- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
35

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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I visited, near Gothenburg, a house with improved
land about it, with which I was particularly delighted.
It was close to a lake embosomed in pine-clad rocks.
In one part of the meadows your eye was directed to
the broad expanse, in another you were led into a shade,
to see a part of it, in the form of a river, rush amongst
the fragments of rocks and roots of trees; nothing
seemed forced. One recess, particularly grand and
solemn amongst the towering cliffs, had a rude stone
table and seat placed in it, that might have served for
a Druid’s haunt, whilst a placid stream below enlivened
the flowers on its margin, where light-footed elves
would gladly have danced their airy rounds.

Here the hand of taste was conspicuous though not
obtrusive, and formed a contrast with another abode
in the same neighbourhood, on which much money had
been lavished; where Italian colonnades were placed to
excite the wonder of the rude crags, and a stone
staircase, to threaten with destruction a wooden house.
Venuses and Apollos condemned to lie hid in snow
three parts of the year seemed equally displaced, and
called the attention off from the surrounding sublimity,
without inspiring any voluptuous sensations. Yet even
these abortions of vanity have been useful. Numberless
workmen have been employed, and the superintending
artist has improved the labourers, whose unskilfulness
tormented him, by obliging them to submit to the
discipline of rules. Adieu!

                                                                 Yours affectionately.

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