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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, 17 September 1770

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To The Honble Horace Walpole in Arlington Street London

I write, having nothing essential to say, merely because you are ill, & have but too much time to read me. I plead no merit in my sympathy, because I have the same enemy, & am daily expecting her attacks, the more violent perhaps for having been now for some years suspended. talk not of round windows, nor of dying in them: our distemper (remember) is the means of health & long life, now this latter is only the name of another distemper, of wch I know enough already to say, when the gout pinches me, 'tis well, it is nothing worse. I do not understand, why (with your temperance) you are treated so severely; but suspect, it is owing to a little indolence & want of motion between the fits, as I have lately heard you complain of a tenderness in your feet, that would not let you walk as usual. Man is a creature made to be jumbled, & no matter whether he goes on his head or heels, move or be moved he must. I am convinced, I owe my late & present ease to the little expeditions I always make in summer. the smartness of the pain you undergo, is an undoubted sign of strength & youth, & the sooner it will be over. I know, this is poor comfort: but I flatter myself, that in some few days you will be at ease, & will have the good nature to tell me so.

I have neither seen Tyson, nor Cole of late, but will take care they shall know, what you say. the latter lives at Milton near the Ely road. for myself I shall hardly be in Town before the end of November.

Adieu! I am
Yours ever
T G:
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Letter ID: letters.0613 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 53
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 53


Date of composition: 17 September 1770
Date (on letter): Sept: 17. 1770
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Addressed: To The Honble Horace Walpole in Arlington Street London (postmark: ROYSTON 18 SE)


Language: English
Incipit: I write, having nothing essential to say, merely because you are ill,...
Mentioned: Cole, William, 1714-1782

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/104, 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. 247, vol. ii, 294-295
  • 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, 186-187
  • 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. 534, vol. iii, 1148