John Muir


[Francis Fisher] Browne


image preview


3all retired early to our rooms in the Big Tree Cottage and went to bed. Burroughs had a room to himself, while Browne & I occupied a larger one separated from John's only by a thin dry board partition resonant as the walls of a fiddle, & which faithfully transmitted every word we spoke or sang. After the headache clouds thinned and lifted a little, all bedroom rules, and even the great cliffs and waterfalls of the valley were forgotten; and we began a glorious revel in Burns' poems, all of which we had by heart, reciting and singing verse about for hours, sadly interfering with John's regular habits as repeated rappings and calls for sleep-silence testified. With lowered voices we then continued our grand revel in muffled stage - whispers and keeping down our merry humor fits as low as possible until far on toward the wee sma' hours ayont the twal, making a most memorable night of it. Beloved Browne was the only American I ever knew or heard of who had all Burns' by heart, and who understood him so well that he was able to enjoy the immortal poet almost as well as a veritable Scot.As we grow old we cling all the more fondly to old friends: but Death takes them away just when need of them is sorest. Within the last two years two of my Pasadena and Los Angeles friends of the dear old leal sort have vanished never to be seen again in this world of Light And now Beloved Brown has gone and all California seems lonelier than ever.


Martinez, Calif.

Date Original

1913 May 28


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 21, Image 0469

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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

The Newberry Library. 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 4


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