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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0381 • Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch to Carl Linnaeus, 20 April 1740 n.s.
Dated XX April. MDCCXL.. Sent from Trebnitz (Germany) to Örebro (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Viro
Celeberrimo
Summoque Botanico,
Carolo Linnaeo,
S[alutem] Pl[urimam] D[icit]
Joh[annes] Gottlieb Gleditsch,
Art[ium] Mag[ister] et Cand[idatus] Med[icinae].

Ne aegre feras diu tardatum epistolare responsum, obsecro, cum febrem causam agnoscat[a][a] : sc. epistola atrocibus pectoris doloribus stipatam. Perrarus hujus mali accessus e sterni fractura, quam annum aetatis XVI agens perpessus sum, originem ducit. Cum enim herbarum gratia in saltubus Thuringicis et quidem locis muscosis praeruptis versarer, factum est, ut Rutam murariam novam germanicam, Brey[nii] Eph[edram] N[o]. C., appeterem et infelici conamine speluncam transcendens subito in saxum durissimae sortis ab alto delapsus sterni fracturas experirer.

Suavem animi Tui candorem, quem scripta ubique indicant et literae amantissimae optimi BreyniiBreyne, Johann Philip
(1680-1764). German/Polish. Zoologist
and physician in Danzig. Son of Jacob
Breyne. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
cura ad me delatae nunc egregie confirmarunt, ut proinde, si placent humanitatis pro virium modulo a me expectanda officia, Tuus totus et Tibi deditissimus ubique existam.

Benevole admodum sentis de nostris primitiis botanicis seu Catalogo horti Ziteniani, quas datis laudibus dignas optarem, sed non sunt.[1] Adaucta et mutata per aliquod tempus horti facie nunc proxima occasione designationem novam plantarum systematice tradam.

Dignis nuperrime Tibi collatis honoribus summum Numen addat corporis robur mentisque tranquillitatem perennem, ut et Respublica Botanicorum plura de Te sperare queat et Tu ipsi Tibi et amicis facias satis.

Quod de mea Americam penetrandi cupidine ad amicos Gallos, Anglos aliosque scripsisti, gratissima mente agnosco et, si ea quae Tibi debeo, ex asse remunerare non potero, Florae, inquam, Tuae meaeque tribuam. Haec mihi in tenera jam aetate placuit et amabilis visa. Nunc placet dulcissima. Dum spiro et spero, placebit, et quamvis mundum intrare secunda vice datum esset mihi, Flora absente mea, si possem, facile redirem.

Hortum Cliffortianum[2] cum aliis doctissimis operibus si dabis, gratissimum facies opus, praesertim si egregia illa dona nomine et sigillo Tuo ornaveris, cum princeps ac primum ornamentum bibliothecae meae botanicae novae constituant. Lipsiae enim furtiva et violenta manu (quam indicare dubito) omnibus ac singulis botanicis libris cistae inclusis nec non observationibus VIII annis ad Floram Lipsiensem collectis orbatus sum. An huic malo sensim paulatimque mederi queam? Studebo!

Muscos, Fungos, et Algas anno 1737 et 1738 MicheliiMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
cryptogames.
ductu, Gramina vero 1739 ad mentem ScheuhzeriScheuchzer, Johann (1684-1738).
Swiss. Botanist, professor of physics
at Zürich. Brother of Johann Jacob
Scheuchzer. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
pertractavi et potior ferme pars in Marchia Electorali Viadrina obviam venit. Hoc fecisse mirifice delector, cum plura nova in fructificationibus earundem plantarum detegerim mihi plane incognita. Ut obiter moneam, corolla Graminum vera equidem talis est uti et ipse concedis in Gen[eribus] Plant[arum],[3] sed non petalis instructa, species potius corollae, Nectarium nempe diphyllum.

Filicum examen quoque aggrediar, si modo LüberkühnianumLieberkühn, Johann Natanael
(1711-1756). German. Physician,
Berlin.
, quod spero, microscopium accipiam. Hac vice gravissimo Tuo judicio Equiseti characterem submitto.[4] Plura et certiora, ut videam, conabor. D[omi]n[i] D[octo]r[is] Lüberkühnii fraterLieberkühn, (?-?).
German. Vicar in Roscoff, Bretagne. The
brother of Johann Nathanael
Lieberkühn.
(amicus noster honoratissimus), qui apud Roscovienses[5] in Marchia pastorali munere fungitur et cui Tuo praesertim suasu opus splendissimum horti sui dedit CliffortiusClifford, George (1685-1760).
Dutch. Banker and merchant in Amsterdam,
Linnaeus’s benefactor. Owner of
Hartecamp and its botanical garden
outside Haarlem. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
, curiosissima circa plantas tentamine instituit et indicat nuperrimis literis se in peculiari opello sexum plantarum per observationes, experimenta et ratiocinia esse demonstraturum, quod ipse avide expecto.

