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William Mason to Thomas Gray, 8 August 1768

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To Thomas Gray Esqr at Mr Roberts Hozier in Jermyn Street London

Dear Mr Professor

I will not congratulate you, for I would not have you think I am glad. & I take for granted you dont think I am, or at least would not have me so to be, else you would have given me a line –but no matter. I went the other day to Old Park, & read what you had written to the Dr–and he was not so glad neither as to hinder him from making Water wch he did all the time I was with him, & continues still to do & thinks he shall not give over of some months. Dont be afraid the discharge does not come from his vesicatory but his pecuniary Ducts. & I as Physician & Summers as Apothecary hold it to be a most salutary Diabetis.

I have my good luck too I can tell you, for when I was at Hull I met with a Roman Ossuary of exquisite Sculpture. How I came by it, no matter! tis enough that I am possest of it. I send you the inscription wch your Brother Lort or Halifax may perhaps help me to construe, for as to Yourself I take for granted that all Your skill in the learned Languages transpird in the Kiss wch you gave his Majestys little finger, & you rose up a mere modern Schollar, with nothing left but a little Linæan jargon. Be this as it may heres the Inscription literatim.

P. ET P. PA.

The first three lines I read Pomponia primigeniae Tito Pomponio Felici. but as to the rest it is all Hebrew Greek to me. Seriously if you can make it out for me I shall be obligd to you.

I go to York on Thursday but I mean to call in my way on Mr Wedell & Proud Palgrave on Wednesday. Remember me kindly to your Brother Mr Professor Shepherd & the successor of Mr Professor Mickleborough & beleive me to be Dear Mr Professor

yours most truly & sincerely
Letter ID: letters.0541 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Writer's age: 44
Addressee: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Addressee's age: 51


Date of composition: 8 August 1768
Date (on letter): Augst 8th 1768
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Addressed: To Thomas Gray Esqr at Mr Roberts Hozier in Jermyn Street London (postmark: CATTERICK 12 AV)


Language: English
Incipit: I will not congratulate you, for I would not have you think I am glad....
Mentioned: Cambridge
Lort, Michael, 1725-1790
Old Park
Palgrave, William, 1735-1799
Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794

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 CXXII, 420-422
  • 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. CCCXXXIV, vol. iii, 206-207
  • 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. 484, vol. iii, 1043-1044