1839 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Wilson

John James Audibon, 1839?; Moulton, Library of Literary Criticism (1901-05) 4:581-82.



One fair morning I was surprised by the sudden entrance into our counting-room, at Louisville, of Mr. Alexander Wilson, the celebrated author of American Ornithology, of whose existence I had never until that moment been appraised. This happened in March 1810. How well do I remember him, as then he walked up to me! His long, rather hooked nose, the keenness of his eye, and his prominent cheek-bones, stamped his countenance with a peculiar character. His dress, too, was of kind not usually seen in that part of the country; a short coat, trowsers, and a waistcoat of gray cloth. His stature was not above middle size. He had two volumes under his arm; and, as he approached the table at which I was working, I discovered something like astonishment in his countenance.