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This is no more than a pleasant letter exchanging chit chat between two friends. I cannot trace Susan Dowson. The little brother mentioned could be anyone of the many children the Dowsons seem to have begat, but the 1851 census shows a John W Dowson born about 1840.
The spelling is as per the letter. Note the arcane use of the f style s where there is a double ss as in addrefs. I cannot replicate this on the computer.
Many thanks, my dear Susan, for your letter, which I afsure you I was glad to receive as it was a very long time since I had heard any news of you. I do not know if you know that Louisa and Maria are at Difs, staying at my sister Jane’s assisting to nurse a new little nephew who by their account seems to be a most flourishing little gentleman, the two little girls are delighted with him, I suppose by this time your little brother runs alone, as well as his little cousin Fanny. I was very much amused to hear that you had been reading Pope’s Iliad, as we had just finished it. Have you ever read Moore’s Epicurean, we have been reading it, and were very much interested, the descriptions are beautiful have you also seen a little book by Mifs Emily Taylor, called “the ball I live on”, it is very nicely written, and continues a great deal of information. I suppose your garden is now quite gay with spring flowers, ours are not very gay as the plants, are very much out by the late cold winds I am afraid, I shall lose some of mine, they have flourished very well during the winter but now one or two look rather nipped. We have not yet found many violets, and it has not been very tempting weather to go to seek them. Tuesday fortnight was one little concert, at our house it went off very well, I played the Jaeger chorus, I am now learning some pretty airs from the opera Le Pré aux Clercs, have you had any new music lately! My sisters have lately attended some lectures at the Mechanics, and I hope to go to some on Magnetism which are going to be delivered by a Dr Simon. There is going to be built a large room for concerts, lectures, and all kind of public meetings, which will be a very great improvement as we how have to go to the boys school room which is very cold, when we attend lectures. I must now conclude, hoping soon to hear from you again, with love to Mary, and the same to yourself in which Rose joins, I remain, my dear Susan yours most truly Harriet Cooper.