- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
139

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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uninterruptedly fine, and the people busy in the fields cutting
down the corn, or binding up the sheaves, continually
varied the prospect. The rocks, it is true, were
unusually rugged and dreary; yet as the road runs
for a considerable way by the side of a fine river, with
extended pastures on the other side, the image of
sterility was not the predominant object, though the
cottages looked still more miserable, after having seen
the Norwegian farms. The trees likewise appeared of
the growth of yesterday, compared with those Nestors
of the forest I have frequently mentioned. The women
and children were cutting off branches from the beech,
birch, oak, &c., and leaving them to dry. This way of
helping out their fodder injures the trees. But the
winters are so long that the poor cannot afford to lay
in a sufficient stock of hay. By such means they just
keep life in the poor cows, for little milk can be
expected when they are so miserably fed.

It was Saturday, and the evening was uncommonly
serene. In the villages I everywhere saw preparations
for Sunday; and I passed by a little car loaded with
rye, that presented, for the pencil and heart, the
sweetest picture of a harvest home I had ever beheld.
A little girl was mounted a-straddle on a shaggy horse,
brandishing a stick over its head ; the father was
walking at the side of the car with a child in his arms,
who must have come to meet him with tottering steps;
the little creature was stretching out its arms to cling
round his neck; and a boy, just above petticoats, was
labouring hard with a fork behind to keep the sheaves
from falling.

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