John Muir


[Charles Warren] Stoddard


image preview


[2] You hope that you will not disappoint me. The danger of being disappointed is all on your own side. Don't believe one half that Mrs Carr says, I am only a piece of jagged human mist drifting about these rocks & waters Heaven only knows how or wherefor. Hitherto I have walked alone I shall rejoice in you as companion but remember that in that case "A vagabond shalt thou be". Moreover you must not hope that I can teach you, I am only a baby slowly learning my mountain alphabet But I can freely promise that Nature will do great things for you I know little of men yet venture to say that half our best teachers are manufactured, - so ground - & pressed in the mills of culture [3]that God cannot play a single tune upon them. I am glad to learn my friend that you have not yet submitted yourself to any of the mouldy laws of literature - that your spiritual affinities are still alive & unsatisfied Come then to the mountains & bathe in fountain Love. Stand upon our Domes & let spirit winds blow through you & you will sing effortless as an Eolian harp You will enjoy the ocean There is but little difference between land & sea, Heavens! What glorious storm nights you will have among phosphorescent foam May God be good to you. Lave your existence in those the Beauty & Love of those Isles of the sea. Keep your heart pure & it shall be like a silvered plate


Yosemite Val[ley]

Date Original

[1872] Feb 2


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0665

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

William E. Colby Memorial Library, Sierra Club. 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