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Link: • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 2 October 1735 n.s.
Dated 2 Oct. 1735.. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.

Vir Doctissime

Ex litteris vestris 29 Septembris ad me datis summo gaudio percepi sortem quam nactus es, Tibi placere, jamque Te in paradiso versari non est dubium. Gaudeo propositum Vestrum de exsiccandis plantis; nonnullae erunt quae in collectione mea deficiunt. Vellem mihi curares speciem cypressi Americani cujus non occurrit inter primas Tabulas Dom[ini] CatesbojiCatesby, Mark (1682-1749).
British. Naturalist and artist. Best
known for his illustrated work The
Natural history of Carolina, Florida and
the Bahama islands
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
[1] , a quo accepi literas, quibus me monet quod fasciculum plantarum Virginianarum ad me miserit. Quam primum eas habeo te monebo.

Observationes in Regnum Vegetabile jam diu erant impressae, et quod ibi allegas Dom[inum] van RoyenRoyen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, bene egisti, quippe in carmine de plantarum nuptiis habes defensorem Tuum.[2]

Illud de HoustonoHouston, William (1695-1733).
British. Surgeon. Studied at Leiden
under Boerhaave. Went with the South Sea
Company to Central America and the West
hoc modo potest corrigi: 1732 ex America redux, iterum colonias Hispanorum Americanas petiit.[3]

Doleo fatum clarissimi ArtedijArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
Swedish. Ichtyologist. Close friend of

Pessimus est ille bibliopola Amstelodamensis[5] qui tantum 20 exemplaria Tibi permisit, neque comprehendo quod D[ominus] BurmannusBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
non melius auctoritatem suam interposuerit, neque condonari potest quod tam pessimum correctorem adhibuerit, neque suaderem ut tali bibliopolae imprimendam dares Floram tuam Lapponicam. Si tamen ille D[ominus] SchoutenSchouten, Salomon (1689?-1750).
Dutch. Bookseller and publisher,
Amsterdam. Linnaeus’s publisher. Father
of Petrus Schouten.
vellet impressionem in se suscipere interponat se D[ominus] Burmannus, ut Schouten imprimendam curaret in hac urbe, ut ego ipse possem corrigere, quod libenter absque ulla remuneratione vel mercede faciam.[6] Qua de re potes ilico scribere ad Dominum Burmannum. N[ota] B[ene] infra.[a][a] : <imp>[N[ota] B[ene] infra
in margine add. Gronovius]
Dein cum in his oris parum nitidi sunt circa Linguam Latinam, quidam[b][b] : <imp>[quidam ex
quaedam corr. Gronovius]
Gallicismi et forte Suecismi mutandi forent, ad quod semper sum paratus; et si desideres, ipse hac de re scribam ad Dom[inum] Burmannum.

Typographus[7] iam tertia vice alteram partem Tabulae Botanicae debuit reficere, alioquin correctionem diu habuissemus, quae nunc in diem Saturni incidet, quando te hic desidero, idque a Dom[ino] CliffordClifford, George (1685-1760).
Dutch. Banker and merchant in Amsterdam,
Linnaeus’s benefactor. Owner of
Hartecamp and its botanical garden
outside Haarlem. Correspondent of
etiam precatus fui ut die Saturni huc posses venire et redire sequenti die.[8]

Plurimae difficultates sese offerunt circa Regnum Animale. Vellem illud imprimi eodem charactere quo Regnum Minerale imprimitur. Sed tunc loco duarum phylirarum requiruntur tres cum appendice Vermes continente et credo facile procedet secundum hoc schema, quod ad Te mitto, vellemque ut [cum] D[omino] Clifford perpendas. Hoc enim modo[c][c] : <imp>[modo supra lineam
add. Gronovius
tanquam mappa geographica debet complicari ab utraque parte, quarum prior duas lineas continet, sc[ilicet] quadrupedes, posterior secundam lineam insectorum et in altera linea vermes, in medio duae tabulae singulae tres lineas continentes. Desideravi a D[omino] Cliffort ut liceat Tibi die Saturni huc venire ut redire possis die Sabbathi.

Vale tibi &


Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 2 Oct[obris] 1735.

