- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
177

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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NORWAY, AND DENMARK. J7.
I crossed the drawbridge, and entered to see tins
shell of a court in miniature, mounting ponderous
stairs it would be a solecism to say a flight up
which a regiment of men might have marched, shoulder-
ing their firelocks to exercise in vast galleries, where
all the generations of the Princes of Hesse-Cassel
might have been mustered rank and file, though not
the phantoms of all the wretched they had bartered to
support their state, unless these airy substances could
shrink and expand, like Milton’s devils, to suit the
occasion.
The sight of (he presence-chamber, and of the canopy
to shade the fauteuil which aped a throne, made me
smile. All the world is a stage, thought I ;
and few
are there in it who do not play the part they have
learnt by rote ;
and those who do not, seem marks set
up to be pelted at by fortune, or rather as sign-posts
which point out the road to others, whilst forced to
stand still themselves amidst the mud and dust.
Waiting for our horses, we were amused by observ-
ing the dress of the women, which was very grotesque
and unwieldy. The false notion of beauty which pre-
vails here as well as in Denmark, I should think very
inconvenient in summer, as it consists in giving a
rotundity to a certain part of the body, not the most
slim, when Nature has done her part. This Dutch
prejudice often leads them to toil under the weight of
some ten or a dozen petticoats, which, with an enor-
mous basket, literally speaking, as a bonnet, or a straw
hat of dimensions equally gigantic, almost completely
conceal the human form as well as face divine, offcii

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