- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
117

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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greater extent of which was under cultivation than I
had usually seen here, it nevertheless retained all the
wild charms of Norway. Rocks still enclosed the
valleys, the great sides of which enlivened their
verdure. Lakes appeared like branches of the sea, and
branches of the sea assumed the appearance of tranquil
lakes; whilst streamlets prattled amongst the pebbles
and the broken mass of stone which had rolled into
them, giving fantastic turns to the trees, the roots of
which they bared.

It is not, in fact, surprising that the pine should be
often undermined; it shoots its fibres in such a
horizontal direction, merely on the surface of the earth,
requiring only enough to cover those that cling to the
crags. Nothing proves to me so clearly that it is the
air which principally nourishes trees and plants as
the flourishing appearance of these pines. The firs,
demanding a deeper soil, are seldom seen in equal
health, or so numerous on the barren cliffs. They
take shelter in the crevices, or where, after some
revolving ages, the pines have prepared them a footing.

Approaching, or rather descending, to Christiania,
though the weather continued a little cloudy, my eyes
were charmed with the view of an extensive undulated
valley, stretching out under the shelter of a noble
amphitheatre of pine-covered mountains. Farm houses
scattered about animated, nay, graced a scene which still
retained so much of its native wildness, that the art
which appeared seemed so necessary, it was scarcely
perceived. Cattle were grazing in the shaven meadows;
and the lively green on their swelling sides contrasted

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