Thomas
Gray
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"[Invitation to Mason]"

"[Invitation to Mason]"


1 Prim Hurd attends your call and Palgrave proud,
2 Stonhewer the lewd and Delaval the loud.
3 For thee does Powell squeeze and Marriott sputter,
4 And Glynn cut phizzes and Tom Nevile stutter.
5 Brown sees thee sitting on his nose's tip,
6 The Widow feels thee in her aching hip,
7 For thee fat Nanny sighs and handy Nelly,
8 And Balguy with a bishop in his belly!

Expanding the poem lines shows notes and queries taken from various critical editions of Gray's works, as well as those contributed by users of the Archive. There are 2 textual and 9 explanatory notes/queries.

All notes and queries are shown by default.

0 "[Invitation to Mason]" 1 Textual

Title/Paratext] "These lines occur in a [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"These lines occur in a letter from Gray to Mason, dated Pembroke College, 8th January, 1768, and are written to tell him that all "his old and new friends are in constant expectation of him at Cambridge."
    They were first published in Mitford's "Correspondence of Gray and Mason," and were reprinted therefrom by Mr. Gosse. A slightly different version of them is in the Mitford MSS. I have followed Mitford's printed copy, except that from the MS. I have supplied in the second line the words omitted in the "Correspondence," and by Mr. Gosse."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 273.

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1 Prim Hurd attends your call and Palgrave proud, 2 Explanatory

1.1-2 Prim Hurd] "Weddell. In the Mitford MSS. [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"Weddell. In the Mitford MSS. it is "Prim Hurd." Mitford's note is: "Mr. Weddell, of Newby, who made the collection of statues, since belonging to Lord de Grey, collected during his travels in Italy with Mr. Palgrave.""

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 273.

1.7 Palgrave] "Palgrave, one of the Fellows [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"Palgrave, one of the Fellows of Pembroke, familiarly called "Old Pa." in Gray's letters. He died 1799. See "Gentleman's Magazine.""

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 273-274.

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2 Stonhewer the lewd and Delaval the loud. 1 Explanatory, 1 Textual

2.1-3 Stonhewer ... lewd] "These words are represented by [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"These words are represented by dashes in Mitford's "Correspondence of Gray and Mason.""

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 274.

2.5-7 Delaval ... loud.] "Edward Delaval, Fellow of Pembroke [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"Edward Delaval, Fellow of Pembroke and F.R.S. In a letter to Brown, March, 1769, Gray writes "Delaval is by no means well, and looks sadly, yet he goes about and talks as loud as ever.""

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 274.

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3 For thee does Powell squeeze and Marriott sputter, 2 Explanatory

3.4 Powell] "William Samuel Powell, elected Master [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"William Samuel Powell, elected Master of St. John's College, 1764. His sermons have been highly praised. Cole has given a long account of him in Nichols' "Anecdotes," i. 564. Died in Jan. 1775."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 274.

3.7 Marriott] "Sir James Marriot, Kt., Master [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"Sir James Marriot, Kt., Master of Trinity Hall, from 1764 to 1803. There are some verses by him in Dodsley's "Collection," vol. iv."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 274.

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4 And Glynn cut phizzes and Tom Nevile stutter. 2 Explanatory

4.2 Glynn] "Dr. Glynn was Gray's physician [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"Dr. Glynn was Gray's physician at Cambridge, and a very intimate friend; he was "the loved lapis on the banks of Cam.""

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 274.

4.6-7 Tom Nevile] "Thomas Neville, Fellow of Jesus [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"Thomas Neville, Fellow of Jesus College, published Imitations of Horace, 1758, and of Juvenal and Persius in 1769; and translated the Georgics of Virgil, 1767. In the "Horace" he praises

"Mason, who writes not with low sons of rhyme,
But on Pindaric pinions soars sublime."
    Neville was one of the first persons to whom Gray showed the "Bard"; see letter to Mason, June, 1757."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 274.

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5 Brown sees thee sitting on his nose's tip, 1 Explanatory

5.1 Brown] "Dr. James Brown (or Browne) [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"Dr. James Brown (or Browne) was Fellow, and in 1770 Master, of Pembroke; died 1784. He and Mason were Gray's executors."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 274.

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6 The Widow feels thee in her aching hip,
7 For thee fat Nanny sighs and handy Nelly,
8 And Balguy with a bishop in his belly! 1 Explanatory

8.2 Balguy] "Dr. Thomas Balguy, of St. [...]" J. Bradshaw, 1891.

"Dr. Thomas Balguy, of St. John's, refused a bishopric."

The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891, 274.

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Works cited

  • The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray: English and Latin. Edited with an introduction, life, notes and a bibliography by John Bradshaw. The Aldine edition of the British poets series. London: George Bell and sons, 1891.

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Spelling has been modernized throughout, except in case of conscious archaisms. Contractions, italics and initial capitalization have been largely eliminated, except where of real import. Obvious errors have been silently corrected, punctuation has been supplied. The editor would like to express his gratitude to the library staff of the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB Göttingen) for their invaluable assistance.