Richard Hurd to Thomas Gray, 4 December 1769
To Thomas Gray Esqr at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge; [readdressed:] Mr Roberts, Hosier
and Hatter, at the three Squirrels in Jermyn Street, London
I troubled you some time ago, by Mr Mason, with a petition on behalf of Mr T. Warton, who is digesting his history of E. Poetry, and wishes very much to know what your idea was for the scheme of such a work. I told him, I did not know what progress you had made in that design, or whether you had drawn out a plan of it, but that, if you had, I believed you would readily acquaint him with it. This passed in the Summer, & since that I have heard nothing of him. But as I suppose you are now in college, after your various wanderings by sea and land, you will give me a pleasure to let me know what I shall further say on this subject to Mr Warton. If you have any papers to communicate to him, & will send them to me, I will take care they shall be transmitted safely to Oxford. I believe I may answer to you for him, that he will make no improper use of your favours.
Of Mr Mason I hear nothing, except, by Dr Gisburne, that he is now at Aston. He complains, that you and I are hyper-critical, or rather hyper-political: But in this he is mistaken: We only wish to see his Georgic, truly Virgilian.
Mr Nevile has sent me his Imitations. They are not to be considered, as Satires, for popular reading; but as classical amusements, sometimes copying the sense, & sometimes the manner, of his originals. And in this light, they have frequently great merit.
You did not send me a copy of the Installation Ode; which piqued me, so much, that I was greatly disappointed when, with so good a disposition to find fault, I was obliged, with all the world, to commend & admire it
Your affectionate humble Servant
Hurd Library, Hartlebury Castle , Hartlebury, UK <https://www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk/museums/county-museum-hartlebury/>
- 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, 68-69
- 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. 509*, vol. iii, 1092-1093