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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0160 • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 30 April 1737 n.s.
Dated 30 April 1737. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to Hartecamp (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Ultimam Epistolam vestram praecedenti hebdomade ad me missam bene accepi, sed non in tempore, clareque percepi te mentem meam non percepisse; & hinc mihi tempus magnopere abripitur. Sed sit ut sit, impossibile tamen est quin multa occurrere debeant, quae vix intelligibilia sunt, e[xempli] g[ratia] Linguam Graecam minus necessariam judicamus Botanicis hoc aevo, quam Commentatorum. Quae verba in nostro senatus consilio non poteramus intelligere, hinc substituimus commentatorum observationes, quod video nunc falsum esse cum Tu intelligas commentatorum aevo. Sed si voluisses quod hoc debeat intelligi, debuisses scripsisse Hac aetate Linguam Graecam minus necessariam Botanicis judicamus quam aevo commentatorum.[1] Vide quam innocenter ibi peccatum sit. Istud (thes. Zeyl.)[2] est omissum, ut voluisti.

Dein valde molestum est et sumptuosum copiam mittere tam parvam numero, expectemus potius per aliquot dies ut majorem copiam habeam[a][a] : <imp> [habeam ex
habeat corr. Gronovius]
, nam et nunc omnia sunt apud Typographum; item quaeso ut mittas ad Bibliopolam a quo et ulteriores philyras poteris desiderare; jam octo philyrae sunt impressae, et nona cras erit absoluta.

Inter semina rariora a ClaytonoClayton, John (1685-1773).
British/American. Physician and
botanist. Born i England, moved to
Virginia in North America in 1715. His
herbarium collected in Virginia was
published by Johan Frederik Gronovius
and Linnaeus in Flora Virginica
(1739, 1743). Correspondent of Linnaeus.
ad me missa, sunt pseudoacacia in magna copia, ut lineam abhinc in Hartecampum possem plantare. Digitalis flore pallido transparenti foliis glabris Plukn.Plukenet, Leonard (1642-1706).
British. Botanist and physician.
Botanist to Mary II (wife of William
III). Superintendent of Hampton Court.
Arbor Virg. Citriae vel Limon. folio benzon [?] fundens. Houstonia quae Rubia mar. alsines [sic] folio &c. RayRay, John (1627-1705).
British. Naturalist and clergyman. One
of the most influential botanists before
Linnaeus.
. Loto affinis Lagopoides novanglicane frutescens, fol. ternis &c. Plukn. Commelina. Centaurea minus spicata angustiss. folio Plukn. Anonis phaseol. scandens H. Elth. Verbenaca Petiv.Petiver, James (c.1663-1718).
British. Apothecary. Collector of
natural history specimens. His herbarium
contained more than 5000 items.
Mus. 694. Lychnis plumaria alba Plukn. tab. 428, f. 4. Fagotritico similis Plukn. tab. 398, f. 3. Digitalis mariana filipendulae folio. Pet. act. phil. n. 246, pag. 405, n. 50. Lysimachia purpurea Raj. Hist. 3, p. 504, n. 9. Lysimachia Plukn. tab. 428, f. 1. Burmannia. Lequidambar [?] & adhuc 12 plura. Vellem partem mittere ad 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.
, sed tempus colligendi deficit. Quomodo res procedit cum satis meis seminibus, utinam posses mihi indicare qualia provenerint.

In philyra[b][b] : <imp> [philyra ex
phylyra corr. Gronovius]
quae nunc sub manu, pessima erunt vitia. E[xempli] g[ratia] inter sesquipedalia nomina Clatroidastrum habere 14 literas, quod verum, sed MicheliusMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
cryptogames.
scribit Clathroidastrum, ergo 15.[3] item Achro-cordo-dendros[c][c] : <imp> [Achro-cordo-dendros
ex Acro-cordo-dendros corr.
Gronovius
]
,[d][d] : <imp> Before the comma,
Gronovius has crossed out a word that
cannot be read anymore.
sed Plukenet scribit Acrochordodendros. Quod tamen mutavi sc[ilicet] hoc ultimum et restitui prout Plukenet scribere solet.[4]

Vale

30 April[is] 1737

Tuus ex animo
Gronovius

[address] Mijn Heer / Mijn Heer Carolus Linnaeus Med[icinae] D[octor] / op de Hartecamp. / Met de schuyt van half een / den 30 April.

upSUMMARY

Johan Frederik Gronovius has received the letter which Linnaeus sent him last week, but it arrived too late. When perusing Linnaeus’s manuscript of Critica botanica, Gronovius is inevitably confronted with many passages from Critica botanica which are almost unintelligible. Thus, he has tried to correct, together with his friends, the incomprehensible sentence “Linguam Graecam minus necessariam judicamus Botanicis hoc aevo, quam Commentatorum”. He regrets that the correction proposed did not correspond to the meaning of the author. Following Linnaeus’s wish, Gronovius has deleted the reference “thes. Zeyl.”.

Gronovius complains that it is bothersome and expensive that Linnaeus sends him so little copy each time. Therefore, he suggests him to wait until he has gathered more copy. Furthermore, Linnaeus should contact the bookseller in order to receive the last sheets. By now, eight sheets have been printed, the ninth sheet will be finished the following day.

Gronovius gives a list of rare plants, the seeds of which he has received from John Clayton. Unfortunately, Gronovius lacks the time to select the seeds and send George Clifford part of them. Gronovius would like to know, however, whether the seeds he has sent before have already germinated.

There are serious errors to be found in the sheet Gronovius is presently dealing with. He has changed clatroidastrum into clathroidastrum and achro-cordo-dendros into acrochordodendros.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 427-428). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
<imp> [habeam ex habeat corr. Gronovius]
b.
<imp> [philyra ex phylyra corr. Gronovius]
c.
<imp> [Achro-cordo-dendros ex Acro-cordo-dendros corr. Gronovius]
d.
<imp> Before the comma, Gronovius has crossed out a word that cannot be read anymore.

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
For the change suggested by Gronovius, see also his letter to Linnaeus of April 1737 n.s.Letter L0159. Although the change made by Gronovius did not express the author’s ideas correctly, Linnaeus nonetheless accepted the new version. See Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 1 May 1737 n.s.Letter L0180. As a consequence, the printed version of Critica botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Critica
botanica, in qua nomina plantarum
generica, specifica & variantia
examini subjiciuntur, selectiora
confirmantur, indigna rejiciuntur;
simulque doctrina circa denominationem
plantarum traditur. Seu Fundamentorum
botanicorum pars IV. Accedit J.
Browallii De necessitate historiae
naturalis discursus
(Leiden 1737).
reads as follows: “Graecam Linguam minus necessariam judicamus Botanicis hoc aevo, quam Commentatorum observationes, cum salus Botanices non amplius quaeratur e Patrum Graecorum, ut quondam, scriptis, sed ex observatis [...].” (§ 247, p. 127).
2.
3.
4.