- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
57

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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and anxiety when I reflect on the dependent and
oppressed state of her sex. I dread lest she should be
forced to sacrifice her heart to her principles, or
principles to her heart. With trembling hand I shall
cultivate sensibility and cherish delicacy of sentiment,
lest, whilst I lend fresh blushes to the rose, I sharpen
the thorns that will wound the breast I would fain
guard; I dread to unfold her mind, lest it should
render her unfit for the world she is to inhabit.
Hapless woman! what a fate is thine!

But whither am I wandering? I only meant to tell
you that the impression the kindness of the simple
people made visible on my countenance increased my
sensibility to a painful degree. I wished to have had
a room to myself, for their attention, and rather
distressing observation, embarrassed me extremely. Yet,
as they would bring me eggs, and make my coffee, I
found I could not leave them without hurting their
feelings of hospitality.

It is customary here for the host and hostess to
welcome their guests as master and mistress of the house.

My clothes, in their turn, attracted the attention of
the females, and I could not help thinking of the foolish
vanity which makes many women so proud of the
observation of strangers as to take wonder very
gratuitously for admiration. This error they are very apt to
fall into when, arrived in a foreign country, the
populace stare at them as they pass. Yet the make of a cap
or the singularity of a gown is often the cause of the
flattering attention which afterwards supports a
fantastic superstructure of self-conceit.

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