Skip main navigation

Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [26 September 1736]

Back to Letters page

The Honble Horatio Walpole, Esq
of Kings College Cambridge
27 SE

[           ]

It rains, 'tis Sunday, this is the country; three circumstances so dull in conjunction with the dulness of my nature are like to give birth to an admirable production; I hope you will receive it, as you would a Michaelmas Goose from a Tenant; since I send it, not that I believe you have a taste for an awkward fat creature, but because I have no better way of showing my good-will: your name, I assure you, has been propagated in these countries by a Convert of yours, one Cambridge; he has brought over his whole family to you; they were before pretty good Whigs, but now they are absolute Walpolians: we have hardly any body in the Parish, but knows exactly the Dimensions of the hall & Saloon at Houghton, & begins to believe, that the Lanthorn is not quite so great a Consumer of the fat of the land, as disaffected persons have said: for your reputation we keep to ourselves that, of your not Hunting, nor drinking Hogan; e'er a one of which would be sufficient here to lay your honour in the Dust: I received a little Billet from my dear Horace, as if he had not heard from me: whereas I wrote last Sunday; we have not so good an opportunity here, as I could wish, not lying conveniently for the Post; but to[morow sennight] I hope to be in town, & not long after at Cambridge.

yours most faithfully
T: G:

P:S: my love to Ashton

[Use arrow keys to navigate]
Letter ID: letters.0030 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 19
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 19


Date of composition: [26 September 1736]
Date (on letter): [Sep 26]
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: [Burnham, United Kingdom]
Place of addressee: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To / The Honble Horatio Walpole, Esq / of Kings College Cambridge (postmark: 27 SE)


Language: English
Incipit: It rains, 'tis Sunday, this is the country; three circumstances so dull...
Mentioned: Houghton

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/24, College Library, Pembroke College, Cambridge , Cambridge, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Poems of Mr. Gray. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life and Writings by W[illiam]. Mason. York: printed by A. Ward; and sold by J. Dodsley, London; and J. Todd, York, 1775, letter x, section i, 25-26
  • The Correspondence of Gray, Walpole, West and Ashton (1734-1771), 2 vols. Chronologically arranged and edited with introduction, notes, and index by Paget Toynbee. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915, letter no. 43, vol. i, 102-104
  • The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence. Ed. by W. S. Lewis. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP; London: Oxford UP, 1937-83, vols. 13/14: Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton i, 1734-42, Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray ii, 1745-71, ed. by W. S. Lewis, George L. Lam and Charles H. Bennett, 1948, vol. i, 111-112
  • 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. 27, vol. i, 49-50