Page:John James Audubon (Burroughs).djvu/172

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JOHN JAMES AUDUBON

While Audubon was waiting for better luck, or for worse, he was always listening to the birds and studying them—storing up the knowledge that he turned to such good account later: but we can almost hear his neighbours and acquaintances calling him an "idle, worthless fellow." Not so his wife; she had even more faith in him than he had in himself.

His was a lovable nature—he won affection and devotion easily, and he loved to be loved; he appreciated the least kindness shown him.

He was always at ease and welcome in the squatter's cabin or in elegantly appointed homes, like that of his friends, the Rathbones, though he does complain of an awkwardness and shyness sometimes when in high places. This, however, seemed to result from the pomp and ceremony found there, and not because of the people themselves.

"Chivalrous, generous, and courteous