- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
78

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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the only thing of which I have ever felt a dread. I
cannot bear to think of being no more——of losing
myself——though existence is often but a painful
consciousness of misery; nay, it appears to me impossible
that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless
spirit, equally alive to joy and sorrow, should only be
organised dust——ready to fly abroad the moment the
spring snaps, or the spark goes out which kept it
together. Surely something resides in this heart that
is not perishable, and life is more than a dream.

Sometimes, to take up my oar once more, when the
sea was calm, I was amused by disturbing the
innumerable young star fish which floated just below the
surface; I had never observed them before, for they
have not a hard shell like those which I have seen on
the seashore. They look like thickened water with a
white edge, and four purple circles, of different forms,
were in the middle, over an incredible number of
fibres or white lines. Touching them, the cloudy
substance would turn or close, first on one side, then on
the other, very gracefully, but when I took one of them
up in the ladle, with which I heaved the water out of
the boat, it appeared only a colourless jelly.

I did not see any of the seals, numbers of which
followed our boat when we landed in Sweden; but
though I like to sport in the water I should have had
no desire to join in their gambols.

Enough, you will say, of inanimate nature and of
brutes, to use the lordly phrase of man; let me hear
something of the inhabitants.

The gentleman with whom I had business is the

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