I left California last Tuesday. It was quite pleased with itself and full of pity for all the rest of the world. It surely has much to say for itself, and says it with frequency and normalcy. The only disappointment in dying will be the unfortunate contrast—eh, you Californian? But then you and I are not like those transplanted Iowans who fill Southern California, most of whom have never seen Mt. Tamalpais nor the Golden Gate and yet think they know California!
I look at the paper and see “Harding” at the top of every column. Then I think of W. W. looking at the paper and seeing the same headlines. Oh, what unhappiness! Not all the devices of Tumulty for keeping alive illusions of grandeur could offset those headlines. Ungrateful world! Un-understanding world!
I hope you like your new boss. He will be a good western Secretary, and is quite likely to get into a row with our eastern conservation friends. I am glad he is from the Senate, they care for their own.
I don’t like Harrison jumping on Harvey after confirmation. Looks little, weakens his influence as “our” man, and is not sportsmanlike. We must take our medicine and let Harding have his own way, and it won’t be such a bad way, but surely very different.
... I should like to get back to Washington and loaf for a time around Sheridan Circle. I know a woman there who intrigued me (as you writers say) long, long ago with various fascinations of spirit and mind and eye and voice. But I fear she would not know me any more.
Now do not be discouraged because you have a bit of sickness. You are youth, you can beat old whiskered Time. Life has many a laugh in it yet for you. Why you look forty years younger than Joe Redding—but don’t tell him I told you.
To Mrs. Frederic Peterson
Rochester, Minnesota, April 26, 
My dear Mrs. Peterson,—... Once more I am going through the grinding of the Mayo mill, and this time I hope to some concrete purpose, and have an end to this coming out “by that same door wherein I went” The dear old meditative, contemplative Orientals threw up their hands in despair long years ago and found the figure of the unending wheel to symbolize all processes and procedures: a world, a universe, without termini. Sometimes I think them right, but then again my western mind will not have it that the riddle of the Sphinx may not be solved. Our assurance meets every challenge; mystery may make us humble; we may be baffled; but we do not despair because we know we are Gods to whom all doors must open eventually. That seems to be the real underlying strength of our position. Why men go on with research excepting out of some such philosophy I cannot see—nor why they go on with life.