Anne W. Cheney
Home,Thursday, May 14th,'74.My dear Mr. Muir:I have been to New York, and have also been very ill since I received your last nice long letter. In the winter, I had a very bad fall, which made me lame for two weeks, and then I thought I had gotten over it, but while I was in New York I discovered I had injured my back in some way, and have now been confined to the bed for two weeks. Today I am sitting up, but with a pillow at my back, and there is no knowing when I shall get over it. I am not strong enough to hold a pen very long, so I hope you will forgive the brevity of this note, and also the egotism which prompts me to write of myself.We have followed you in the Overland, and father is particularly interested in the last article - shall look forward to the others with infinite pleasure, and hope the book will follow soon. The nuts, etc. you so kindly sent by mail from Tamalpais, arrived safely, and only made us long more for their native climate, but now journeying seems in the dim distance, and our plans for another fall are not yet made.What a work you have laid out for yourself! And I hate to think of your leaving Yosemite. It will not seem like the same place when you are away, you are so much a part of the Valley in our minds. I hear Charlie Stoddard has had a special interview with the Pope - how happy that must make him, and Joaquin's doings are as wild as ever.Monday, May 18th, '74.I was not well enough to write any more Thursday, and have not been able to do so till this morning. I have just had a letter from "Prince Charlie" as you call him, from Rome. It sounds a little homesick, but he will not come home at present but take Switzerland, Germany and France this summer, and hopes to winter in Egypt. He says if this plan fails he has no idea what he shall do, feels very lonely, and wishes for friends to travel with. We have terrible fits of longing for California; one came on this morning at the breakfast-table, and as my sister's teacher is living with us, who is also a Californian at heart, we were all ready to leave as soon as the meal was over, but I waked up to the sad reality of a cold stormy day, and the duties of a housekeeper, as soon as we arose from the table. The only compensation I can think of is a letter from you, full of flowers and sunshine. I have never enjoyed a spring so much as this one, probably because I am too ill to go out of doors or busy myself much about anything, and have more than time enough to watch every blade of grass, and every leaf. We all envy you your life of freedom, and long for a taste of it; but some people in this world are obliged to hold to the conventionalities of life, and we seem to be among that class. If you should ever meet a Mr. and Mrs. Kellogg, (Mr. K. is connected with the University) or a Mr. and Mrs. Metcalf (the two ladies are sisters), just mention us, for their unmarried sister is living with us this winter, and teaching my sister and cousins. You will find them very charming people, I am sure. I am not acquainted with them myself, only through their letters to their sister, but I know they are the sort of people you would like. No more now. I wish I could have written you a more satisfactory letter, but one's physical affects everything one does. With kindest regards from all,Truly your friend,Anne W. Cheney
[New York ?]
1874 May 14
Original letter dimensions: 17.5 x 23 cm.
Reel 03, Image 0083
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