- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
40

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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LETTER V.

Had I determined to travel in Sweden merely for
pleasure, I should probably have chosen the road to
Stockholm, though convinced, by repeated observation,
that the manners of a people are best discriminated in
the country. The inhabitants of the capital are all
of the same genus; for the varieties in the species we
must, therefore, search where the habitations of men
are so separated as to allow the difference of climate to
have its natural effect. And with this difference we
are, perhaps, most forcibly struck at the first view,
just as we form an estimate of the leading traits of a
character at the first glance, of which intimacy afterwards
makes us almost lose sight.

As my affairs called me to Stromstad (the frontier
town of Sweden) in my way to Norway, I was to pass
over, I heard, the most uncultivated part of the country.
Still I believe that the grand features of Sweden are
the same everywhere, and it is only the grand features
that admit of description. There is an individuality in
every prospect, which remains in the memory as forcibly
depicted as the particular features that have arrested
our attention; yet we cannot find words to discriminate
that individuality so as to enable a stranger to say,
this is the face, that the view. We may amuse by
setting the imagination to work; but we cannot store
the memory with a fact.

As I wish to give you a general idea of this country,
I shall continue in my desultory manner to make such

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