- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
91

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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would nc
NORWAY, AND DENMARK. 91
would never have been rendered habitable, because it
is the patient labour of men, who are only seeking for
a subsistence, which produces whatever embellishes
existence, affording leisure for the cultivation of the
arts and sciences that lift man so far above his first
state. I never, my friend, thought so deeply of the
advantages obtained by human industry as since I have
been in Norway. The world requires, I see, the hand
of man to perfect it, and as this task naturally unfolds
the faculties he exercises, it is physically impossible
that he should have remained in Rousseau’s golden age
of stupidity. And, considering the question of human
happiness, where, oh ! where does it reside ? Has it
taken up its abode with unconscious ignorance or with
the high-wrought mind ? Is it the offspring of thought-
less animal spirits or the elve of fancy continually flit-
ting round the expected pleasure ?
The increasing population of the earth must neces-
sarily tend to its improvement, as the means of exist-
ence are multiplied by invention.
You have probably made similar reflections in
America, where the face of the country, I suppose, re-
sembles the wilds of Norway.

I am delighted with
the romantic views I daily contemplate, animated by
the purest air ;
and I am interested by the simplicity
of manners which reigns around me. Still nothing so
soon wearies out the feelings as unmarked simplicity.
I am therefore half convinced that I could not live
very comfortably exiled from the countries where man-
kind are so much further advanced in knowledge, im-
perfect as it is, and unsatisfactory to the thinking

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