R[alph] W[aldo] Emerson


John Muir


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Concord.5 February. 1872.My dear Muir:Here lie your significant cedar flowers on my table, and in another letter; and I will procrastinate no longer. That singular disease of deferring, which kills all my designs, has left a pair of books brought home to send to you months and months ago, still covering their inches on my cabinet, and the letter and letters which should have accompanied to utter my thanks and lively remembrance, are either unwritten or lost, so I will send this peccavi. as a sign of remorse.I have been far from unthankful --I have everywhere testified to my friends, who should also be yours, my happiness in finding you - the right man in the right place - in your mountain tabernacle, and have expected when your guardian angel would pronounce that your probation and sequestration in the solitudes and snows had reached their term, and you were to bring your ripe fruits so rare and precious into waiting society.I trust you have also had, ere this, your own signals from the upper powers. I know that society in the lump, admired at a distance, shrinks and dissolves, when approached, into impracticable or uninter- esting individuals, but always with a reserve of a few unspoiled good men, who really give it its halo in the distance. And there are draw- backs also to solitude, who is a sublime mistress, but an intolerable wife. So I pray you to bring to an early close your absolute contracts with any yet unvisited glaciers or volcanoes, roll up your drawings, herbariums and poems, and come to the Atlantic Coast. Here in Cambridge Dr. Gray is at home, and Agassiz will doubtless be, after a month or two, returned from Terra del Fuego - perhaps through San Francisco - or you can come with him. At all events, on your arrival, which I assume as certain, you must find your way to this village, and my house. And when you are tired of our dwarf surroundings, I will show you better people.With kindest regards, Yours,R. W. Emerson.I send 2 vols. of collected essays by book-post.


Concord [Mass]

Date Original

1872 Feb 5


Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0675

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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 1


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