Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
From 18th Century Literary Anecdotes

Mr. GRAY, our elegant poet, and delicate Fellow-Commoner of Peterhouse, has just removed to Pembroke Hall, in resentment of some usage he met with at the former place. The case is much talked of, and is this. He is much afraid of fire, and was a great sufferer in Cornhill; he has ever since kept a ladder of ropes by him, soft as the silky cords by which Romeo ascended to his Juliet, and had had an iron machine fixed to his bedroom window. The other morning Lord Percival and some Petrenchians, going a hunting, were determined to have a little sport before they set out, and thought it would be no bad diversion to make Gray bolt, as they called it, so ordered their man Joe Draper to roar out fire. A delicate white night-cap is said to have appeared at the window; but finding the mistake, retired again to the couch. The young fellows, had he descended, were determined, they said, to have whipped the butterfly up again.

From Nichols, Illustrations, vi. 805 (from a letter of Revd. John Sharp, 12 March 1756).

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