The Dreams of a Day-Fly
Short Fiction; Poetry
Piety, Providence, Entomology, Botany, Reason, Infidelity
As the narrator walked out one summer evening with a friend, their attention was arrested by very many 'natural objects' which excited their admiration and gratitude (302). There was 'nothing of "the vast"' around them, but even in the most minute they traced '"the unambiguous footsteps of a God"' as they 'witnessed the multiplied evidences of a kind and protecting Providence in the economy of the least of those living atoms that peopled the sunbeams' (302–03). They observed an egg containing 'a worm', and a similar, though larger, worm 'suddenly transformed to an elegant little moth', and both declared that they 'never knew before that such was the history of the Ephemeræ' (302). They drew an analogy between the transformation and human resurrection. They imagined the conversation of the moths, and considered that they, too, deify knowledge and from limited experience draw conclusions on matters 'vastly too high for them' (303). They considered that it was humans alone, however, who seek to impugn God himself on the basis of limited knowledge. Their further reflections on the moths concerned the ephemeral nature of human life.
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