- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
224

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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parsonage, with all its homely thriftiness, was
nevertheless beautifully situated upon a hill
surrounded by young oaks. With a little care the
place may be made pretty and comfortable. I
wandered along the road; the country, glowing
with sunshine, opened before me, with a background
of the most beautiful arable land fringed
with leafy woods, now splendid with the colors of
autumn. Here and there I saw a little farmhouse
built on the skirts of the forest, mostly of logs;
occasionally, however, a frame house might be
seen, as well as small gray stone cottages. I saw
people out in the fields busied with their
corn-harvest. I addressed them in Norwegian, and
they joyfully fell into conversation.

I asked many, both men and women, whether
they were contented—whether they were better
off here than in old Norway. Nearly all of them
replied, “Yes, we are better off here; we do not
work so hard, and it is easier to gain a livelihood.”
One old peasant said, “There are difficulties here
as well as there. The health is better in the old
country than here!”

I visited also, with Mrs. Preus, some of the
Norwegian peasant houses. The Norwegians wisely
built their houses beside some little brook or river
and understood how to select a good soil. They
came thither as old and accustomed agriculturists

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