Summer Walks. A Fragment [1/2]
Short Fiction, Serial
Reading, Biblical Authority, Piety, Wonder, Natural History, Design, Theology of Nature
The female narrator and a friend (Mrs Neville) are on a summer evening walk by the sea with the narrator's two small children, Emma and Elizabeth; as they walk, they read and converse. They experience what the narrator calls a 'delightful complacency in the works of God spread out before us, and above us, and around us', and in the divine work of salvation. As the adults read, they are interrupted by the children asking such questions as '"mamma, what flower is this? mamma, what shell is that? mamma, what plant is here?"' and answer them with 'mutual interest'. (5) The adults use natural phenomena to exemplify their spiritual views. Seeing a derelict cottage in the forest on the way home, Mrs Neville relates how its former occupant had been a widow who had raised an orphan there. The widow had instructed the girl in the Christian religion, and had directed her attention to the scenes of the forest and to other natural objects, teaching her to see them as productions of divine design.
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