Audubon says of his mother: "Let no one speak of her as my step-mother. I was ever to her as a son of her own flesh and blood and she was to me a true mother." With her he lived in the city of Nantes, France, where he appears to have gone to school. It was, however, only from his private tutors that he says he got any benefit. His father desired him to follow in his footsteps, and he was educated accordingly, studying drawing, geography, mathematics, fencing, and music. Mathematics he found hard dull work, as have so many men of like temperament, before and since, but music and fencing and geography were more to his liking. He was an ardent, imaginative youth, and chafed under all drudgery and routine. His foster-mother, in the absence of his father, suffered him to do much as he pleased, and he pleased to "play hookey" most of the time, joining boys of his own age and disposition, and deserting the school for the
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JOHN JAMES AUDUBON