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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1901 edition. Excerpt: ... the earliest cells. These, by this time, will be empty, for the first generation will have sprung into life, soon to go forth, from their shadowy corner of birth, disperse over the neighbouring blossoms, people the rays of the sun and quicken the smiling hours; and then sacrifice themselves in their turn to the new generation that already is filling their place in the cradles. 64 And whom does the queen-bee obey? She is ruled by the nourishment given her, for she does not take her own food, but is fed like a child by the very workers whom her fecundity harasses. And the food these workers deal out is nicely proportioned to the abundance of flowers, to the spoil brought back by those who visit the calyces. Here, then, as everywhere else in the world, one part of the circle is folded in darkness; here, as everywhere, it is from without, from an unknown power, that the supreme order issues; and the bees, like ourselves, obey the nameless lord of the wheel that incessantly turns on itself and crushes the wills that have set it in motion. Some little time back I conducted a friend to one of my hives of glass, and showed him the movements of this wheel, that was as readily perceptible as the great wheel of a clock--showed him, in all its bareness, the universal agitation on every comb, the perpetual, frantic, bewildered haste of the nurses around the brood-cells; the living gangways and ladders formed by the makers of wax; the abounding, unceasing activity of the entire population, and their pitiless, useless effort; the ardent, feverish coming and going of all; the general absence of sleep save in the cradles alone around which continuous labour kept watch; the denial of even the repose of death in a home which permits no illness and accords no...
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Maurice Maeterlinck (1862- 1949) was a Belgian playwright, poet and essayist who wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911. The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. His plays form an important part of the Symbolist movement.
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