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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1003 • Carl Linnaeus to François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages, [15 July] 1748 n.s.
Dated . Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Montpellier (France). Written in Latin.

Amico aeternum colendo,
D[omino] D[octori] Fr[ancisco] de Sauvages,
S[alutem] pl[urimam] d[icit]
C[arolus] Linnaeus.

Litteras habui Tuas, die 4 maji scriptas, plenas savoris et eruditionis, uti solent Tuae.

Litteras Tuas non accepit Academia Stockholmiensis; proin necesse est, ut iterum scribas, sed sub meo involucro (couvert), ut ego tradam. Scribas Te accepisse per me, quod Regia Scientiarum Academia Te vocaverit; quod per me respondisti Te accepturum; quod litteras exspectabas secretarii, de quo ego scripseram; quod scripseras, et per me intellexisti, eas non accessisse. Tum ego tradam, ut certus sis eas rite tradituras.

Occupatus hac aestate fui collegio numerosissimo studiosissimoque, qui me per campos comitati sunt, cum lectionibus publicis, privatis, cura horti, et infinita alia negotia. Edidi Dissert[ationem] de Surinamensibus Grillianis, ubi rariora animalia Surinamensia descripsi.

Diss[ertationem] Flora[m] oeconomica[m], ubi plantarum Fl[orae] Sueciae usum oeconomicum, in singulis plantis, indigitavi.

Diss[ertationem] de Curiositate naturali, ubi demonstravi hominem natum in admiratione sui Creatoris, ex principiis historiae naturalis.

Systema Naturae, editione 5a triplo auctior, ubi multa nova et curiosa, cum characteribus Plantarum genericis compendiosissimis, & characteribus quadrupedum e dentibus, et synonymis Lapidum.

Sudat adhuc Materia medica.

Tua de Boum lue pulchra dissertatio, in linguam Suecicam versa, jam omnium manibus teritur, et aestimatur ab omnibus.

Continuavi hac aestate experimenta de Pecorum plantis esculentis et non esculentis, opus, credo, fore fundamentum totius oeconomiae privatae, quae vitam pastoriam concernit.

Hac aestate examinavi Flores, quando scilicet se in certis plantis aperiunt, quandoque de die claudant; intellexi alios flores secundum horologium Turcicum aperiri et claudi, seu serius aperiri, prout dies abreviatur et sic etiam claudi, alios tantum constantem servare horam. Ita omnes diei horas possum absque horologio, etiam coelo nubilo, indicare. Possum etiam certo praedicere, hora matutina, num imber cadat eodem die, nisi sit e tonitru.

Inveni methodum, quomodo omnes conchae, quas praeparare licet, post 3 ad 5 annos ferant margaritas; habemus in nostra patria conchas margaritiferas (Faun. Suec. 1331) in nostris voraginibus, quas diffringunt nostrates, saepe 2000, antequam unam reperiant margaritam; vellem praestare, ut omnes darent; sed nolunt nostrates, quod ars detegatur, adeoque forte supprimere debeo.

Invenimus polypum minimum, Rosam de Hiericho s[ive] Anastaticam, absque foliis referentem. Crescit more conchae anatiferae, saepe in cochlea (Faun. 1314.).

Nimius affluxus studiorum ad mea collegia jam mihi invidiam meorum caussavit; hinc debeo has res omnino supprimere per aliquot annos, usque dum cessavit. Quid non Theologi?

Doleo, quod D[omin]us Hallerus sit nimis durus censor optimi amici nostri. Nunc totus est Hallerus, ut demonstrabit sexum non distinguere genera. Certum est, quod per se non faciat. Sed nec calycis, nec corollae, nec fructus, nec seminum aut numerus, aut figura, aut proportio, aut situs, adeoque nulla res, sed omnes concurrunt ad definitionem. Nam character secundum plantas confici debet, non vice versa. O Bone Deus, si vellet ille examinare Halleri Hist[oriam] Helveticam, quam posset multa! Sed ego tranquille vivam, at vivam felix. Sufficiat mihi, quod Gallus quidam, nomine Motrayo ediderit Ouvrage de Penelope, Berolini, 1748, act., in quo me, tanquam furia infernalis, scommatibus, mendaciis, blasphemiis, etc., ita cumulavit, ut nullus nebulo, qui in orbe vixit, longius processit in hominem. Haec praemia laboris et sudoris mei! Haec fregere mihi animum viresque. Maledixi saepius illi hora, qua verbum litteris publicis mandavi; et, absoluta Materia medica, nunquam scribam verbum publice, dum vixero. Tamen virum non vidi, non novi, nec audivi, nisi nuper, dum quaesivi nomen anonymi. Hoc fregit mihi omnem animum; ego posthac dormiam in horam 8, nec surgam amplius hora 3. Species plantarum, quas ad tetradynamiam jamjam absolvi, nunquam dabo, sed cremabo, nisi Deus vel aliquis mortalium ipsum puniat prout de me meruit.

Sed forte fuit haec, ex voluntate Dei, ut ego etiam in vita mea, persentirem mundi hujus delicias, quas sprevi hactenus omnes. Has omnes posthac die noctuque sectabo, ut amici mei et collegae. Laetus animus est, quod reddit vitam beatam in hoc globo.

