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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0446 • Carl Linnaeus to François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages, 13 December 1741 n.s.
Dated 1741, Dec. 2. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Montpellier (France). Written in Latin.

Die 8 maji, a Rege nostro, Professor Medicinae et Botanices ordinarius constitutus sum; debuit enim D[ominus] Rosen migrare ad Anatomiae Professionem.

Hocce autumno publice Classes tuas Morborum docebo, tua venia; si exigant studiosi, seorsim has edere vellem, uti morbos definitos dedisti in Pathologia.

Testor Deum omnipotentem, quod si cum ulla navi occasionem obtinuerim, ad te mittam Hortum Cliffortianum et varia alia.

Pulcherrima sunt quae de Coriaria detexisti. Smolandia Australi (Sueciae provincia) plures epileptici sunt quam in tota Suecia; occasionem hac aestate reperi, scilicet quod lavant capita infantum exulcerata frigida aqua, unde retrocedunt exanthemata s[ive] scabies, et infantes dein per vitam aegrotant.

Quaeso, examines et describas florem fructumque Camphoratae Monspeliensium; qui enim in Actis Parisinis delineatus est, non sufficit.

D[omini] Seguieri bibliotheca optime elaborata est; habebo ex eo multa pro altera editione mei libelli, et novi forte plus quam centum libros ab eo omissos, vere tamen Botanicos. Studium juvandi pubem Botanicam, festinatio et per infinita negotia distractus animus effecit paroramata, heu, nimis multa, in meo libello; inadsuetus eram, etc.; juste vapulo.

Quod ad Involucra attinet. Emendavi in Heracleo; involucrum universale in eo valde caducum est. Bupleurum caret involucro universali. Perfoliata enim modo folium ad umbellam gerit; reliquae species plura folia, non calycina. Oenanthes species forte aliquae ad alia genera amandari possent. Situs ut velit; nil perfectum me edere unquam crediderim ipse; sera dies perficiet incepta, si digna; interim emendabo ipse quod possum, dum vixero.

Utinam a te semina habere possem lecta in vestro agro, qui prae reliquis Europaeis omnibus plantis superbit et numero et structura!

Haec ante 3 menses scripsi.

Perveni in lectionibus publicis ad morbos Paralyticos; numerus auditorum quotidie frequentissisimus est. Nescio, quomodo omnes potuisti evolvere authores; habeo plurimos e Bibliotheca publica; omnes autem, quos allegas, comparare nequeo. Heu, summam amaurosim Medicorum, qui Tuo opusculo aureo carere possunt. Ridebat primo collega meus cum in prima lectione morbos secundum classes, genera, species, synonima, etc., me traditurum dicebam; dixit me non aliter morbos cognoscere posse quam uti Botanicus plantas; nunc minus ridet, me cum facile omnes studiosi audiunt, illum vero pauci. Interrogabat, quisnam ille SAUVAGES esset; methodum ab initio non laudabat, cum morbos ex causis proximis seu internis nosse dicebat. Fateor me Semeioticen tuo destitutus opere nolle profiteri.

Utinam haberem aliquid e tuo terrestri Paradiso Monspeliensi! Utinam posses habere aliquem Stockholmiam, qui transmitteret! Darem omnia quae habeo edita.

Orationem habui de Itinerum usu intra patriam, quae etiam impressa est.

Gratias pro charactere D[omini] Barrerii. Utinam et sic te descriptum et delineatum haberem!

Ego etiam brevis sum staturae, pectore crasso, nullo modo pinguis, nec tamen exsuccus; facie alba, crinibus fuscis non nigris, rectis, temporibus rubicundis, incessu [...] ut ad nulla, sic minime quondam tardus; parum suspiciosus, minime diu iracundus.

Utinam haberem tuam imaginem, vel manu pictam, in eadem magnitudine qua haec mea! Habeo Tournefortii, Vaillantii, Morisoni, Royeni, Gronovii, Rivini, Raj, Dillenii, G[aspardi] Bauhini, Rudbeckiorum, Michelii, Sloanei, omnes singulos, intra vitra margine deaurato, suspensos in Hybernaculo Horti publici.

