Page:Jardine Naturalist's library Bees.djvu/26

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although she would have readily submitted to their will, if the man of her choice could have done without her; yet as he now required the constant attendance of a person who loved him, nothing should prevent her from becoming his wife. Accordingly, as soon as she had attained the age which she imagined gave her a right to decide for herself, she, after refusing many brilliant offers, united her fate with that of Huber. The union was a happy one. Their mutual good conduct soon brought about the pardon of their disobedience. In the affection and society of his amiable and generous minded wife, the blind man felt no want; she was "eyes to the blind,"—"his reader,—his secretary and observer,"—a sharer in his enthusiasm on the subject of natural science, and an able assistant in his experiments. She was spared to him forty years. "As long as she lived," said he in his old age, "I was not sensible of the misfortune of being blind." The last years of his life were soothed by the affectionate attentions of his married daughter, Madame de Molin,[1] whose residence was at Lausanne, and to which place he had removed.

It was about this period that he learned the existence in Mexico of Bees without stings; and he was, by the kind exertions of a friend, soon after gratified with the present of a hive of that species.

  1. We have to express our acknowledgments to this lady for her ready kindness in permitting a friend in Geneva to have a copy taken of the very interesting miniature likeness of her venerable father in her possession, and which forms the Frontispiece to this volume.