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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0047 • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 19 October 1735 n.s.
Dated 19 Oct. 1735.. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.

Vir Doctissime

Hodie mane traditas mihi literas vestras summo cum gaudio perlegi et quae communicasti de Flora Lapponica, bene percepi; neque velim ut in posterum Te opponas Domino BurmannoBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
vel cuiquam alij: imprimat SchoutenSchouten, Salomon (1689?-1750).
Dutch. Bookseller and publisher,
Amsterdam. Linnaeus’s publisher. Father
of Petrus Schouten.
Floram vestram et corrigat Amstelodamensis, quisquis ille sit, tamen egregie deformata erit vitiis. Non est uniuscujusque corrigere[a][a] : <imp> corrigere [corrigere
ex imp corr. Gronovius].
Gronovius started to write “imprimere”,
but changed his mind.
librum Botanicum. Ergo non amplius de Flora Lapponica hic Lugduni Batavorum imprimenda cogites.

Iam altera pars Tabulae Botanicae[1] est nitidissime impressa, adeo ut nullum possis detegere vitium Typographicum. Sed ante octo dies tristissimus cum ea acciderat casus. Nam cum Typographus[2] vellet instrumentum istud ferreum quod literas plumbeas comprehendit, tabulae impressoriae imponere, literae omnes decidebant; adeo ut de novo tabulam debuerit reponere. Eadem de causa debuit desistere de curando regno animali, quod crastino die in animo habet.

Heri accepi literas ex Anglia a D[omino] BedfortBedford, John Russell, 4th Duke of
(1710-1771). British. Renowned
for his botanical interests.
, qui plantas MicheliMitchell, John (1711-1768).
British/American. Physician and
botanist. Born in Virginia. After
studies in medicine at the University of
Edinburgh he returned to Virginia as a
physician, but left America for London
in 1746. Famous for his map of eastern
North-America, known as the Mitchell
Map, first published in 1755.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
ad me detulerat. Tradideram quoque ei tabulas tunc temporis impressas, quas ipse D[omino] MeadMead, Richard (1673-1754).
British. Influential physician.
Appointed physician to George II in
1727.
examinandas dedit, dein D[omino] ColeCole, William (1714-1782).
British. Antiquary.
, quem ignoro. Uterque tamen exultabat et gaudebat. D[omino] RidcharsonRichardson, Richard
(1663-1741). British. Botanist and
antiquary.
[sic] etiam ostendet. MillerMiller, Philip (1691-1771).
British. Gardener of the Chelsea Physic
Garden. Corresponded with many
botanists. His rich herbarium was sold
to Joseph Banks. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
eas nunc tenet, ea conditione ut ostendat Domino SloaneSloane, Hans (1660-1753).
British. Physician, naturalist and
collector. Secretary of the Royal
Society in 1693, president in 1727.
Sloane’s collections of natural history
objects were donated to the English
nation and were one of cornerstones of
the British Museum (1759). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
et mecum sententiam ejus communicet, quod proxima hebdomade pollicetur.

Quo magis perlego characteres vestros Generum, eo magis mihi placent, et admodum necessaria ea censeo ad intelligendum Systema Sexuale. Vellem ea nitide descripta esse, tunc statim imprimerem. Vellem enim unam vel alteram phyliram generum esse impressam cum Regnum Animale ad finem perductum erit, ut possim eodem tempore in Angliam mittere. Occurrit quoque hic Bibliopola,[3] qui ea vellet imprimere modo, charta et charactere quem desiderarem, si modo 130 exemplaria essent subscripta, pro quorum singulo triginta[b][b] : [intra ante triginta
del. Gronovius]
vel[c][c] : [vel supra lineam add.
Gronovius
]
et quadraginta stuferno [sic][d][d] : [imo stuferi] solverentur. Ego ipse pro viginti exemplaribus fidem dedi, dein hac in urbe conquisivi amicos qui triginta exemplaria desiderant. Unde scripsi ad Burmannum, si ille posset comparare quosdam qui inter se 80 exemplaria vellent suscipere, quod statim hic sub cura mea imprimeretur. Sed si hoc non procedat, ego ipse propriis sumptibus curabo. Post alterum diem inchoabo quaedam cum Venia Vestra in Generibus mutare, quoad Latinitatem, eaque dein tibi consideranda offeram. Ipse fateor me deceptum in istis generibus quoad[e][e] : [quoad ex quod corr.
Gronovius
]
novas lineas, quae sane valde necessariae sunt. Verum numeri isti debent verbis exprimi et nullae abbreviationes verborum debent admitti.

