John Muir


image preview

Circa Date




Real moral sympathy – is a useful lesson for all

Baffled anguish moving life anthem storm, immensity of weird solemn gloom bleak & dreary

Face answering to face & then heart to heart

A big diamond on that mud flat would make most mortals insensible to the weather & take the gloom out of it. Well glaciers are diamond mines to me the offspring of a 1000 storms [all] full of enchantment [ ] beautiful & making beauty but who knows what these were to Stick, where lay the mines that were drawing him, to what music was his mind moving? Though no excursion into Nature is fruitless. We never know what we are going to find.

# As we crouched together on the brink of the crevasse in the shadow of death the natural darkness of the coming night seemed to blend with the last darkness that must come to all

In every respect the little fellow was a privileged person who could guide him or hold him to any rule. He was neither assuming nor sulky but proved odd & always reserved & with all his apparent dullness & independence he was diligent in ways of his own, an excellent hunter swimmer traveler a worthy dog & did more as we shall see than any other in teaching finer lesson

Then eyes darting keen glances then the bushes lifting his feet like a hunting cat with needless caution on the soundless moss

Endured pain with Indian fortitude


Dead lichened spars emblems of mortality rose here & there amid the evergreen spires that told of life joyous & strong

Landscape of but few massive features which however plain exerted a strong effect on the imagination

Now like a glacier in silence, now like ice suddenly melted & become a roaring tumultuous torrent.

Got down on my knees to give him a lift as soon as I could reach him, for in climbing the ice ladder would I feared be the most dangerous to him, but he gave a keen look into the row of toe & finger holds & hooking his paws into them fairly rushed up past me ere I could catch him

Like a tumultuous sepulcher capacious enough to hold & hide the biggest army

To leave him would be like leaving a little boy to finish when not a word of kindness or scolding would ever reach him more. The meanest cur could not be left, so much less my poor philosopher who had so bravely shared my adventure, I was distressed to know what to do for with that gulf between us he was as far beyond my present help as if already beyond the grave, as if [buried] in its depths. To go across & try to carry him was out of the question for the least struggle in that case would throw me out of balance besides hands were required. Come back next day

□ Poor child alone on the side of that awful abyss unspeakably lonely

# From most of dog sins he was free, didn’t fuss steal whine or get in the way. So pitifully helpless & small overshadowed with darkness & dread of death

Resource Identifier

MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img054.Jpeg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

Rights Management

To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item, such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.