- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
143

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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NORWAY, AND DENMARK. 143
on insincerity, is oi’tener the effect of a broken spirit,
rather softened than degraded by wretchedness.
In Norway there are no notes in circulation of less
value than a Swedisli rix-dollar. A small silver coin,
commonly not worth more than a penny, and never
more than twopence, serves for change ;
but in Sweden
they have notes as low as, sixpence. I never saw any
silver pieces there, and could not without difficulty,
and giving a premium, obtain the value of a rix-dollar
in a large copper coin to give away on the road to the
poor who open the gates.
As another proof of the poverty of Sweden, I ought
to mention that foreign merchants who have acquired
a fortune there are obliged to deposit the sixth part
when they leave the kingdom. This law, you may
suppose, is frequently evaded.
In fact, the laws here, as well as in Norway, are so
relaxed that they rather favour than restrain knavery.
Whilst I was at Gothenburg, a man who had been
confined for breaking open his master’s desk and run-
ning away with five or six thousand rix-dollars, was
only sentenced to forty days’ confinement on bread and
water ;
and this slight punishment his relations rendered
nugatory by supplying him with more savoury food.
The Swedes are in general attached to their families,
yet a divorce may be obtained by either party on prov-
ing the infidelity of the other or acknowledging it
themselves. The women do not often recur to this
equal privilege, for they either retaliate on their hus-
bands by following their own devices or sink into the
merest domestic drudges, worn down by tyranny to

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