- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
31

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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one for yours. We must love our servants, or we shall
never be sufficiently attentive to their happiness; and
how can those masters be attentive to their happiness
who, living above their fortunes, are more anxious to
outshine their neighbours than to allow their household
the innocent enjoyments they earn?

It is, in fact, much more difficult for servants, who
are tantalised by seeing and preparing the dainties of
which they are not to partake, to remain honest, than
the poor, whose thoughts are not led from their homely
fare; so that, though the servants here are commonly
thieves, you seldom hear of housebreaking, or robbery
on the highway. The country is, perhaps, too thinly
inhabited to produce many of that description of thieves
termed footpads, or highwaymen. They are usually
the spawn of great cities—the effect of the spurious
desires generated by wealth, rather than the desperate
struggles of poverty to escape from misery.

The enjoyment of the peasantry was drinking brandy
and coffee, before the latter was prohibited, and the
former not allowed to be privately distilled, the wars
carried on by the late king rendering it necessary to
increase the revenue, and retain the specie in the
country by every possible means.

The taxes before the reign of Charles XII. were
inconsiderable. Since then the burden has continually
been growing heavier, and the price of provisions has
proportionately increased—nay, the advantage accruing
from the exportation of corn to France and rye to
Germany will probably produce a scarcity in both
Sweden and Norway, should not a peace put a stop to

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