311. Robert Southey to John May, 5 May 
My dear friend
You will I hope receive Joan of Arc  on Tuesday morning – I have sent Burns  copy with it – & one also for Carlisle which I will be obliged
to you to convey to them. I came here only to see them dispatched. My Mother I hope will recover –
tho she often alarms me. Edith
gives me deeper apprehensions – I often fancy her better – but the next day
destroys the hopes I would indulge – & makes me think that she is slowly –
but certainly declining.
My dear friend I am prepared for the future – & it is well
therefore as much as possible to lose myself in the present.
We expect Tom home
daily – & with some anxiety on account of his wounds. I have written to
Lisbon. have you any account of my
Uncles health? this sometimes makes me uneasy. Our prospects were
brightening – & if Death should get among us now! – I have begun my
additions to the 9th book – & shall dilate it to a
little volume.  You have I suppose seen Lloyds.  I
am much displeased with his conduct to Sophia. very much displeased indeed. it is not a time to weigh
objections now, when he has gained her love, & when the wedding day has once
been fixed. I believe we must never trust a fluctuating mind. surely the right
road is always very plain & very strait & a man need not be loitering
backward & forward to find it out.
I shall be in town the 18th. & leave it
the 22nd. it will give me much pleasure to see you. meantime
when you write do not hint at the apprehension I entertain for Ediths danger. if she suspects my
fears it would probably depress her & be of ill consequences. I write in
God bless you.
yrs truly & affectionately
I shall perhaps find my brother at
Bath this evening.
* Address: To/ John May Esqr/ 4. Bedford
Watermark: Crown and horseman
Endorsement: 1798 No. 17/ Robert Southey/ Bristol 5 May/ recd:/ ansd:} 10 do
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas,
Previously published: Charles Ramos, The Letters of Robert
Southey to John May: 1797–1838 (Austin, Texas, 1976), pp.
 The second edition of Southey’s epic, published in
 Possibly William Burn (dates unknown), a member of the
British Factory, Lisbon. BACK
 One of the most
significant changes Southey made to Joan of Arc (1798) was to
replace the ninth book with entirely new material. The old ninth book (as
published in Joan of Arc (1796)) was revised and appeared as
‘The Vision of the Maid of Orleans’ in Poems, 2 vols
(Bristol, 1799), II, pp. –69. BACK
 Charles Lloyd, Edmund Oliver (1798). BACK