- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
112

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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and all the light and graceful tenants of our woods here
sported luxuriantly. I had not observed many oaks
before, for the greater part of the oak-planks, I am
informed, come from the westward.

In France the farmers generally live in villages,
which is a great disadvantage to the country; but the
Norwegian farmers, always owning their farms or
being tenants for life, reside in the midst of them,
allowing some labourers a dwelling rent free, who have
a little land appertaining to the cottage, not only for a
garden, but for crops of different kinds, such as rye,
oats, buck-wheat, hemp, flax, beans, potatoes, and hay,
which are sown in strips about it, reminding a stranger
of the first attempts at culture, when every family was
obliged to be an independent community.

These cottagers work at a certain price (tenpence
per day) for the farmers on whose ground they live,
and they have spare time enough to cultivate their own
land and lay in a store of fish for the winter. The
wives and daughters spin and the husbands and sons
weave, so that they may fairly be reckoned independent,
having also a little money in hand to buy coffee, brandy,
and some other superfluities.

The only thing I disliked was the military service,
which trammels them more than I at first imagined.
It, is true that the militia is only called out once a year,
yet in case of war they have no alternative but must
abandon their families. Even the manufacturers are
not exempted, though the miners are, in order to
encourage undertakings which require a capital at the
commencement. And, what appears more tyrannical,

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