Page:John James Audubon (Burroughs).djvu/170

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JOHN JAMES AUDUBON

phies seems to have been only secondary with him.

He had the lively mercurial temperament of the Latin races from which he sprang. He speaks of himself as "warm, irascible, and at times violent."

His perceptive powers, of course, led his reflective. His sharpness and quickness of eye surprised even the Indians. He says: "My observatory nerves never gave way."

His similes and metaphors were largely drawn from the animal world. Thus he says, "I am as dull as a beetle," during his enforced stay in London. While he was showing his drawings to Mr. Rathbone, he says: "I was panting like the wingèd pheasant." At a dinner in some noble house in England he said that the men servants "moved as quietly as killdeers." On another occasion, when the hostess failed to put him at his ease: "There I stood, motionless as a Heron."