- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
124

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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LETTER XIV.



Christiania is a clean, neat city; but it has none of
the graces of architecture, which ought to keep pace
with the refining manners of a people—or the outside
of the house will disgrace the inside, giving the
beholder an idea of overgrown wealth devoid of taste.
Large square wooden houses offend the eye, displaying
more than Gothic barbarism. Huge Gothic piles,
indeed, exhibit a characteristic sublimity, and a wildness
of fancy peculiar to the period when they were erected;
but size, without grandeur or elegance, has an
emphatical stamp of meanness, of poverty of conception, which
only a commercial spirit could give.

The same thought has struck me, when I have
entered the meeting-house of my respected friend, Dr.
Price. I am surprised that the dissenters, who have
not laid aside all the pomps and vanities of life, should
imagine a noble pillar, or arch, unhallowed. Whilst
men have senses, whatever soothes them lends wings
to devotion; else why do the beauties of nature, where
all that charm them are spread around with a lavish
hand, force even the sorrowing heart to acknowledge
that existence is a blessing? and this acknowledgment
is the most sublime homage we can pay to the Deity.

The argument of convenience is absurd. Who
would labour for wealth, if it were to procure nothing
but conveniences? If we wish to render mankind
moral from principle, we must, I am persuaded, give a
greater scope to the enjoyments of the senses by

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