- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
16

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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and the floor was strewed over with little sprigs of
juniper (the custom, as I afterwards found, of the
country), which formed a contrast with the curtains,
and produced an agreeable sensation of freshness, to
soften the ardour of noon. Still nothing was so pleasing
as the alacrity of hospitality—all that the house
afforded was quickly spread on the whitest linen.
Remember, I had just left the vessel, where, without
being fastidious, I had continually been disgusted.
Fish, milk, butter, and cheese, and, I am sorry to add,
brandy, the bane of this country, were spread on the
board. After we had dined hospitality made them,
with some degree of mystery, bring us some excellent
coffee. I did not then know that it was prohibited.

The good man of the house apologised for coming in
continually, but declared that he was so glad to speak
English he could not stay out. He need not have
apologised; I was equally glad of his company. With
the wife I could only exchange smiles, and she was employed
observing the make of our clothes. My hands,
I found, had first led her to discover that I was the
lady. I had, of course, my quantum of reverences;
for the politeness of the north seems to partake of the
coldness of the climate and the rigidity of its iron-sinewed
rocks. Amongst the peasantry there is, however,
so much of the simplicity of the golden age in
this land of flint—so much overflowing of heart and
fellow-feeling, that only benevolence and the honest
sympathy of nature diffused smiles over my countenance
when they kept me standing, regardless of my
fatigue, whilst they dropped courtesy after courtesy.

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