James D[avie] Butler
July 9, 1900.
My dear Friend.
It is too long that I have read no written syllable of yours - and know not but you are now a humanitarian missionary in China. - not with blood and thunder. The death of Catharine Merrill brings back many a memory - and those all [precious?], which you and I have in common. - I am looking for the letter to me you dictated to her de profundis where all skill in surgery seemed unable to save your eyes. - What a noble career to the very end. - How "the idea of her life doth sweetly creep" Much Ado. IV.1.229. Letters full of heart come to me from her scholars. Last Wed. was the centennial of my college, Middlebury. - I had engaged to be there and speak on some matters well-known to me - "but for some preventing Providence - This Providence came at the eleventh hour in the combined [vetos?] of daughter and Doctor - who convinced me that my assurance that I could make the journey, etc. was the best proof that I could not. You know that if I must be hemmed in - there is no St. Helena less exasperating than mine. not even that of the [illegible] of the [Vatican?].
My daughter's husband Snow is a nervous lecturer - and the outing that suits him best in both mind and body is a voyage. Last summer he was two weeks in Berlin - and means to be this. - Aug. 20 I hope to be at Sioux City and help lay the corner-stone of an obelisk for which money has been voted by congress to mark the first step of [illegible] advance into the Trans-Missouri. - I do not hear as I once did - and would give 1/2 of my front teeth (all perfect) if I could. - but my hours of study were seldom more - and never sweeter. In tete [diacritic] a [diacritic] tetes [diacritic] I have no trouble in hearing. Still write for the Nation - some of my last were. The Emersons. No. 1822. p 422? and West Pointers No. 1826. p.498. The Nation's great merit is horror of too much. - Maximum in minimo. - Our Lib. all things considered is the miracle of the age. My 4 children are all good and are all doing good - and it is the joy of my life to witness their activities.
Dum spero spiro!
James D. Butler
1900 Jul 9
Original letter dimensions: 26.5 x 20 cm.
Butler, James Davie, "Letter from James D[avie] Butler to John Muir, 1900 Jul 9." (1900). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4288.
Reel 11, Image 0275
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