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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0859 • Carl Linnaeus to François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages, 19 December 1747 n.s.
Dated 1747 die 8 Decembris. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to (). Written in Latin.

Illustrissimo viro de SAUVAGES,
Amico colendo,
S[alutem] pl[urimam] d[icit],
CAROLUS LINNAEUS.

Litteras die 15 Septembris datas accepi et laetatus sum. Nescio, quomodo scribis, cum nullius litterae ita animum meum in suos amplexus rapiunt, ac tuae, nec accedunt unquam, non comptae infinitis et pulcherrimis observationibus.

Species plantarum tuo jussu edam, si vixero, proxima aestate; ibi reperies tua nomina, tuam autoritatem, non modo in Daphnes speciebus, sed et in reliquis plantis, quas communicasti tam liberaliter. Si sic haberem plures adjutores, opus in longe majus excrevisset volumen; sed datur tantum unicus de SAUVAGES, qui candide competat.

Accepi tractatum tuum, de Lue Bovina, qui a piratis Anglis fuit captus et effractus, sed ab Anglis mihi candide restitutus; nunc veste Latina indutus imprimitur Stockholmia in 2do.

Mox cum tuas acciperem, dixi hoc Academiae Regiae, Florae volumen tuae, quae jussit Secretarium, me praesenti, scribere et simul, quod tibi grates haberem pro amicitia tua; adeoque nunc certo, Membrorum catalogo es insertus.

Flora Zeylanica non est diligentius. Sed genera et species, quas ad genera retuli, sunt certissima quam antea non fuere. In praefatione tuum nomen reperies.

Tam graphice mihi descripsisti semper et suavissime loca Monspelii, Hortum Dei, portum Ceti, Castelnum, lucum Grammonti, sylvam Valeniam, ut nullae mappae opus sit. Videtur mihi nunc loca ista ipse peragrasse; eaque adscripsi Magnolio meo.

Doleo et maximopere doleo, quod oculi tui laborabunt; sine dubio tibi notissima est formula ista, qua et ego et multi alii lippos plurimos restituerunt, et quae nunquam solet fallere. Quamvis nullomodo dubito, quin noveris hanc, ut omnes alias, tamen, rogo, meis precibus hoc tentes.

R. a. Albumina ovorum no 3, ad duritiem cocta, et a membranis omnibus decorticata, eaque ad minutissima frusta dissecta:

C. dein, Larg. Syll. (ou Eyll.) anmatic., noXVIII, ope mortarii redacta in pulverem pastacaeum:

G. tum vitrioli Albi 3y’.

Misce haec omnia (a’, c. z.), ope mortarii, in pastam; stent dein per horam ½ intacta; exprimentur demum per linteum; collectus liquor servetur, qui collyrium nostrum est.

Immergas oculos, aliquoties de die.

Fere caecos eo curavi.

Wedelii s[ive] Hambergeri Tentamen Botanicum accepi, pulchrum satis, sed non perfectum.

Characteres tuos hic transmitto, ut videas ex papyro pro correctione. Dudum mitto Stockholmiam, quae impressa sunt. Amaranthum spinosum non possideo; si recte memini, et ille habebat flores masculos et femineos.

Beatum me praedicarem, si dares mihi plantas D[omini] Magnolii professoris, ante editas meas Species. Hae facerent tibi multas gratias in opere. Si velis edere Floram Monspeliensem et ejus m[anuscripta] ad me mittas. Curabo, ut imprimatur et ut habeas pro singulo exemplario 2/3 nummos aureos.

Gramina dactyloidea debent, secundum flores, ad varia genera amandari, cum flores, in diversis speciebus, diversissimi sunt.

Gramen, quod misisti, erat sine omni dubio species holci. Sed quod ex minima fistula non licuit determinare.

Quaeso, ne graveris communicare aliquam observationem pro Materia mea medica, quam proximo anno mense Januarii, edere in animum habeo.

Disposui plantas secundum systema, in linea:
laNomen genericum et specificum;
2a Synonymus selectus;
3a Locus natalis et patria;
4a Nomen officinale, praeparatio, etc.;
5a Qualitas odoris, fulgoris, etc., etc.;
6a Vis, agendique modus, resolvens, pellens, corroborans, etc., etc.;
7a Usus specificus seu morbi, in quibus, ex observationibus, expedit;
8a Composita receptissima quaevis planta ingreditur.

Sic octo lineis singulam speciem absolvo, compendioseque, in usum auditorum.

Si velis aliquid mittere de usu praefato, erit mihi gratissimum tua proclamare digna elogia.

Kalmius, qui Canadam peteret, dudum abiit Londinum; inde petiet Virginiam indeque Canadam [...]. Opto Gallis omnia ipsis grata, sed Deus avertat eos ab ista! Non apud Holmiam nostram velit! Capiant caeteras omnes; mihi erit gratissimum, modo hanc intactam relinquant.

Tu vale et diutissime vivas!

Dabam Upsaliae 1747 die 8 Decembris.

Annon vivat adhuc palma, orta Monspelii, a qua J[ohannes] Bauhinus fructus collegit?

