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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [c. 22 August 1737]

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Forgive me, my poor dear Horace, if I intrude upon your Grief, sooner possibly than I ought; yet hardly soon enough for the Anxiety I am in upon your account; far from having any such confidence in myself, as to imagine any thing I can say should lighten your affliction; I fear your own good Sense, and Resignation to Him, who has spared so long the best of Mothers to you, is hardly able to support you under it; I can the easier imagine the Situation you are in from the fears, which are continually before my eyes, of a like misfortune in my own case; if that were really to happen, I know not the least Shadow of comfort, that could come to me, but what I perhaps might find in my dearest Horace's compassion, & that pity, he never denies the unhappy: would to God, I might alleviate in some measure his Sorrows, in the part I willingly would bear in them, & in that commiseration, which I should feel for any one in such circumstances, how much more then for him whose friendship has been my greatest joy, & I hope shall continue so many years: for God's sake, as soon as melancholy reflection shall give you any intermission, let me hear of your welfare; let me have the pleasure of a line, or the sight of you, as soon as it can be proper: believe, I shall not enjoy a moments ease, till I have some information of your condition;

I am, my dearest Walpole,
with the greatest truth,
your faithful friend, & servant,
T: G:
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Letter ID: letters.0044 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 20
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 19


Date of composition: [c. 22 August 1737]
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: [London, United Kingdom]


Language: English
Incipit: Forgive me, my poor dear Horace, if I intrude upon your Grief...

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/30, College Library, Pembroke College, Cambridge , Cambridge, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • 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. 64, vol. i, 155-156
  • 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, 140-141
  • 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. 41, vol. i, 67