De Philosophia Tua Botanica[6] praelo subjecta (ut vult D[omi]n[us] D[octor] LudwigLudwig, Christian Gottlieb
(1709-1773). German. Physician.
Professor of medicine in Leipzig. One of
Linnaeus’s early opponents.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
) et scripto BrowallianoBrowallius, Johan (1707-1755).
Swedish. Professor of physics, later of
theology. Bishop of Åbo.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
vehementer gaudeo, quamvis nondum viderim.[7]

Cl[arissimum] SiegesbeckiumSiegesbeck, Johann Georg
(1686-1755). German. Prussian botanist,
doctor of medicine at Wittenberg in
1716, physician and director of the
botanical garden at St Petersburg
1735-1747. One of the most bitter
opponents of Linnaeus’s sexual system.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
quod concernit, miror illius propositum. Rem interim, quomodo judicanda erit, aestimabo, ne minorum gentium dii in re publica Botanica factionibus perniciosis (uti videtur) porrigant manus et de veritatibus luce meridiano clarioribus supprimendis cogitare opus habeant. BreynioBreyne, Johann Philip
(1680-1764). German/Polish. Zoologist
and physician in Danzig. Son of Jacob
Breyne. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
equidem meo meas cogitationes consecrare volui. Cum autem rusticana vox Siegesbeckii me haud fugiat, circulos illius mea causa turbandos aptum nequaquam judico, quapropter ad Summum Philosophum Christianum WolffiumWolff, Christian (1679-1754).
German. Philosopher, professor of
mathematics in Halle in 1707, deposed
from his office in 1723 because of his
philosophical opinions, reinstated in
1740 as professor of mathematics,
natural law and the law of nations.
dabo.[8]

Ipsa vero Consideratio Epicriseos Siegesbeckianae[9] ultimis mensis Maji diebus lucem videbit, quam statim et Tibi et Tuis, e.g. Jussieuis fratribus[10] , Breynio, RoyenoRoyen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, GronovioGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeus’s benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, BurmannoBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, BrowallioBrowallius, Johan (1707-1755).
Swedish. Professor of physics, later of
theology. Bishop of Åbo.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
et magno CelsioCelsius, Olof (1670-1756).
Swedish. Orientalist and theologian,
professor at Uppsala. Botanist and plant
collector, benefactor of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
communicabo. Adversarius doctissimus sexualis systematis robur meris negationibus (quorum tamen rationes sufficientes adhuc debet) penitus prostratum fuisse judicat, sed, cum sensus aphorismorum[11] et dictorum pro arbitrio male intellectus et applicatus est, ratiocinandi fallacia, falsa experientia imo et ipsum argumentum ab invidia desumptum nullius autem valoris sint.[12] Salva omnino adhuc res est. Et, ut ingenue fatear, plane aphilosophus esse videtur Siegesbeckius, unde Botanosophiae nomen aeque ac Holostei DilleniiDillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
?????_??_?????[13] intelligendum esse opinor. Praeterea illis quoque annumerari meretur, qui characteris et methodi naturalis dignitatem minus capiunt, ut omnes sunt qui, e.g. folia et modum florendi ad generum determinationem commendant vel Pseudo-botanici-coi-dastro-agi-na-strellis, affines, nonnihil similes, aemuli, valde accedentes vel forte cognati, etc.

Plures in vicinia systematis Tui ac methodi huic superstructae[14] acerimos adversarios agunt, sed succurram cunctis illorum dubiis in scripto contra Siegesbeckium. Praecepta Linnaeana nodus Gordius existunt omnium illorum, fateor, qui, ut labores evitent, capitula sua somnolenta distinctis notionibus et demonstrationibus fatigare dubitant.

Hyemis inclementia communes Botanicorum et curiosorum Europae movebit querelas et nos dolemus hybernacula XIV fornacibus a die IV Januarii ad IIX Febr[ruarii] calefactis munita a frigoris inclementia violenta defendere non potuisse plantas. Stragem exoticarum et tristiora longe phaenomena solis calor ascendens Majo mense revelabit et moribundas plures jam video plantas.

Incolas horti nostri vegetabiles omnes, si cupis, mittam; velim proinde, desideres species, quas optimas esse judicas vel Tibi desunt. Si e thesauro Lapponico vel exotico quaedam abundant, et mihi communices, obsecro.

Salutandum Te jussit D[omi]n[us] de ZietenZieten, Hans Joachim von
(1699-1786). German. Captain in the
cavalry at the Prussian army, later
general. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, maecenas meus, quem ob singularem prorsus circa vegetabilium culturam peritiam et rei herbariae studium ut hortulanum omnium doctissimum (qui rem scientifice tractat) Tibi valdopere commendo.

Nuperrimo Regio jussu[15] factus sum Medicus provincialis circuli Lebusensis in Marchia Electorali Viadrina, unde et laboribus profecto detineor summis.[16]

Vale et amare perge Tuum! Dabam Trebnizii die XX April[is] MDCCXL.

