W[illiam] P. Gibbons
to me. Again thanking you for your kind consideration & tendering a heartfelt invitation to yourself & wife to make us a visit whenever you may find it to be convenient. I am as ever
Yours Very truly [illegible] Gibbons.
Alameda Nov. 4th. 1883
If I have failed in a prompt acknowledgement of your beautiful & acceptable present, it has not been because of the absence of a proper appreciative feeling toward both giver & gift. I opened that box in the presence of my wife; I told her it contained grapes from your vineyard – the fruits of your own toil. But when the lid came off – the inertia of feeling seemed to start off like a streak of lightening, & we both exclaimed in the fullness of delight, over the richness & beauty of their grouping. The flavor was every thing that could be asked for; but this sunk into insignificance
in the eyes of the family, beside the poetical & aesthetic side of the display. Humph! talk of glaciers – their magnificence – sublimity – of their broad fields of [illegible] splendor: — they are but skeletons dressed up in gorgeous apparal, when compared with the living ever growing beauty & luxious flavor of nature’s parlor gardens! The Lord only knows what would have become of the human race, if Eve had led her fellow into a vineyard instead of a crab apple orchard. It is humiliating to reflect that such an ass as Oscar Wilde should have stirred up with his ass-the-ticism the wealth & beauty of the land to the time of 50.000 dollr. while the world has no honors to confer on the true nobleness of nature! But there’s a good time coming, some day or other.
Kellogg is still nosing over his [illegible] drawings. The only recreation he takes is pipe smoking. [illegible] has his house in Alameda nearly completed, so that the family is fairly anchored on our side of the bay. The whole family send their kindest regards to yourself & wife. By the way, I’ve some notion of buying 5 or 10 acres & turning horticulturalist. I have a parcel of peach, almond, plum & fig trees, & some grape vines, suffuiently large to put out in orchard shape, & I begin to look forward to the time when it will be prudent to give up professional toil & settle down in the quite current of declining life. I wish you would write
1883 Nov 4
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25 cm.
Gibbons, William P., "Letter from W[illiam] P. Gibbons to John Muir, 1883 Nov 4." (1883). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 765.
Reel 04, Image 1124
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