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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0089 • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 15 June 1736 n.s.
Dated 15 Junij 1736.. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to Hartecamp (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Doctissimo atque Celeberrimo D[omin]o D[omin]o Carolo Linnaeo Med[icinae] D[octori] S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[at] Johannes Fredericus Gronovius.

Heri fasciculus Domino DillenioDillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
inscriptus adjuncta Epistola Vestra ad me pervenit, et quidem in tempore, quum hodie mane Bibliopola Londinensis,[1] cui mandante Dillenio literas &tc. traderem, me petierit et reditum intra octiduum annunciaverit.

Obstupui sane quum ex literis vestris intellexeram D[ominum] Dillenium adhucdum eleganti ac doctissima vestra Musae descriptione[2] frustratum; forte ad MillerumMiller, 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.
missa fuit, qui aut nimis facilis in praestandis beneficiis, aut valde durus et negligens; nunquam res Dillenio tradendae committantur Millero: huic forte descriptio Vestra (et sine dubio ejus pseudo-professori, qui in Milleri verba jurare cogitur[3] ) non placebit, quum sit nimis docta et ad ultimum articulum elaborata, ac proinde censebit Dillenium ea non opus habere, ne tempus suum cum ea perdat. Ego tamen nescio quid spondeo, quod quam primum D[ominus] Dillenius eam acceperit, omnia negotia reponet, et se jucundissime sit exhalaturus[sic][a][a] : <imp>[Imo fortasse
exhilaraturus]
lectione istius libri; mihi sane nulli libri aeque bene placent ac Hortus Elth[amensis] [4] et Musa Cliffortiana.[b][b] : <imp>[Cliffortiana
scripsi; Cliffortiani scripsit
Gronovius
]
Sed quid hae lachrymae! Valeant ergo.

Iam philyra characterum vestrorum impressa est, quam claudit numerum 485. et pro sequenti philyra novam (ut typographi loquuntur) copiam dedi, cujus impressionem procul dubio intra tres dies videre licebit, restitantibus modo paucis characteribus, qui tres partes philyrae vix implebunt; verum quaeso in posterum in numeris Rivini paulo clarius ac distinctius scribas, nam nec LawsonLawson, Isaac (?-1747).
British. Scottish botanist and
physician. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
nec ego bene possumus distinguere inter numeros 4 et 9 &tc.

Heri vidi plurima ex seminibus meis provenisse. Phaseolus ille albus compressus maculatus est phaseolus maximus perennis semine compresso, lato, nigris maculis notato 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.
Hist. 1, p. 175.[5]

Alius phaseolus paulo turgidior est phaseolus erectus major, siliqua tereti, semine rubro, ibidem 183.[6]

Quam putabam esse Mancanillam sine dubio est Solani species.

Bolle-tree est Ancomas Caribaeorum Plukn.Plukenet, Leonard (1642-1706).
British. Botanist and physician.
Botanist to Mary II (wife of William
III). Superintendent of Hampton Court.
Alm. 306.[7]

Papayae tot provenerunt, ut si vellet acrem hybernum perferre, publicas vias ea ornare possemus.

Phaseoli quoque et pisi genus quod Surinamensibus optimum praestat edulium, aperto aere in horto meo optime crescit.

Utinam de iis plantis quae ex seminibus meis in Horto Cliffortii excrevere posses tecum afferre ramulum cum hanc urbem petis, minime dubitans quin tunc temporis in meas perventura sit manus[c][c] : <imp>[manus supra lin.
add. Gronovius
]
thecula quam CatesbojusCatesby, Mark (1682-1749).
British. Naturalist and artist. Best
known for his illustrated work The
Natural history of Carolina, Florida and
the Bahama islands
(1736-1743).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
literis 5 Maij st[ylo] vet[ere][8] ad me datis monet traditam esse mercatori meo Londini, ut ad me curet. Monebo Te quamprimum ad me pervenerint. Sunt semina Carolinensia et inter ea Tupelo in terra humida transmissa; forte reliqua non erunt minoris pretij. Cum autem in animo habeam ea quae plane in Hollandia incognita sunt, cum nullo nisi D[omino] Cliffortio communicare, necessum foret ut indiculum plantarum Americanarum quae apud Cliff[ortium] crescunt, tunc Tecum habeas.

