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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0054 • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 7 November 1735 n.s.
Dated 7 Nov. 1735.. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.

Doctissime atque Clarissime Domine

Ad conspectum exemplaris, quod hodie remissum a Te per publicos tabellarios, horrui, quum tam multa aliter excudi desideres, quam modo quo se in manuscripto Tuo habent, quod fideliter sequutus eram. Typographus[1] quoque, nisi mihi plurima deberet, non posset cogi ad ea mutanda, quippe ille legibus nostris tenetur manuscriptum quod ipsi in manus traditur, characteribus imprimere, et modo corrigere ea vitia quae ipse commisit, et porro nihil. Attamen est satis honestus, ejulabatur quidem et conquerebatur quam maxime, sed non plane recusavit, promittens se crastino die emendationem suscepturum, adeo ut Martis die vel Mercurij[2] aliud exemplar, prout in literis Vestris desideras, at[a][a] : <imp>[at ex litteris
illegibilibus corr. Gronovius; immo
scribendum est
ad]
te accedere queat.

Systema piscium quoque ad placitum Vestrum remitto: precor quam maxime ne multa mutes; et si quae in systemate quadrupedium, piscium et amphibiorum mutanda sint, quaeso ilico me moneas, nam taedium ita corrigendi me quam maxime occupat, et privata negotia ad alia me vocant, adeo ut opus hoc debeat intra paucos dies ad finem perduci, ob quam causam doctissimas Vestras observationes et Methodum demonstrandi naturalia post secundam Tabulae animalis partem imprimere impossibile est; sine dubio alia dabitur occasio eas imprimendi:[3] accedit quod cum priores tabulae tam nitide, splendide, et egregio ac vero[sic] regio modo sint impressae, cum hac operi nostro nihil detrahere velimus, reservaturi alteram partem paginae Typographo, ut in media charta nomen suum ibi ponat, qui mos semper obtinet in magnis et curiosis operibus.

Illud quoque quod desideras de ArtedioArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
Swedish. Ichtyologist. Close friend of
Linnaeus.
apponi, supervacaneum est, cum in observationibus Ichthyologiam ad Artedum [sic] auctorem referas,[4] quod sufficit.

Sed quaeso mi Linnaee, quid fiet de hac Tabula, quae jam secundum mentem et desiderium vestrum est impressa, continente singula linea singulam animalis[b][b] : <imp>[animalis supra
lineam add. Gronovius
]
gentem. Sed quid inde ortum est: nihil aliud quam ut vix possit cum duabus prioribus in librum sive volumen religari, cum nec infra nec supra tantam habeat chartae purae copiam, ut possit circumcidi, quod magnum detrectamentum et damnum Domino LawsonoLawson, Isaac (?-1747).
British. Scottish botanist and
physician. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
et mihi erit, et quoque Tibi in editione posteriorum et sequentium tractatuum. Novi Te desiderare ut ordo servetur sed cur pentandria in duas lineas divisa minus officit quam hic pisces et insecta facerent. Sed jam factum est, et nulla medela adhiberi poterit, quod tamen doleo, nam ut verum fatear, propter regnum animale bene et nitide impressum (modo quo descripseram et integros duos dies consumpseram) tabulae tuae a plurimis desiderarentur, licet non sint medici, qui nunc nolunt habere.

Iam satis querelarum! Modo properemus ad finem.

Illud quod monuisti de psittaco, mutavi; si plura sint, quaeso in tempore moneas.

