Wolfe, Linnie Marsh


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$9 - John Kulr hour as he could waken, until six, he worked at either his books or his mechanical inventions, making for the latter even his own tools. his book hunger was insatiable. Again and again he read the roeager home library. To buy a book he saved his pennies for a year, health seemed to come with Vood's latural History, or Plutarch's Lives, or Josephus, &r Eollin. At the age of fifteen, amid the dreary work of the farm, the reals of poetry began to open to Mia like the dawn of a glorious day, and he found new ^oy in Burns, in Aikenside, in Cowper, in Milton, in Shakespeare, and in the language, the Imagery, the nobler thoughts of Job, Isaiah, Bavid* In addition to history and poetry, ho eagerly studied :rmth©Hiaties without the slightest incitement or assistance from teacher or friend, carrying knotty problems to the field in his nind and solving thesu as he Siwung hia axe or scythe, or as he followed the plow. Thus, while the boy was giving time and strength toward reducing the farm to cultivation, his Kind pondered the thought of his books, and his soul grew upon the beauty which Mature had scattered about him. The scene has changed. John Muir is again in a strange land. The flowery wilderness of tisoonsin has given way to the mountains of California, to Alaska, and to the dark forests where rolls the Oregon, tn these marvelous regions he wanders and wonders and wishes to live forever. The boy has grown to be a nan, tall, fair, not very Scotch in appearance. Tho farm gave health and strength and manly beauty. The University of Wisconsin added to his store of knowledge, gave hia mental discipline and discretion, and bestowed on him what perhaps was better still, the abiding friendship of Professor James ha vie Butler, While in college, his strongest bent seemed toward mechanical contrivances. To this day, traditions of his inventions linger about the university, he seeaeo possessed with the desire to raake a machine with voluntary powers, not a monster o9a



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MSS048 Vb.7

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John Muir, biography, reminiscence, colleagues, contemporaries, archives, special collections, University of the Pacific, California, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, history, naturalist