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

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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originally in their language ; but for any certain
information respecting the state of Danish literature I must
wait till I arrive at Copenhagen.

The sound of the language is soft, a great proportion
of the words ending in vowels; and there is a
simplicity in the turn of some of the phrases which have
been translated to me that pleased and interested me.
In the country the farmers use the thou and thee; and
they do not acquire the polite plurals of the towns by
meeting at market. The not having markets
established in the large towns appears to me a great
inconvenience. When the farmers have anything to
sell they bring it to the neighbouring town and take it
from house to house. I am surprised that the
inhabitants do not feel how very incommodious this usage is
to both parties, and redress it; they, indeed, perceive
it, for when I have introduced the subject they
acknowledged that they were often in want of necessaries,
there being no butchers, and they were often obliged to
buy what they did not want; yet it was the custom,
and the changing of customs of a long standing
requires more energy than they yet possess. I received
a similar reply when I attempted to persuade the
women that they injured their children by keeping
them too warm. The only way of parrying off my
reasoning was that they must do as other people did;
in short, reason on any subject of change, and they
stop you by saying that "the town would talk." A
person of sense, with a large fortune to ensure respect,
might be very useful here, by inducing them to treat
their children and manage their sick properly, and eat

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