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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [13 May 1747]

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the Honble Horace Walpole Esq
at his House in Arlington-Street

I am not dead, neither sleep I so sound, as not to feel the Jog you give me, or to forget that I ought to have wrote before. but I have been on the Confines of that Land, where all Things are forgotten; & return'd from thence with a Loss of Appetite & of Spirits, that has made me a very silly Gentleman, & not worth your Correspondence. however I am tolerable well again, & came post hither on Friday to see my Mother [ ] she was then at the Extremity, but is far better at present: I have no Business to regale you with all [t]his, but it is only by Way of Excuse. on Monday next I hope to return home, & in my Way (probably on Tuesday Morning) to call at your Door, & that of the Chuteheds, if possible.

I am obliged to you for transcribeing Voltaire & Mr Lyttleton. the last has six good prettyish Lines. the other I do not much admire

Ni sa Flute, ni son Epée.

the Thought is Martial's, & many others after him; & the Verses frippery enough, as his easy Poetry usually is. nobody loves him better than I in his grander Style.

Adieu, Dear Sr, I am ever
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Letter ID: letters.0156 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 30
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 29


Date of composition: [13 May 1747]
Date (on letter): [May 13]
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: Stoke Poges, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Stoke
Place of addressee: [London, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To / the Honble Horace Walpole Esq / at his House in Arlington-Street / Westminster (postmark: WINDSOR 13MA)


Languages: English, French
Incipit: I am not dead, neither sleep I so sound, as not to feel the Jog...
Mentioned: Chute, John, 1701-1776
Gray, Mrs. (Dorothy), 1685-1753
Lyttelton, George Lyttelton, 1st Lord

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/44, 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. 161, vol. ii, 68-69
  • 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. ii, 25-26
  • 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. 138, vol. i, 281-282