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Thomas Gray to Thomas Wharton, 17 August 1757

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Dr Thomas Wharton M:D: in
Kings-Arms Yard, Coleman-Street
18 AV

Dear Doctor

It feels to me as if it were a long while, since I heard from you. not a word to flatter or to abash the vanity of an Author! suffer me then to tell you, that I hear, we are not at all popular. the great objection is obscurity, no body knows what we would be at. one Man (a Peer) I have been told of, that thinks the last Stanza of the 2d Ode relates to Charles the first & Oliver Cromwell. in short the Συνετοί appear to be still fewer, than even I expected.

You will imagine all this does not go very deep; but I have been almost eversince I was here exceedingly dispirited, besides being really ill in body. no gout, but something feverish, that seems to come almost every morning, & disperses soon after I am up. the Cobhams are here, & as civil as usual. Garrick & his Wife have been down with them some days, & are soon to come again. except the little amusement they give me, & two volumes of the Encyclopedie now almost exhausted, I have nothing but my own thoughts to feed upon, & you know they are of the gloomy cast. write to me then for sweet St Charity, & remember, that while I am my own, I am most faithfully


My best Services to Mrs Wharton.

Letter ID: letters.0280 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 40
Addressee: Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794
Addressee's age: 40[?]


Date of composition: 17 August 1757
Date (on letter): Aug: 17. 1757
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 1 page, 199 mm x 160 mm
Addressed: To / Dr Thomas Wharton M:D: in / Kings-Arms Yard, Coleman-Street / London (postmark: 18 AV)


Language: English
Incipit: It feels to me as if it were a long while, since I heard from you....
Mentioned: Odes by Mr. Gray (1757)
Speed, Henrietta Jane, 1728-1783

Holding Institution

Egerton MS 2400, ff. 92-93, Manuscripts collection, British Library , London, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section IV, letter LXII, vol. ii, 286
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter LXX, vol. iii, 164-165
  • 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. CXLVI, vol. i, 345-346
  • 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. 246, vol. ii, 518-519