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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, 27 January 1764

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The Honble Horace Walpole Esq
in Arlington Street

I thank you for remembring me, & am impatient for the books: the nearest place you can send them to is the Queen's Head Inn in Grays-Inn Lane, from whence the Cambridge Fly sets out, & brings parcels (I believe) daily.

Kidgell (I hear) to my sorrow has escaped baiting: I comfort myself with the thoughts, that he will soon have some Prebend, or more conspicuous dignity in the Church, for I am persuaded the worst thing, that can befall a Rascall (& especially a Parson) is to attain the height of his wishes.

The BP has vanity enough to make him feel at some time or other, what Posterity will think of him: but who can damn the Devil? he continues his temptations here with so much assiduity, that I conclude he is not absolutely sure of success yet. his leading Partisans, tho' not ashamed of themselves, are yet heartily ashamed of him, & would give their ears, it were any other devil, but he. yet he would be chose at present, I have little doubt, tho' with strong opposition, & in a dishonorable way for him. yet I have some gleams of hope, for it is in the power of one Man to prevent it, if he will stand the brunt; and—

Do, oblige me with a change in the Ministry: I mean, something one may tell, that looks as if it were near at hand; or if there is no truth to be had, then a good likely falsehood for the same purpose. I am sorry to be so reduced.

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Letter ID: letters.0436 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 47
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 46


Date of composition: 27 January 1764
Date (on letter): Jan: 27 ... 1764
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]
Place of addressee: [London, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To / The Honble Horace Walpole Esq / in Arlington Street / London (postmark: ROYSTON 28 1A)


Language: English
Incipit: I thank you for remembring me, & am impatient for the books:...
Mentioned: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/90, 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. 224, vol. ii, 221-224
  • 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, 130-131
  • 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. 383, vol. ii, 829-830