Thomas Gray to James Brown, 14 August 1757

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To The Revd Mr Brown M:A: President of Pembroke Hall Cambridge
16 AV

Dear Sr

Excuse me, if I begin to wonder a little, that I have heard no news of you in so long a time. I conclude, you received Dodsley's packet at least a week ago, & made my presents. you will not wonder therefore at my curiosity, if I enquire of you, what you hear said? for tho' in the rest of the world I do not expect to hear, that any body says much, or thinks about the matter yet among mes Confreres, the Learned, I know there is alway leisure at least to find fault, if not to commend.

I have been lately much out of order; & confined at home, but now I go abroad again. Mr Garrick & his Wife have pass'd some days at my Lady Cobham's, & are shortly to return again; they & a few other people, that I see there, have been my only entertainment till this week: but now I have purchased some volumes of the Great French Encyclopedie, & am trying to amuse myself within doors.

pray tell me a great deal, & believe me ever most faithfully
Letter ID: letters.0278 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771 [i]
Writer's age: 40
Addressee: Brown, James, 1709-1784 [i]
Addressee's age: 48[?]


Date of composition: 14 August 1757 [i]
Date (on letter): Aug: 14. 1757
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [Stoke Poges, United Kingdom] [i]
Place of addressee: [Cambridge, United Kingdom] [i]

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 1 page
Addressed: To The Revd Mr Brown M:A: President of Pembroke Hall Cambridge (postmark: 16 AV)


Language: English
Incipit: Excuse me, if I begin to wonder a little, that I have heard no news of you...
Contents: "[I]n the 1757 letter Gray asks if Brown received "Dodsley's packet," asks how the Odes has been received at Cambridge, says he has been confined at home, and notes that he has acquired "some volumes of the Great French Encyclopedie.""
In: Nelson, Christine, "extra-illustrated copy of Gray's Odes". E-mail to the editor, 14 November 2006

Holding Institution

PML 16518 (extra-illustrated copy of Gray's Odes), 3, Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts (LHMS), Morgan Library & Museum [i], New York, NY, USA <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes; a photostat is in MS. Toynbee d.32, Bodleian Library, Oxford

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 XXII, 93-94 - view pages
  • 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. CXLV, vol. i, 344 - view pages
  • 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. 245, vol. ii, 516 - view pages