Law of Authority

George Housman Thomas, 1824-1868

Engraved by H. Harral


Gatty, facing p.7

The girl in this "parable from nature" closley observes a bee on the window-pane. Meanwhile, the bee itself overhears her brother explaining how a hive is organised. After the girl kindly releases it from the house, it stirs up the other drones to improve their lot. Chaos ensues, and a wise older bee points out that for an orderly and productive life, there must be a leader, and others must fulfil their lowlier roles. Gatty's views on human society (each in his/her place) are clear. The cat adds a cosy domestic touch.

Scanned image, caption and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee.

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