De Ranis Domini SebaeSeba, Albert (1665-1736).
Dutch. Pharmacist and collector of
natural history specimens, Amsterdam.
sententiam Vestram probe intelligo.[4]

Nolles credere quam elegantes plantas acceperim ex Virginia;[5] magnam partem chartis agglutinavi, quasdam vero intactas relinquam usque dum hic eris cum prima pars Regni Animalis erit impressum, ut eas possis examinare; videntur enim nova genera. Plurima quoque in duplo habeo pro Nobilissimo CliffortioClifford, George (1685-1760).
Dutch. Banker and merchant in Amsterdam,
Linnaeus’s benefactor. Owner of
Hartecamp and its botanical garden
outside Haarlem. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
, quem meo nomine salutes et has litteras perlegendas tradas. Semina quoque quaedam pro Dom[ino] Cliffortio habeo, sed tempus mihi deest ea colligendi, quod media hieme magis supererit.[6] Vellem tamen scire an in viridario suo habeat Cassinen, de hac enim satis bona semina ad me missa sunt.

Perlegendo Systema Sexuale excerpsi in adjuncta charta quaedam genera quae vellem scire an et ubi sint descripta, et ubi ea vidisti, et cujus Regionis sint incolae.

Unicam adhuc movebo quaestionem quam quaeso cum Dom[ino] Cliffortio rite perpendas. In Paradoxis castigas binis locis D[ominum] Sebam, et quidem jure et merito. Scire debes quod si Angliam petere velles, >quod< favor D[omini] Sloane et Miller tibi summopere necessarius sit. Illi duo maxime amant Dominum Sebam, quin imo venerantur.[7] Si nunc in Te contrahas inimicitiam Domini Sebae, debes esse certus quod in Anglia male audibis, quod libenter vellem evitare, praesertim quum magna mihi spes sit Te membrum Societatis electurum iri [sic], quamprimum Londini perveneris. Ergo ista paradoxa[f][f] : [et reliqu post paradoxa
del. Gronovius]
quae tangunt Dominum Sebam et reliqua (licet sint valde docta et egregia) in hac Tabula negligerem ac in aliud tempus reservarem.[8] Nam certe eadem tangerent Dom[inum] Sloane quam maxime. Neque dubito quin Nobiliss[imus] Dom[inus] Cliffort in eadem sit sententia, quem meo nomine salutare non dedigneris. MartyniMartyn, John (1699-1768).
British. Physician, professor of botany
at Cambridge.
nova decas plantarum sub praelo sudat;[9] Iter Orientale KempferiKämpfer, Engelbert
(1651-1716). German. Physician,
botanist and explorer. Travelled in
Asia. Known for his works on Japan and
Japanese natural history.
nunquam quoque procedet.[10]

Vale vir Doctissime et Tuis annumera

Joh[annem] Fred[ericum] Gronovium.

Heri has misissem, sed nescio quid in causa fuerit quod obliviscerer.

Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 19 Oct[obris] 1735.

Mitto hic duo exemplaria Regni Vegetabilis, ut unum inserviat D[omin]o Cliffort, alterum vero Tibi.

[address] A Mons[ieu]r Linnaeus

upSUMMARY

Johan Frederik Gronovius has understood Linnaeus’s message about Flora Lapponica and abandons his initial plan to have the work printed and proofread in Leiden, even though he predicts it will not be well produced in Amsterdam.

Despite an accident which happened to the forme of type a week ago, the second part of “Regnum vegetabile” has been well printed. The accident has forced the printer to postpone the printing of “Regnum animale” to the following day.

Gronovius has sent a copy of the tables of Systema naturae which have already been already printed to John Russell, Duke of Bedford, in England. Bedford has passed the tables to Richard Mead and William Cole, who have read them with delight. They will also be presented to Richard Richardson. Philip Miller has them now in his possession; he will show them to Hans Sloane and pass on his opinion to Gronovius.

Gronovius is very pleased with Linnaeus’s description of genera, which he considers indispensable for understanding the Systema naturae properly. Gronovius would like to send one or two sheets of the genera to England together with the Systema naturae. Furthermore, he has found a bookseller who is prepared to print the Genera plantarum according to Gronovius’s wishes, on condition that 130 subscribers can be found. As a result, Gronovius is trying hard to find enough subscribers. If necessary, however, he will have the work published at his own expense. In two days Gronovius will start making some changes to the Latin of the text. Having received some new lines to be inserted in the description of genera, Gronovius reminds Linnaeus of the fact that numbers should be expressed in words and abbreviations of words should be avoided.

Gronovius understands Linnaeus’s remark about Seba’s frogs perfectly.

Gronovius is delighted with the plants he has received from Virginia, most of which have already been glued onto sheets. Some plants, however, seem to constitute new genera and have been left intact so as to give Linnaeus the opportunity of examining them. Gronovius will send George Clifford various duplicates, as well as some seeds.

Reading through the Systema naturae, Gronovius has selected some genera of plants. He wants to know whether they have been described, if so where, where Linnaeus has seen them, and in which region they grow.

In his discussion of paradoxes, Linnaeus has corrected Albert Seba twice, and deservedly so. Yet Gronovius strongly advises his friend to delete these passages altogether. Seba is held in high esteem in England, among others by Sloane and Miller. It would therefore be unwise to antagonize him, especially since Gronovius has every hope that Linnaeus will be elected a fellow of the Royal Society as soon as he arrives in London.