Si ad me scribis, scribas vel cursu publico duplici, e.g. par Hamburg, Berlin, Müncheberg[17] a Trebniz vel par Stralsundt, Stargard,[18] Cüstrin,[19] Mü[n]cheberg a Trebniz vel literas mandes legato, qui munere hoc fungitur in aula Berolinensi.

En
Equisetum!
Calyx communis: est margo integer brevis, pluribus angulis notatus (septem).
Spicam terminans ovato-oblongam, quam constituunt receptacula fructificationis, plura brevibus pedunculis fulta et serie quinduplici circulari ut plurimum dense congesta.
Proprius deficit.

Fructificationem singulam constituit
Receptaculum peltatum prona parte ferme planum, margine inaequali circumscriptum, pluribus (quinque ad septem) angulis distincto; in parte postica, ubi pedunculus implantatur, marginem cingunt capsulae seminales plures (sex) inferiora spectantes.

Capsula singula est recta cylindracea unilocularis univalvis persistens elastica; per longitudinem in latere interiore dehiscens mutatur in foliolum planum vel semi-circulare barbatum, apice tenuiter dentatum.

Semina sunt subrotunda minutissima innumera, villis ramosis.

[address] A Monsieur / Monsieur Charles Linnaeus / Membre de l’Academie Royal / de Sciences / a Örebro[b][b] : MS1 <Upsala> Örebro
[added by another hand] i Lilla
huset Räntemästare vid Skiepps
broen [added by another hand]

upSUMMARY

Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch has suffered from a fever and has not been able to write earlier. This illness goes back to a fracture of the breast-bone at the age of sixteen. When he travelled in the passages of Thuringia to collect plants he fell badly, when trying to get hold of a new German Ruta muraria (Breyne’s Ephedra no.C.).

Gleditsch’s Catalogus plantarum, quae tum in horto Domini de Zieten Trebnizii coluntur is out of date, since the garden has been restructured and he plans a new systematic description. From now on this Garden will be arranged systematically.

Gleditsch thanks Linnaeus for having written to friends in England and France about Gleditsch’s wish to go to America.

Gleditsch would be grateful for Linnaeus’s Hortus Cliffortianus. All his botanical books together with his own observations collected during eight years for a “Flora Lipsiensis” have been stolen.

Gleditsch has studied mosses, Fungi and Algae under Pietro Antonio Micheli in 1737-1738 and grasses under Johann Scheuchzer in 1739. Gleditsch has found many new things regarding the fructification. The corolla of the Grasses is as Linnaeus says in his Genera plantarum, but it has no petals; it is a kind of corolla and as it seems a two-leaved nectary. Gleditsch will proceed to the Filices, if he gets Johann Nathanael Lieberkühn’s microscope. He sends over the character of Equisetum for Linnaeus to evaluate. Lieberkühn’s brother will elucidate the sexes of plants.

Gleditsch will be pleased to receive Linnaeus’s Philosophia botanica and Johan Browallius’s work. He wanted to dedicate his refutation of Johann Georg Siegesbeck to Johann Philip Breyne, but he will dedicate it to Christian Wolff.

Gleditsch’s Consideratio epicriseos Siegesbeckianae will be published at the end of May. He will send it to the Jussieu brothers, Breyne, Adriaan van Royen, Johan Frederik Gronovius, Johannes Burman, Johan Browallius and Olof Celsius the Elder. People will see that Siegesbeck has written out of envy.

The winter has been very cold and many plants have died in the greenhouses. Gleditsch would like to have some Lapland plants. Zieten sends his regards. The King has made him district medical officer in Lebus.

P.S. Letters should be sent via postoffices in Hamburg, Stralsund, etc.

Gleditsch adds a description of Equisetum.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, IV, 502-503). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Orbis eruditi judicium (1740)

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
sc. epistola
b.
MS1 <Upsala> Örebro [added by another hand] i Lilla huset Räntemästare vid Skiepps broen [added by another hand]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
2.
3.
4.
For the decription of Equisetum, see the postscript.
5.
I.e., Roscoff, Bretagne.
6.
7.
8.
9.
For the antagonism between Johann Georg Siegesbeck and Linnaeus, see Jönsson, “Odium botanicorum. The polemics between Carl Linnaeus and Johann Georg Siegesbeck”Jönsson, A.-M. Odium
botanicorum
. The polemics between
Carl Linnaeus and Johann Georg
Siegesbeck”, Språkets
speglingar. Festskrift till Birger
Bergh
, ed. A. Jönsson & A.
Piltz (Lund 2000), 555-566.
.
Greek for “contradictory”.
In 1740 Gleditsch became district medical officer in Lebus, Brandenburg.
Münchenberg, Brandenburg.
Stargard, Pomerania.
Cüstrin, Brandenburg.