1."Wanda"Portola,Victoria.11 : 1 : 14.My dear Sir,I write this in a cottage by the sea, where we have come with the children for a holiday, after reading your story of your boyhood & youth. I read it through leisurely at two sittings, & haven't enjoyed a book more for long. In your other books, which I read in Dunbar I was also carried on to the end by the simplicity & directness of the style; but this is even more full of human interest that at the same time the 'Bible English', which I fancy you owe [illegible]y to your early studies in "the books". If so, they were not in vain. The present educational methods will05876
not build up a[illegible]ile & simple style like that. I wish to assure you of the great pleasure I have derived from your writings. Perhaps should be mistaken were its speak of great profit; for I am not so constituted as to make the most of your treasury of nature-lore. I understand your keen interest in the small things of nature; but, though I was brought up in the midst of Nit[illegible]dale on a farm, I have never felt that interest. In a way I love & appreciate the fine effects & influences of nature, & have read a little natural science: but my experience convinces me that without the inborn love of the earth & of the birds & beasts & creeping things on the face of it, one doesn't become a lover of nature in the true sense. Such books as you write, however, have given me times of 2.insight, & even of enthusiasm; & I am grateful for these. I shall never forget the pleasure of discovering - through your friends the Lunams - a source of pure pleasure in your books, which have opened my eyes to many things which I should otherwise have missed. I feel as if I knew you personally through them, & Dunbar, & the Lunams, & the Davidsons. [Dr.?]Tom Davidson is married to my wife's only sister, & I remember also [Dr.?] Austruther Davidson, his brother, whom you know better I think. What a discipline life has been in your case, & what a pleasure too!Pardon this egotistical note of thanks, It may serve to show you how you have influenced many who may not seem to have much in common with that which is the life of you. We are all in one "bundle of life" together, & the human note makes us all tingle & thrill, though we05876
may not respond to every chord of the great music.Dear old Mrs. Lunam is 'fallen on sleep' and her daughter is rather frail I fear. I was sorry not to be in Dunbar to do what I could for her when her mother died, & writing is a poor med[ium?]of sympathy.We have found a new home, & many kind folk, & a few good friends already here. I like my work, & we six b[illegible] are growing in health of body & mind. The climate is like yours in California; but the fauna & flora & all the face of nature is different from any thing else in the world when one gets away from cultivation & things [illegible]ed. It is a great land; and I trust our race will prove worthy of it; though the sons have not their fathers' [vigor?] 3.& do[illegible] sense of duty.Again let me thank you for your kind thought in sending your book. I am sorry I have nothing of my own that can give you the like pleasure and instruction.With kindest regards,Yours ever sincerelyW. BorlandMy address is always "Scots Church, Melbourne." If ever I can do anything here for you or any friend of yours, you will give me the privilege I know.W. B.05876
Portola, Victoria [Austr.]
1914 Nov 1
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 13 cm.
Borland, W., "Letter from W. Borland to [John Muir], 1914 Nov 1." (1914). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 6671.
Reel 22, Image 0757
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