interesting and if there waas any means of making a livelihood you would tell us an dalso if there might be an opening, & I promised to write to you. Willie is twenty one - and our James celebrated their majority at the end of last year. He is not much to look at but is a smart business fellow and has a strong sense of duty and fidelity.
Now I have told you what I want to say about that and if you write in your kindness of heart try and spare a little time to tell us what you think we shall be so very glad.
Mersey View House
92 Bridge St.
12th Feb. 1896
My dear Cousin
Father has been speaking ever since Christmas of writing to you and I have no doubt his intentions are honourable but he has been unusually busy and so as I want to ask you somthing I wont wait but must write while the spirit moves me.
We have had staying with us for eighteen months a young lad whose father and mother were my oldest and dearest friends they are both dead and as he had no relatives he came to live with us. His father was for many years a much esteemed Doctor in L'pool. Educated
in Edinburgh where I knew him as a student. He was one of the most charming characters I have ever met and it has been a great job to us to be able to share our home with his son His mother also was a clever and remarkable woman.
Willie Howie has never been very strong but is now fairly healthy and has been for about four years engaged in a wholesale ships stores concern and as he has no capitoal he seens no prospect before him but to settle down as a clerk in an office. He has lately been thinking whether it would be better for him to go to Canada with a friend who has been learning
farming there as he says all he wishes or can espect is to make a living to keep himself.
When thinking about him I remembered your telling us about your wine growing and that you can always find work for young men. and Maria also had been thinking about "our John Muir" and telling Willie that it might be possible that something might be found to suit him if we consulted you So down comes Willie to father and me who were asleep in our bed to hear what we thought, father thought the climate would be fine and the work
We often often speak about you and wonder if you have been away [stravaging?] on the mountains again. & when we look at the photo of your beautiful little Lassies we wonder if we are ever to see them or their mother. Uncle Hardie has been wonderfully well this winter but is this week rather poorly with cold and dear Aunt Polly is very very fraid, her sight has become so very bad too and althogether you would know a great change upon her. Mrs. Jeffrey is pretty well & it is a mercy for she has to take care of the others. Father has been kept very busy over the
Restoration of Danbar Parish church - sometimes I think he is to be worried beyond endurance with the bother however the estimates are all signed now, and when you come again you will not know the interior of the 'Auld Kirk." Auntie [Lunam?] & Maggie are well but you will likely be hearing from them now & then. Our boys and girls are all well and happy. John has still gone on successfully took last summer the "holt Scholarship 100 pounds - but he finds he has to work hard for it in the [illegible]room. He has got Dr. to his name but is not finished another exam wants for "Mr. B." He is working very hard and looks white I tell him. Jamie is still devoted to Art painting
pictures and attending the Art school. Maria is housekeeper for the last year since my health failed and baby - 'Peggie' is now at school Oh how nice if you were not so far away and we could meet (our families) sometimes.
I am wanted to take a little walk while the sun shines and so I must close.
There is one to whom distance is as nothing, and in His love we rest and trust. Give my love to Mrs. Muir and the dear bairns and believe me your affectional counsin
1896 Feb 12
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.
Hay, Annie, "Letter from Annie Hay to [John Muir], 1896 Feb 12." (1896). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 13.
Reel 09, Image 0059
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