- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
150

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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150 LETTERS ON SWEDEN,
ignorance may enable them to save something in their
kitchens, but it is far from rendering them better
parents. On the contrary, the children are spoiled, as
they usually are when left to the care of weak, indul-
gent mothers, who having no principle of action to
regulate their feelings, become the slaves of infants,
enfeebling both body and mind by false tenderness.
I am, perhaps, a little prejudiced, as I write from
the impression of the moment ;
for 1 have been
tormented to-day by the presence of unruly children,
and made angry by some invectives thrown out against
the maternal character of the unfortunate Matilda.
She was censured, with the most cruel insinuation,
for her management of her son, though, from what
I could gather, she gave proofs of good sense as well
as tenderness in her attention to him. She used to
bathe him herself every morning ;
insisted on his being
loosely clad ;
and would not permit his attendants to
injure his digestion by humouring his appetite. She
was equally careful to prevent his acquiring haughty
airs, and playing the tyrant in leading-strings. The
Queen Dowager would not permit her to suckle him ;
but the next child being a daughter, and not the Heir.
Apparent of the Crown, less opposition was made to her
discharging the duty of a mother.
Poor Matilda ! thou hast haunted me ever since my
arrival ;
and the view I have had of the manners of the
country, exciting my sympathy, has increased my
respect for thy memory.
I am now fully convinced that she was the victim of
the party she displaced, who would have overlooked

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