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

(1889) [MARC] Author: Mary Wollstonecraft With: Henry Morley
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The hospitality of Hamburg is confined to Sunday invitations to the country houses I have mentioned, when dish after dish smokes upon the board, and the conversation ever flowing in the muddy channel of business, it is not easy to obtain any appropriate information. Had I intended to remain here some time, or had my mind been more alive to general inquiries, I should have endeavoured to have been introduced to some characters not so entirely immersed in commercial affairs, though in this whirlpool of gain it is not very easy to find any but the wretched or supercilious emigrants, who are not engaged in pursuits which, in my eyes, appear as dishonourable as gambling. The interests of nations are bartered by speculating merchants. My God! with what sang froid artful trains of corruption bring lucrative commissions into particular hands, disregarding the relative situation of different countries, and can much common honesty be expected in the discharge of trusts obtained by fraud? But this entre nous.

During my present journey, and whilst residing in France, I have had an opportunity of peeping behind the scenes of what are vulgarly termed great affairs, only to discover the mean machinery which has directed many transactions of moment. The sword has been merciful, compared with the depredations made on human life by contractors and by the swarm of locusts who have battened on the pestilence they spread abroad. These men, like tho owners of negro ships, never smell on their money the blood by which it has been gained, but sleep quietly in their beds, terming such occupations

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