Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/24

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It cannot reasonably excite our wonder, therefore, that on the first appearance of Huber's observations, the literary, or rather the scientific world, was somewhat startled, not only at the novelty of his discoveries, but also at the instrumentality by which they had been effected. Huber, however, had taken great pains in cultivating the naturally acute mind of the young man, in directing his researches, and accustoming him to rigorous accuracy in his observations. And the fact that a glimmering of many of the discoveries reported by the assistant to his master had presented themselves to the minds of Linnæus, Reaumur, and other preceding observers, should so far satisfy us that they were not brought forward merely to support a preconceived theory, (of which, it is probable, Burnens had no idea,) nor owed their origin to a vivid and exuberant imagination. At a future period Huber was deprived of the aid of this valuable coadjutor; but the loss was more than compensated, and accuracy in experiment and observation, if possible, still more unquestionably secured, by the assistance and co-operation of his son, P. Huber, who has given so much delight to the lovers of natural history by his "Researches concerning the habits of Ants."

But, whatever hesitation may arise in our minds from the fact of Huber's discoveries not being the result of his personal observation, no doubt can reasonably remain as to such of them as have been repeatedly confirmed and verified by subsequent observers. And this has actually taken place, and holds