Life of Robert Dick.

Life of Robert Dick.


John Muir


Kimes Entry Number


Original Date


William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

Muir lists this book review with the above date in his List of Published Writings . ... We found the date to be incorrect, but in further research were unable to locate it. Muir states that Robert Dick is ""one of the very finest and rarest of those rare men who loved nature wholly, and gave their lives to her service without reserve; working on by night and day, in season and out of season, under the most restricting and depressing circumstances, from the ways of money-seekers and fame-seekers equally remote."" Muir goes on to say that ""Back among the hills, and in almost every town and hamlet, there are shepherds, tradesmen or laborers, who, while working hard for a bare livelihood, yet zealously pursue some branch of natural history ... hungering and thirsting after knowledge for its own sake."" Dick's neighbors ""thought him daft, or at least uncanny, as they saw him searching the moors and mosses and dizzy headlands along the seashore for fossils, plants and insects."" Although Dick was a retiring person, he was discovered by Sir Roderick Murchison. Dick also became a friend of Hugh Miller. Muir quotes letters the naturalist wrote to his sister and to Hugh Miller to illustrate his sensitive appreciation of nature, the hardships he endured to collect specimens and to extend his knowledge. After quoting two of Dick's poems, Muir concludes, saying: ""How fine a thing it would be, could ever so little of the spirit that animated Robert Dick be infused into the young men of California. Scarce a tramp in the country, or hoodlum, or bedandied idler on our streets, could be found whose opportunities are not greater a thousandfold than his were.""


[San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Apr. 20, 1878?] Scrapbook II, p. 99



Life of Robert Dick.