- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
151

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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NORWAY, AND DENMARK. 151
or encouraged her attachment, had not her lover,
aiming at being useful, attempted to overturn some
established abuses before the people, ripe for the
change, had sufficient spirit to support him when
struggling in their behalf. Such indeed was the
asperity sharpened against her that I have heard her,
even after so many years have elapsed, charged with
licentiousness, not only for endeavouring to render the
public amusements more elegant, but for her very
charities, because she erected, amongst other institu-
tions, a hospital to receive foundlings. Disgusted
with many customs which pass for virtues, though they
are nothing more than observances of forms, often at
the expense of truth, she probably ran into an error
common to innovators, in wishing to do immediately
what can only be done by time.
Many very cogent reasons have been urged by her
friends to prove that her affection for Strueusee was
never carried to the length alleged against her by those
who feared her influence. Be that as it may she
certainly was not a woman of gallantry, and if she had
an attachment for him it did not disgrace her heart
or understanding, the king being a notorious debauchee
and an idiot into the bargain, As the king’s conduct
had always been directed by some favourite, they also
endeavoured to govern him, from a principle of self-
preservation as well as a laudable ambition ; but, not
aware of the prejudices they had to encounter, the
system they adopted displayed more benevolence of
heart than soundness of judgment. As to the charge,
still believed, of their giving the King drugs to injure

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