- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
46

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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most picturesque manner. Little woods filled up the
recesses when forests did not darken the scene, and
valleys and glens, cleared of the trees, displayed a
dazzling verdure which contrasted with the gloom of
the shading pines. The eye stole into many a covert
where tranquillity seemed to have taken up her abode,
and the number of little lakes that continually
presented themselves added to the peaceful composure of
the scenery. The little cultivation which appeared
did not break the enchantment, nor did castles rear
their turrets aloft to crush the cottages, and prove
that man is more savage than the natives of the woods.
I heard of the bears but never saw them stalk forth,
which I was sorry for; I wished to have seen one in
its wild state. In the winter, I am told, they
sometimes catch a stray cow, which is a heavy loss to the
owner.

The farms are small. Indeed most of the houses
we saw on the road indicated poverty, or rather that
the people could just live. Towards the frontiers they
grew worse and worse in their appearance, as if not
willing to put sterility itself out of countenance. No
gardens smiled round the habitations, not a potato or
cabbage to eat with the fish drying on a stick near the
door. A little grain here and there appeared, the long
stalks of which you might almost reckon. The day
was gloomy when we passed over this rejected spot,
the wind bleak, and winter seemed to be contending
with nature, faintly struggling to change the season.
Surely, thought I, if the sun ever shines here it cannot
warm these stones; moss only cleaves to them,

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