino, CA, USA <http://www.huntington.org/WebAssets/Templates/content.aspx?id=554>