- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
37

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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total want of chastity in the lower class of women
frequently renders them very unfit for the trust.

You have sometimes remarked to me the difference
of the manners of the country girls in England and in
America; attributing the reserve of the former to the
climate—to the absence of genial suns. But it must
be their stars, not the zephyrs, gently stealing on their
senses, which here lead frail women astray. Who can
look at these rocks, and allow the voluptuousness of
nature to be an excuse for gratifying the desires it
inspires? We must therefore, find some other cause
beside voluptuousness, I believe, to account for the
conduct of the Swedish and American country girls;
for I am led to conclude, from all the observations I
have made, that there is always a mixture of sentiment
and imagination in voluptuousness, to which neither of
them have much pretension.

The country girls of Ireland and Wales equally feel
the first impulse of nature, which, restrained in England
by fear or delicacy, proves that society is there in a
more advanced state. Besides, as the mind is
cultivated, and taste gains ground, the passions become
stronger, and rest on something more stable than the
casual sympathies of the moment. Health and idleness
will always account for promiscuous amours; and in
some degree I term every person idle, the exercise of
whose mind does not bear some proportion to that of
the body.

The Swedish ladies exercise neither sufficiently; of
course, grow very fat at an early age; and when they
have not this downy appearance, a comfortable idea,

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