- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
12

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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approaching nearer, like most of the prospects sketched
by hope, it dissolved under the eye into disappointment.

Weary of expectation, I then began to converse with
the captain on the subject, and from the tenor of the
information my questions drew forth I soon concluded
that if I waited for a boat I had little chance of getting
on shore at this place. Despotism, as is usually the
case, I found had here cramped the industry of man.
The pilots being paid by the king, and scantily, they
will not run into any danger, or even quit their hovels,
if they can possibly avoid it, only to fulfil what is
termed their duty. How different is it on the English
coast, where, in the most stormy weather, boats
immediately hail you, brought out by the expectation of
extraordinary profit.

Disliking to sail for Elsineur, and still more to lie
at anchor or cruise about the coast for several days, I
exerted all my rhetoric to prevail on the captain to let
me have the ship’s boat, and though I added the most
forcible of arguments, I for a long time addressed him
in vain.

It is a kind of rule at sea not to send out a boat.
The captain was a good-natured man; but men with
common minds seldom break through general rules.
Prudence is ever the resort of weakness, and they
rarely go as far as they may in any undertaking who
are determined not to go beyond it on any account. If,
however, I had some trouble with the captain, I did not
lose much time with the sailors, for they, all alacrity,
hoisted out the boat the moment I obtained permission,
and promised to row me to the lighthouse.

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