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Thomas Gray to William Mason, [21 June 1762]

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Dear Mason

If you still are residing & precenting at York, I feel a great propensity to visit you there in my way Northwards. don't be frighted; for I do not mean to be invited to your house: I can bring many reasons against it, but will content myself with referring you to Mr Whitehead's Satyr on Friendship, the sentiment of which you thought as natural, as I did the verses. I therefore desire of you to procure me a lodging by the week (the cheaper the better) where there is a parlour, & bed-chamber & some closet (or other place near it) for a servant's bed. perhaps I may stay a fortnight, & should like, when I have a mind, to have any little thing dress'd at home. probably I may arrive next week, but you shall have exacter notice of my motions, when they are settled.

Dr Delap (your Friend) is here, & we celebrate very cordially your good qualities in spite of all your bad ones. we are rather sorry, that you, who have so just a sense of the dignity of your function, should write letters of wit & humour to Ld D: & his sweet Daughter in the Royal (I think it is) or Lady's Magazine: but you are very rightly served for your vivacity, & reflection upon poor K: Hunter.

Adieu, I am truly
T G:

Pray write a line directly to say if you are at York.

Letter ID: letters.0412 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 45
Addressee: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Addressee's age: 38


Date of composition: [21 June 1762]
Date (on letter): Monday
Calendar: Gregorian


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


Language: English
Incipit: If you still are residing & precenting at York, I feel a great propensity...
Mentioned: Lady's Magazine
Royal Magazine
Delap, John
Whitehead, William

Holding Institution

Henry W. And Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, New York Public Library , New York, NY, USA <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Correspondence of Thomas Gray and William Mason, with Letters to the Rev. James Brown, D.D. Ed. by the Rev. John Mitford. London: Richard Bentley, 1853, letter LXXVI, 289-290
  • 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. CCXLII, vol. ii, 260-261
  • 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. 359, vol. ii, 780