B. H. Royce
Chico July 13 1889
Mr John Muir
Will you permit me as one of the legion of delighted readers of Picturesque California, to suggest an improvement as to the placing of vignettes and cuts. Up in a corner, down at the bottom, over one side, or entirely across the middle of the page; so the text is not torn, is what I would suggest. What can be more exasperating for instance, than for a reader to be perfectly entranced with living glowing word painting, spellbound, drawing in
inspiration from wonderful glaciers, basking in the sunshine reflected from eternal snows, gazing on the fantastic cloud weather that lovingly enfold a mountain crest listening to the rythm of waterfalls! Every pulse and fibre vibrating with tense enjoyment: When suddenly some men on snowshoes come crashing down through the middle of the page! Sentences are haggled in twain, left-ragged and raw, The spell is broken the visions vanish After the rude shock and we pull ourselves together, there is but one feeling dominating outraged nature, and that is the eager hope that those men will get
their necks broken when they reach the bottom! Mountain peaks, mule deer, sage hens, burros and mountaineer, burst through the text very much as a circus girl jumps through a paper hoop. The girl looks pretty and triumphant; the hoop is ruined until covered again! Hoping that the spell your magic pen will in future weave around your readers will not be rudely broken by the printer or artist's whims.
I am very truly
Your indebted [illegible]
1889 Jul 13
Original letter dimensions: 21 x 13.5 cm.
Royce, B. H., "Letter from B. H. Royce to John Muir, 1889 Jul 13." (1889). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1844.
Reel 06, Image 0171
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