Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/70

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40
AUDUBON

knowledge of putting up my models, in true and good positions according to the ways and habits of my beautiful feathered subjects. During these happy years I managed to make drawings of about two hundred species of birds, all of which I brought to America and gave to my Lucy.[1]

"At last my father associated me with Ferdinand Rozier, as you already know, and we were fairly smuggled out of France; for he was actually an officer attached to the navy of that country, and though I had a passport stating I was born at New Orleans, my French name would have swept that aside very speedily. Rozier's passport was a Dutch one, though he did not understand a single word in that language. Indeed, our passengers were a medley crowd; two days out two monks appeared among us from the hold, where our captain had concealed them."

This same "medley crowd" appears to have comprised many refugees from the rule of Napoleon, this being about 1806, and the amusements were varied, including both gaming and dancing. To quote again: "Among the passengers was a handsome Virginian girl, young and graceful. She was constantly honored by the attentions of two Frenchmen who belonged to the nobility; both were fine young fellows, travelling, as was not uncommon then, under assumed names. One lovely day the bonnet of the fair lady was struck by a rope and knocked overboard. One of the French chevaliers at once leaped

  1. In 1836, Audubon wrote to Dr. John Bachman: "Some of my early drawings of European birds are still in our possession, but many have been given away, and the greatest number were destroyed, not by the rats that gnawed my collection of the "Birds of America," but by the great fire in New York, as these drawings were considered my wife's special property and seldom out of her sight. Would that the others had been under her especial care also! Yet, after all, who can say that it was not a material advantage, both to myself and to the world, that the Norway rats destroyed those drawings?"