Page:John James Audubon (Burroughs).djvu/23

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xi
PREFACE

They loved Nature at first hand, and not merely as she appears in books and pictures. They both kept extensive journals of their wanderings and observations. Several of Audubon's (recording his European experiences) seem to have been lost or destroyed, but what remain make up the greater part of two large volumes recently edited by his grand-daughter, Maria E. Audubon.

I wish here to express my gratitude both to Miss Audubon, and to Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons, for permitting me to draw freely from the "Life and Journals" just mentioned. The temptation is strong to let Audubon's graphic and glowing descriptions of American scenery, and of his tireless wanderings, speak for themselves.

It is from these volumes, and from the life by his widow, published in 1868, that I have gathered the material for this brief biography.

Audubon's life naturally divides itself into three periods: his youth, which was on the whole a gay and happy one, and which