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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0048 • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 12 October 1735 n.s.
Dated 1735 12 Oct.. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.

Vir Doctissime

Gratulor mihi quam maxime quod tam expedite ad Literas meas responsum des, eaque promptitudo me incitat ut nitidissime omnia imprimantur, ac adimit mihi taedium istud quod me per sex dies occupavit in corrigenda tabula ista, quae hodie nitidissime erit impressa.[1] Interim typographus procedit cum sequenti tabula.[2] Quaeso loquaris cum Nobiliss[imo] 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.
, priusquam adeas BurmannumBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, de proposito quod Tecum communicavi de Flora Lapponica imprimenda,[3] nempe si Illi quorum expensis Tabulae sunt incisae,[4] velint eas mihi dono dare, ego curabo ut hic imprimatur curiosissime, ac ipse correctionem in me suscipiam, praesertim si Dominum BoerhaveBoerhaave, Herman (1668-1738).
Dutch. Professor of medicine, botany and
chemistry at Leiden. One of the most
influential professors of medicine of
the eighteenth century. Linnaeus visited
him during his stay in Holland.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
posses persuadere ut praefationem operi addat.[5]

Quod adhuc nullum responsum dederim ad chartam qua Genera Plantarum communicasti, in causa fuit secunda pars regni vegetabilis, quae me maxime ab omnibus negotiis detinuit. Placent quam maxime. Sed in longius excurret, et ad minimum 20 phyliras (quarum singula sexdecim paginas continet) implebit.[6] Sed hoc nihil refert. Neque credo quod singula pagina plus quam tria genera possit comprehendere. Nam lineae vestrae sunt tam longae, ut fere omnes in duas dispesci debeant. Adeo ut in maximam excresceret molem, quod ne fiat summopere est cavendum. Ergo Ego imprimere vellem modo prout in sequenti tabula se habet. Ubi nomina partium fructificationis literis capitalibus (paulo minoribus quam quo nomen genericum) exprimo. Partes vero, ut perianth[ium], petalum, filamentum &tc. cursive exprimerem[a][a] : <imp>[literis iisde
ante exprimerem del.
Gronovius
]
neque ullus admitterem abbreviationem, ut I.2 etc[etera] Anther. pist. pericarp. sed integra vellem. Quod si hoc modo Tibi placeat, ego ilico, cum Regnum Animale erit absolutum imprimere incipiam.[7] Quaeso in posterum lineae vestrae magis distent, nam interdum vix possum legere; interim hic illic potest corrigi ut melius Latine sonet ut jam feci in duobus generibus, ubi verba linea superscribuntur.

Non dubito quin Regnum Vegetabile maxime sit placiturum Domino Cliffort, pro quo plurimas nuper ex Virginia plantas habeo, quarum indicem sequenti hebdomade mittam.

Non bene intelligo Te cum in Paradoxis[8] scribis de Ranis D[omini] SebaeSeba, Albert (1665-1736).
Dutch. Pharmacist and collector of
natural history specimens, Amsterdam.
[9] : “Si enim piscis hic branchias obtinet, tam diversae speciei quam generis erit a Rana. Si vero piscis ille pulmones obtinet, erit Lacerta.” Ego putem te voluisse scribere: “Si enim piscis hic branchias obtinet, erit Lacerta. Si vero pulmones, Rana.” Deinde verba tam diversae speciei quam generis hic nihil faciunt & nihil addunt ad sensum.

Inter nuper acceptas plantas novam Ruellij [sic][b][b] : <imp>[Forte legendum
est
Ruelliae. See Systema
naturae
, Regnum vegetabile,
Pentandria Monogynia, Petal. I. caps.
I-locular.: Ruellia Pl.]
speciem accepi et plures alias nunquam antea visas.

Vale.

J[ohannes] F[redericus] Gronovius.

Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum] 1735 12 Oct[obris].

Interim spero quod procedes in Generibus describendis, vellemque ea descripta quando Regnum animale post tres hebdomadas erit finitum. Cum enim in Angliam ad D[ominum] 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 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.
mitteres tabulas, vellem primam phyliram cum generibus addere et desiderare eorum sententiam, quod maxime in Laudem Vestram cedet.

Obstupesceres quot raras plantas ex Virginia acceperim, inter quas certe plures sunt quae nova genera constituunt, quas non agglutinabo usque dum Te hic videam, cras autem reliquas curabo.

upSUMMARY

Johan Frederik Gronovius has spent six days correcting the second table of “Regnum vegetabile” which will be neatly printed today. Meanwhile, the printer proceeds with the following table. Gronovius unfolds his proposal regarding Flora Lapponica. If those persons who have financed the engraving of the plates in the work, are willing to give them to Gronovius as a present, then he will see to it that the work will be printed with extreme care and undertake proofreading himself. He would do so even more eagerly if Herman Boerhaave could be persuaded to add a preface to the work.

