- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
21

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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general repose, and reclined more heavily on their
foundation. “What,” I exclaimed, “is this active
principle which keeps me still awake? Why fly my
thoughts abroad, when everything around me appears
at home?” My child was sleeping with equal
calmness—innocent and sweet as the closing flowers. Some
recollections, attached to the idea of home, mingled
with reflections respecting the state of society I had
been contemplating that evening, made a tear drop on
the rosy cheek I had just kissed, and emotions that
trembled on the brink of ecstasy and agony gave a
poignancy to my sensations which made me feel more
alive than usual.

What are these imperious sympathies? How frequently
has melancholy and even misanthropy taken
possession of me, when the world has disgusted me,
and friends have proved unkind. I have then considered
myself as a particle broken off from the grand
mass of mankind; I was alone, till some involuntary
sympathetic emotion, like the attraction of adhesion,
made me feel that I was still a part of a mighty whole,
from which I could not sever myself—not, perhaps,
for the reflection has been carried very far, by snapping
the thread of an existence, which loses its charms
in proportion as the cruel experience of life stops or
poisons the current of the heart. Futurity, what hast
thou not to give to those who know that there is such
a thing as happiness! I speak not of philosophical
contentment, though pain has afforded them the
strongest conviction of it.

After our coffee and milk—for the mistress of the

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