On Domestic Intercourse
Piety, Botany, Endeavour
The female narrator relates a recent visit to an intelligent and pious family, consisting of parents and several teenage children, and urges the reader to identify from her account an important defect in their domestic intercourse. When they went for a country walk, the narrator, knowing that her 'companions were students and admirers of nature' and believing that they 'looked "through nature up to nature's God" [...] confidently looked for improvement and gratification'. However, while they walked through scenes of natural beauty 'where the botanist might have found subjects for study and useful remark' no reference was made to these subjects (272). The narrator's concluding reflections urge the importance of labouring to gain and impart improvement in daily conversation.
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