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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, [8 July 1752]

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The Honble Horace Walpole Esq
in Arlington Street
9 IY

I am at present at Stoke, to wch I came at half an Hour's Warning upon the News I received of my Mother's Illness, & did not expect to have found her alive: but as I found her much better, & she continues so, I shall be very glad to make you a Visit at Strawberry, whenever you give me Notice of a convenient time. I am surprized at the Print, wch far surpasses my Idea of London Graving. the Drawing itself was so finished, that I suppose, it did not require all the Art I had imagined to copy it tolerably. my Aunts just now, seeing me open your Letter, take it to be a Burying-Ticket enclosed, & ask, whether any body has left me a Ring? and so they still conceive it to be, even with all their Spectacles on. heaven forbid they should suspect it to belong to any Verses of mine; they would burn me for a Poet. Mr Bentley (I believe) will catch a better Idea of Stoke-House from any old Barn he sees, than from my Sketch: but I will try my Skill. I forbid no Banes; but am satisfied, if your Design succeed so well as you intend it. and yet I know, it will be accompanied with something not at all agreeable to me.

Adieu! I am
Yours ever
T G:
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Letter ID: letters.0190 (Source: TEI/XML)


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


Date of composition: [8 July 1752]
Date (on letter): Wednesday-
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 / in Arlington Street / London (postmark: 9 IY)


Language: English
Incipit: I am at present at Stoke, to wch I came at half an Hour's...
Mentioned: Designs by Mr. R. Bentley (1753)
Gray, Mrs. (Dorothy), 1685-1753
Stanzas to Mr Bentley
Stoke Poges

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/55, 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 xvii, section iv, 224-226
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by Thomas James Mathias. London: William Bulmer, 1814, section IV, letter XVII, vol. i, 335-336
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section IV, letter XXXVI, vol. ii, 233-235
  • The Letters of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. in one. London: J. Sharpe, 1819, letter LXXXV, vol. i, 179-181
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter XLIII, vol. iii, 105-107
  • The Letters of Thomas Gray, including the correspondence of Gray and Mason, 3 vols. Ed. by Duncan C. Tovey. London: George Bell and Sons, 1900-12, letter no. CI, vol. i, 227-230
  • 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. 179, vol. ii, 121-122
  • 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, 59
  • 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. 168, vol. i, 362-363