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus has received François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages’Sauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
(1706-1767). French.
Botanist and clergyman and physician,
professor in medicine at Montpellier.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
letter of 15 SeptemberLetter L0832. He praises Sauvages’s way of writing: nobody can write such stimulating and interesting letters, always full of keen observations.

In compliance with Sauvages’s wish, Linnaeus will publish Species plantarum next year [Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
plantarum
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 480.
]. There Sauvages will find not only Daphne but also many other plants named by him. If Linnaeus had more such assistants, the volume would be much bulkier, but there is only one Sauvages.

Sauvages’s treatise on bovine plague [Linnaeus refers to Memoire sur la maladie des boeufs du VivaraisSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
Memoire sur la
maladie des boeufs du Vivarais

(Montpellier, 1746).
] was stolen by English pirates on its way to Sweden but has now been kindly returned by English authorities. It is now printed in Stockholm in a Latin version: De Lue Bovina [there was no Latin version published in Sweden, but a translation into Swedish: [Anmärkningar öfver boskapssjukan uti Vivarais]Sauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
[Anmärkningar
öfver boskapssjukan uti Vivarais,
af herr de Sauvages]
: ifran
fransöskan öfversatt [af
Israel Stecksenius] (Stockholm, 1748).
Soulsby no. 3598.
].

Sauvages is now definitely a member of the the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
].

Flora ZeylanicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
Zeylanica; sistens plantas Indicas
Zeylonae insulae, quae olim 1670-1677,
lectae fuere a Paulo Hermanno [...]
demum post 70 annos ab Augusto
Günthero [...] orbi redditae

(Stockholm,1747). Soulsby no. 420.
is not a wonder of diligence, but Linnaeus has at least seen to it that genera and species are correct. Sauvages will find his name in the preface.

The places of botanical interest in the vicinity of Montpellier, such as L’Hors-Dieu, Cette, Castelnau, Grammont, le Bois de Valène, have been so vividly described by Sauvages that Linnaeus needs no map to locate them. As he has mentioned in a letter to Pierre MagnolMagnol, Pierre (1683-1715).
French. Physician and botanist, director
of the botanical garden of Montpellier.
[this letter has not come down to us], it seems to him that he has actually visited them!

Linnaeus is sorry to hear about Sauvages’s ophthalmic problems. Sauvages is advised to try collyrium, which has proved infallible in most cases. Linnaeus has cured almost blind people with it. He gives detailed instructions how to prepare collyrium.

Linnaeus has read Johann Wolfgang Wedel’sWedel, Johann Wolfgang
(1708-1757). German. Professor of
medicine, Jena.
and ‪Georg Erhard Hamberger’sHamberger, Georg Erhard
(1697-1755). German. Professor at Jena.
One of Albrecht von Haller’s critics
regarding physiological matters.
, Tentamen BotanicumWedel, Johann Wolfgang & Georg
Erhard Hamberger
Tentamen
Botanicum Flores Plantarum in Classes,
Genera Superiora et Inferiora per
Characteres ex Ipsis Floribus Desumtos
Dividendo [...] Inserviens. Praefationem
addidit Georg. Erh. Hambergerus

(Jena, 1747).
and found it ”quite good but not perfect”.

It would be valuable for Linnaeus’s work with Species plantarum, if Sauvages could send Magnol’s collection of dried plants. Linnaeus offers himself to take care of the printing of Flora Monspeliensis, if Sauvages sends him the mansucript [Linnaeus refers to Sauvages’s forthcoming work, 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).
, which, however, was published in the Hague].

Sauvages’s Gramina dactyloïdea must be systematized into several genera.

The grass specimen Sauvages sent belongs to Holcus.

Sauvages is welcome to contribute to the Materia medica Linnaeus is going to publish next year [Linaneus refers to the Materia MedicaLinnaeus, Carl Materia
Medica. Liber I. De plantis secundum:
genera, loca, nomina, qualitates, vires,
differentias, durationes, simplicia,
modos, usus, synonyma, culturas,
praeparata, potentias, composita,
digestus, &c.
I-II (Stockholm
1749). Soulsby no. 968.
, published in 1749].

In the presentation of a plant Linnaeus intends to apply the following disposition:
1. Generic and specific name.
2. Synonyms.
3. Place of origin, habitat.
4. Name in pharmacy, preparation, etc.
5. Smell, brightness, etc.
6. Properties: solving, repellent, corroborant, etc.
7. Specific use or diseases in which it is effective.
8. Composite drugs in which the plant is an ingredient.

Thus, in eight lines the reader gets essential information about each plant.

Pehr KalmKalm, Pehr (1716-1779).
Swedish. Botanist and traveller,
professor of natural history at
Åbo. Disciple of Linnaeus.
Travelled in North America 1748-1751.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has left for London and will then go to Virginia and Canada.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (BNR, Fonds, 965. P. L. Waxel, No 1612).

upEDITIONS

1. Lettres inédites de Linné à Boissier de la Croix de Sauvages (1860), p. 95-101   p.95  p.96  p.97  p.98  p.99  p.100  p.101.