Dillenii Historia Muscorum (Oxonii, 1741, in 4to, 2 vol.) prodiit ante aliquot dies; eo carere nequis.

Amanni Amethystina est vera Lycopi species.

Dabam Upsaliae, 174l, Dec[embris] 2.

C[AROLUS] LINNAEUS.

Cum ad me proxime scribere digneris, litteras sub couvert ad Societatem Scientiarum Upsaliensem mittas, oro.

D[omini] Barreri liber est pulcherrimus, sed in generibus

upSUMMARY

On his return from his expedition to Öland and Gotland Linnaeus is pleased to find a letter [presumably Sauvages to Linnaeus, 23 June 1741Letter L0435] from François de La Croix de SauvagesSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
(1706-1767). French.
Botanist and clergyman and physician,
professor in medicine at Montpellier.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
together with an oration and two dissertations.

On 8 May Linnaeus was inaugurated Professor of Medicine and Botany in Uppsala, and at the same time Nils Rosén von RosénsteinRosén von Rosenstein, Nils
(1706-1773). Swedish. Physician
and professor of medicine. Colleague of
Linnaeus at Uppsala. The founder of
modern pediatrics. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
, who previously held this post, was elected Professor of Anatomy.

This autumn Linnaeus will lecture publicly on Sauvages’ classification of diseases to his students.

Linnaeus promises to send Hortus CliffortianusLinnaeus, Carl Hortus
Cliffortianus, plantas exhibens quas in
hortis tam vivis quam siccis Hartecampi
in Hollandia coluit [...] Georgius
Clifford
(Amsterdam 1737). Soulsby
no. 328.
and other publications to Sauvages.

He praises Sauvages’s observations of Coriaria. In southern Smoland there are more epilectics than in any other part of Sweden. Linnaeus has found the reason: they wash the infants’ heads with cold water.

Linnaeus asks Sauvages to examine and describe the flower and fruit of the Camphorata of Montpellier. The presentation of it in the Actis Parisinis [Mémoires de l’Académie des Sciences] is not satisfactory.

Jean François Séguier’sSéguier, Jean François
(1703-1784). French. Antiquarian
and botanist, Nimes. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
Bibliotheca botanicaSéguier, Jean François
Bibliotheca botanica, sive
Catalogus auctorum et librorum omnium
qui de re botanica, de medicamentis ex
vegetabilibus paratis, de re rustica,
& de horticultura tractant, a
Joanne-Francisco Seguiero Neumasense
digestus. Accessit Bibliotheca botanica
Jo. Ant. Bumaldi, seu potius Ovidii
Montalbani Bononiensis
(The Hague
1740).
is commendable and will furnish new material for Linnaeus’s future publications. Linnaeus is aware of many imperfections in his writings, due to haste and an excessive workload; he will spend his whole life amending his results.

He mentions some recent amendments in Heraclea, Bupleurum and Oenanthe.

Linnaeus would like to receive seeds from Sauvages: no other region in Europe yields so many and so stately plants. At this point Linnaeus writes: ”This I wrote three months ago”.

When his colleague [presumably von Rosenstein] heard about what Linnaeus lectured on he started laughing. Now that numerous students assemble at Linnaeus’s lectures and very few at his, he does not laugh any more. ”Who is this Sauvages?” he asks.

Linnaeus gave his inaugural address on the necessity of travelling within one’s own country; this oration has been printed [Oratio qua peregrinationum intra patriam asseritur necessitasLinnaeus, Carl Oratio qua
peregrinationum intra patriam asseritur
necessitas, habita Upsaliae [...] 1741
Octobr. 17, quum medicinae professionem
regiam et ordinariam susciperet

(Uppsala 1741). Soulsby no. 1354.
].

