- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
77

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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and that I have recovered my activity even whilst
attaining a little embonpoint. My imprudence last
winter, and some untoward accidents just at the time
I was weaning my child, had reduced me to a state
of weakness which I never before experienced. A slow
fever preyed on me every night during my residence
in Sweden, and after I arrived at Tonsberg. By
chance I found a fine rivulet filtered through the rocks,
and confined in a basin for the cattle. It tasted to me
like a chalybeate; at any rate, it was pure; and the
good effect of the various waters which invalids are
sent to drink depends, I believe, more on the air,
exercise, and change of scene, than on their medicinal
qualities. I therefore determined to turn my morning
walks towards it, and seek for health from the nymph
of the fountain, partaking of the beverage offered to
the tenants of the shade.

Chance likewise led me to discover a new pleasure
equally beneficial to my health. I wished to avail myself
of my vicinity to the sea and bathe; but it was not
possible near the town; there was no convenience.
The young woman whom I mentioned to you proposed
rowing me across the water amongst the rocks ;
but as she was pregnant, I insisted on taking one of the oars,
and learning to row. It was not difficult, and I do
not know a pleasanter exercise. I soon became expert,
and my train of thinking kept time, as it were,
with the oars, or I suffered the boat to be carried along
by the current, indulging a pleasing forgetfulness or
fallacious hopes. How fallacious! yet, without hope,
what is to sustain life, but the fear of annihilation——

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