Natural Objects for March
Natural History, Anthropomorphism, Natural Economy, Class, Theology of Nature, Design, Piety, Gender, Error
Referring to the appearance in the natural world of 'myriads of happy beings' at the end of February, the writer cites the account of the 'joy' and 'exultation' of insects given in William Paley's Natural Theology (91). References to the place of insects in the scale of nature imply a message of social resignation: 'Every winged insect is perhaps equally intent upon its proper employment, and under every variety of constitution is equally gratified with the occupation which its kind Creator has assigned it. [...] The Deity appoints them a subordinate office, but he has mercifully blended with it so much enjoyment, that one species never intrudes upon the province of another'. The mole is one of 'the commoners of nature', and 'though his eyes are small, and his vision imperfect, maternal nature has bestowed on him by way of recompense a placid contentedness of temper'. (92) The writer denounces the view that hedgehogs live 'by milking the cows and goats' (93).
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