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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0051 • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 25 November 1735 n.s.
Dated 25 Nov. 1735. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.

Vir Doctissime

Die Saturni[1] traditae mihi sunt binae vestrae literae, una cum Characteribus Generum qui mihi placuerunt quam maxime, licet tempore deficiente leviter modo eos perlegere licuerit. Desiderio D[ominorum] CliffortijClifford, George (1685-1760).
Dutch. Banker and merchant in Amsterdam,
Linnaeus’s benefactor. Owner of
Hartecamp and its botanical garden
outside Haarlem. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
et BurmanniBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
certissime satisfaciam, quippe qui Characteres divellere, eorumque partem in aliam rejicere paginam nunquam in animo habui, licet in specimine manuscripto tale naevum commiserim. Titulum quoque quem expetis apponendum, ipse proposui, quem poteris conscribere prout velis, sed ad finem Tituli vellem adjungi

Quibus accedent
Joh[annis] Fred[erici] GronovijGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeus’s benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.

Elucidationes in nova plantarum genera
ex America et aliunde collecta characteribus
naturalibus inserta.

Hinc censeo optimum fore si characteres vestri se invicem sequerentur prout occurrunt in Systemate Vegetabili, insertis iis quae tabula impressa detegere Tibi licuerit. Tuncque tanquam altera pars sequerentur Elucidationes in nova genera, quibus tum et icones addere et quaecumque alia adjungere poterimus.[2]

Per Xyridem sine dubio intelligis plantam cujus Iconem tradit PlukenetiusPlukenet, Leonard (1642-1706).
British. Botanist and physician.
Botanist to Mary II (wife of William
III). Superintendent of Hampton Court.
tab. 416, fig. 4, ubi vocatur Gladiolus luteus tripetalos, floribus plurimis minimis, ex uno capitulo squamoso compositus D. BanisterBanister, John (1650-1692).
British. Botanist and entomologist. The
first university-trained naturalist to
work in Virginia, where he arrived in
1678, and where he spent the rest of his
life collecting and recording plants and
insects and sending plants to England.
.[3] In characteribus quos ex ore Vestro excerpsi cum examinares hujus plantae capitulum, nullius petali meministi. Plukenet[ius] Alm. 170 censet eandem esse plantam cum Kotsjilettipullu H. Malabar. 9.71.[4]

Quod Gladiolo locustri seu Pontederiae adscripserim labium superius bifidum, id feci auctoritate Observationum quas Amicus meus in Virginia[5] in hanc plantam commentatus fuit, ubi plane scribit: “Labium superius est bifidum, inferius vero trifidum[a][a] : <imp>[trifidum post
trifidum ex bifidum correctum
scripsit Gronovius
]
”, neque cito D[ominum] 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.
de labio superiori vel inferiori[b][b] : <imp>[vel inferiori supra
lineam add. Gronovius
]
, sed quoad duo labia simul, quae scribit repraesentare florem quasi esset bilabiatus.[6] Si nunc D[ominus] Boerhave in eo decipiatur quod superius labium sit tripartitum, profecto Pontederia longe differt a Gladiolo.[7]

Quod me doceas Iusticiam D[omini] HoustounHouston, William (1695-1733).
British. Surgeon. Studied at Leiden
under Boerhaave. Went with the South Sea
Company to Central America and the West
Indies.
esse Adhatodae speciem, gaudeo; et si Hortum siccum Petiverianum inspicere contingeret, non dubito quin ibi sub nomine Adhatodae ea occurreret.[8]

Titulum ad Te transmittam quando correctum [sic] est, ac dein quoque quasdam in tenuiori charta; typographus per aliquot dies fere nihil agit, ab opere distractus generositate uxoris suae, quae ipsius familiam[c][c] : <imp>[mascula ante
familiam del. Gronovius]
mascula auxit prole; interim curam geram ut intra octo dies et titulum et primam partem Regni Animalis sit conspecturus.

De dedicatione quam velles D[omin]o LawsonoLawson, Isaac (?-1747).
British. Scottish botanist and
physician. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
et mihi inscribere, maximas Tibi agimus gratias; persuasi satis sumus de gratissimo Tuo animo, et quod publice satis in Observationibus ad tria naturae regna testatus fueris, quippe quod omni dedicatione majus aestimamus. Praeterea Liber noster vere[d][d] : <imp>[vere ex verus
corr. Gronovius]
regius et regio modo impressus non patitur dedicationem quam alioquin Domino Cliffortio inscriptam deberi judicamus, sed propter has & privatas quasdam rationes eam debemus negligere.[9] Interim innumeras Tibi agimus gratias pro favore et honore quo nos perfundere et cumulare in animo habes, sisque persuasus nos omnia beneficia contributuros, ubicunque occasio se offert.

Heri alteram partem cum characteribus Generum[e][e] : <imp>[characteribus Generum
ex Generibus corr.
Gronovius
]
accepi, quae maximopere me captant[f][f] : <imp>[captant ex
delectant corr. Gronovius]
, neque miror quod Amstelodamenses ea tantopere desiderent. Unicum tamen erit praecipuum, ut nitide imprimantur, quod requiret maximum laborem et industriam.

Hasce literas ante tres dies ad Te mittendas proposueram, sed pluribus distractis negotiis impeditus eas in hunc diem differre debui. Interim legibus vestris satisfaciens mitto Tibi titulum eo modo, quo quum una eramus, correximus. Mihi et Amicis in hac Urbe maxime placet neque dubito quin Nobiliss[imo] Cliffortio Tibique et alijs arrideat. Forte cras Tibi mittam Methodum demonstrandi naturalia, in qua quaedam valde dura et vix intelligibilia praecipue N[umeris] 19, 20, 21.[10] Quaeso si possibile sit mittas mihi unam tabulam de iis quae pertinent ad Floram Lapponicam, ut eam in Angliam mittere possim.

