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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0315 • François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages to Carl Linnaeus, 1 December 1739 n.s.
Dated 1º decembris 1739. Sent from Montpellier (France) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Illustriss[i]mo D[omin]o Carolo Linnaeo, Suecorum Plinio
Fr[anciscus] De Sauvages Salut[em] quam pl[urimam]

Siccine te amiserim, suavissime Linnaee, cum scilicet perlectis tuis operibus, tui vehementissimo sum raptus amore, non certe sic abibis, quin te in remotissimas usque plagas persequar; Upsaliam, bone deus! profectus est, et vanae irritaeque fuere fratris mei dum Parisiis eras investigationes, desperabam ad polum usque perventuras unquam esse meas litteras, ast Suecus istic habitans D[ominus] de ColbekColbek, (?-?). . animos mihi addidit; sorti itaque hanc epistolam trado, quae te certum faciat mei desiderii cui nec pudor nec modus est. Suo tempore et Floram Lapponicam[1] et methodum sexualem[2] et pretiosissima aliorum operum fragmenta accepi sed serius quam ut ad te rescribere possem cum nostris[a][a] : MS1 <[illegible]>
nostris [added above the line]
regionibus ineras. Laetus dein accepi ex nunciis publicis quaedam ex tuis operibus in lucem mitti; viris Botanicis hujus provinciae opera tua botanica versari. Inde operam navavi ut quae mihi desunt ut systema naturae[3] Amstelodamo ad me mitterentur eaque in dies cupidissimus expecto. Ichthiologiam tui ArtediArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
Swedish. Ichtyologist. Close friend of
Linnaeus.
[4] summa cum voluptate voravi, sed ordinem alium maluissem, imo excogitavi faciliorem, quod penes tuum judicium sit, piscium characterem classicum ex pinnis dorsalibus repeto. Hinc quatuor classes aut ut tibi magis arridet ordines desumpsi:ord[o] 1o pisces in dorso apterygii 2o pisces... dipterygii; 3o p[isces]... tripterygii, 3o [sic] ... pisc[es] polypterygii; quilibet ordo in tres Sectiones subdividitur. Sectio 1a pisces... pterygii radiis spinosis, 2o pisc[es]... pter[ygii]... radiis mollibus cartilagineis & 3o pisc[es] rad[iis]... osseis non spinosis. Et in quibusdam classibus plagiuros, aliosque collocavi; genera vero Artedi tantum duo aut tria immutavi.

Gratias certe tibi summas pro tuis muneribus habeo, utinam referre possem...Theoriae medicae totus jam invigilo, mechanices lucem pro virili mutuor, et ex hujus principiis in StalhiiStahl, Georg Ernst (1660-1734).
German. Physician and chemist.
Professor of medicine at Halle. From
1715 president of the Collegium medicum
in Berlin. One of the leaders of early
eighteenth-century vitalism.
licet minus vigentem, sententiam descendi[b][b] : MS1 <abii> descendi ; naturam scil[icet] esse animae facultatem quae corpori tuendo et morbis fugandis invigilat; haec est ea potentia motrix quae in nostra machina necessaria est ad motus augendos, compescendos pro salutis finibus. Aliquot inde exorta sunt opuscula polemica quae tuo judicio si potis esset, lubens subjicerem.[5] Commercium hac de re inivi cum D[omino] MichelottoMichelotti, Pietro Antonio
(1673-1740). Italian. Professor of
medicine in Venice.
Veneto et cum D[omino] PittotDu Pitot, Henri (1695-1771).
French. Chemist, physicist, engineer.
Assistant to René Antoine
Ferchault de Réaumur in the
chemical laboratory of Académie
Royale des Sciences. Director of public
works, superintendent of the Canal du
Languedoc.
acad[emiae] Paris[iensis]Académie royale des sciences,
Paris,
French. The French
Académie des sciences was founded
in 1666 and became a royal academy in
1699. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, Hydraulico peritissimo.[6] Quaenam sit tua de febris proxima causa scire maxime vellem. Magis vero in quo statu sit valetudo tua et quid ad sanitatem recuperandam patrius aer contulerit. Scribe itaque, amice illustrissime, si Hamburgi tuas litteras D[omi]no KoenigKoenig, (?-?). German?.
Hamburg.
epistolarii commercii praefecto commendes eas Monspelii accepturus sum. Secus, scribas sub involucro à Monsieur FoucardFoucard, (?-?). French. chez Monsieur GerardGerard, (?-?). French.
Secretary of the cardinal of the court
in Paris?
secretaire de Monsieur le cardinal DefleuryDefleury, (?-?). French. . En cour
. Et eas tutius accipiam. Doleo semper magis ac magis te promovendis omnibus scientiis natum et aptissimum in nostris regionibus desiderari, citissime tua per remotissimas regiones nostras, fama volatura est, quod aliquantulum, quem ex absentia tua d[olorem][c][c] : MS1 [manuscript damaged] sentio, sublevabit.

