Geo[rge] T. Elliot


John Muir



[illegible] - partly though their own winning ways, and partly through their power to stir the imagination - into sympathy with the vast Spirit of Nature. To love even these little things is not to waste one's life; for in losing one's life in this way one often unexpectedly finds his human sympathies cleaner and keener through his nature-sympathies. I beg your pardon; I ought not to [see?] the silence of the forest aisles with my suburban peeping voice; but I am sure you will understand the spirit, if the voice can only peep.

Geo. T. Elliot.


88 [Dunbay?] St.

Brighton, Mass. 10/17/02

Dear John Muir:-

I am a boy of almost fifty, who, thanks to your pen, have played with you a great deal. I have been with you on the Alaskan glacier; I have made friends with the rattlesnake in Yo-Semite; I have shared your tramp with [Brownie?]; I have slept out with you under the sky, until I think I ought to tell you the name of one more of those (and there are a great many of them, all over the English-speaking world) who have the habit of saying "Dear John Muir". And then I want you to play a minute with me - this way. I love the woods and the hills, and though I


get away a few hours every week into the wildest places in reach, and though my home is on a hill with wide sweep of view, yet I can't get far away from the city for more than two or three weeks every year. And so, since I can't transport myself bodily to the places where the conifers that I specially love are growing, I have planted in the open many different kinds; and have begged and bought and slipped many others, until I have a kindergarten pinet[illegible] of little trees in the house. They all behave very well, and they show such varieties of temperament, and have such delightful little surprises in store continually, as to little ways of growth; and they make it so much easier for the imagination to travel to the Himalayas, or the Andes, or to Australia, - that I never get tired of them. I think you will understand my fun, and that you will be amused by it, for a moment, a least. And I want very much three or four things. Dr. Franceschi sent me a Sequoia gigautea that was too large to adapt itself to our [illegible] climate, and I am afraid that I cannot save it. I think you can tell me where I can get a little gigautea and a small redwood, - only seedlings or yearlings, - and a Tenya Mertensiana, and perhaps the flat-leaved spruces - all wee things, of course. And if you yourself should sometime take the fancy to put into sp[illegible] some baby conifer or t[illegible]d and send it to me, I should [illegible] it more than I can tell you. I call these little trees my playthings; but they are much more than that; they are little friends and companions; they rest me and steady me, and [illegible]


Brighton, Mass.

Date Original

1902 Oct 17


Original letter dimensions: 16.5 x 26 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 12, Image 0722

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.

Owning Institution

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


2 pages



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