Thomas Gray to Norton Nicholls, 28 January 1768
To The Revd Mr Nicholls at Augustus Floyer's Esq in Thrift-Street, Soho London
28 IA [ROYS]TON
I and mine are safe, & well, but the chambers opposite to me (Mr. Lyon's) wch were getting ready for Mason, are destroy'd. Mr. Brown was in more immediate danger than I; but he too is well, & has lost nothing. we owe it to Methodism, that any part (at least of that wing) was preserved: for two Saints, who had been till very late at their nocturnal devotions, & were just in bed, gave the first alarm to the college & the town. we had very speedy & excellent assistance of engines & men, and are quit for the fright, except the damage abovemention'd. I assure you it is not amusing to be waked between 2 & 3 in the morning & to hear, Don't be frighted, Sr! but the college is all of a fire.
I have not yet return'd the letters you sent me by the fly, not thinking it necessary to do so immediately; but very soon you shall have them. Mason came two days after the fire, & will stay some time.
I do not see, what you can do: everything depends on their first meeting at Mamhead, & that is now over. I am afraid every thing will go wrong. it is sure, your last letter could do no hurt.
College Library, Eton College , Windsor, UK <http://www.etoncollege.com/collegelibrary.aspx>
- The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, letter VIII, vol. v, 72
- 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. CCCXXI, vol. iii, 178
- 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. 464, vol. iii, 998-999