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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0225 • Hans Sloane to Carl Linnaeus, 31 December 1737 n.s.
Dated 20: Decembris: 1737. St. Jul.. Sent from London (Great Britain) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Vir eruditissime,

Quod urbanissimis tuis literis, Martii 2 1736, et Jan[uarii] 1737 datis, responsa non maturius expidiverim, pudore non levi perfundor.[1] Sed si negotiorum farragini, valetudinique haud stabili, non vero socordiae aut ingrato animo, moram hanc ascribere benigne velis, veram attinges silentii causam. Iam aliquantulum otii nactus, sinceras Tibi grates ago, tum ob epistolas tuas acceptissimas, tum ob opera, quibus historiam naturalem ampliare, bibliothecamque meam ditare dignatus es. Haec quidem cum voluptate perlegi: Flora vero Lapponica[2] speciatim mihi tantopere arridet, ut maxime cupiam caeteras illius regionis partes Historiae naturalis intueri tua exaratas manu publicaeque luci datas.

Tuam Oestri Lapponum accuratam valde descriptionem a Millero nostro mihi traditam speciatim[3] , anglice reddendam, et in R[egiae] Societatis consessu legendam curavi, magno cum audentium applausu. Grates Tibi de illa decrevit coetus, quod Tibi mandatum significandi provinciam in me lubens accepi. Serius quidem haec perpetrata sunt, eo quod inter autumnales Societatis inducias ad manus pervenerit Oestri descriptio: induciae enim istae labente ut plurimum junio, vel erumpente julio incipiunt, desinunt vero sub octobris finem.

Quascunque transmittere dignaberis, Vir doctissime, observationes ex naturae scientia depromptas, lubentissime cum nostra Societate communicabo; nullusque dubito, quin, prae observatoris peritia et naturae evolvendae, quo feliciter ardes, desiderio, gratissimae sint evasurae: omnibus enim indiscriminatim verae philosophiae cultoribus nostrae patet Societatis Sinus.

Perquam volupe mihi fuit, per Floram Lapponicam videre, tot Vegetabilia Lapponiae cum partibus Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae borealibus communia. Hinc ansam arripio observandi, possidere me aliquot earumdem plantarum specimina ex Siberia, Hudsoni Sinu, Groenlandiaque allata; ut et unam, inter varias ex freti Magellanici oris asportatas, quae in Wallia nostra sponte crescit. Unde fieri potest, ut eadem Vegetabilia proveniant in diversis sub eadem Latitudine- Septentrionali, et fortasse etiam australi, positis locis: adeoque non ita proxime ad infinitum porrigatur Botanice, ut vulgo supponitur.

Si inter duplicata plantarum tuarum specimina, aliquot possideas, quae in Anglia non nascuntur, aliasve res naturales museolo meo non contentas; has transmittendo rem mihi feceris longe gratissimam: nec ingratum me reperies unquam.

Quod tam parùm temporis in Collectione mea invisenda, dum Anglia te tenuit, insumpseris, non mediocriter doleo: ut et, quod multifaria rerum mearum varietas impediat, quominùs in museolo meo augendo, et amicis colendis, ea qua cuperem, attentione quotidie utar.

Vale, Vir eruditissime, et me tibi habe ad quaelibet amicitiae officia praestanda paratissimum,

Hans Sloane

Londini: 20: Decembris: 1737. St[ylus] Jul[ianus].

[address] A Monsieur / Monsieur Linnaeus / Docteur en Medecine / a Amsterdam

upSUMMARY

Hans Sloane apologises for the long delay in answering Linnaeus’s letters of 2 March 1736 o.s. and 21 January 1737 o.s. He is really ashamed of his negligence, but it is not due to laziness or ingratitude but to excessive work and bad health. He thanks Linnaeus for these letters and the beautiful books he received, especially Flora Lapponica.

Sloane can proudly inform Linnaeus that he has translated Linnaeus’s description of the Laplandish gad-fly into English. The text was given to him by Philip Miller. In one of the Royal Society’s sessions Sloane read this translation and was rewarded with tremendous applause. Sloane was asked to forward the Society’s thanks to Linnaeus. All observations in the field of natural science that Linnaeus would deign to submit to him, Sloane would present to the Society, where they would be received with great interest and gratitude.

Reading Flora Lapponica Sloane has noticed that many plants of Lapland are also found in Britain and on Ireland. Some of these plants from Lapland are familiar to Sloane: he has got them from Siberia, Hudson Bay and Greenland. One plant originating from the Strait of Magellan is also found growing spontaneously in Wales. These observations lead Sloane to believe that the same plants may exist on the same latitude in the north as well as in the south. Maybe the general view that Botany contains an infinite number of species is exaggerated.

If Linnaeus has duplicates of plants to send him, Sloane would be happy to include them in his collection.

Sloane regrets that, on his visit, Linnaeus had so little time to study his collection. He also regrets the fact that all his work prevents him from developing this collection and from meeting his friends.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, XIV, 95-96). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Orbis eruditi judicium (1740)

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
See Linnaeus to Sloane, 2 March 1736 o.s., 13 March 1736 n.s. and 21 January 1737 o.s., 1 February 1737 n.s..
2.
3.
Linnaeus to Philip Miller, 20 June 1737, L0183.