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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, 8 September 1756

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To The Honble Horace Walpole in Arlington Street London

Poor Mr Chute has now had the Gout for these five days with such a degree of pain & uneasiness, as he never felt before. whether to attribute it to Dr La Cour's forcing medecines, or to a little cold he got as soon as he came hither, I know not, but for above forty hours it seem'd past all human suffering, & he lay screaming like a Man upon the rack. the torture was so great, that (against my judgement & even his own) he was forced to have recourse to [an] infusion of Poppy-heads, wch Cocchi used to give him, & in [half] an hours time was easy, fell into a gentle perspiration, [&] slept many hours. this was the night before last, & all yesterday he continued chearful & in spirits. at night (as he expected) the pain returned, not so violent, but in more places, for now it is in one foot, both knees, & one hand, and I hourly dread it will increase again to its former rage. if any thing sudden happen, who can I send to? here is no assistance nearer than a Dr Langrish at Winchester, of whom he has no great opinion. as to Lacour he is enraged against him, & looks upon him as the cause of all he suffers. I can not think there is any danger, for tho' with all this he is at times in a high Fever, yet it seems to depend upon the Gout entirely, increasing & abating with the pain. but if anything unexpected happen, here are no body but myself & Muntz in the house, would you advise to send to Mrs Pawlet, or to whom? you will oblige me, if you will answer me in a loose paper, for he must see your Letter. it will be a charity too to insert any thing of news, or whatever you please to tell us, for when he gets any respite from pain, he is capable & desirous of entertainment, & talks with an eagerness of spirits, that seems to make part of his distemper. pray tell us how Mr Man does.

I am ever
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Letter ID: letters.0255 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 39
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 39


Date of composition: 8 September 1756
Date (on letter): Sept: 8. 1756
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: Vyne, The, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): the Vine
Place of addressee: [London, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To The Honble Horace Walpole in Arlington Street London (postmark: BASINGSTOKE 8 SE)


Language: English
Incipit: Poor Mr Chute has now had the Gout for these five days with such a...
Mentioned: Chute, John, 1701-1776

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/72, 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. 199, vol. ii, 163-165
  • 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, 93-94
  • 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. 224, vol. ii, 479-480