Documentation

Letters

-Search for letters
-Search in texts

Manuscripts

Editions

Links

Contact

C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0179 • Carl Linnaeus to Albrecht von Haller, 1 May 1737 n.s.
Dated 1737. Maj 1.. Sent from Hartecamp (Netherlands) to Göttingen (Germany). Written in Latin.

Gratae, immo gratissimae Tuae litterae mihi fuere, in quibus erga me declaras amicitiam et favorem summum. Curabo, ut ingratus non vivam. Laetor ex toto animo, quod vanus erat rumor iste, cum profecto Te solum et DilleniumDillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
inimicum nollem. Vos enim eundem legistis authorem quem ego. Reliquos non cura, qui docti, immo vel si doctissimi essent ex libris. Utinam mea officia Tibi usui esse possent! Ego ea et me et omnia mea promitto.

Misi cum ultimo die Amsteliis degi, meos Characteres[1] et Floram,[2] per WaesbergiosWaesberge, (?-?). Dutch. , nec dubito, quin ad Te sint perlata. Floram istam Lapponicam non doctis sed indoctis scriptam esse scias. Tu fuisti iste Mercurius[3] e coelo demissus, qui in Gentianis nodum solvisti et quidem longe feliciore omine, quam unquam speraveram ab ullo mortalium. Et ego et totus orbis Tibi gratias debent. Utinam idem posses in Salicibus!

In Muscis nil valet Dominus CliffortiusClifford, George (1685-1760).
Dutch. Banker and merchant in Amsterdam,
Linnaeus’s benefactor. Owner of
Hartecamp and its botanical garden
outside Haarlem. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
nec ego nec Belga ullus. Nos totos cepit
exoticarum plantarum amor, praesertim Americanarum. Me in Muscis ne [sic] tironem esse agnosco; desiderat enim hoc studium integrum virum, quem in me hucusque habere non potuit.

In Belgio Musci paucissimi, in Suecia vero copiosissimi. Quaeso, per Deos, si quid certi noveris, me instruas circa Sexum Muscorum. Video in istis sexus diversitatem e. gr. in Polytricho, ubi altera capsulam gerit, altera vero planta stella terminatur. Quod Lycopodii farina et capsulae sint flores vix dubito, sed longe diversa in his capsulis, quam in Polytricho structura. Marchantia seu Lichen polymorphos Dillen[ii] duplici gaudet fructificatione, altera sessili cum seminibus orbiculatis, planis, erectis intra cyatum (quem fructum et semina esse certus sum) altera flore composito inverso, pedunculo sustentato, quam fructificationem masculinam esse, necessario sequitur. Si quid certi de Polytricho scirem, multa et sufficienter scirem. Tu scribis farinam Muscorum eorum esse semina, si modo Te recte intelligam; an experimenta instituisti? Farina muscorum visa microscopio ad farinam antherarum in aliis plantis accedit omnino.

Si Hortus apud vos (Göttingae) instruatur, utere, quaeso, occasione, quam Tibi offero per Cliffortium, a quo et a cujus horto possis habere plures plantas, quam ab alio ullo, quem novi in orbe. Tibi non obulum constabunt, sed nonnullos lapides, si habeas, in quos nunc totum eius desiderium.

Mea opuscula, quae habeo, lubentissime communicabo. Utinam Tibi lectu digna! Nec credas me adeo stupidum natum, ut a Botanico inter primos pro istis pecunias sumerem. Habeo omnia excepto systemate trium regnorum Naturae,[4] quod venale prostat apud GronoviumGronovius, 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.
. BurmanniBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Thesaurus Zeylanicus horrendo pretio venditur 15 vel 16 Florenorum, nec Tibi placiturus certus sum.[5]

Musa, quae floret in horto nostro, duplo major est praecedenti et duplo majorem ferit fructificationem. Floret et apud nos Benzoe hoc tempore, quae calycem gerit seu involucrem ut Cornus, sed flores dein Lauri.

Audivi, quod aliquid edidisti circa plantas Alpinas, sed nescio titulum libri, locum, tempus.[6] Quando liceat Tuas videre observationes Tuumve opus magnum? Summas gratias ago pro exemplaribus istis 13 Dissertationum. Scribo hodie ad Jac[obum] RenierRenier, Jacob (?-?). German.
Merchant.
, ut ea mittat cum quocunque velit mercatore Amstelodamum ad D[ominos] ReussReuss, (17??-17??). ?.
Merchant.
vel Cliffortium, qui ambo amici sunt.

