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[157] out. He was nearly seventy years old,—the author of an extraordinary Treatise on the Economy of Bees, which was much praised in a long article in the Edinburgh Review some years before I saw him. To my fresh surprise, I saw for myself, what I had already known, that the man who had written this remarkable work, presupposing long-continued observations, was entirely blind, and had been so when they were made. In fact, all the curious remarks and inferences involved in his observations were founded on careful researches which he directed others, and particularly a favorite servant, to make; so that I looked upon his book as a wonderful result of acuteness and perseverance. He was very mild in his manners and conversation, sometimes even gay. His family consisted of his wife,—who was said to have married him for love, under some difficulties,—a sister, his son, and his son's wife, with two sweet grandchildren.

M. de Bonstetten's visit, from his position in society, seemed a matter of consequence and pleasure. After some time of very pleasant conversation, a little granddaughter, who seemed to have very familiar ways with him, came running in and climbed upon him, throwing her arms round his neck, and saying, ‘Venez gouter, papa,’ led him out to the garden, where a simple collation had been prepared for us. Everything there was adapted to his infirmity: threads were stretched at a convenient height, along the pretty walks, to guide his steps when he was unaccompanied. He took his part in the collation without awkwardness, as if he saw every one and everything; talking agreeably all the time. When it was over, the little girl led him back to the house, as if accustomed to the service.

In talking, he spoke very low, so that it was not easy for any one but the person he addressed to hear him. It seemed to me curious that his conversation was often on subjects connected with the arts, and presupposed the use of sight; and yet such was his exact recollection or skill on these subjects, that, as M. de Bonstetten told me to observe, there was nothing in what M. Huber said which would remind us of his blindness. When we came away he gave me some engravings of horses which he had made in his youth, and which were singular because the animals were represented in unwonted positions. We stayed until after dark, and then M. de Bonstetten took me to his own house, where I sat with him till a late hour, talking of his early life in Berne and his acquaintance with Gray.

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