- Project Runeberg -  Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark /
184

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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184 LETTERS ON SWEDEN,
characters are formed : so much so, inferring from what
I have lately seen, that I mean not to be severe when I
add- previously asking why priests are in general cun-
ning and statesmen false ? that men entirely devoted
to commerce never acquire or lose all taste and great-
ness of mind. An ostentatious display of wealth
without elegance, and a greedy enjoyment of pleasure
without sentiment, embrutes them till
they term all
virtue of an heroic cast, romantic attempts at some-
thing above our nature, and anxiety about the welfare
of others, a search after misery in which we have no
concern. But you will say that I am growing bitter,
perhaps personal. Ah! shall I whisper to you, that
you yourself are strangely altered since you have
entered deeply into commerce more than you are
aware of ;
never allowing yourself to reflect, and keep-
ing your mind, or rather passions, in a continual state
of agitation ? Nature has given you talents which lie
dormant, or are wasted in ignoble pursuits. You will
rouse yourself and shake off the vile dust that obscures
you, or my understanding, as well as my heart, deceives
me egregiously only tell me when. But to go farther
afield.
Madame la Fayette left Altona the day I arrived, to
endeavour, at Vienna, to obtain the enlargement of her
husband, or permission to share his prison. She lived
in a lodging up two pairs of stairs, without a servant,
her two daughters cheerfully assisting ; choosing, as
well as herself, to descend to anything before unne-
cessary obligations. During her prosperity, and con-
sequent idleness, she did not, I am told, enjoy a good

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