June 23, 1874.
Your letter which was mailed yesterday was also rec’d yesterday and now that breakfast is over I must give expression to my feeling by means of my pencil. Now that a night is past since read- ing your unpleasant news I think I am proposed to say that I am very glad that you have prospects of accomplishing something substantial in the painting line my wish is that it may be the beginning of pleasure and profit in that sphere for you. On first receiving the intelligence of your contemplated stay in M — during the whole vacation [deleted: my] I was seiged with a strange desire to kill, anihilate or in some way put out of existence a document so opposed in its [illegible]ort to my every feeling I did not know how much in my loneliness I had based upon a sisters company until I found myself to be continuous by deprived of it. But when I reached my own room disappointment
[in margin: Mothers love to you, and also that of your Loving sister Joanna Have you written to Miss [Cushman?]? “ “ made any calls?]
[Page 2]and vexation gave place to an luxurious flood of tears, such a one as I do not often enjoy, for as I had as it were, [illegible]ggled [deleted: and] about not knowing for a time where to turn for something to take the place of your loss I at last found comfort, you know where, The only place where mortal man can find consolation, and now as I said before I am glad you are going to remain in Madison. I think I should be disappointed did I see you here even in two weeks For two reasons first, you can do in [M—?] what you could not do here in a preliminary sense. Second, I could not wish you to come to lonely home and a place where you would find no congenial society. You are vigorous and well prepared for activity in the busy world The existence of which world I had almost become unconscious But my work is [underlined: to do nothing] and remain patient in my nothingness and I suppose for me this is quite as much my duty as it is for others to [walk?] with their might. “Will you be ready to study when I come home?” [illegible] I will not not even if you stay a year My eyes are exceeding weak This intense sunlight is very hard to endure and it is all that I can do to scribble of this letter to you. They feel much worse just now than when I was at Madison. I do not expect ever to study again. You need not feel obliged to answer this letter any sooner than you have time to do. I love dearly to hear from you but I will not be selfish, although you know that is my primary fault.
[in margin: Annie’s address is Belle [best guess: fontaihe] P.O. Columbia Co. or Portage You did not say who you were painting for or how you came to undertake it, or who the young ladies are who wish to take lessons, or indeed any particulars, [illegible] you know I am [interested?]
1874 Jun 23
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Muir, Joanna G., "Letter from Joanna [Muir] to Mary [Muir], 1874 Jun 23." (1874). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 275.
Reel 03, Image 0097
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