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Thomas Gray to Charles Victor de Bonstetten, [9 May 1770]

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I am return'd, my dear B., from the little journey I had made into Suffolk without answering the end proposed. The thought, that you might have been with me there, has embitter'd all my hours. Your letter has made me happy; as happy as so gloomy, so solitary a Being as I am is capable of being. I know and have too often felt the disadvantages I lay myself under, how much I hurt the little interest I have in you, by this air of sadness so contrary to your nature and present enjoyments: but sure you will forgive, tho' you can not sympathize with me. It is impossible with me to dissemble with you. Such as I am, I expose my heart to your view, nor wish to conceal a single thought from your penetrating eyes.–All that you say to me, especially on the subject of Switzerland, is infinitely acceptable. It feels too pleasing ever to be fulfill'd, and as often as I read over your truly kind letter, written long since from London, I stop at these words: La mort qui peut glacer nos bras avant qu'ils soient entrelacés.

Letter ID: letters.0601 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 53
Addressee: Bonstetten, Charles Victor de, 1745-1832
Addressee's age: 24


Date of composition: [9 May 1770]
Date (on letter): [9 May 1770]
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]


Language: English
Incipit: I am return'd, my dear B., from the little journey I had made into Suffolk...
Mentioned: Blundeston

Holding Institution

Availability: The original letter is unlocated, a copy, transcription, or published version survives

Print Versions

  • Letters written from various parts of the Continent, between the years 1785 and 1794: containing a variety of anecdotes relative to the present state of literature in Germany, ... With an appendix. In which are included, three letters of Gray's, ... By Frederick Matthisson, translated from the German ..., by Anne Plumptre. London: printed for T. N. Longman and O. Rees, 1799, 533-535
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section V, letter XIII, vol. ii, 556-557
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section V, letter [XIII], vol. iv, 187-188
  • 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. CCCLXV, vol. iii, 282-283
  • 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. 523, vol. iii, 1132