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He was educated at Eton, where he made his first intimate friends-Richard West; Thorns Ashton; and Horace Walpole, the son of the prime minister. After a little over four years at Cambridge he left without a degree to make the grand tour of France and Italy as the guest of his friend Walpole. The death of West in 1742 was a depressing event for Gray, who, having quarreled with Walpole, felt keenly the loss of this gifted and congenial friend.
Source: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
I have some problem understanding the blue part.
West quarreled with Walpole or Gray quarreled with Walpole? Who quarreled with who?
Does it mean West quarreled with Walpole and became killed?
Many thanks in advance.
Gray had quarrelled with Walpole and therefore they were no longer on friendly terms. So when West died Gray had lost both of his former good friends.
I can see how this might be interpreted differently by different readers. After reading Probus's response, I see how it can be interpreted that Gray was already saddened by the death of West, and therefore felt more deeply saddened about quarreling with Walpole and losing him as a friend.
When I first read this, I thought it meant that "the loss of this.. friend" was still referring to the death of West, and that quarreling with Walpole left Gray more sensitive to West's death. I didn't think it was saying that Gray and Walpole were no longer friends as a result of their quarreling.
English can be quite flexible, and therefore sometimes ambiguous or open to interpretation.
(not a teacher, just a language lover)
This is my last question:
Which one happened first? the death of West or the quarrel of Gray with Walpole?