George Hansen


[George Hansen]


[John Muir]


Dear friend:

I feel that I must talk to you a little while, and perhaps can any more fully what I wish in this way than In another.
You know me, now, more fully than any other living soul upon earth, for you have known me when most weak in body and mind, when deeply hurt and most anxious, and doubtful about myself. I feel stronger now, and wish you to know me at all times.
I believe I want to you, in my loneliness, as a bird would fly to a grand old cedar in a storm - as I would have gone to Christ had he been here in human shape, and I believe that He sent me, for I prayed to him to help me.
You will remember, in reference to the note I sent you, saying that I must not think so deeply of it, but, dear friend. I do not believe it a trivial matter. Living, as God has willed it, so little in material things, I cannot feel any spiritual matter - its calm, or storm - as insignificant, and I thank Him. Oh! I thank Him so much, for the shadowed, rocky canons, and for the peaceful mountain-tops, where the evening and morning sunlight dwells.
I thank Him that He has so blessed me by nature and circumstances, and that He has given me such sure faith - when the sick body cannot obey the strong soul in the substantiality of the other Land: its human love and truth.
I wish, besides, to say that, if in God's future He should so will it, that I must stop out alone into the roughness of the human world, although I believe there are few that would go, so like a little child, still not seeking any earthly [illegible], loving and trusting in others - I believe I would receive the protection that would be given to a little child.
There are plenty of dear old trees to most under, and I should not starve. So you see I have no fear for the future, and though I have seen many living lives that seen to run through peaceful sunny days without storm, or shadow. I would not exchange my life for theirs; No - not even when walking, barefoot, over the rough stones in the canon's shadow.
Where will the deeply learned and keen-ayed scholar go for comfort and strength in bereavement, when the veil seems partly to withdraw and material things lie far below. To Plato, or the Vedas? Deep and lofty truths, as, undoubtedly, are often in great men's thoughts of olden time, they have not, altogether, had a minute part of the power and love (as its Divine music rolls down the centuries) of those few simple words of the Gentle One, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest".



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Circa Date



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Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 16, Image 1339

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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