Horticulture, Reading, Piety, Gender
One June morning, Mrs Harcourt and her daughter Maria are busy arranging plants and flowers in the garden. They are interrupted by a visit from Miss Henley, who explains the long period since her last visit by observing: 'I have been reading some of the excellent Bridgewater Treatises which are now exciting so much interest; and as Mamma says I must not neglect any domestic duty, even for the improvement of my mind, my time has been fully occupied'. She is admires their flowers, and Mrs. Harcourt remarks: 'All nature seems to rejoice in her Maker's works; may we be excited to elevate our hearts, from "Nature, up to Nature's God!"'. (229) Miss Henley makes several quotations on the subject of the divine care taken in the production of even the smallest flowers. After her departure, Maria is found to be envious of Miss Henley, complaining that 'there is too much of display about her', and is corrected by her mother (230).
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