Gratulor Tibi opinionem D[omini] Dillenij, sed cum nunc iterum Musam ad illum mittis, fateri debeo oblitum me esse quid concluserimus, cum una essemus, de characteribus vestris. Sane ego suaderem Tibi, ut ad ipsum hac occasione mitterentur, nam sane est homo honestus, laboriosus[d][d] : <imp>[laboriosus
scripsi; laberiosus ex verbo
illegibili scripsit Gronovius
]
et doctus, cui characteres vestri erunt in maximis deliciis.

Alteram partem novorum plantarum generum Cl[arissimi] MichelijMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
cryptogames.
[9] iam proxime a proelo liberam futuram annunciant Literae ex Helvetijs scriptae, eaedemque HallerumHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
ac GesnerumGessner, Johannes (1709-1790).
Swiss. Naturalist, Zürich.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in conscribenda plantarum Helveticarum Synopsi occupatos esse >eaedem< docent.[10]

Beati ScheuchzeriScheuchzer, Johann Jacob
(1672-1733). Swiss. Naturalist,
physician, historian, mathematician,
founder of palaeontology. Brother of
Johann Scheuchzer.
Musaeum, quod triplici collectione constat, scilicet Diluvianis rebus, Mineralibus ac Marinis nondum divenditum est, eique pretium 7500 librarum Gallicarum assignant ejus haeredes; ita nec ejus herbarius siccus, qui ultra 3000 plantas rariores chartae albae imperiali agglutinatas continet, aestimatur lib[ris] 225.

Quaeso dicas mihi quale plantarum genus sub nomine Swertziae comprehenditur char. n. 126,[11] itidemque quid sub Myrsine ch[ar.] 154. An sub Theseo char. 173 comprehendis Linophyllum Pontederae.[12]

Quales species[e][e] : <imp>[species ex
genera corr. Gronovius]
comprehenduntur sub nomine Artediae char. 205, Uvulariae char. 263.[13] An Stratiotes comprehendit aloen aquaticam char. 454.

Haec scribenti in memoriam incidit nos conclusisse hac occasione Characteres vestros ad Cl[arissimum] Dillenium mittendos esse mutata Thevetia in Thevenotia.[14] Utinam Amstelodami D[omino] Dillenio et mihi posses comparare catalogum plantarum Carelsrohae.[15]

Musaeum lapideum jam nitidissime in ordinem redegi: Londini advecta est cista pondere 600 librarum ex Cornubia, mineras et metalla continens, quarum pars mihi debetur.[16]

Quaeso explices mihi ista verba in Gentiana char. 197: “Species est quae tres quintas partes numeri in flore addit.”[17]

In animo habueram praecedenti die Jovis[18] Harlemum petere, et sic in transitu te visitasse, sed impedimenta accidebant; interim hodie mane alteram philyram correxi, quam claudit numerus 507 restantibus modo quindecim generibus, quae ut crastina habeam curare debebis.

Vale.

Leydae, 15 Junij 1736.

[address] Mijn Heer / De Heer Carolus Linnaeus Med[icinae] Doct[or] / op de Hartecamp / Met de schuyt van half een / den 15 Junij. / Vragt betaald.

upSUMMARY

The day before, Johan Frederik Gronovius received the parcel which Linnaeus wants to send to Johann Jacob Dillenius. Gronovius will hand it over to the London bookseller whom Dillenius has pointed out to him and who is about to leave for England within a week. Gronovius was astonished to hear from Linnaeus that Dillenius had not yet received a copy of his Musa Cliffortiana. Gronovius hypothesizes that the volume was probably sent to Philip Miller who probably did not like it and accordingly considered it better not to forward it to Dillenius in order to prevent him from wasting his time in reading it. Yet, Gronovius is quite sure that Dillenius will be extremely delighted with the work.

A new sheet containing 16 pages of genera (up to and including no. 485) has been printed. In the meantime, Gronovius has given the printer new copy, which will soon be printed as well. Hence, Linnaeus is asked to send him new genera in manuscript form, although he should see to it that the numbers of reference to August Quirinus Rivinus are written more clearly.

Next, Gronovius informs Linnaeus that many of the seeds he has received earlier have germinated. He gives an identification of some of these plants. He hopes that Linnaeus will bring with him a cutting of those plants in Clifford’s garden that have sprouted from Gronovius’s seeds, when he will pay him a visit at Leiden. By then Gronovius will have received another parcel from Mark Catesby containing some seeds from Florida, among others, a tupelo. As Gronovius aims to share those plants that are completely unknown in Holland with Clifford exclusively, Linnaeus should bring with him a list of American plants that are growing in Clifford’s garden.

Gronovius congratulates Linnaeus upon the favourable judgement Dillenius has passed on him and recommends him to send Dillenius a copy of his Genera plantarum on this particular occasion.

Next, Gronovius informs his friend that the second part of the Nova plantarum genera composed by Pietro Antonio Micheli is soon to be issued and that Albrecht von Haller together with Johann Gesner is preparing a synopsis of all Swiss plants. Furthermore, he has been told by some friends in Switzerland that neither the museum nor the herbarium of the late Johann Jacob Scheuchzer have yet been sold. The museum has been estimated at 7500 French pounds, the herbarium at 225.

Gronovius asks Linnaeus to identify some plants that are to be found in the Genera plantarum. He suddenly remembers that he has previously agreed with Linnaeus on sending Dillenius the Genera plantarum, provided that the plant name Thevetia be changed into Thevenotia. Gronovius hopes that Linnaeus will find copies of Christian Thran’s Index plantarum horti Carolsruhani at Amsterdam for both Dillenius and himself.

Next, Gronovius informs Linnaeus that he has arranged his collection of minerals and that he will receive part of the minerals and metals from Cornwall that have arrived in London by ship.

Gronovius asks his friend some further explanation about a sentence that is to be found in the description of Gentiana (Genera plantarum, no. 197).

Finally, Gronovius lets his friend know that he intended to pay him a visit yesterday but was prevented from doing so. This morning, he has corrected another sheet of genera which Linnaeus has sent to him in manuscript form (up to no. 507). Only fifteen genera remain to be done; Linnaeus should see to it that Gronovius receives them tomorrow.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 392-393). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
<imp>[Imo fortasse exhilaraturus]
b.
<imp>[Cliffortiana scripsi; Cliffortiani scripsit Gronovius]
c.
<imp>[manus supra lin. add. Gronovius]
d.
<imp>[laboriosus scripsi; laberiosus ex verbo illegibili scripsit Gronovius]
e.
<imp>[species ex genera corr. Gronovius]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
Quis ?
2.
3.
Quis ?
4.
Reference to the Hortus ElthamensisDillenius, Johann Jacob
Hortus Elthamensis (London 1732).
written by Johann Jacob Dillenius, professor of botany at Oxford. It was issued in London in 1732. Linnaeus apparently agreed with Gronovius at least to some extent. In his Bibliotheca botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Bibliotheca
botanica recensens libros plus mille de
plantis huc usque editos, secundum
systema auctorum naturale in classes,
ordines, genera & species
dispositos, additis editionis loco,
tempore, forma, lingua etc. cum
explicatione Fundamentorum botanicorum
pars prima
(Amsterdam 1736).
(1736), he characterizes the work as follows: “Opus, si descriptiones, vel figuras, vel raras plantas consideraveris, vere nobile” (p. 61).
5.
Sloane, Historia naturalis Jamaicae , 1, p. 175.
6.
Ibid., p. 183.
7.
Plukenet, Almagestum botanicum , p. 306, s.v. Prunifera arbor s. Nuci-prunifera: Acomas arbor Caribeorum Montis serrati. It can be inferred from Plukenet’s description that the term ancomas in Gronovius’s letter is a misspelling.
8.
5 May 1736 o.s. = 16 May 1736 n.s.
9.
In Bibliotheca botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Bibliotheca
botanica recensens libros plus mille de
plantis huc usque editos, secundum
systema auctorum naturale in classes,
ordines, genera & species
dispositos, additis editionis loco,
tempore, forma, lingua etc. cum
explicatione Fundamentorum botanicorum
pars prima
(Amsterdam 1736).
(1736), p. 130 Linnaeus informs his readers that Pietro Antonio Micheli has published Nova plantarum genera iuxta Tournefortii methodumMicheli, Pietro Antonio Nova
plantarum genera iuxta Tournefortii
methodum disposita quibus plantae MDCCCC
recensentur, scilicet fere MCCCC nondum
observatae, reliquae suis sedibus
restitutae; quarum vero figuram exhibere
visum fuit, eae ad DL aeneis tabulis
CVIII graphice expressae sunt;
adnotationibus, atque observationibus,
praecipue fungorum, mucorum, affiniumque
plantarum sationem, ortum &
incrementum spectantibus, interdum
adiectis
, I (Florence 1729).
. The author is characterized as follows: “Botanicorum vere Lynceus est in examinandis & depingendis minutissimis floribus Muscorum & Fungorum; proxime promisit flores Filicum”. The second volume announced by Linnaeus in his Bibliotheca botanica was never published. In 1748, however, J.T. Tozzetti published a posthumous edition of Micheli’s Catalogus plantarumMicheli, Pietro Antonio
Catalogus plantarum horti caesarei
Florentini opus postumum, iussu
societatis botanicae editum,
continuatum, et ipsius horti historia
locupletatum ab Io. Targioni
Tozzettio
(Florence 1748).
. See further Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 17 March 1739 n.s.Letter L0278.
At the time, Albrecht von Haller was preparing his Brevis enumeratio stirpium Horti GottingensisHaller, Albrecht von Brevis
enumeratio stirpium Horti Gottingensis.
Accedunt animadversiones aliquae et
novarum descriptiones

(Göttingen 1743).
. It can be inferred from the preface added that the work was partly based on research done by Johann Gesner (p. 10, no. 45).
Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
, no. 173, s.v. Thesium, obs.: “Hinc, quantum differat Linophyllum hocce Pontederae ab Alchemilla, patet conferenti characteres.”
From “Uvulariae char. 263” onwards, the letter betrays a slightly different handwriting (different pen), which suggests that the latter part was written somewhat later. This can also be inferred from the contents of the letter. In the first part, Gronovius contends he does not remember whether Linnaeus and he had agreed on sending Dillenius a copy of his Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
partium
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
284.
, whereas in the second part he does remember what was agreed upon.
The botanical gardens of Karlsruhe, which contained several exotical plants, belonged to the “Marchio Bada-Durlacensis” and was taken care of by Christian ThranThran, Christian (1701-1778).
Danish. Gardener at the court of
Karlsruhe.
, a botanist who came from Sleeswijk. In 1733 he composed Index plantarum horti CarolsruhaniThran, Christian Index
plantarum horti Carolsruhani
tripartitus
(Karsruhe, 1733).
. In 1747 Josua Rislerus published Hortus CarolsruhanusThran, Christian .
See also Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 30 September 1736 n.s.Letter L0095.
Thursday 14 June, the day before this letter was written and sent to Linnaeus. Dating based on the fact that in 1736 Easter (always a Sunday) was celebrated on 1 April. See Strubbe & Voet, Chronologie , 134.