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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, 17 January 1758

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To The Honble Horace Walpole Arlington Street London


I ought sooner to have thank'd you for the reverend Packet you were so good to convey to me. it was (as you guess'd) nine pages of criticism written with much freedom, full of rough (& sometimes ill-grounded) censures, but season'd with high-flow'n compliments. it is all about the Bard alone: if I think it worth my while to hear, what he has to say about the other ode, I am told to direct to A: B: inclosed to the Post-Master at Andover. after what I have said, you will think it strange, that I have thought it worth while to write a line to this A: B:; nevertheless I have done so, for it is a merit with me, that he has taken the pains to read & certainly does understand me, tho' his judgement about what he reads is not always superlative. I have taken the liberty to desire, he would direct his packet as before, wch I hope You will forgive, as I am ever

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Letter ID: letters.0304 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 41
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 40


Date of composition: 17 January 1758
Date (on letter): Jan: 17. 1758
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Pemb: Hall
Place of addressee: [London, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To The Honble Horace Walpole Arlington Street London (postmark: ROYSTON 19 IA)


Language: English
Incipit: I ought sooner to have thank'd you for the reverend Packet you were...
Mentioned: Andover
Butler, J., Mr

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/80, 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. 208, vol. ii, 175-176
  • 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, 101-102
  • 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. 264, vol. ii, 556