Charles Dwight Willard


[John Muir]


image preview


-2-this world that really deserve pity? The unlucky? No. The sick? No. The poor? No. Who then? The unhappy - they and they only. And I am not unhappy. On the contrary, hut for my knowledge that those who are dear to me are often troubled with fears on my account, I could truthfully say that this is the happiest period of my life. Of the particular reason for that I will speak in a moment.My purpose in sending you this message is to wish you all the compliments of this joyous season, and to let this take the place of the handshake and the casual words of kindness and friendship that would pass between us, if I were going about and should meet you on the street or at the club or at some public affair. I am not so churlish as to fear that I may be forgotten, but it is a comfort to be able to assure myself that I am on a direct, live circuit with my friends at least once a year.Therefore, if you are disposed to write a word or two in response - a mere salutation and your autograph will do at a pinch in this "step lively" world - I will put it with others in a special scrap-book to be labeled "Christmas 1912", to go on the shelves as one of my most precious possessions.Now to explain about that matter of happiness: I have discovered that four years of illness coming to one who has led a life of considerable activity has one surprising form of compensation - it gives him a chance to think. There is so much to think about in this big and wonderful world that it is a pity we can so seldom take a good crack at it. Life was always an utter mystery to me awesome and tantalizing. At times the sense that there was something I ought to understand, and did not, half terrified me, but usually05331


Los Angeles

Date Original

1912 Dec 25


Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 20, Image 1527

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

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.

Page Number

Page 2


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