- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
183

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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NORWAY, AND DENMARK. 183
The gates of Hamburg are shut at seven in the
winter and nine in the summer, lest some strangers,
who come to traffic in Hamburg, should prefer living,
and consequently so exactly do they calculate spend
their money out of the walls of the Hamburger’s world.
Immense fortunes have been acquired by the per-cents.
arising from commissions nominally only two and a
half, but mounted to eight or ten at least by the secret
manoeuvres of trade, not to include the advantage of
purchasing goods wholesale in common with contractors,
and that of having so much money left in their hands,
not to play with, I can assure you. Mushroom fortunes
have started up during the war ;
the men, indeed, seem
of the species of the fungus, and the insolent vulgarity
which a sudden influx of wealth usually produces in
common minds is here very conspicuous, which con-
trasts with the distresses of many of the emigrants,
"
fallen, fallen from their high estate," such are the ups
and downs of fortune’s wheel. Many emigrants have
met, with fortitude, such a total change of circum-
stances as scarcely can be paralleled, retiring from a
palace to an obscure lodging with dignity; but the
greater number glide about, the ghosts of greatness,
with the Croix de St. Louis ostentatiously displayed,
determined to hope,
"
though heaven and earth their
wishes crossed." Still good breeding points out the
gentleman, and sentiments of honour and delicacy
appear the offspring of greatness of soul when com-
pared with the grovelling views of the sordid ac-
cumulators of cent, per cent.
Situation seems to be the mould in which men’s

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