Nulli sunt in Belgio, qui genera curant, praeterquam ego solulus inter prophetas. Gronovius, Burmannus et RoyenusRoyen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
de solis speciminibus siccis solliciti sunt, licet Royenus jam incipiat parum examinare genera. D[ominus] BoerhaaviusBoerhaave, 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.
solas arbores amat, earumque varietates magis quam distinctas species. AlbinumAlbinus, Bernhard Siegfried
(1697-1770). German. Professor of
anatomy at Leiden.
totum tenet anatomia. In Anglia nullus est, qui genera curat vel intelligit praeter Dillenium. RandioRand, Isaac (?-1743). British.
Botanist.
sufficit, si in singula planta unicum habeat synonymon, et MilleroMiller, 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.
, si plantas Americanas vivas vel siccas obtinere queat. MartynusMartyn, John (1699-1768).
British. Physician, professor of botany
at Cambridge.
est facilis vir, sed minus de Doctrina scrupulosus. In Suecia nullus est botanicus praeterquam Ol[aus] CelsiusCelsius, Olof (1670-1756).
Swedish. Orientalist and theologian,
professor at Uppsala. Botanist and plant
collector, benefactor of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, primarius Theologiae Professor, qui absque generibus plantas amat, et muscos sedulo quaerit. RudbeckiusRudbeck, Olof (1660-1740).
Swedish. Professor of medicine,
botanist, ornithologist, travelled in
Lapland. Linnaeus’s teacher.
enim decrepitus est.

Si quid novisti de Liquidambra, quam alii retulere ad Acerem, quaeso,
communices. Fructum habeo; florem vidi nunquam. Vereor, quod Palmaria MuntingiMunting, Abraham (1626-1683).
Dutch. Botanist and horticulturist,
professor of medicine at Groningen
1658-1683.
sit eadem arbor florens. Si inter Tua specimina sicca habeas florem Celtidis vel Tribuloidis Tournefort[ii]Tournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
, vel Globulariae Tourne[fortii] vel Aphylllantis Tournefortii, quaeso, communices unicum flosculum, ut stamina et pistilla videre queam. Salicorniam Tournef[ortii] semel florentem vidi; unicum ubique stamen observavi. Num pistillis in eadem vel diversa planta sit, me latet. Si quid de ea novisti, communices, precor.

A Capnorchide Boerhaavii nuper didici affinitatem summam Fumarias Hypecoum et Epimedium intercedentem. Caveas itaque, ne has in classe naturali distinguas. Sic ad eandem classem pertinent Papaver, Argemone, Glaucium, Chelidonium, Bocconia, Sanguinaria, Anapodophyllum, Christophoriana, at characterem has includentem dare difficile est. Sic et Mirabilis, Plumbago, Verbascum, Hyoscyamus, Nicotiana, Belladonna, Mandragora, Solanum, Capiscum, Alkekengi, item Ahovai, Cerbera, Rauvolsia, Vinca, Nerium, Cynanchum, Stapelia, Asclepias, Periploca, Ceropegia, Apocynum, Plumeria, Cameraria, Tabernaemontana. Ad Asperifolias absolute spectat Tournefortia nostra, licet baccifera. Ad Verticillatas Raj[i]Ray, John (1627-1705).
British. Naturalist and clergyman. One
of the most influential botanists before
Linnaeus.
Prasium nostrum, licet bacciferum sit.

