- 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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ing her vast .arms around, had not looked beautiful in
opposition to such narrow rules.
In these respects my very reason obliges me to per-
mit my feelings to be my criterion. Whatever excites
emotion has charms for me, though I insist that the
cultivation of the mind by warming, nay, almost creat-
ing the imagination, produces taste and an immense
variety of sensations and emotions, partaking of the
exquisite pleasure inspired by beauty and sublimity.
As I know of no end to them, the word infinite, so
often misapplied, might on this occasion be introduced
with something like propriety.
But I have rambled away again. I intended to have
remarked to you the effect produced by a grove of
towering beech, the airy lightness of their foliage ad-
mitting a degree of sunshine, which, giving a trans-
parency to the leaves, exhibited an appearance of
freshness and elegance that I had never before re-
marked. I thought of descriptions of Italian scenery.
But these evanescent graces seemed the effect of en-
chantment ;
and I imperceptibly breathed softly, lest I
should destroy what was real, yet looked so like the
creation of fancy. Dryden’s fable of the flower and
the leaf was not a more poetical reverie.
Adieu, however, to fancy, and to all the sentiments
which ennoble our nature. I arrived at Laurvig, and
found myself in the midst of a group of lawyers of
different descriptions. My head turned round, my
heart grew sick, as I regarded visages deformed by
vice, and listened to accounts of chicanery that was
continually embroiling the ignorant. These locusts

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