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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0198 • François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages to Carl Linnaeus, 20 September 1737 n.s.
Dated 20 7bris 1737. Sent from Montpellier (France) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Clarissimo viro D[omino] Carolo Linnaeo Doct[ori] med[icinae]
et S[ocio] A[cademiae] I[mperialis]
S[alutem] q[uam] p[lurimam] d[icit]
Sauvages deLacroix

Multum debeo amico meo D[omino] LaugierLaugier, Alexander Ludwig
(?-?). Austrian?. Professor in botany
and chemistry at the University of
Vienna in 1749.
quod tanti viri qualis es existimationem et commercium mihi comparaverit, tibique, vir celeberrime, quod exigua de morborum dignoscendorum methodo tentamina mea,[1] tam magnificis laudibus extollere non dedigneris. In quo quidem licet id totum tuae humanitati acceptum referam, non minus mihi maxime gratulor quod a viro tam laudando laudes mihi opus illud acciverit et litterarum scriptorumque usu me tibi consociavit.

20 jun[ii] missas tuas non nisi Septembris 15 recens accepi, et actutum mercatori classes meas ad te Amstelodamum mittendas tradidi.[2] Si vero ea via nos fefellerit ac quemquam Parisiis noscas cui tutius committi possit munusculum illud, indicare mihi ne cesses qui tuo meoque faciam satis desiderio atque sic priore deficiente modo non deficiat alter. Ex mercatoribus qui vina Gallica et aquas vitae, oleumque sibi comparant Monspelienses vel cum nostratibus affines non paucos Amstelodami et Leydae forte reperies, quibus si magnificum quod mihi paras munus, opera scilicet tua, tradideris, perbeatum me feceris, meque tibi, ex iis quae scripsit D[ominus] Laugier, et urbanis tuis litteris jam obstrictum, admirationis simul vinculis et beneficii accepti memoria devincies. Quae circa Botanicorum methodum delibaveram manuscripta tantummodo sunt ab amicis pauculis excepta quorum si alterum superesset exemplar, summa cum voluptate tibi offerem, ast iis carere ne te pigeat spicilegiis, cui plenis calathis contigit
novos decerpere flores
insignemque tuo capiti petere inde coronam
unde prius nulli velarunt tempora musae
cui inquam invia submisit Lapponia flores[3]

Opusculum meum ita concinnatum volui ut tum ex floris forma tum ex fructus figura pro lubitu supremus plantarum caracter desumi possit. Unde Turnefortium, Rivinum, Rajum, Magnolium, Vaillantium compilando, et ali[os][a][a] : MS1 [manuscript damaged] ex aliis corrigendo, methodum meam confec[i][a][a] : MS1 [manuscript damaged] . Ridebis forte si tibi dixerim me nuper methodum esse meditatum in qua caracter ex foliorum ordine desumeretur.[4] Imo classem sat elegantem fraxinifoliarum academiae obtuli, porrifoliae, verticillatae, ferulaceae possent quoque simili methodo facile satis adaptari.

Vale, Botanicorum coryphaee, et me tibi devinctissimum amare perge, atque me prout libuerit utere.

Monspelii 20 Septembris 1737.

[address] deMonqu / A Monsieur / Monsieur Linnée docteur / en médecine chez mr George / Clifford marchand / a Amsterdam

upSUMMARY

François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages professes his indebtedness to Laugier for having introduced him to Linnaeus. He also expresses his deep gratitude for the approval and praise Linnaeus has bestowed upon his little work on the method of diagnosing diseases.

The letter Linnaeus sent 20 June did not arrive until 15 September. Sauvages answered this letter forthwith and sent it back with a merchant. Sauvages advises Linnaeus to try to find new and more reliable channels for the exchange of their correspondence.

Sauvages regrets that he has no manuscript left of his sketches on a new botanical method. However, he reassures Linnaeus that this is no loss, especially to a man of such infinitely rich resources.

Commenting on his botanical method Sauvages stresses that his ambition is to be able to characterise plants from the forms of their flowers and fruits. He also reveals that he has been working on a method to characterise plants according to the orders of their leaves. This method is, however, at an experimental stage, and Sauvages is afraid that it will make Linnaeus laugh.

In his valediction Sauvages hails Linnaeus devotedly as the greatest of botanists.

P.S. Sauvages says that all he once wrote in entomology he has given to René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, who has recently published the second volume of his Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire des insectes.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, XIII, 7-8). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 [manuscript damaged]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
2.
See Linnaeus to François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages, 20 June 1737 n.s. and Sauvages to Linnaeus, 20 September 1737 n.s.Letter L0198.
3.
Sauvages paraphrazes Lucretius, De rerum naturaLucretius, De rerum
natura
.
, I, 928-930: “You, a man who can pluck fresh flowers, and seek an illustrious chaplet for your head from fields from where before you the Muses have crowned the brows of none” (trans. W. H. D. Rouse, Loeb edition of Lucretius, London 1959). The line “cui inquam invia submisit Lapponia flores”, which means that inaccessible Lapland has provided these flowers, is Sauvages’s own addition.
4.
5.
Réaumur, Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire des insectesRéaumur, René-Antoine
Ferchault de
Mémoires
pour servir à l’histoire des
insectes
, I-VI (Paris 1734-1742).
; volume II was published in 1736.