Page:John James Audubon (Burroughs).djvu/61

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JOHN JAMES AUDUBON

and again, you must know as much of the habits of American birds as this gentleman.' Whether Mr. Wilson understood French or not, or if the suddenness with which I paused disappointed him, I cannot tell; but I clearly perceived he was not pleased. Vanity, and the encomiums of my friend, prevented me from subscribing. Mr. Wilson asked me if I had many drawings of birds, I rose, took down a large portfolio, laid it on the table, and showed him as I would show you, kind reader, or any other person fond of such subjects, the whole of the contents, with the same patience, with which he had showed me his own engravings. His surprise appeared great, as he told me he had never had the most distant idea that any other individual than himself had been engaged in forming such a collection. He asked me if it was my intention to publish, and when I answered in the negative, his surprise seemed to increase. And, truly, such