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Thomas Gray to Richard West, [March 1737]

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I learn Italian like any dragon, and in two months am got through the 16th book of Tasso, whom I hold in great admiration: I want you to learn too, that I may know your opinion of him; nothing can be easier than that language to any one who knows Latin and French already, and there are few so copious and expressive.


Letter ID: letters.0040 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 20
Addressee: West, Richard, 1716-1742
Addressee's age: 21[?]


Date of composition: [March 1737]
Date (on letter): [March, 1737]
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]
Address (on letter): [Cambridge]
Place of addressee: [Oxford, United Kingdom]


Language: English
Incipit: I learn Italian like any dragon, and in two months am got through...
Mentioned: Cambridge
[Latin verses at Eton]

Holding Institution

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

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, section i, 36-37, note
  • 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. 55, vol. i, 128-129
  • 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. 37, vol. i, 61