Richard Hurd to Thomas Gray, 16 August 1757
I give you many thanks for the favour of your Odes, which I have received after a tedious expectation. You may be sure the title-page amused us a good deal, but Mr Brown has explained it. It is not worth while to tell you how they are received here. But every body would be thought to admire. 'Tis true, I believe, the greater part don't understand them.
I have been amusing myself in my way, since you left us. The Letter to Mason is printed off, and I shall send you a copy very soon to Dodsley's. The dialogues too are all finished after a sort; so that I shall have work enough for you against our next meeting in November. I should be better pleased if you would find work for me. And I hope you don't forget, among your other amusements this summer, your design for a history of the English poetry. You might be regulating your plan, and digesting the materials you have by you. I shall teaze you perpetually, till you set about the project in good earnest. It is a wonderful favourite with me, and will, I am certain, in your hands be a work of much use as well as elegance.
Mason has never once writ in all this time, which I take prodigiously ill, and desire you will tell him so. Dr Warburton sends me word too, he did not keep his appointment with him of going to Durham. So that I can only conclude he is laid up of a fit of the Muse, or perhaps is gone to pay a visit to his Druids at Mona.
If you give me the pleasure of hearing from you, you must write very soon. For I grow sick of this place, and set out on the 29th on my summer rambles. It will be a satisfaction to hear that you are well. I am sollicitous for nothing else. For you can never want the best sort of amusements. Once more, let me thank you for the Odes, which I like the better upon every reading. Mr Nevile too desires me to make his acknowledgments in full form. He is mightily flatter'd with the Present you was so kind to make him.
Your very affectionate humble
Hurd Library, Hartlebury Castle , Hartlebury, UK <http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/museums/info/3/county_museum>
- The Correspondence of Richard Hurd & William Mason. And letters of Richard Hurd to Thomas Gray. With introduction & notes by the late Ernest Harold Pearce. Ed. with additional notes by Leonard Whibley. Cambridge: University Press, 1932, 36-38
- 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. 245*, vol. ii, 516-518 - view pages