Ridere debeo illos qui ex Epistolis meis compilant Characteres[c][c] : <imp>[Char- ex Gen
corr. Gronovius]
generum multum allaturos ad melius intelligendum Tabulam[d][d] : <imp>[Ta- ex Pl
corr. Gronovius]
plantarum. Ego hoc modo volui, quod cum in Tabula legant in Tetrandria Houstoniam, Catesboeam, in Hexandria Medeolam, in Octandria Cliffortiam, in Decandria Benzoam, nullus quicquam novit[e][e] : <imp>[novit ex
noscant corr. Gronovius]
de hisce plantis; Tu earum characterem trades, cui libro in fine quasi per curas secundas possent addi quaedam observationes in omnia nova genera quae in Regno Vegetabili[f][f] : <imp>[Animali ante
Vegetabili del. Gronovius]
recensentur. E[xempli] g[ratia] Cliffortia est planta Surinamensis, folia habens crassa, viridia, quinquenervia, parum hirsuta; unciam lata, unciam et dimidiam longa. Ab indigenis .... dicta, a quibus in tales et tales usus adhibetur: non multum differt a planta quam PlukenetiusPlukenet, Leonard (1642-1706).
British. Botanist and physician.
Botanist to Mary II (wife of William
III). Superintendent of Hampton Court.
vocat ..... .[5] Hoc modo ego Amstelodamenses volui exhilarare ad illos scribendo quod Characteres Vestri multum contribuerent ad nova illa genera quae consatuisti, noscenda. Quaeso praelegas haec iis.

Plurimi professores viderunt Tabulas Vestras, sed omnes eas valde laudant. Literas quas Domino StolbergioSohlberg, Claes (1711-1773).
Swedish. Physician, studied natural
history and medicine at Uppsala
1723-1734. Accompanied Linnaeus on his
tour in Dalecarlia in 1734 and on his
Dutch journey. Doctor of medicine at
Leiden in 1735.
[sic] inscripseras, curavi.

Vale, Vir Doctissime, ac salutem cura. Si scribas ad KohliumKohl, Johann Peter (1698-1778).
German. Professor of ecclesiastical
history at St Petersburg. Later author
and journalist in Hamburg. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
, quaeso, mei memor sis, de novellis quas edit.[6]

Vale iterum & saluta D[ominum] CliffortiumClifford, George (1685-1760).
Dutch. Banker and merchant in Amsterdam,
Linnaeus’s benefactor. Owner of
Hartecamp and its botanical garden
outside Haarlem. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
ac fave
Tuo ex toto corde

Gronovio.

Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum] 7 Nov[embris] 1735.

Quaeso quam primum Tabulam remittas.

DerhamDerham, William (1657-1735).
British. Clergyman, scientist. Author of
Physico-theology (1713).
ante quattuor menses mortuus est.[7]

Ovato-turbinatum melius est quam obverse ovatum.[8] Persistens an melius quam perpetuus, dubito.[9] Fors est idem. Si tamen ad libram examinemus, quod perpetuum est, manet semper: quod persistit supponitur ad tempus quoddam sc[ilicet] usque dum fructus sit maturus.
In Vermibus Holothuria debet mutari Holothurium, gr[aece] oloqourion.[10]

Vale. 8 Nov[embris].

Tam multa mutanda erant ut ad hoc momentum Typographus fuerit occupatus. Vide an in piscibus in Esoce recte se habeat Acus max. squamosa; an legendum Acus max. squamoso.[11]

upSUMMARY

Johan Frederik Gronovius was taken aback when he looked at the corrected proofs sent by Linnaeus earlier today. The printer has agreed, albeit grudgingly and reluctantly, to make the changes indicated by Linnaeus.

At Linnaeus’s request, Gronovius sends him back the system of fishes; Linnaeus is asked to refrain from making too many changes to it. Moreover, he should communicate instantly whatever modification seems necessary to him in the system of quadrupeds, fishes and amphibians, for Gronovius wants to have the work finished within a couple of days. This is also one of the main reasons why Linnaeus’s Methodus cannot be printed after the second table of the “Animal Kingdom”. It will be published on some other occasion.
The note on Petrus Artedi Linnaeus wants to add to his work is rejected by Gronovius as being unnecessary. The reference to Artedi’s Ichthyologia in the observations on the Animal Kingdom is deemed sufficient by Gronovius.

