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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0221 • Carl Linnaeus to François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages, 2 November 1737 n.s.
Dated 1737, Nov. 2. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to Montpellier (France). Written in Latin.

Viro illustri
D[omino] D[octori] Sauvages de La Croix,
in Academia Monspeliensi Professori,
Acad[emiae] Reg[iae] Parisinae Membro, etc.
S[alutem] pl[urimam] D[icit]
Carolus Linnaeus.

Litteras tuas, vir illustris, famae tuae, quam per orbem merito obtinuisti, pares excepi;[1] didici ex iis animum tuum purissimum, candidissimum, generosissimum; obstupui in uno eodemque te tot reperire naturae dona simul concessa. Utinam aliquid in me esset, quo me dignum redderem tanto viro!

Devotissima mente tuum excipio donum, opus tuum systematicum de morbis,[2] quo carere absque summo meo dispendio nequeo, nequeunt et alii. Reperi in eo ad summam deductum perfectionem, quod in omnibus libris frustra quaesivi; obtusum meum ingenium nil capit, nil intellegit, nisi quod systematice concipiat; an alii, nescio, haereo; qui ad methodum natus est, videt in tuo nudam veritatem, quam denudare vix aptus evadet ullus per multos annos. Characteres tui generici quam simplices, imo ut a caeco palpitari possunt! Species quam laboriose conquisisti, quam pure proposuisti, tu solus! Doleo librum non latina lingua editum; doleo quod invidia eum supprimat.

Librum adhuc dum frustra expectavi, vereor quod ad me non veniat. Amicissimus D[ominus] LaugierLaugier, Alexander Ludwig
(?-?). Austrian?. Professor in botany
and chemistry at the University of
Vienna in 1749.
hunc mihi mutuum concessit, ab eo autem eum redimere potui nullis conditionibus, nullo aere, quod parcerem nullo; noluit enim dimittere cum a te ipso habuerit.

Si apud te humillimae meae preces valeant ullae, valituras non disfido, quaeso, per deos! mittas istum Parisios ad D[ominum] du FaiDu Fay de Cisternay,
Charles-François

(1698-1739). French. Director of the
Jardin des plantes in Paris.
, praefectum Horti RegiiJardin des plantes, Paris,
French. The Jardin des plantes was
founded in 1597 to produce flower models
for the manufacturing of tapestry in
Paris. In 1626 it became a garden for
medical and pharmaceutical plants. In
1739 it was again transformed to le
Jardin du roi, where also a natural
history museum was built. Later in the
eigteenth century a zoological garden
and a library were added.
, vel ad D[ominum] prof[essorem]JussieuJussieu, Bernard de
(1699-1777). French. Professor of
botany, brother of Antoine and Joseph de
Jussieu. Demonstrator at the Jardin des
plantes. Sébastien Vaillantís
successor. Uncle of Antoine Laurent de
Jussieu. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, sub couvert ad D[ominum] Adrianum Van RoyenRoyen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, professorem botanices Lugduni Batavorum; moneas apud Dom[inum] du Fai ut quam citissime ullo modo poterit, eumdem transmittat impensis amicissimi nobis V[an] Royen, et spero me tum desideratissimum brevi obtenturum; utinam obtinuissem!

Gratissima mihi erunt tua botanica; novi te ad puram methodum natum et inter methodicos facile principem esse convictus sum.[3]

Promitto lubentissimus levidensia omnia quae prodiere mea, certissime omnia quae ipse in duplo habeo; sequentia publicata sunt:

Bibliotheca Botanica libros plus mille recensens secundum classes, sectiones, genera. Amstel[odami], 1735, 8o.[4]

Fundamenta Botanica aphoristice, compendiose. Amstel[odami] 1735, 8o.[5]

Musa Cliffortiana seu Musa Plumieri, florens Hartecampi. Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 1736, 4o., cum tabulis aeneis.[6]

Systema trium Regnorum Naturae, ubi lapides disposui ex principiis docimasticis; plantas secundum sexum vel classes secundum stamina, sectiones secundum pistilla. Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 1735, folio majori.[7] Divisi genera insectorum ab antennis, quadrupedum sectiones a dentibus, avium a rostro.

Hypothesis de causa Febrium intermittentium, ubi eas ab aqua argillacea audacter protrahere studui. Hardero[vici], 1735, 4o.[8]

Genera Plantarum, ubi genera definivi secundum numerum, figuram, situm et proportionem septem frutificationis partium, ubi genera sic definiuntur compendiose n[umer]o 935, rejectis tamen superfluis plus quam ter centum. Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 1737, 8o majori.[9]

Corollarium generum Plantarum, ubi 60 nova genera indico. Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 1737, 8o maj[ori].[10]

Methodus sexualis emendata. Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 1737, 8o maj[ori].[11]

Critica Botanica in qua nomina plantarum generica, specifica et variantia examini subjiciuntur, selectiora confirmantur, indigna rejiciuntur. Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 1737, 8o maj[ori].[12]

Flora Lapponica cum figuris 80 rariorum plantarum, cum descriptionibus et observationibus botanicis et oeconomicis. Amstel[odami], 1737, 8o majori.[13] Observandum in Lapponia communes esse plantas cum Alpinis Helvetiae, Pyrenaeorum, Spitzbergensium, Groenlandiae, Valliae, Baldi, montis Ararat.

