Thomas Gray to James Brown, [28 October 1758]
You will not imagine me the less grateful for the long letter you were so good to write me some time since, because I have omitted to answer it, especially if you know what has since happened. Mrs. Rogers died in the end of September; and what with going to town to prove her will and other necessary things, what with returning back hither to pay debts, make inventories, and other such delightful amusements, I have really been almost wholly taken up. I might perhaps make a merit even of writing now, if you could form a just idea of my situation, being joint executor with another aunt, who is of a mixed breed between — and the Dragon of Wantley. So much for her. I next proceed to tell you that I saw Mason in town, who stayed there a day on my account, and then set out (not in a huff) with a laudable resolution to pass his winter at Aston, and save a curate. My Lord has said something to him, which I am glad of, that looked like an excuse for his own dilatoriness in preferring him; but this is a secret. He told me he had seen you, and that you were well. Dr. Wharton continues dispirited, but a little better than he was. The first act of Caractacus is just arrived here, but I have not read it over.
I am very disagreeable; but who can help that?
I shall hardly be at Cambridge before Christmas. I recollect that it is very possible you may have paid my bills; if so, pray inform me what they amount to, that I may send the money when I get to London, or sooner, if you please.
- The Correspondence of Thomas Gray and William Mason, with Letters to the Rev. James Brown, D.D. Ed. by the Rev. John Mitford. London: Richard Bentley, 1853, letter XXXVIII, 161-162
- 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. CLXXVI, vol. ii, 56-58
- 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. 281, vol. ii, 590-591