James D[avie] Butler
Henry sends you his best fellow feeling in your suffering, and only mourns that you are so far from his soothing and sympathizing words and deeds. He begs me to inclose you a photograph and a flower hoping your eyes may may bear to look on them by the time they greet you. Fearing you may not be able to read my lines I will inclose them to Miss Merrill, who has volunteered to see that they come to your ears. With prayers that the stroke now so grievous may move in the end joyous. I am, as ever, yr friend. Jas D. Butler
Madison, Wis. March 20th 1867.
John Muir, Esq.
My dear Friend, We are with you in spirit and in sympathy. Our mutual friend, Miss Merrill has informed us of your oad, and irreparable loss. Such a stroke - like the death of a friend who is as our own soul, is beyond all consolation, beyond all thinking of with composure , beyond every thing save reflecting that such is the will of God. Incousolable we well might be did affliction comeforth of the dust and trouble spring out of the ground. But the cup our Father - our Father who is in heaven, that is infinite in all perfections, - shall we not drink it?
house while you convalesce, and repeat your walks around our peerless lakes. Henry and I join with her in hopes you will so do. For several weeks past I have suffered in both lungs and liver. On one day, the only time in my nine years here, I was utterly unable to climb the University hill. My health in now much improved, and I am spending much time on books of travel hoping I may some time cross the broad water yet once more. Nothing has varied the routine of our quiet life since I wrote you before. We have a new Minister and my wife is killing herself at a festival to raise him money.
I know well it is one thing to reason - and quite another thing to feel as one knows he should in pain, darkness, and gloom hovering over the future. In all the blasting of your hope may you find Christ to be more precious than you right eye! Be assured He knoweth our frame, and pitieth the souls he hath made. I have now a double joy that you are known to the Merrill brotherhood, for I know that some of your sorrows will be hence alleviated. May no sympathetic evil afflict your other eye! May light dawn for you on a dishensation at first so dark! My wife bids you as you get better to come and see us, - making our house your
1867 Mar 20
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm
Butler, James Davie, "Letter from James Davie Butler to John Muir, 1867 Mar 20" (1867). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1221.
Reel 01, Image 0952
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