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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [31 December 1751]

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You have probably before now met with the Paper I enclose, itself; tho' when you wrote last, you had only heard of it from others. it must not be known on any account, that it came from me, for by that means it might easily be discover'd, whom I had it from, wch might be the Ruin of a Gentleman. I do not see any one End it can answer, but that of putting Mr C: in a silly Light to such, as do not know him. the Exactness of Dates, Hours, & Minutes with the Observation of his different Tones of Voice, betray it to be the Work of a Listener, placed on purpose. I am told, that old H: does not deny his Design of getting her for D: W:, after my Ld O: had refused her. he insists he was not once at C:rs Chambers, while she was in his Hands, & that the Story of the 10,000£ is a manifest Lye. he affects to treat it as a Fact asserted by Mr C:, tho' no such thing appears, even in the Paper itself. I can't find for certain, that Et: (tho he has been here a second time with his Budget) has given any Copies of this Paper about, yet I do not doubt but He has. this I know; he has shew'd your Letter to him, & his own Answers to a few People here, tho' I have not seen them. I am in hast, but shall write again soon. pray tell me, as soon as you receive this.

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Letter ID: letters.0186 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 35
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 34


Date of composition: [31 December 1751]
Date (on letter): Dec: 31
Calendar: Julian


Place of composition: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): C


Language: English
Incipit: You have probably before now met with the Paper I enclose, itself;...
Mentioned: Aristotle
Chute, John, 1701-1776
Ode to Adversity

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/54, 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. 178, vol. ii, 119-121
  • 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, 57-58
  • 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. 165, vol. i, 356-357