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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0193 • Johann Scheuchzer to Carl Linnaeus, 23 July 1737 n.s.
Dated 23. Iul. 1737. Sent from Zürich (Switzerland) to Leiden (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Viro Illustri Naturae Consulto Dignissimo
D[omino] D[octori] CAROLO LINNAEO
S[alutem] D[icit] P[lurimam]
Joannes Scheuchzerus

O felicem Epistolam meam ! quae Te VIR dignissime et negotiis gravissimis obrutum, et curis haud levibus distractum et Rei Literariae promovendae diu noctuque studentem delectare potuit. Nil gratius mihi nuntiare gratissimae Tuae potuissent nuperrimae Tuae ad me sine diei denominatione, quo datas volueras, exaratae; nec est cur respondendi moram apud eum excuses, qui ardentissimum Tuum Rem Literariam Publicam juvandi studium, etiam illi delectationi longe praefert, quam ex instituto Tecum commercio haurire largius posse se praeviderat jam inde, a quo prospera Minerva Te mihi innotescere datum est: Alacri igitur pede erudire publicum perge, compensabit abunde etiam longiorem temporis moram Epistolarum Tuarum pondus insigne quae, etsi nihil aliud mihi, quam prosperam Tuam valetudinem significarent, semper, et hoc praeprimis nuncine mihi erunt exoptatissimae.

Laudas Beati Fratris meiScheuchzer, Johann Jacob
(1672-1733). Swiss. Naturalist,
physician, historian, mathematician,
founder of palaeontology. Brother of
Johann Scheuchzer.
Lexicon Mineralogicum[1] , nec id immerito, sumptuum magnorum, et Laboris immensi partus est, isque, quo magis opus inspicio, et Authore suo, et materia quam tractat, sane dignus, summa cum diligentia, et cura elaboratus, tanto pluris eo ipso mihi habendus, quod Te laudatorem et commendatorem invenerit. Hoc opus, si aspicere lucem posset studium Mineralogicum haud parum promoveret. Tecum igitur, si lubet, VIR mihi clarissime, consilium lubens inibo, qua ratione id promoveri ad prelum possit, jamque consentientes habeo Authoris haeredes, qui nec Publico invidere opus, nec largis petitionibus ac conditionibus difficilem reddere impressionem cupiunt, utut per Mariti et Patris Charissimi omnem fere facultatem studiis locantis, imo profundentis liberalitatem, magnum detrimentum passi. Ingenue hinc fateor, haud levem mihi curam pro eorum utilitate (si quidem utilitas vocandum est modicum illud quod mox aperiam) vigilandi hoc ipso incumbere, quod Patris nunc vicem geram: Libere igitur Tecum, qui licentiam mihi benevolentia Tua fecisti, et aperte agam. Ad quamnam extentionem inter imprimendum excreturum sit Lexicon utrumque Mineralogicum nimirum et Diluvianum[2] , seu Figuratorum, exactius determinare non audeo, facile tamen praevideo, illud justis duobus Tomis etiamsi charactere illo, quo impressum specimen est, exararetur, comprehendi posse. Quidquid tandem sit, utut haud exiguum ex hoc opere lucrum ad Typographum redundare facile praevideam, publici tamen utilitatem cum potissimum respiciamus, aequas non solum, sed aequo omni longe inferiores conditiones esse reor si 1:o pro opere ipso haeredibus Centum Ducati Aurei Tiguri numerarentur. 2:o Autographum post absolutam impressionem ad manus nostras sine haeredum sumptu remitteretur. 3:o Viginti operis impressi Exemplaria ultro etiam, et sine sumptu vecturae ad manus haeredum mitterentur, uno ex his Tibi locando. Quae omnia nec onerosa Typographo, nec haeredibus displicitura existimo. Quod reliquum est, Tuam nunc imploro operam, ut et Reip[sius] Literariae utilitati, et piis defuncti Fratris Manibus, et parvulae haeredum ejus Rei familiari consulere non desistas.[3] Est, ut credo hicce publicandi modus longiori praenumerationum modo, ob citius proditurum Opus longe anteferendus, quod in edenda AgrostographiaScheuchzer, Johann Jacob
Agrostographia sive historia
graminum
(Zürich, 1719).
mea expertus sum ipsemet, forte enim, si adimpletum Praenumeratorum numerum, quod initio mihi proposueram, expectare voluissem, opus ipsum, immeritis a Te laudibus cumulatum, cum blattis tineisque adhucdum luctaretur.

