Cornelius B. Bradley
2639 Durant Avenue,
Berkeley, October 19, 1905.
Dear Mr. Muir:
I fear you will hardly believe me when I protest my solicitude about you and my sympathy with you in all these months of trial and suffering, and yet now for the first time write to you. It seems impossible even that I should never have heard a lisp that anything had gone wrong with you - other than Helen's weakness - until late in August, when I was in the thick of work at the opening of college, and you were all away in Arizona! Yet so it veritably was. I was so shocked and dazed, especially at my surprising ignorance of my
friends' condition - and utterly unable in my hurry and in the extra load of home cases caused by Mrs. Bradley's illness, to find anything adequate to say to you, that I have e'en kept silence till now. I am in no better case to write you now, so far as that goes; but in answer to my frequent inquiries about you all at the [Garrison?] house, I learn that health and strength are returning both to you and to Helen; and so I judge that you may be better able to deal with my very tardily-spoken sympathy.
Tardily spoken it is, my dear friend, but not tardily felt, so soon as I knew what blow it was that had fallen upon you. I recall the gracious presence and kind reception which I
first found many years ago, when as a veritable tramp I called one day at your house in Alhambra Valley - how I in spite of many misgivings, was overpersuaded to stay over and join in the celebration of your wedding anniversary, an unbidden guest; and I recall the many occasions since then when I have met the same kindly, gracious presence in your home, and I understand somewhat the extent of your grief and loss.
The days that have passed have not altered that, I feel sure; but I hope they have brought some compensation to you all in the thought of her release from a life more and more beset with infirmities and pains, and
less and less able either to do or to enjoy. No unkindness to her, surely, was the stern summons of the Angel of Death.
And for yourself, my dear friend, the demands made upon your love and care by the dear ones still left you, I am sure have been salutary and wholesome for your buffeted spirit. And now, as freshness begins to come back to your dear Helen's cheek, and some reminder of her former strength, and with Wanda strong and loving by your side to comfort you both, I know you must look out once more on life with your accustomed courage, if not with all your former lightness of heart.
Mrs. Bradley joins me in loving sympathy and in better hopes for the
days to come. She has been ill now these four, rather five months - rather seriously ill at first with nervous collapse, and only now recovering so far as to see a few friends a few moments now and then. She has not been confined to her room, however, and so has been able of late to get the benefit of these beautiful autumn days. She has been by my side considerably longer than Mrs. Muir was with you. Her illness, and what you have experienced, have given my thoughts a sober tinge. But now abideth Faith, Hope, and Love; and the greatest of these is Love.
Goodbye, my best love to Wanda and Helen. Write me a line if you feel like it.
Cornelius B. Bradley.
Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 14 cm.
Bradley, Cornelius B., "Letter from Cornelius B. Bradley to John Muir, 1905 Oct 19 ." (1905). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3438.
Reel 15, Image 0813
Copyright status unknown