- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
94

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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94 LETTERS ON SWEDEN,
will probably diminish as the people become more eri-
lighteiied. In this period of social life the commonalty
are always cunningly attentive to their own interest ;
but their faculties, confined to a few objects, are so
narrowed, that they cannot discover it in the general
good. The profession of the law renders a set of men
still shrewder and more selfish than the rest ;
and it is
these men, whose wits have been sharpened by knavery,
who here undermine morality, confounding right and
wrong.
The Count of Bernstorff, who really appears to me,
from all I can gather, to have the good of the people
at heart, aware of this, has lately sent to the mayor of-
each district to name, according to the size of the
place, four or six of the best-informed inhabitants, not
men of the law, out of which the citizens were to elect
two, who are to be termed mediators. Their office is
to endeavour to prevent litigious suits, and conciliate
differences. And no suit is to be commenced before
the parties have discussed the dispute at their weekly
meeting. If a reconciliation should, in consequence,
take place, it is to be registered, and the parties are not
allowed to retract.
By these means ignorant people will be prevented
from applying for advice to men who may justly be
termed stirrers-up of strife. They have for a long
time, to use a significant vulgarism, set the people by
the ears, and live by the spoil they caught up in the
scramble. There is some reason to hope that this
regulation will diminish their number, and restrain
their mischievous activity. But till trials by jury are

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