- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
84

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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food dressed in a simpler manner——the example, for
instance, of a count’s lady.

Reflecting on these prejudices made me revert to the
wisdom of those legislators who established institutions
for the good of the body under the pretext of serving
heaven for the salvation of the soul. These might
with strict propriety be termed pious frauds; and I
admire the Peruvian pair for asserting that they came
from the sun, when their conduct proved that they
meant to enlighten a benighted country, whose
obedience, or even attention, could only be secured by awe.

Thus much for conquering the inertia of reason;
but, when it is once in motion, fables once held sacred
may be ridiculed; and sacred they were when useful to
mankind. Prometheus alone stole fire to animate the
first man; his posterity needs not supernatural aid to
preserve the species, though love is generally termed a
flame; and it may not be necessary much longer to
suppose men inspired by heaven to inculcate the duties
which demand special grace when reason convinces
them that they are the happiest who are the most nobly
employed.

In a few days I am to set out for the western part of
Norway, and then shall return by land to Gothenburg.
I cannot think of leaving this place without regret. I
speak of the place before the inhabitants, though there
is a tenderness in their artless kindness which attaches
me to them; but it is an attachment that inspires a
regret very different from that I felt at leaving Hull in
my way to Sweden. The domestic happiness and good-
humoured gaiety of the amiable family where I and

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