- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
86

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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Full resolution (TIFF) - On this page / på denna sida - New York, March 2, 1850

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are infinitely better than these furnaces, which I
am sure have some secret relationship with
the fiery furnace of Biblical tradition, and seem to be
invented for the express purpose of destroying
human nerves and lungs. Besides these, they have
in their drawing-rooms the heat of gas lights; and
when we add to this the keenness and changeableness
of the atmosphere out of doors, it is easy to
explain why the women, who in this country
particularly are so thoughtless about their clothing,
should be delicate and out of health, and why
consumption should be greatly on the increase in these
northeastern states.

I cannot tell whether I rightly know the American
character, but of this I am certain: that what
I do know of it is more beautiful and more worthy
to be loved than any other that I am acquainted
with in the world. Their hospitality and
warmheartedness, when their hearts are once warmed,
are really overflowing and know no bounds. And
since so many travelers see and make a great ado
about their failings, it is well that there should be
some one who, before anything else, becomes
acquainted with their virtues. And these national
failings, so far as I can yet see them, may all be
attributed to the youthful life of the people. In
many cases I recognize precisely the faults of my
own youth—the asking questions, want of

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