Gronovius informs Linnaeus that a new decade of John Martyn’s Historia plantarum rariorum is in the press and that Engelbert Kämpfer’s Iter orientale will also appear (will never be issued ?).

For some reason or other, Gronovius forgot to send this letter the day before. In a postscript he points out that he has included two copies of “Regnum vegetabile”, one copy of which is intended for Clifford, the other for Linnaeus himself.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 371-372). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
<imp> corrigere [corrigere ex imp corr. Gronovius]. Gronovius started to write “imprimere”, but changed his mind.
b.
[intra ante triginta del. Gronovius]
c.
[vel supra lineam add. Gronovius]
d.
[imo stuferi]
e.
[quoad ex quod corr. Gronovius]
f.
[et reliqu post paradoxa del. Gronovius]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
See Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 12 October 1735 n.s.Letter L0048.
2.
3.
4.
See Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 12 October 1735 n.s.Letter L0048.
5.
See Gronovius’s letters to Linnaeus of 2 OctoberLetter L0050, 8 OctoberLetter L0049 and 12 October 1735 n.s.Letter L0048.
6.
In fact, the seeds and plants from Virginia would not be arranged until November 1736. See Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 27 November 1736 n.s.Letter L0109.
7.
Albert Seba was a good friend and correspondent of Sir Hans Sloane, as can be deduced from Scott, Index to the Sloane manuscripts in the British MuseumScott, E. J. L. Index to the
Sloane manuscripts in the British
Museum
(London 1904).
, s.v. Seba, Albertus. For the connections between the Dutch naturalist circles and Philip Miller, see Le Rougetel, The Chelsea gardener: Philip Miller 1691–1771Le Rougetel, H. The Chelsea
gardener: Philip Miller 1691-1771

(London 1990).
, 48-56.
8.
This is a reference to Linnaeus’s discussion of Paradoxes in the “Regnum Animale”, placed after the class of Amphibians and before the class of Fishes. In the printed version, any allusion to Albert Seba has been omitted.
9.
A reference to decades 2-5 of John Martyn’s Historia plantarum rariorumMartyn, John Historia
plantarum rariorum centuriae primae
decas
, I-V (London 1728-[1737]).
, which were not printed until 1737; the first decade was issued in London in 1728. The information was probably sent to Gronovius by Miller, who was one of Martyn’s chief botanical correspondents. See Dictionary of national biography Dictionary of national
biography
(London 1885-1901).
, 12, 1202-1204. For Martyn and his relationship to Miller, see also Le RougetelThe Chelsea gardener: Philip Miller 1691–1771Le Rougetel, H. The Chelsea
gardener: Philip Miller 1691-1771

(London 1990).
, 144-146.
When Engelbert Kämpfer died in 1716, he had only published the voluminous Amoenitatum exoticarum politico–physico–medicarum fasciculi VKämpfer, Engelbert
Amoenitatum exoticarum
politico-physico-medicarum fasciculi V,
quibus continentur variae relationes,
observationes & descriptiones rerum
Persicarum et ulterioris Asiae, multa
attentione, in peregrinatione per
universum orientem collectae ab auctore
Engelberto Kaempfero
(Lemgo 1712).
. Kämpfer left a considerable number of manuscripts, which were subsequently purchased by Sir Hans Sloane. He arranged for the publication of The History of JapanKämpfer, Engelbert The
History of Japan, giving an account of
the ancient and present state and
government of that empire; of its
temples, palaces, castles and other
buildings; of its metals, minerals,
trees, plants, animals, birds and
fishes; of the chronology and succession
of the emperors, ecclesiastical and
secular; of the original descent,
religions, customs, and manufactures of
the natives, and of their trade and
commerce with the Dutch and Chinese.
Together with a description of the
kingdom of Siam. Written in High-Dutch
by Engelbertus Kaemfer [...] and
translated from his original manuscript,
never before printed, by J. G.
Scheuchzer [...] With the life of the
author, and an introduction
, I-II
(London 1727).
, which appeared in an English translation in 1727. In this letter Gronovius seems to refer to Kämpfer’s diaries, which contain a rich account of his travels to Persia and Japan, Iter Orientale. They would remain unpublished until 1968. See Meier-Lemgo,Die ReisetagebücherKämpfer, Engelbert . It seems reasonable to infer from Gronovius’s letter that the publication of Kämpfer’s diaries was taken into consideration or at least foreseen as early as 1735. This is confirmed by a letter written by Johann AmmanAmman, Johann (1707-1741).
Swiss/Russian?. Curator of Hans Sloane’s
natural history collection. Professor of
botany at the Imperial Academy of
Sciences at St Petersburg. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
on 12 April 1735 in which he asks Sloane whether Kämpfer’s itinerary has already been published: “Prodiitne Itinerarium Kempferi?” (British Library, Sloane MS. 4054, f. 33a).