Vale iterumque vale, vir o[mn]i[c][c] : MS1 [manuscript damaged] laude cumulatissime, et mihi quantocius rescribe. Nunciis siquidem tuis non nisi aegerrime careo.

DeSauvages proffessor
medicinae Monspelii.

1o decembris 1739

[address] a Monsieur / Monsieur Charles Linnaeus / Docteur médecin des academies d’Upsal / et des curieux de la nature / En Suéde a Upsal / par Hambourg / recommandée a Monsieur CunigKoenig, (?-?). German?.
Hamburg.
/ directeur des postes à Hambourg

upSUMMARY

François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages regrets the loss of Linnaeus, who had now returned to Uppsala.

Sauvages acknowledges the receipt of Flora Lapponica, Methodus sexualis and some precious fragments of other works. Good news is that Linnaeus’s works are being printed. As soon as they are available Sauvages will complete his collection of Linnaeana. Systema naturae is first on the list. Sauvages expresses his delight at Petrus Artedi’s Ichtyologia, but personally he would have preferred another system of classification based on the number of dorsal fins.

Sauvages emphasises how grateful he is for Linnaeus’s gifts, and wishes he could repay him. All his time is now devoted to the study of medicine, especially the theory of medicine. In this he has swung in his ideas to embrace Georg Ernst Stahl’s theories that our spiritual powers include a faculty to watch over the body and protect it from sickness and evil. These and similar ideas have led to polemic writing. If Linnaeus is interested, Sauvages will be happy to send him some of these opuscules. Sauvages has initiated an exchange of ideas in this matter with Pietro Antonio Michelotti from Venice and Henri de Pitot at the Académie Royale des Sciences in Paris. Next Sauvages wants to know Linnaeus’s view on the most important cause of fevers. More important, how is Linnaeus’s health? Has the air of the fatherland restored his health? Sauvages advises Linnaeus to send his reply via Koenig in Hamburg. A good idea is to send them to Hamburg to Koenig, who will act as an intermediary and forward them to Montpellier. An alternative address is Foucard. Closing the letter Sauvages once more points out how distressing it is to him to be separated from Linnaeus, and begs of him to write back as soon as possible.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. draft holograph (LS, XIII, 9-10). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Orbis eruditi judicium (1740)

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 <[illegible]> nostris [added above the line]
b.
MS1 <abii> descendi
c.
MS1 [manuscript damaged]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
It is difficult to know exactly which conflicts concerning the arguments between mechanists and vitalists Sauvages refers to. On the different positions taken within mid-eighteenth century vitalism, nosology and its influence on Sauvages, see French, “Sickness and the soul: Stahl, Hoffmann and Sauvages on pathology”French, R. “Sickness and the
soul: Stahl, Hoffmann and Sauvages on
pathology”, in The Medical
enlightenment of the eighteenth
century
, ed. A. Cunningham & R.
French (Cambridge 1990), 88-110.
(1990) and Martin, “Sauvage’s nosology: medical enlightenment in Montpellier”Martin, J. “Sauvage’s nosology:
medical enlightenment in Montpellier”,
in The Medical Enlightenment of the
eighteenth century
, ed. A.
Cunningham & R. French (Cambridge
1990), 111-137.
(1990).
6.
Pietro Antonio Michelotti and Henri du Pitot both published works on hydraulics, but within different fields; Michelotti, De separatione fluidorum in corpore animaliMichelotti, Pietro Antonio De
separatione fluidorum in corpore
animali, dissertatio
physico-mechanico-medica
(Venice
1721).
and Pitot, “Description d’une machine pour mesurer la vitesse des eaux courantes”Du Pitot, Henri “Description
d’une machine pour mesurer la vitesse
des eaux courantes, et la sillage des
vaisseaux”, Mémoires de
l’Académie royale des
sciences
34 (1735), 363-373.
.