W[illiam] P. Gibbons
The love of our family goes to your wife Mrs. Williams and Henry to the Doctor's household * I am as ever Your affectionate friend WPGibbons.Alamanda 12/20th.1884. Dear JohnI have long neglected the duty of responding to your kindness. The heavy burden of sorrow has been long pressing on me, & now, that the morning of a brighter day has dis[illegible] the way side darkness of the world, toward one whose [illegible] soul has clung to me with devotion & unwaver- ing love for 50 years, I am brought to a feeling recognition of those more remote ties, which should be affectionately cherished along our pilgrimage toward a better, but an unknown land.My [illegible] visit to you was the last time that I have left that dear companion. For years past,
there have been foreshadwoing symp- toms of heart degeneration, & for near- ly six months I have been prepared to see the disease culminate. She has been mostely confined to her room for 4 months; & her case ter- minated by collapse on Thursday morning last; preceded by pneumonia Within 4 months, my next younger brother Charles ended a suffering ca- reer, & the day before [Mother?] [Kerry?] [word strucken] arrived in N. York, the wife of [C.?] was buried. My Mary is the fourth of our household who has departed in the above [named?] period.She always entertained an affectionate regard for you. Your name has never been mentioned with- out some kind expression of feeling on her part, & she after wished that you would make us a visit.She suffered greatly, but never a murmur escaped her lips. She knew; more from increasing disability than from ought I ever said, that her end was drawing nigh. I could not bear to speak to her of the probabilites of of death.- no one was ever better prepared for the dark journey than herself. To-day I opened her scrap book & recently written with a pencil ["were" written above line] extracts from some of her favorite authors. They are on the inside cover of the first page. Here is one of them:-"A death is only to be felt never to be talked upon by those it touches. Horace Walpole. The [illegible] are her [own? or perhaps now?].But I fear to tire you with remarks which are more absorbing to myself than to any one else. Human troubles are like ripples from a stone thrown into the water. They are heaviest at the point of con- tact, & as they diverge, they become [smaller?] & ultimately disappear.
1884 Dec 20
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25 cm.
Gibbons, William P., "Letter from W[illiam] P. Gibbons to [John Muir], 1884 Dec 20." (1884). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1579.
Reel 05, Image 0156
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