He thanks Sauvages for the portrait of Pièrre BarrèreBarrère, Pierre
(1690-1755). French. Professor of
medicine, Perpignan. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
.

Linnaeus describes himself thus: ”I am short in stature, my breast is solid, I am not fat nor lean, I have a fair complexion, dark but not black hair, straight and ruddy at the temples. My gait is brisk; I am not sluggish, least of all in erotic matters [illustrated with the female symbol, see the edition, p. 40]. I am a bit unsuspecting, my wrath passes quickly”.

Linnaeus would like to receive a portrait of Sauvages. He already has portraits of Joseph Pitton de TournefortTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
, Sébastien VaillantVaillant, Sébastien
(1669-1722). French. Botanist and
surgeon. Professor at the Jardin des
plantes. His theory on plant sexuality
influenced Linnaeus who regarded
Vaillant as one of the most important
botanists.
, Robert MorisonMorison, Robert (1620-1683).
British. Botanist and physician.
Physician-in-ordinary to Charles II.
Professor in botany at Oxford.
, Adriaan van RoyenRoyen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, Johan Frederik GronoviusGronovius, 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.
, August Quirinus RivinusRivinus, August Quirinus
(1652-1723). German. Professor of
medicine and botany at Leipzig.
Constructed a plant classification
system based on petals.
, John RayRay, John (1627-1705).
British. Naturalist and clergyman. One
of the most influential botanists before
Linnaeus.
, Johann Jacob DilleniusDillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, Caspar BauhinBauhin, Caspar (1560-1624).
Swiss. Botanist and physician, Basle.
Bauhin’s Prodromus and Pinax
theatri botanici
(1620, 1623, 1671)
were important works in the field of
botanical nomenclature.
, Olof RudbeckRudbeck, Olof (1630-1702).
Swedish. Physician, historian,
naturalist. Founder of the Uppsala
University Botanical Garden. Professor
of medicine at Uppsala.
, and his son Olof RudbeckRudbeck, Olof (1660-1740).
Swedish. Professor of medicine,
botanist, ornithologist, travelled in
Lapland. Linnaeus’s teacher.
, Pietro Antonio MicheliMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
cryptogames.
, Hans SloaneSloane, Hans (1660-1753).
British. Physician, naturalist and
collector. Secretary of the Royal
Society in 1693, president in 1727.
Sloane’s collections of natural history
objects were donated to the English
nation and were one of cornerstones of
the British Museum (1759). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
.

Dillenius’s Historia MuscorumDillenius, Johann Jacob
Historia muscorum in qua circiter
sexcentae species veteres et novae ad
sua genera relatae describuntur et
iconibus genuinis illustrantur, cum
appendice et indice synonymorum. Opera
Jo. Jac. Dillenii
(Oxford 1741).
has recently been published and will prove indispensable.

Johann AmmanAmman, Johann (1707-1741).
Swiss/Russian?. Curator of Hans Sloane’s
natural history collection. Professor of
botany at the Imperial Academy of
Sciences at St Petersburg. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
Amethystina is the same species as Lycopi.

P.S. 1 Linnaeus asks of Sauvages to address his letters to the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala [Kungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i UppsalaKungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i
Uppsala,
Swedish. The Royal
Society of Sciences at Uppsala was
founded in 1728.
].

P.S 2 Barrère’s Nouvelle relation de la France equinoxialeBarrère, Pierre
Nouvelle relation de la France
equinoxiale, contenant la description
des côtes de la Guiane; de l’isle
de Cayenne; le commerce de cette
colonie; les diverse changemens
arrivés dans ces pays; & les
mœurs & coûtumes des
différens peuples sauvages qui
l’habitent
(Paris 1743).
is beautiful but is not satisfactory as to the presentation of genera.

upEDITIONS

1. Lettres inédites de Linné à Boissier de la Croix de Sauvages (1860), p. 35-43   p.35  p.36  p.37  p.38  p.39  p.40  p.41  p.42  p.43.