Consumo innocentissimos meos dies in Hortum Cliffortianum, et nunc in Syngenesia commoror, ubi admiror summam sagacitatem VaillantiiVaillant, Sébastien
(1669-1722). French. Botanist and
surgeon. Professor at the Jardin des
plantes. His theory on plant sexuality
influenced Linnaeus who regarded
Vaillant as one of the most important
botanists.
. In isto Horto varietates reduco ad suas species et nomina specifica (aptiora, ni fallor) impono. In Critica mea explico Fundamenta Botanices a § 210 ad 335 et cum exemplis probo, ubi demonstrare aggredior, quod tertia pars nominum genericorum mala sit, praesertim in -oides desinentia Vaillantiana et Astra Heisteriana. Nomina specifica omnia nego, tempus determinabit.[6]

Gratias infinitas pro communicatione authorum, sed in his sub qua forma prodiit ZannichelliZannichelli, Giovanni Girolamo
(1662-1729). Italian. Doctor of
medicine, botanist and chemist.
de Ipocastano?[7] De herbariis vivis, etc. quis author sit? An CamerariusCamerarius, Rudolf Jacob
(1665-1721). German. Professor of
medicine, Tübingen.
Quaenam sit planta Myriophyllum pelagicum, de quo Zannichelli integrum librum scripsit, et cujus generis? Zannichelli opus de plantis circa Venetias nascentibus nullo modo videre potui; habeat nec?[8] Quid curiosi, vel bonas observationes?

Haller[i]a nostra est Caprifolium Afrum, folio pruni leviter serrato, flore ruberrimo, bacca nigra. Character ejus generis est: Cal[yx]: Perianthium monophyllum planum, patens, breve, semi-trifidum, obtusissimum, lacinia superiore dulplo latiori, persistens. Cor[olla], Monopetala ringens, basi globosa, fauce reflexa ventricosa, limbo parvo quadrifido obliquo, lacinia summa longiore, obtusa, emarginata, lateralibus brevioribus latioribus obtusioribus, infima acuta brevissima, omnibus antrorsum flexis. Stam[ina], Filamenta quatuor setacea recta, tubo corollae inserta, corolla longiora, quorum duo proxima reliquis breviora. Antherae didymae, subrotundae. Pist[illum]: Germen ovatum (intra calycem) desinens in Stylum subalatum, staminibus longiorem. Stigma simplex. Per[ianthium]: Bacca subrotunda bilocularis. Sem[ina]: Saepius solitaria.

Plura non licet. Debeo enim hac hora Lugdunum petere. Festinanti calamo ut veniam des, oro. Cura, ut valeas, meque porro ama!

Ex Horto Cliffortiano, 1737, Maj[i] 1.

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus is very grateful for Albrecht von Haller’s letter, in which he declares his friendship. He is pleased that the rumour was false, since Haller and Johann Jakob Dillenius are the only people he would not want as enemies.

Linnaeus has sent his Genera plantarum and Flora Lapponica. Haller should know that his Flora Lapponica was written for the unlearned. Linnaeus compares Haller to Mercury, sent from heaven, who untied the knot of the Gentiana. Linnaeus hopes that he can do the same with Salices.

George Clifford does not know much about mosses, nor does Linnaeus nor any person in Holland. Everybody is impressed by exotic plants, especially American ones. Linnaeus considers himself a tiro in mosses.

In Holland there are few mosses, but in Sweden these are found in abundance. Linnaeus wants Haller to tell him something about the fecundation of mosses. He has seen a difference between the sexes. In Polytrichum, one plant has a capsule, another terminates with a star. He does not doubt that the dust and the capsules of Lycopodium are flowers, but the structure of these capsules is different from Polytrichum. The Marchantia or Lichen polymorphus of Dillenius has a twofold fructification, one growing low with circular, flat, upright seeds in a cup, the other has an inverted flower, supported by a stalk, a fructification which must be male. Haller wrote that the dust of the mosses is their seed and Linnaeus wants to know if he has made any experiments. The dust of the mosses agrees with the dust of the anthers in other plants.

If Haller is establishing a garden, Linnaeus can have plants through Clifford. They will not cost him anything except if he has got a few fossils.

Linnaeus would be pleased to send Haller his works. He has got all except Systema naturae, which is sold by Johan Frederik Gronovius. Johannes Burman’s Thesaurus Zeylanicus is for sale for 15 or 16 florins.

The Musa is flowering in the garden and is twice as large as the previous one with twice as large a fructification. The Bensoe is flowering too with a calyx or an involucre, like the Cornus, but the flowers are like those of a Laurus.

Linnaeus would like to see Haller’s work on Alpine plants. He is grateful for the 13 copies of Haller’s dissertation and will write to Jacob Renier to send them to Reuss or Clifford in Amsterdam.