Interim et ego protractum nimis meum Tibi excusarem silentium, nisi paratam ultro veniam nossem erga hominem, publicis privatisque negotiis obrutum, et parum firma valetudine gaudentem; cum nemine tamen lubentius, quam Tecum colloqui per Literas, utinam id coram fieri posset, cupio. Multa sunt quae Rem Herbariam condendam speciatim Historiam Stirpium Methodicam compendiosam[3] , et hoc ipso minus sumptuosam spectantia animum agitant meum, alias, si lubet Tecum conferenda, eripiunt enim praesentem Epistolam velut invitam, enodandi aliquot casus Medico-Legales nuper mihi propositi. His igitur Vale VIR ((( (((((((((( ((((.

Dabam volante calamo a[nno] d[omini] 23. Iul[ii] 1737.

[address] A Monsieur / Monsieur Charle Linnaeus très célèbre / Docteur en Médecine, et Professeur Royal / à Upsal en Suède. Recommendé à l’Il- / lustre Seigneur Professeur Gronovius / à Leyde en / Hollande

upSUMMARY

Joannes Scheuchzer is very pleased that Linnaeus, so busy with his work, has found pleasure in reading Scheuchzer’s letter. There is no need for Linnaeus to excuse himself for the delay since Scheuchzer is very much interested in supporting Linnaeus’s literary work and this very well compensates the delay of the letters which will still be most welcome.

Linnaeus has praised Lexicon mineralogicum by Scheuchzer’s late brother Johann Jakob, not injustly, because it is a work made at great cost in money and labor. If this work could be available to the public it would much promote the mineralogical studies.

Now Scheuchzer wants to form a plan together with Linnaeus to see how this can be carried out. He has got the consent of the heirs of the author but it is not without problems for him to do this in the father’s place. He dares not exactely determine the dimension of the two dictionaries in print, a Lexicon mineralogicum and a Herbarium diluvianum, a dictionary on paleonthology. He, however, easily foresees that there can be room for it in two volumes, even written with the character of the printed specimen.

Whatever it will be, there will be plenty of money for the printer but Scheuchzer thinks there will be poorer conditions for the public, if a hundred golden ducats will be payed to the heirs.

The autograph should be sent back to Scheuchzer without cost for the heirs.

20 copies should be sent carriage paid to the heirs, one of the copies to Linnaeus.

In the beginning Scheuchzer had in mind to wait for the number of subscribers to be completed, but now the work will be published faster and this method, proved by Scheuchzer in editing his Agrostographia, is to be preferred, otherwise the work now would have to fight with moths and maggots.

Meanwhile also Scheuchzer would excuse himself for his silence for a long time if he did not know that Linnaeus fully understands what it means, not being in very good health, to have a lot of public and private tasks to do. He has many things to think about, to make the Herbarium and the Historia stirpium methodica.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, XIII, 270-271). [1] [2] [3]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
No bibliographical evidence of a Lexicon mineralogicum by J.J. Scheuchzer has been found.The manuscript mentioned in the letter has not come down to us.
2.
No bibliographical evidence has been found regarding an edition from the 1730s of J.J. Scheuchzer’s Herbarium diluvianum collectumScheuchzer, Johann Jacob
Herbarium diluvianum collectum
(Zürich, 1706).
.
3.
Johannes Scheuchzer’s Historia stirpium methodica has not come down to us.