Thomas Gray to Mary Antrobus, [c. December 1765]
I am almost afraid of advising you for fear I should hurt, where I mean to serve you.
I think Mr M: & your Friends in Town mean exceedingly well, & deserve your acknowledgements: but when they propose this method of proceeding, they are ignorant of what has passed.
I entirely approve of your answer in every respect, as it is. what if you added to it, (as in confidence to Mr M:,) that a Friend of yours had found means to recommend you not long since to the two Lords at the head of that Board, & had received a very favourable answer in case of your Mamma's death. that you have reason to believe, there was nobody before you on their list, & that they would not easily give ear to any applications made to your prejudice.
That nevertheless you were conscious, many accidents might arise to disappoint these hopes; & fully sensible of how much consequence the kind foresight & assistance of the Mr P:s may be to you in all senses; & that you therefore did desire Mr M: would communicate your letter (if he thinks it proper) to them, & entreat the continuance of their favourable intentions to you & to your Sister.
This you will put into your own style (wch is always best) but before you do so, consider whether it agree with your own sentiments, & whether you foresee any ill, that may arise from it, wch does not occur to me: for my notion is, that generally People judge best upon due reflection in their own affairs.
I will see you after dinner.
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