Quote 20

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

Coming direct from school in Scotland while we were still hopefully ignorant and far from tame, – notwithstanding the unnatural profusion of teaching and thrashing lavished upon us, – getting acquainted with the animals about us was a never-failing source of wonder and delight.  At first my father, like nearly all the backwoods settlers, bought a yoke of oxen to do the farm work, and as field after field was cleared, the number was gradually increased until we had five yoke.  These wise, patient, plodding animals did all the ploughing, logging, hauling, and hard work of every sort for the first four or five years, and, never having seen oxen before, we looked at them with the same eager freshness of conception as we did at the wild animals.

JM4

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Quote19

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

19. None of our fellow mortals is safe who eats what we eat, who in any way interferes with our pleasures, or who may be used for work or food, clothing or ornament, or mere cruel, sportish amusement.  Fortunately many are too small to be seen, and therefore enjoy life beyond our reach.  And in looking through God’s great stone books made up of records reaching back millions and millions of years, it is a great comfort to learn that vast multitudes of creatures, great and small and infinite in number, lived and had a good time in God’s love before man was created.

 

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Quote 18

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

JM3Today’s quote

This sudden plash into pure wildness – baptism in Nature’s warm heart – how utterly happy it made us!  Nature streaming into us, wooingly teaching her wonderful glowing lessons, so unlike the dismal grammar ashes and cinders so long thrashed into us.  Here without knowing it we still were at school; every wild lesson a love lesson, not whipped but charmed into us.  Oh, that glorious Wisconsin wilderness!  Everything new and pure in the very prime of the spring when Nature’s pulses were beating highest and mysteriously keeping time with our own!  Young hearts, young leaves, flowers, animals, the winds and the streams and the sparkling lake, all wildly, gladly rejoicing together!

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Quote 17

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

In Scotch schools only pure English was taught, although not a word of English was spoken out of school.  All through life, however well educated, the Scotch spoke Scotch among their own folk, except at times when unduly excited on the only two subjects on which Scotchmen get much excited, namely, religion and politics.  So long as the controversy went on with fairly level temper, only gude braid Scots was used, but if one became angry, as was likely to happen, then he immediately began speaking severely correct English, while his antagonist, drawing himself up, would say: ‘Weel, there’s na use pursuing this subject ony further, for I see ye hae gotten to your English.”

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Quote 16

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

Our [Atlantic crosssing] was six weeks and three days.  But because we had no lessons to get, that long voyage had not a dull moment for us boys.  Father and sister Sarah, with most of the old folk, stayed below in rough weather, groaning in the miseries of seasickness …  But no matter how much the old tub tossed about and battered the waves, we were on deck every day, not in the least seasick, watching the sailors at their rope-hauling and climbing work; joining in their songs, learning the names of the ropes and sails, and helping them as far as they would let us; playing games with other boys in calm weather when the deck was dry, and in stormy weather rejoicing in sympathy with the big curly-topped waves.

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Quote 15

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote
Next morning we went by rail to Glasgow and thence joyfully sailed away from beloved Scotland, flying to our fortunes on the wings of the winds, care-free as thistle seeds.  We could not then know what we were leaving, what we were to encounter in the New World, nor what our gains were likely to be.  We were too young and full of hope for fear or regret, but not too young to look forward with eager enthusiasm to the wonderful, schoolless, bookless American wilderness

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Quote 14

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.
Today’s quote
A New World’
One night, when David and I were at grandfather’s fireside solemnly learning our lessons as usual, my father came in with news, the most wonderful, most glorious, that wild boys ever heard.  “Bairns”, he said, “you needna learn your lessons the nicht, for we’re gan to America the morn!”  No more grammar, but boundless woods full of mysterious good things; trees full of sugar, growing in ground full of gold; hawks, eagles, pigeons, filling the sky; millions of birds’ nests, and no gamekeepers to stop us in all the wild, happy land. We were utterly, blindly glorious
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Quote 13

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote
.  Wildness was ever sounding in our ears, and Nature saw to it that besides school lessons and church lessons some of her own lessons should be learned, perhaps with a view to the time when we should be called to wander in wildness to our heart’s content.  Oh, the blessed enchantment of those Saturday runaways in the prime of the spring!  How our young wondering eyes reveled in the sunny, breezy glory of the hills and the sky, every particle of us thrilling and tingling with the bees and glad birds and glad streams!  Kings may be blessed; we were glorious, we were free, – school cares and scoldings, heart thrashings and flesh thrashings alike, were forgotten in the fullness of Nature’s glad wildness.  These were my first excursions, – the beginnings of lifelong wanderings

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Quote 12

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

Notwithstanding the great number of harshly enforced rules, not very good order was kept in school in my time…  The masters lived in a big freestone house within eight or ten yards of the schools, so that they could easily step out for anything they wanted…  The moment our master disappeared, perhaps for a book or a drink, every scholar left his seat and his lessons, jumped on top of the benches and desks or crawled beneath them, tugging, rolling, wrestling, accomplishing in a minute a depth of disorder and din unbelievable save by a Scottish scholar.  We even carried on war, class against class, in those wild, precious minutes.  A watcher gave the alarm when the master opened his house-door to return, and it was a great feat to get into our places before he entered, adorned in awful majestic authority shouting “Silence!” and striking resounding blows with his cane on a desk or on some unfortunate scholar’s back.

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Quote 11

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

Fighting was carried on still more vigorously in the high school than in the common school.  Whenever any one was challenged, either the challenge was allowed or it was decided by a battle on the seashore, where with stubborn enthusiasm we battered each other as if we had not been sufficiently battered by the teacher.  When we were so fortunate as to finish a fight without getting a black eye, we usually escaped a thrashing at home and another next morning at school, for other traces of the fray could be easily washed off at a well on the church brae, or concealed, or passed as results of playground accidents; but a black eye could never be explained away from downright fighting.

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