Botany, Aesthetics, Functionalism, Theology of Nature, Feeling, Reasoning, Amusement, Horticulture, Fieldwork, Biblical Authority, Piety
Francis Bacon (1st Viscount St Alban)
The narrator, 'A Country Correspondent', reflects on the beauty of flowers: '"Flowers are of so little use," says an excellent writer, "that it might be thought profuseness in an economy short of the divine to gratify us at once with such hues, such forms, and such fragrance. It is a gratification not necessary but exquisite, which lies somewhere between the pleasures of sense and intellect, and in a measure partakes of both"'. The intellectual part of the enjoyment is 'similar to what arises from the study of any science'; the study of botany demands 'as severe an exertion of mind' as the study of any branch of natural history. Observes that those entrusted with the care of the young commonly complain that, while they can control children at their studies, they cannot find them 'amusement during their hours of relaxation'. Argues that amusement is not necessary for the young at all: 'Let occupation be the word'. Suggests that, of all occupations, 'that of a green-house or a garden is the most rational and delightful', closely followed, 'in point alike of pleasure, health, exercise, and occupation', by 'botanizing in the country'. (75) Relates some early experiences of botanizing. Speculates on the horticultural occupation of Adam and Eve in Eden. Explores various botanical analogies relevant to spiritual concerns.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]