767. Robert Southey to [John May], 27 March 1803
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. 
We have had sickness at home meantime. this contagion  has reached us – I was somewhat severely attacked – our servant  – Tom – Edith & 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 –
March 27. Sunday. 1803.
* Watermark: VG /1794
MS: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, Robert Southey Papers A.S727. ALS; 1p.
 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
 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