- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
137

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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go forward. He even began to howl and weep when
I insisted on his keeping his word. Nothing, indeed,
can equal the stupid obstinacy of some of these
halfalive beings, who seem to have been made by
Prometheus when the fire he stole from Heaven was so
exhausted that he could only spare a spark to give life,
not animation, to the inert clay.

It was some time before we could rouse anybody;
and, as I expected, horses, we were told, could not be
had in less than four or five hours. I again attempted
to bribe the churlish brute who brought us there, but
I discovered that, in spite of the courteous hostess’s
promises, he had received orders not to go any
farther.

As there was no remedy I entered, and was almost
driven back by the stench—a softer phrase would not
have conveyed an idea of the hot vapour that issued
from an apartment in which some eight or ten people
were sleeping, not to reckon the cats and dogs stretched
on the floor. Two or three of the men or women were
lying on the benches, others on old chests; and one
figure started half out of a trunk to look at me, whom
I might have taken for a ghost, had the chemise been
white, to contrast with the sallow visage. But the
costume of apparitions not being preserved I passed,
nothing dreading, excepting the effluvia, warily amongst
the pots, pans, milk-pails, and washing-tubs. After
scaling a ruinous staircase I was shown a bed-chamber.
The bed did not invite me to enter ; opening, therefore,
the window, and taking some clean towels out of my
night-sack, I spread them over the coverlid, on which

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