Thomas Gray to Norton Nicholls, 22 May 1770
To The Revd Mr Nicholls at Blundeston near Leostoff Suffolk
When I return'd to Cambridge, I found a long letter from De B: expressing much kindness, but in a style un peu trop alambiqué, & yesterday I had another shorter, & making bad excuses for not writing oftener: he seems at present to give into all the French nonsense & to be employ'd much like an English boy broke loose from his Governor. I want much to know, whether he has wrote to you yet: if not, I am seriously angry, tho' to little purpose. A Marquis de Villevielle, who is here with the French Embassador, has found me out, & seems a quiet good sort of young Man. he knows & tries to speak English, & has translated me by way of exercise. that is our bond of union, but I have seen no specimen yet. he returns home soon with Mr de Chatelet; but means to return & acquaint himself better with this country.
On Monday or Tuesday I mean to leave this place & after passing two or three days at Cambridge proceed to Aston, where Mason expects me. now if you like to accompany me, you will meet me at Camb: & we pursue our way together, trees blooming & nightingales singing all round us. let me know your mind & direct to me at Camb:ge.
I have not forgot your microscope, but my Mr Ramsden (Mason's Favourite) is such a Lyar & a Fool, that ten to one it is not finish'd this month or two. my respects to Mrs. Nicholls! I hope the sermon is compleated between you.
I have got Gruner's book.
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 XXVIII, vol. v, 108-109
- 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. CCCLXVI, vol. iii, 283-284
- 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. 524, vol. iii, 1133-1134