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767. Robert Southey to [John May], 27 March 1803 ⁠* 

My dear friend

This is the twelfth day since the date of your last letter, & I have day by day been expecting tidings from you, each day with more uneasiness than the last. [1] 

We have had sickness at home meantime. this contagion [2]  has reached us – I was somewhat severely attacked – our servant [3] TomEdith & the child have all had their share – & we are all recovered or on the recovery. but it has seized an old Lady here whom for years I have loved as tho she had been of my own family – the mother of my friend Danvers – & she is hopelessly ill – there is no possibility of her recovery.

I shall fear to receive a letter from you – but do give me a line.

God bless you – & yours –

R Southey.


March 27. Sunday. 1803.

Notes

* Watermark: VG /1794
MS: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, Robert Southey Papers A.S727
Unpublished. BACK

[1] John May’s son, Richard May, had died on 21 February 1803, aged 10 days, and his wife, Susanna Frances Livius (1767-1830) was seriously ill. BACK

[2] The influenza epidemic of 1803 claimed many lives, particularly in England and France, and was the subject of a satirical print by Temple West (fl. 1803), An Address of Thanks from the Faculty to the Right Hon.ble Mr. Influenzy for His Kind Visit to this Country (1803). BACK

[3] Unidentified. BACK

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August 2011