N[ota] B[ene] Non scribas hac de re ad Burmannum, nisi prius Tecum locutus fuerim.[9]


Johan Frederik Gronovius is glad to hear that Linnaeus is pleased with his new condition — a clear reference to his being installed at the Hartecamp near Haarlem on 24 September 1735. Gronovius supports Linnaeus’s plan to exsiccate plants from the “Hortus Hartekampensis”, as he will find some species which are missing in his own collection. He asks Linnaeus to send him an American cypress which is not included in the first volume of Mark Catesby’s Natural History. Gronovius has received a letter from Catesby informing him that a fascicle of Virginian plants has been sent to Leiden.

The observations regarding the “Regnum vegetabile” have already been printed some time ago. Gronovius approves of the fact that Adriaan van Royen is explicitly referred to in the obsvervations, for in his poem De amoribus et connubiis plantarum Van Royen proves to be a defender of Linnaeus.

Gronovius makes a correction to his account of William Houstoun’s life and death in his letter of 7 September 1735Letter L0043, and deplores Peter Artedi’s fate.

Gronovius severely criticizes Salomon Schouten, the Amsterdam bookseller who allowed Linnaeus no more than 20 copies of his Fundamenta botanica. Johannes Burman should have intervened more vigorously. By the same token, Gronovius deems it inexcusable that such a bad corrector has been engaged. As a result, he strongly dissuades Linnaeus from having his Flora Lapponica printed by Schouten. If, however, Schouten wants to undertake the edition of this work, then Burman should intervene and make sure that Schouten has the text printed in Leiden. This would enable Gronovius to correct proofs and, if necessary, make some modifications as to the Latin used by Linnaeus. In the postscript to the letter, Gronovius asks Linnaeus not to write Burman about the matter until they have talked it through.

The Leiden printer Johan Wilhelm de Groot was obliged to redo the second part of “Regnum vegetabile” for the third time. Consequently, proofreading has been postponed until Saturday. Gronovius expects to meet Linnaeus in Leiden by then.

The layout of “Regnum animale” poses several problems. Therefore, Gronovius proposes a new design which aims at creating as it were a geographical map which is to be folded up on both sides. Linnaeus is asked carefully to examine the new design together with George Clifford.


a. original holograph (LS, V, 367). [1] [2]


<imp>[N[ota] B[ene] infra in margine add. Gronovius]
<imp>[quidam ex quaedam corr. Gronovius]
<imp>[modo supra lineam add. Gronovius]


Royen, Carmen elegiacum . The poem was composed and issued on the occasion of Van Royen’s appointment as professor of botany and medicine at the University of Leiden. Linnaeus owned a copy of this booklet. Linnaeus duly paid tribute to him in his Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
. In the 8th observation on the “vegetable Kingdom”, Van Royen is hailed as one of those botanists who “discovered, described and assumed as infallible that anthers and stigmas constitute the sex in plants.” Van Royen expressed this idea most clearly in the following lines of his poem: “Stamina sola mares, Ovaria sola puellae, / Praegnantes utero pignora cara gerunt. // Hermaphroditus amans geminos in corpore sexus. / a foris quaerit commoda, nata domi” (p. 17). The first line is repeated literally on p. 25: “Stamina sola Mares Ovaria sola Puellae”.
See Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 7 September 1735Letter L0043.
Petrus Artedi was drowned on 28 September 1735 by falling into a canal at night in Amsterdam. See Fries, Linné, 1, 222..
Gronovius repeated his proposal to supervise the printing of 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
(Amsterdam, 1737).
Soulsby no. 279.
in Leiden in some more detail in his letter of 12 October 1735Letter L0048. Despite his criticism against the bookseller Schouten and his serious doubts about the corrector engaged, he failed to persuade Linnaeus’s friends in Amsterdam. As a result, Flora Lapponica was printed and published in Amsterdam without any interference by Gronovius. See Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 19 October 1735Letter L0047.
The present letter is dated 2 October 1735, which is a Sunday. Hence, Gronovius says that he has kindly asked George Clifford to give Linnaeus permission to visit him in Leiden on Saturday 8 October and to return to Amsterdam on Sunday 9 October. The same request is repeated in the following paragraph. The dating is based on the fact that in 1735 Easter (a Sunday) was celebrated on 10 April. See Strubbe & Voet, Chronologie ,134.
As the matter is rather delicate, Gronovius apparently wants to proceed tactfully so as to give no offence. That seems to be the reason why he suggests to write a letter to Johannes Burman himself and why he adds a postscript to his letter, advising Linnaeus not to write Burman about his proposal but rather wait until they have talked together. As can be inferred from Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 19 October 1735Letter L0047, Gronovius’s strategy failed.