There is nobody in Holland, who cares about genera except Linnaeus himself. Gronovius, Burman and Adriaan van Royen are only interested in dried specimens. Herman Boerhaave is only interested in trees, Bernhard Siegfried Albinus in anatomy. Nobody in England cares about genera except Dillenius. Isaac Rand only wants one synonym for a plant and Philipp Miller wants American plants. John Martyn is a good man but not very scrupulous. In Sweden Olaus Celsius the Elder is the only botanist. He loves plants without considering their genera and he collects mosses. Olof Rudbeck the Younger is decrepit.

Linnaeus wants to know if Haller knows anything about Liquidambra, which some people class among Acer. He believes that the Palmaria of Abraham Munting is the same tree in blossom. He asks Haller to send him a dried flower of the Celtis, of the Tribuloides of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort or of his Aphyllantes to be able to see the stamens and pistils. He has seen Tournefort’s Salicornia in bloom once and he found just one stamen.

From the Capnorchis of Boerhaave Linnaeus recently found out that there is an affinity between the Fumariae Hypecoum and Epimedium. He tells Haller not to separate them in natural classes. In the same way Papaver, Argemone, Glaucium, Chelidonium, Bocconia, Sanguinaria, Anapodophyllum and Christophoriana belong to the same class. Mirabilis, Plumbago, Verbascum, Hyoscyamus, Nicotiana, Belladonna, Mandragora, Solanum, Capsicum and Alkekengi belong to one class and Ahovai, Cerbera, Rauvolsia, Vinca, Nerium, Cynanchum, Stapelia, Asclepias, Periploca, Ceropegia, Apocynum, Plumeria, Cameraria and Tabernaemontana belong to one class. Linnaeus’s Tournefortia belongs to the Asperifoliae and his Prasium belongs to the Verticillatae of John Ray.

Linnaeus works with Hortus Cliffortianus; he is now at Syngenesia. He admires Sébastien Vaillant’s sagacity. In his Critica botanica, §§210 and 335, he explains the fundamentals of botany, where he demonstrates that one third of the generic names are bad, especially Vaillant’s names ending in -oides and Lorenz Heister’s -astra. He denies all earlier specific names; time will determine.

He thanks Haller for the mentioning of authors. He wants to know in what form Giovanni Giacobbe Zannichelli published Ippocastano. Who was the author of herbaria viva? Rudolf Jacob Camerarius? What is the Myriophyllum pelagicum described by Zannichelli in a whole book? Linnaeus has not been able to see Zannichelli’s work, De Plantis circa Venetias nascentibus.

Linnaeus’s Halleria is the Caprifolium Afrum with a serrated leaf, a red flower and a black berry. Its generic character is:
Calyx: Perianthum with one leaf, flat, spreading, short, half three-cleft, blunt, the uppermost edge twice as broad.
Corolla: Monopetala (with one petal) gaping, round as ball at the base, reflexed and tumid at the throat, with a small slanting four-cleft border, the uppermost edge longer, blunt, deprived of its edge, the lateral ones shorter, broader and more blunt, the lowest very short, all of them bent forward.
Stamens: four filaments, bristled, straight, inserted into the tube of the little crown a longer crown, the two nearest shorter than the rest.
Anthers, twofold, rounded.
Pistil: germen egg-shaped (within the calyx) terminating in a winged style longer than the stamens. A simple mark.
Perianth: Round berries two-chambered.
Seeds: generally solitary.

upMANUSCRIPTS

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

upEDITIONS

1. Epistolarum ab eruditis viris ad Alb. Hallerum scriptarum I-VI (1773), vol. 1
2. Collectio epistolarum (1792), p. 7-11 .
3. A selection (1821), vol. 2, p. 242-248   p.242  p.243  p.244  p.245  p.246  p.247  p.248.
4. Vie de Linné (1832), vol. 2, p. 92- .

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
2.
3.
The Latin god Mercury (Greek, Hermes) was identified with good luck, gain and commerce.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Zannichelli, All’ illustrissimo Signor G. Pontadera [...] lettera [...] intorno alle facoltà dell’ IppocastanoZannichelli, Giovanni Girolamo
All’ illustrissimo Signor G.
Pontadera [...] lettera [...] intorno
alle facoltà dell’
Ippocastano
(Venice 1733).
.