- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
127

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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Such a contempt have they, in fact, for every species
of fraud, that they will not allow the people on
the western coast to be their countrymen; so much do
they despise the arts for which those traders who live
on the rocks are notorious.

The description I received of them carried me back
to the fables of the golden age: independence and
virtue; affluence without vice; cultivation of mind,
without depravity of heart; with "ever smiling
Liberty;" the nymph of the mountain. I want faith!
My imagination hurries me forward to seek an asylum
in such a retreat from all the disappointments I am
threatened with; but reason drags me back, whispering
that the world is still the world, and man the
same compound of weakness and folly, who must
occasionally excite love and disgust, admiration and
contempt. But this description, though it seems
to have been sketched by a fairy pencil, was given me
by a man of sound understanding, whose fancy seldom
appears to run away with him.

A law in Norway, termed the odels right, has lately
been modified, and probably will be abolished as an
impediment to commerce. The heir of an estate had the
power of re-purchasing it at the original purchase
money, making allowance for such improvements as
were absolutely necessary, during the space of twenty
years. At present ten is the term allowed for afterthought;
and when the regulation was made, all the
men of abilities were invited to give their opinion
whether it were better to abrogate or modify it. It is
certainly a convenient and safe way of mortgaging

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