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Thomas Gray to James Brown, [c. 28 May 1767]

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How do you do, good Mr. Brown? Do your inclinations begin to draw northward, as mine do, and may I take you a place soon? I wait but for an answer from Mason how to regulate our journey, which I should hope may take place in a little more than a week. I shall write a line again to settle the exact day, but you may now tell me whether you will come to town, or be taken up at Buckden, or thirdly, whether you will go in a chaise with me by short journeys, and see places in our way. I dined yesterday on Richmond Hill, after seeing Chiswick, and Strawberry, and Sion; and be assured the face of the country looks an emerald, if you love jewels.

The Westminster Theatre is like to come to a sudden end. The manager will soon embark for Italy without Callista. The reason is a speech, which his success in Lothario emboldened him to make the other day in a greater theatre. It was on the subject of America, and added so much strength to the opposition, that they came within six of the majority. He did not vote, however, though his two brothers did, and, like good boys, with the ministry. For this he has been rattled on both sides of his ears, and forbid to appear there any more. The Houses wait with impatience the conclusion of the East India business to rise. The E. of Chatham is mending slowly in his health, but sees nobody on business yet, nor has he since he came from Marlborough: yet he goes out daily for an airing.

I have seen his lordship of Cloyne often. He is very jolly, and we devoured four raspberry-puffs together in Cranbournalley standing at a pastrycook's shop in the street; but he is gone, and Heaven knows when we shall eat any more.

Rousseau you see is gone too. I read his letter to my Lord Chancellor from Spalding, and hear he has written another long one to Mr. Conway from Dover, begging he might no longer be detained here. He retains his pension. The whole seems madness increasing upon him. There is a most bitter satire on him and his Madlle. le Vasseur, written by Voltaire, and called Guerre de Geneve.

Adieu, and let me hear from you.
I am ever yours,
T. G.

How do our Elmsted friends? Are they married yet? Old Pa. is here, and talks of writing soon to you.

Letter ID: letters.0497 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 50
Addressee: Brown, James, 1709-1784
Addressee's age: 58[?]


Date of composition: [c. 28 May 1767]
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [London, United Kingdom]


Language: English
Incipit: How do you do, good Mr. Brown? Do your inclinations begin to draw...
Mentioned: American Colonies
Conway, Henry Seymour, 1721-1795
Palgrave, William, 1735-1799
Richmond (Surrey)
Rousseau, Jean Jacques
Rowe, Nicholas
Talbot, William, d. 1811

Holding Institution

Availability: The original letter is unlocated, a copy, transcription, or published version survives

Print Versions

  • 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, 385-388
  • 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. CCXCIX, vol. iii, 139-142
  • 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. 441, vol. iii, 958-960