Gronovius is very pleased with the sheet containing (a broad outline of) the Genera plantarum which was sent to him by Linnaeus. He is willing to start printing the work as soon as “Regnum animale” will have been finished, even though the new work promises to be voluminous, provided that Linnaeus agrees with Gronovius’s suggestions as to the combination of various typefaces and the avoidance of abbreviations. Linnaeus is asked to use more line space in his autographs so as to render them more legible. In the meantime, Gronovius will improve the Latin of Genera plantarum, as he has already done in Linnaeus’s description of two genera.

Next week, Gronovius will send Linnaeus a list of plants which he has received from Virginia. He intends to give several plants to George Clifford who will certainly be very pleased with “Regnum vegetabile”.

Gronovius does not understand what Linnaeus has written about Albert Seba’s frogs under the heading “Paradoxa”. Therefore, he suggests some modifications.

Gronovius informs Linnaeus that he has received many plants from Virginia which have never been seen before, including a new species of Ruellia.

In a postscript to the letter, Gronovius urges Linnaeus to proceed with the description of genera. A first sheet or philyra containing 16 printed pages should be added to the copies of Systema naturae which are to be sent to Sir Hans Sloane and Philip Miller in three weeks’ time, when the printing will be finished. Sloane and Miller will be invited to give their opinion about Linnaeus’s description of genera. Once more, Gronovius expresses his amazement about the rare plants he has received from Virginia. Many of these plants are likely to constitute new genera. Gronovius will not glue them until he has seen Linnaeus at home in Leiden.

[i/1] On a separate piece of paper that is attached to the present letter (L.S., V, 370), Linnaeus offers an explanatory note which runs as follows: “Si enim animalculum hunc [sic] branchias obtinet, tum diversissimus est a Ranis et Lacertis, nam nullum amphibium branchiis unquam instructum fuit; si vero pulmones obtineat, tum est[n] Lacertus, nam nullus piscis, exceptis plagiuris pulmonibus gaudet, et hic neque est plagiurus, nec ullo modo cum ceteris convenit.” The final version in Systema naturae reads as follows: “Si enim piscis hic instructus est branchiis, erit diversus a Rana & Amphibiis. Si vero pulmones, erit Lacerta: nam toto caelo a Chondropterygiis & Plagiuris differt.”

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 369-370). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
<imp>[literis iisde ante exprimerem del. Gronovius]
b.
<imp>[Forte legendum est Ruelliae. See Systema naturae, Regnum vegetabile, Pentandria Monogynia, Petal. I. caps. I-locular.: Ruellia Pl.]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
The second table of “Regnum vegetabile” in Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
. See infra, second paragraph: “in causa fuit secunda pars regni vegetabilis quae me maxime ab omnibus negotiis detinuit”.
2.
The first part of “Regnum animale” in Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
. See infra, second paragraph: “ilico, cum Regnum Animale erit absolutum [...]”.
3.
See Gronovius’s letter of 2 October 1735Letter L0050.
4.
5.
Herman Boerhaave refused to write a preface to Flora LapponicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
Lapponica exhibens plantas per Lapponiam
crescentes, secundum systema sexuale
collectas in itinere [...] Additis
synonymis, & locis natalibus omnium,
descriptionibus & figuris rariorum,
viribus medicatis & oeconomicis
plurimarum
(Amsterdam, 1737).
Soulsby no. 279.
. Likewise, he did not want the work to be dedicated to him. As a result, it was dedicated to the “Illustrissima Societas Regia Litteraria et Scientiarum Sueciae”. However, Boerhaave did accept, and graciously acknowledged, the dedication of the first edition of Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
issued in Leiden in 1737. See Blunt, The Compleat NaturalistLinnaeus, Carl , 100.
6.
One phylira (usually spelled as philyra) is a sheet in plano, which corresponds with 16 pages in octavo.
7.
See also Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 19 OctoberLetter L0047 and 12 November 1735Letter L0053 in which Gronovius confirms his willingness to undertake the printing of Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
. In his letter of 3 DecemberLetter L0058, however, he draws back a little, confining his role to correcting the Latin of the main text.
8.
Discussion of Paradoxes (“Paradoxa”) in Regnum Animale placed after the class of Amphibians (III) and before the class of Fishes (IV).
9.