Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/18

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xiv
INTRODUCTORY ADDRESS.

not exceeding three years had elapsed, I had my portfolio filled again.

America being my country, and the principal pleasures of my life having been obtained there, I prepared to leave it with deep sorrow, after in vain trying to publish my Illustrations in the United States. In Philadelphia, Wilson's principal engraver, amongst others, gave it as his opinion to my friends, that my drawings could never be engraved. In New York, other difficulties presented themselves, which determined me to carry my collections to Europe.

As I approached the coast of England, and for the first time beheld her fertile shores, the despondency of my spirits became very great. I knew not an individual in the country; and, although I was the bearer of letters from American friends, and statesmen of great eminence, my situation appeared precarious in the extreme. I imagined that every individual whom I was about to meet, might be possessed of talents superior to those of any on our side of the Atlantic! Indeed, as I for the first time walked on the streets of Liverpool, my heart nearly failed me, for not a glance of sympathy did I meet in my wanderings, for two days. To the woods I could not betake myself, for there were none near.

But how soon did all around me assume a different aspect! How fresh is the recollection of the change! The very first letter which I tendered procured me a world of friends. The Rathbones, the Roscoes, the Traills, the Chorleys, the Mellies, and others, took me by the hand; and so kind and beneficent, nay, so generously kind, have they all been towards me, that I can never cancel the obligation. My drawings were publicly exhibited, and publicly praised. Joy swelled