Closely sticking to Linnaeus’s principle that one class of animals be described per column and no class of animals be divided into two columns, the printer has been obliged to reduce the margins at the bottom and the top of the pages containing the “Animal Kingdom”. As a result, it will be difficult to cut the paper and bind the “Animal Kingdom” together with the other two tables. This will be to the detriment not only of Gronovius and Isaac Lawson, but also of Linnaeus himself when publishing his following books. It is a pity, Gronovius says, but nothing can be done about it anymore.

Having voiced his complaints, Gronovius concludes his letter by giving somewhat less critical remarks. First, he informs Linnaeus that he has taken into account the changes proposed with regard to the parrot. Next, he cannot but laugh about those people who try to compile characters of genera from his letters so as to gain a better understanding of the table of plants in the Systema naturae. By reading the names of various plants in the Systema naturae, they have no specific knowledge of them. It is Linnaeus who in his Genera plantarum will provide them with the necessary description of plants. It is suggested by Gronovius that an appendix might be added to the book containing some useful observations on all the new genera listed in the “Vegetable Kingdom”.

To conclude with, Gronovius points out that many professors have seen the tables of Systema naturae, which have met with general approval. Gronovius has taken care of the letter addressed by Linnaeus to his friend Claes Sohlberg. If Linnaeus were to write to Johann Peter Kohl, then he should be mindful of Gronovius, with respect to the journal edited by Kohl.

In the first postscript dated 8 November, Gronovius discusses some Latin terms used by Linnaeus. He suggests to use ovato-turbinatum instead of obverse ovatum, explains the difference between persistens and perpetuus, and proposes to change Holothuria into Holothurium. Apart from these linguistic remarks, he informs Linnaeus that William Derham has passed away four months ago and urges him to send back the table containing the “Animal Kingdom” as soon as possible.

In the second postscript, Gronovius explains why he has sent the new proofs rather late: so many changes had to be made that the printer was kept busy until now.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 375). [1] [2]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
<imp>[at ex litteris illegibilibus corr. Gronovius; immo scribendum est ad]
b.
<imp>[animalis supra lineam add. Gronovius]
c.
<imp>[Char- ex Gen corr. Gronovius]
d.
<imp>[Ta- ex Pl corr. Gronovius]
e.
<imp>[novit ex noscant corr. Gronovius]
f.
<imp>[Animali ante Vegetabili del. Gronovius]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
2.
The present letter is dated [Monday], 7 November 1735. Gronovius hopes he will be able to send the new proofs to Linnaeus on Tuesday, 8 November or Wednesday, 9 November. See also the (second) postscript to this letter. Dating based on the fact that in 1735 Easter was celebrated on 10 April. See Strubbe & Voet, Chronologie , 134.
3.
Reference to Linnaeus’s Methodus, issued by Angelus Sylvius at Leiden in 1736, which was often bound together with the first edition of Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
.
4.
5.
The idea suggested by Gronovius proved attractive enough to be further developed. From his letters of 12Letter L0053 and 25 November 1735Letter L0051 it becomes clear that Gronovius eagerly wanted to write the supplementary observations himself. However, the idea was eventually abandoned. 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.
did not contain any appendix written by Gronovius.
6.
See Gronovius’s letter of 24 October 1735 to Johann Peter Kohl (L.S., V, 373.
7.
Gronovius was mistaken. William Derham had died about seven months earlier, on 5 April 1735.
8.
To my knowledge, neither the word ovato-turbinatum nor the expression obverse ovatum is to be found in Linnaeus’s “Regnum animale” or in the “Observationes in regnum animale”. The discussion of the following words in the postscript do seem to suggest, however, that Gronovius is checking the Latin of Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
rather than that of Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
.
9.
Gronovius is perhaps discussing the use of the word persistens in the description calice persistente used in the “Regnum vegetabile” to distinguish a specific category of Polyandria monogynia.
Linnaeus accepted Gronovius’s suggestion. See Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
, Regnum Animale, VI. Vermes, Zoophyta, Tethys: Holothurium.
The first reading was the correct one. See Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
, Regnum Animale, IV. Pisces, Malacopterygii, Esox: Acus maxima squamosa.