[John Muir]


[Jeanne C. Carr]


image preview


[2]are right in this, because my correspondence has gone on increasing year by year & has become far too [bulky?] [deleted: illegible] & miscellaneous in its character, & consumes too much of my time Therefore I mean to take you advice & allow broad acres of silence to spread between my letters, however much of self denial may be demanded Bookmaking frightens me because it demands so much artificial- -ness & retrograding. Somehow, up here in these fountain skies I feel like a flake of glass through wh light passes, but wh, conscious of the inexhaustableness of its sun fountain, cares not whether its passing light coins itself into other forms or goes unchanged - neither charcoated or diamonded, Moreover I find that though I have a few thoughts entangled in the fibers of my mind I possess no words into wh I can shake them. You tell me that I must be patient [3]& reach out & grope in lexicon graneries for the words I want, but if some [illegible] angel were to touch my lips with literary fire bestowing every word of Webster I would scarce thank him for the gift, because most of the words of the English language are made of mud, for muddy purposes, while those invented for containing spiritual matter are doubtful & unfixed in Capacity & form. as wind-ridden mist rays These mountain fires that glow in ones blood are free to all, but I cannot find the chemistry that may press them unimpaired into booksellers bricks True, with that August instrument Eng' language in the manufacture of wh so many brains have been broken, I can proclaim to you that moonshine is glorious & nice, & sunshine more glorious & nicer, that winds rage, & waters roar, & that in "terrible times" glaciers guttered the mountains with their hard cold snouts


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1872 Dec 25


Original letter dimensions: 21 x 26 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 1033

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 2


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle