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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0093 • Carl Linnaeus to Johannes Burman, c. 25 September 1736 n.s.
Dated . Sent from () to (). Written in Latin.

Viro Clarissimo
D[omino] D[octori] Johanni Burmanno
Medico, Professori et Botanico Celeberrimo
Fautori Optimo
s[alutem] pl[urimam] d[icit]
Linnaeus

Literas vestras[2] ut et transmissum Thesaurum Zeylanicum[3] per 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.
habui, gratiasque summas pro summa vestra in me benignitate et maximoque amore numquam non agam. Gratulor opus Vestrum Zeylanicum, quod magni facio et faciam, tam feliciter procedere, nil magis me exhilararet quam illud ad umbilicum perductum evolvere. Evolvi et transmissa quae et raritate materiae, et tot raris obscuris, jam explicatis plantis, se commendavit, at doleo me non omnia quae in usum vertere possem, tam cito excerpere, excerpsi tamen nonnulla. Videoque ubique Te amicum tuum animum erga me declarare tot elogiis tot allegationibus, ut solum doleo me in mutuis praestandis officiis vix parem esse. Si Tibi tempus supersit quaeso adhuc semel evolvas hortum Malabaricum[4] et conferas cum tuis citationibus, forte unus vel alter numerus inter errata possent corrigi, tantummodo quae ad paginas spectant. Scio quidem haec nullius esse momenti et fere idem si nulla pagina umquam allegaretur praeterquam auctor, tamen si tempus esset tibi sufficiens et hoc posses. Nomina generica quae nova dicis me confecisse sunt antiquissima TheophrastiTheophrastus, (374 BC-287 BC).
Greek. philosopher and naturalist.
vel DioscoridisDioscorides, Pedanius (1st
century AD). Greek. Naturalist and
botanist.
, tamen nova possunt dici quatenus non usurpata. Floram meam lapponicam[5] tarde processisse dum in Anglia fui, et quidem mea culpa doleo maxime. Deposui apud correctorem omnia, cum autem ille, ut speravi abiturus me per tres quatuorve hebdomadas abfuturum, non perlegit plus quam istas impressas philyras, dein longe citius processit typographus quam antea et corrector noluit tradere plura antequam mecum perlegerit. Mea est causa quod doleo nec emendari potest, post haec non erit mea. Ego quantum potero pellam. 200 paginae meae sunt impressae et quod supersit posthaec potest procedere quo citius, eo mihi gratius, omnia sunt jam dudum scripta a me.

Characteres mei fere octingenti sunt impressi,[6] pauci restant. Exspectarunt et illi, sed post reditum citissime processerunt.

Vix dimittit D[ominus] Cliffort me post haec e domo sua, ex Hartecampo. Ille intellexerit procul dubio, nescio cujus mali spiritus afflatu, quod ego debeo petere Sveciam hac hyeme. Nil dicit, sed tantum petit incipere impressionem,[7] et tum debeo per dies noctesque laborare, cum integer fere liber consistat citationibus, ut BoerhaaviBoerhaave, 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.
index,[8] et quid temporis allegationes auctorum requirunt, tibi dicere esset res superflua. Dein adglutinabimus jam plus quam mille plantas. Putat enim D[ominus] Cliffort, si modo incipiamus impressionem, tum non potest abire antequam opus sit paratum. Et ego scio, quod si incipio, non possum abire antequam absolutum sit. Ergo debeo ad minimum quatuor philyras omni hebdomada elaborare, describere et hoc est res ponderosa, nam ad minimum constabit opus 60 plagulis seu philyris.

Ostendi D[omino] Cliffortio quod allegasti Musam ejus,[9] quod dedisti ipsi elogium, risit lente, id est placuit maxime, dixit hoc miror quod de me aliquid faciat. Habui literas a D[ominis] Anton JussieuJussieu, Antoine de
(1686-1758). French. Botanist,
professor of botany, Paris. Brother of
Bernard and Joseph de Jussieu. Joseph
Pitton de Tournefort’s successor. Uncle
of Antoine Laurent de Jussieu.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
et SigesbeckSiegesbeck, Johann Georg
(1686-1755). German. Prussian botanist,
doctor of medicine at Wittenberg in
1716, physician and director of the
botanical garden at St Petersburg
1735-1747. One of the most bitter
opponents of Linnaeus’s sexual system.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Petropoli, quae ibi una proxime tradam. Quid scribit MicheliiMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
cryptogames.
? Sit ne ejus opus paratum?[10] Saluta familiam, fratrem et fave tuum addictissimum servum.

Vale.

Vellem videres elegantissimam istam Piperis speciem quae jam apud nos floret. Piper non est Saururus ut PlumierPlumier, Charles (1646-1704).
French. Botanist, travelled in Central
America and the Carribean. Linnaeus
generally approved of the descriptions
in his richly illustrated botanical
works.
et ego quondam putavi. Examinavi Saururi flores plures vivos in Anglia, qua gaudent omni modo diversa a nostra fructificatione. Nostra gaudet eadem qua illi in Horto malabarico bene descripti. Floret apud nos Jussieva Houstoni. Floret Phaseoli mira species e capite Bonae spei.

Quaeritur an Apocynum arborescens Tab. F: 2 sit baccifera, ego crederem esse vel Cameraria[a][a] : MS1 <vel Tabernaemontana> Plumieri, quas ambas 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.
sub alio nomine habet.

Vidi tandem in Anglia florentes istas plantas, vel ejusdem generis saltem cum eis, quarum figuras tradis tab. 6. F. 2. T. 7. T. 8. T. 65 quae nec ad A[l]sine, nec ad Gallia cum HermannoHermann, Paul (1646-1695).
German. Botanist, physician at Batavia,
professor of botany at Leiden.
, nec ad [b][b] : MS1 <Polyga> Herniarias cum TournefortioTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
possunt referri. Cum galliis nil affine habent praeter caulem verticillatum foliis; cum Alsine nil, cum nulla ipsis sint petala; cum Herniariis neque a quibus differunt omnibus partibus. Gaudent enim calyce 5 fido colorato persistente, staminibus et pistillis tribus, capsula triloculari, seminibus pluribus.

Spero Aro-orchidem vestram florituram in nostro hybernaculo per hyemem, bene enim crescit. Est distinctum omnino genus et proxime ad Marantham Plumieri accedit, licet nec hujus generis, at proxime. Radices mihi placent et odore et sapore. Bauhinias possidemus octo species.

Carpinum T. 23 vidi in Anglia viventem, at florem nuper examinavi, est novi generis planta. Mitto characteres istos quos apud me habeo, post 14 dies erit istud opus finitum, possis habere eos per duos dies, sed sane non per tres, debeo enim conficere indicem et errata typographica exscribere, quaeso itaque per dies mox remittas.

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus thanks Johannes Burman for the letter and the Thesaurus Zeylanicus delivered by George Clifford. He esteems the work highly and looks forward to be able to read the finished version. He has read about the rare and obscure plants, now explained, and he has excerpted only some of those which he could have used. He asks Burman if he has the time to read the Hortus Malabaricus and compare the quotations; he may find one or two errors in the numbers, at least in the pagination. The generic names which Burman has said that Linnaeus has made up are not new but very old, from Theophrastus and Dioscorides; they are only new in so far as they have not been used before. The Flora Lapponica did not advance much when Linnaeus was in England, which, he is sorry to say, was his own fault. He hoped to be away three or four weeks and had deposited everything with the proof-reader, who only read through the printed sheets and refused to hand over more to the printer until he had read it through with Linnaeus. From now on it will advance faster; 200 pages have been printed and Linnaeus had finished writing long ago.

About 800 of Linnaeus’s characters for the Genera plantarum are printed and only a few remain.

Clifford hardly lets Linnaeus leave Hartecamp and his home, knowing no doubt (but Linnaeus does not know from whom), that Linnaeus ought to go Sweden this winter. He says nothing but only asks Linnaeus to start the printing of Hortus Cliffortianus, and then there will be work night and day; the entire book consists of quotations like Herman Boerhaave’s Index alter plantarum, and Burman does not need to be told how much time it takes to make references.

Linnaeus will have to glue in more than a thousand plants. Clifford thinks that once the printing starts Linnaeus will not be able to depart until the work is finished. Every week Linnaeus has to make four sheets, which is a very laborious thing to do; the whole work consists of at least 60 sheets. Linnaeus has shown Clifford that Burman has referred to his Musa and praised him, which pleased Clifford very much. Linnaeus has got letters from Antoine Jussieu and from Johann Georg Sigesbeck in Petersburg which he will hand over. He asks what Pietro Antonio Micheli wrote and if his work Nova plantarum genera iuxta Tournefortii methodum is finished yet.

P.S. 1 Linnaeus wishes that Burman could see the Piper flowering right now at Hartecamp. This is not the same plant as the Saururus as Linnaeus and Charles Plumier once believed. Linnaeus has examined the flowers of the Saururus in England, and found the fructification to be quite different. Linnaeus’s Piper has the same as those described in the Hortus Malabaricus. The Jussievia Houstoni and the Phaseolus are also flowering now at home.

Does the Apocynum arborescens have berries? Linnaeus thinks so. And Plumiers’s Cameraria? Hans Sloane has different names for both of them.

In England Linnaeus has seen the same plants as those which are represented on the tables handed over by Burman. They cannot be classified as Alsine, having no petals, nor as Gallia with Paul Hermann, having nothing in common but the stem with a ring of leaves round it, nor as Hernaria with Joseph Pitton de Tournefort having a coloured calyx divided into five parts, three stamens and pistils, a capsule with three valves and many seeds.

Linnaeus hopes that Burman’s Aro-orchis will flower in the winter-quarter at the Hartecamp for it grows well. It is of a different genus, nearest to Plumier’s Marantha, not of the same genus but very near. Linnaeus likes the smell and the taste of the roots. They also posess eigth species of Bauhinia.

Linnaeus has seen the Carpinus in England, a plant of a new genus, and just examined the flower. He will send the characters which he has for the moment, the whole work will be ready in fourteen days. Burman can keep them for two days but not more because Linnaeus has to complete the index and write out the misprints.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (KVA, Carl von Linnés arkiv, 0401-0403). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Epistolae ineditae Caroli Linnaei (1830), p. 6-9 .
2. Bref och skrifvelser (1943), vol. II:2, p. 47-49   p.47  p.48  p.49.

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 <vel Tabernaemontana>
b.
MS1 <Polyga>

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
This undated letter was presumably written at the end of September 1736.
2.
See Johannes Burman to Linnaeus, 26 September 1736 n.s.Letter L0096.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Linnaeus refers presumably to the second edition of Herman Boerhaave’s catalogue of the Leiden University Botanical Garden, Index alter plantarumBoerhaave, Herman Index alter
plantarum quae in horto academico
Lugduno Batavo aluntur
, I-II (Leiden
1720).
(1720).
9.
Micheli, 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).
, I (1729). Linnaeus presumably refers to vol. II, which was not published until 1826, Catalogus vegetabilium marinorumMicheli, Pietro Antonio
Catalogus vegetabilium marinorum
musei sui; opus posthumus ad secundum
partem novorum generum plantarum [...]
P. A. Micheli inserviens, cum notis
Octaviani Targioni-Tozzetti
, II, ed.
G. Targioni-Tozzetti (Florence 1826).
.