Viridarium Cliffortianum, seu catalogus plant[arum] Horti Cliffortiani Hartecampi in Belgio. Amstel[odami], 1737. 8o majori.[14]

Hortus Cliffortianus, ubi ingens collectio plantarum, praesertim exoticarum, ad sua genera cum differentiis genericis veris, synonimis, varietatibus aliquot millibus [sic] a Botanicis celeberrimis pro totidem speciebus falso exhibitis, ad suas species redactis, locis natalibus, etc. Amst[elodami], 1737, folio majori;[15] tabulis aeneis 40.

Variaque alia minoris momenti, forte tibi non ingrata, licet propriam et a nullo antea tritam viam communiter incedam.

Quae ex his in duplo habeo dabo D[omino] Laugier, qui curabit ut ad te, data commoda prima occasione, curabit [sic].

Vale, vir illustris, diuque vegetus floreas.

Sub prelo sudant ArtediArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
Swedish. Ichtyologist. Close friend of
Linnaeus.
opera posthuma Ichthyologica:

Ejus Descriptiones Piscium, quam accuratissime omnium.
Pinax Piscium, ubi saepe 50 synonyma in singulo.
Genera Piscium naturalia et vera.
Philosophia Ichthyologica, judiciose elaborata.
Bibliotheca Ichthyologica, imperfecta, parum a me digesta et emendata. Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 8o majori.[16]

Dabam Lugduni Batavorum, 1737, Nov[embris] 2.

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus thanks François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages heartily for his letter. This letter matches perfectly his renown. Reading it Linnaeus can feel what a pure, candid and generous heart Sauvages has. Linnaeus says that he is amazed that Nature has bestowed so many gifts on one single person, and expresses the wish that he could have some merit that would make him worthy of such a great man!

Linnaeus is extremely grateful for Sauvagesís promise to send him his treatise on diseases. This work, which is a systematic presentation of diseases, is perfect and something quite new. Linnaeus describes himself as being rather obtuse and unable to understand anything at all that is not presented systematically. Sauvagesís presentation of the generic characters and species of diseases is a wonder of clarity. And all this made by one man! Linnaeus regrets two things: that this work was not written in Latin, and that it has become the object of envy.

However, so far, no book has arrived, and Linnaeus is afraid that it never will. His good friend Laugier has lent him his copy, but is not willing to sell it to him at any price, as it is a personal gift from Sauvages. Linnaeus beseeches Sauvages to send a copy of this work to Charles-François Du Fay de Cisternay, the director of Jardin des plantes in Paris, or to professor Bernard du Jussieu, for Adriaan van Royen, professor of botany, who will forward the book to Linnaeus. He asks Sauvages to urge Du Fay to act as soon as possible, at the expense of Royen. If this is done Linnaeus has good hopes to soon have in his hands this much longed-for book.

In a letter of 20 September 1737 Sauvages mentioned that he had sketched out a new botanical method. Linnaeus finds this very interesting. Knowing well Sauvagesís capacity Linnaeus predicts that he will no doubt become the cynosure of botanical methodology.

Linnaeus promises to send to Sauvages all he can of his production, which he belittles by referring to it as trifles. He then proceeds to present a detailed bibliography of his production: titles, place and year of publication, format, and a condensed summary of its contents.

Linnaeus renews his promise to send all the books of which he has got duplicates. This will be done through Mr Laugier.

P.S. Linnaeus mentions that the posthumous ichthyological works of Peter Artedi are being printed.

upEDITIONS

1. Lettres inťdites de Linnť ŗ Boissier de la Croix de Sauvages (1860), p. 8-16   p.8  p.9  p.10  p.11  p.12  p.13  p.14  p.15  p.16.

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
See François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages to Linnaeus, 20 September 1737 n.s.Letter L0198.
2.
3.
Sauvagesís method, to characterise the plants according to the order of their leaves, was published in Methodus foliorum seu plantae florae MonspeliensisSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
Methodus foliorum,
seu plantae florae Monspeliensis, juxta
foliorum ordinem ad juvandam specierum
cognitionem, digestae [...]
Méthode pour connoître les
plantes par les feüilles
(The
Hague 1751).
(1751).
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.