Typographus me praevenit et Methodum demonstrandi,[11] quam heri expectaveram, una cum titulo misit.

Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 25 Nov[embris] 1735

Quaeso dicas D[omino] Cliffort promotionem cum Cappa in 13 Decembris delatam.

upSUMMARY

Johan Frederik Gronovius has received the description of genera sent by Linnaeus. They will be printed according to GeorgeClifford’s and Johannes Burman’s suggestions: the characters of each genus will be confined to one and the same page. In other words, the end of each page will also mark the end of the description of a particular genus. While Linnaeus may compose the title as he sees fit, Gronovius proposes to add to it a reference to the appendix he wants to write, containing elucidations on the new genera of plants collected from America and elsewhere (“Elucidationes in nova plantarum genera ex America et aliunde collecta”). In describing the genera of plants, Linnaeus should follow the order adopted in the “Vegetable kingdom” of the Systema naturae, whereas newly discovered plants are to be inserted. Gronovius’s “Elucidationes” would then follow as a second part, to which illustrations and other things may be added.

Next, Gronovius comments upon three genera of plants described by Linnaeus, namely xyris, gladiolus locuster, and Iusticia. Xyris is identified with the gladiolus luteus tripetalos described by Leonardus Plukenetius. Referring to John Clayton and Herman Boerhaave, Gronovius clarifies his description of gladiolus locuster which he has identified with the Pontederia. Finally, he confirms Linnaeus’s identification of Iusticia Houst. as an adhatoda.

Gronovius will send Linnaeus, among other things, the corrected version of the title page of the Systema naturae. Although the printer has been distracted from his work by his wife’s delivery, Gronovius will see to it that Linnaeus will receive the title page, as well as the first part of the “Animal kingdom” within eight days.

Both Gronovius and Isaac Lawson appreciate it very much that Linnaeus wants to dedicate the Systema naturae to them. However, they are of the opinion that Linnaeus has expressed his gratitude enough by publicly paying them tribute in the observations on the three kingdoms of nature. Moreover, the book, truly royal and royally printed as it is, does not allow for any other dedication than to Clifford.

Gronovius informs Linnaeus that he has received the second part of the Genera plantarum, with which he is very pleased.

Gronovius intended to send Linnaeus this letter three days ago, but he proved unable to do so, as he was distracted by his many occupations. Anyway, he sends Linnaeus the corrected title page of the Systema naturae, together with a proof of the Methodus, which contains some lines which Gronovius finds hardly intelligible. Linnaeus is asked to send him, if possible, one table from the Flora Lapponica, which is to be sent to England too.

In a postscript, he wants Clifford to be told that the promotion has been postponed until 13 December.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 378-379). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
<imp>[trifidum post trifidum ex bifidum correctum scripsit Gronovius]
b.
<imp>[vel inferiori supra lineam add. Gronovius]
c.
<imp>[mascula ante familiam del. Gronovius]
d.
<imp>[vere ex verus corr. Gronovius]
e.
<imp>[characteribus Generum ex Generibus corr. Gronovius]
f.
<imp>[captant ex delectant corr. Gronovius]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
19 November. The letter itself was written and sent on Friday 25 November.
2.
Gronovius’s suggestion was not followed by Linnaeus. The printed version of Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
would not contain any additional elucidations by Gronovius nor would they contain any illustrations (icones).
3.
Plukenet, Almagestum botanicum , tab. 416, fig. 4. Xyris is described in Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
of 1737, no. 31. Linnaeus acknowledges his debt to Gronovius in establishing this genus: “Xyris * vid. H[orti] M[alabarici] IX.21. [sic] authore Clariss[imo] Gronovio”. For xyris, see also Gronovius’s letter of 3 November 1735Letter L0055.
4.
A reference to Reede van Draakenstein, Horti Malabarici pars prima [-duodecima & ultima]Rheede van Draakestein, Hendrik
Adriaan van
Horti Malabarici
pars prima [-duodecima & ultima]
[...] Latinis, Malabaricis, Arabicis,
Brachmanum characteribus nominibusque
expressis, adjecta florum, fructuum,
seminumque nativae magnitudinis vera
delineatione, colorum viriumque accurata
descriptione, adornata per [...]
Henricum van Rhede tot Draakestein [...]
et Theodorum Janson. ab Almeloveen, M.D.
Notis adauxit, & commentariis
illustravit Joannes Commelinus
,
I-XII (Amsterdam 1686 [i.e. 1678]-1703).
, part. 9, tab. 71. Plukenet’s description of the plant in Almagestum botanicumRheede van Draakestein, Hendrik
Adriaan van
, p. 170 reads as follows: “Gladiolus luteus tripetalos, floribus pluribus minimis, ex uno capitulo squamoso erumpentibus, Banisteri Cat. Stirp. Virginian.” In his own copy of the Almagestum Botanicum Linnaeus noted down in the margin the reference provided by Gronovius: “t. 416, f. 4. Xyris indica[tur]!”
5.
6.
Herman Boerhave, ubi [?].
7.
Gronovius’s inference was taken over by Linnaeus who in his Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
discussed the Pontederia as a separate genus (no. 291).
8.
To my knowledge, the adhatoda is not mentioned in James Petiver’s Hortus siccus Pharmaceuticus, in: Petiver, Opera omnia .
9.
The problem of dedication was raised as early as August 1735, as can be inferred from Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 1 September 1735Letter L0044. The printed version of Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
does not contain any dedication at all. However, Linnaeus paid due tribute to Gronovius and Lawson in the “Observationes in Regna III naturae”, no. 19.
See also Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 3 December 1735Letter L0058.