Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/27

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25
MEMOIR OF HUBER.

To him, whose life had been almost exclusively devoted to the study and admiration of these insects, we may conceive how great a source of enjoyment this gift must have proved. His feeling towards his bees was not a feeling of fondness in an ordinary degree; it was a passion as it almost invariably becomes with every one who makes them his study. "Beaucoup de gens aiment les abeilles," says the enthusiastic Gelieu, "je n'ai vu personne qui les aima médiocrement; on se passionne pour elles."

The days of Huber were now drawing to a close. In the full possession of his mental faculties, he was able to converse with his friends with his accustomed ease and tranquillity, and even to correspond by letter with those at a distance, within two days of his death. He died in the arms of his daughter on the 22d of December 1831, in the 81st year of his age.