John Muir


[J. B.] Mc Chesney


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[2]give promise of indefinite de- velopment - 'it doth not appear what they shall be', but Ruskin leaves us nothing to hope in the direction of after development All of his attainments & all of his hopes are bounded by surfaces definite as those of a crystal He is suggestive & instructive & in every way well worthy of perusal He makes one think & his errors & absurdities are so clearly ex- pressed they do good rather than harm His beauties are numberless page after page is studded with flowers like a glacier meadow I have never experienced his Mtn gloom wh doubtless is a bogle humbug; Nor have I seen any of that "fierce convulsive energy" said to manifest itself in Mtn tops But the worst thing I find in his book is his lack of faith in#9186 [3]the scriptures of Nature. He says we must not dwell in contrast with Natures beauty else we will become blind to it just as if God had not Mtns composed of Strip of evil & good, work made beauty an ocean in wh we of God & of Satan will dwell forever Evil he says always exists with good & ugliness with beauty in order to act as foils the one for the other. - Beside every mtn angel he sits a mtn devil. Here I want to say so much that I cannot say anything Only he is an infidel to Nature & knows nothing about her, Kalmia one of the very dearest of my Mountain flowers A companion of Bryanthus & Cassiope, one of the purest words of love that God has ever uttered on mountain meadow he calls, A type of deceit because when he eats it, it poisons him - unfit for his belly, a good English reason Kalmia Kills men & sheep


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1873 Jan 9


Original letter dimensions: 21 x 26 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 1053

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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