- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
178

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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178 LETTERS ON SWEDEN,
worth showing ;
still they looked clean, and tripped
along, as it were, before the wind, witli a weight of
tackle that I could scarcely have lifted. Many of the
country girls I met appeared to me pretty that is, to
have fine complexions, sparkling eyes, and a kind of
arch, hoyden playfulness which distinguishes the
village coquette. The swains, in their Sunday trim,
attended some of these fair ones in a more slouching
pace, though their dress was not so cumbersome. The
women seem to take the lead in polishing the manners
everywhere, this being the only way to better their
condition.
From what I have seen throughout my journey, I do
not think the situation of the poor in England is much,
if at all, superior to that of the same class in different
parts of the world ;
and in Ireland I am sure it is much
inferior. I allude to the former state of England ;
for
at present the accumulation of national wealth only
increases the cares of the poor, and hardens the hearts
of the rich, in spite of the highly extolled rage for
almsgiving.
Tou know that I have always been an enemy to what
is termed charity, because timid bigots, endeavouring
thus to cover their sins, do violence to justice, till,
acting the demigod, they forget that they are men.
And there are others who do not even think of laying
up a treasure in heaven, whose benevolence is merely
tyranny in disguise; they assist the most worthless,
because the most servile, and term them helpless only
in proportion to their fawning.
After leaving Sleswick, we passed through several

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