Plantas siccas Magni Magnolii cum oblectamento pervolvam. Utinam acciperem! Rescribam ad Te de singulis. Utinam salvae accederent! Tantum debeo pro his Pl[antis] Magnolio, ut mihi nec litterae nec verba sufficiant.

Devota mea officia dicas D[omino] Bon, D[omino] de Ratte, et D[omino] Maynardo. Ego non scripsi de rabie nec fuit mihi tempus. Nollem etiam scribere de morbo non viso.

Etiam hoc anno prodeunt, ex seminibus ante hos annos missis, pulchrae et in horto novarum plantarum; sevimus semina, mixta in eadem area.

Novum genus plantae prodiit in Horto, quod Blitoides d[ictum a] Domi[no] Gmelin, lectum in Sibiria; flores masculi in o[mnibus] constant calyce 3-fido, staminibus tribus. Flores f[emin]ei in alis foliorum, constant calyce bifido, stylis duobus, semine uno. Habuimus aliquoties in horto Belvedere s[ive] Scopariam s[ive] Linariam Scopariam, Chenopodii speciem. Sed hoc anno non. Cum semina nunquam maturent, quaesivi in ista planta stamina perperam. Cum apud vos felicius crescat, quaeso, examines optimis microscopiis, numne stamineos s[ive] masculos flores reperias; puto, quod sit ejusdem generis. Vidi tantum flores femineos in ista planta. Quaeso, hujus ne obliviscaris. Axyris mihi hoc genus audit.

Sida foliis palmatis, laciniis lanceolato-attenuatis. Hort. Cliff. 346. Aliam simillimam, sed majorem accepi e Virginia, cui flores in eadem planta masculi et feminei.

Inclusum heri, mitto Muscum Norvegicum, umbraculo ruberrima insignitum. Pet. mus., 70.; Dill. musc., l. 83, f 9. Primam plantam reperit Petiver in Norvegia, alteram Ammannus, tertiam discipulus meus Tornoas; quartam nunc habemus ex sylva Aboensi.

Apud nobiles matronas nostrates morbus endemnis est catarrhus, quem accipiunt ex calida camera hyeme, dum aer per rimam fenestrae frigidus in collum incidit; unde dolor [in]tensivus, integumentoque vix perceptibilis tumefactio, rigiditus descendit per collum ad brachia, &c. Laborant nostrates medici resolventibus, diluentibus, decoctis liquoribus sudorificis frustra. Curatur autem feliciter, uti perniones, uno ictu, quod vix ullus, me excepto, novit in Suecia [symbol].

A
Mons[ieu]r Fr[ançois] Sauvages,
Professeur Royal, tres celebre.
Montpellier

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus has received François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages’sSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
(1706-1767). French.
Botanist and clergyman and physician,
professor in medicine at Montpellier.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
letter of 4 May 1748Letter L1035.

The letter from Sauvages to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
] Stockholm has not arrived. He must write a new letter confirming that he accepts the honorary membership.

Numerous students have attended Linnaeus’s botanical excursions. He has published some dissertations:

Surinamensia GrillianaLinnaeus, Carl Surinamensia
Grilliana
, diss., resp. P. Sundius
(Stockholm [1748]).
in which rare Surinam animals are described.

Flora oeconomicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
oeconomica
, diss., resp. E. Aspelin
(Uppsala, 1748). Soulsby no. 1490.
, in which the economic use of the plants mentioned in Flora SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora Svecica,
exhibens plantas per regnum Sveciae
crescentes, systematice cum differentiis
specierum, synonymis autorum, nominibus,
incolarum, solo locorum, usu
pharmacopaeorum
(Leiden 1745).
Soulsby no. 408.
is described.

Specimen academicum de curiositate naturaliLinnaeus, Carl Specimen
academicum de curiositate naturali
,
diss., resp. O. Söderberg
(Stockholm [1748]). Soulsby no. 1500.
.

And he has published the 5th edition of Systema Naturae [Systema Naturae 5th editionLinnaeus, Carl Caroli Linnaei
Naturae curiosorum Dioscoridis secundi
Systema Naturae, in quo Naturae Regna
tria secundum classes, ordines, genera,
species systematice proponuntur
, 5th
edition (Halle, 1747). Soulsby 50.
] enlarged threefold, contains many new things: concise generic characters of plants, characters of animals based on their teeth and mineral synonyms.

The work with Materia medica is proceeding [Linnaeus refers to the forthcoming 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.
].

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

(Montpellier, 1746).
] has been translated into Swedish [Linnaeus refers to [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.
] and is avidly read by everybody.

Linnaeus has continued his study of plants edible and inedible to cattle, matters that are of fundamental importance for private economy.

By studying when various flowers open and close their perianths Linnaeus can now tell the time without a watch. These flowers also enable him to predict rain, not thundery rain, though.

Linnaeus has invented a method to make all pearl mussels produce pearls. Hitherto up to 2000 mussels must be opened to find one single pearl. The project is surrounded by great secrecy.

A polyp has been found reminiscent of Rosa de Hiericho or Anastatica without leaves. It lives like a Concha anatifera, often in a mussel.

The crowds of students thronging at Linnaeus’s demonstrations have caused such great envy among some colleagues, theologians, that he must reduce his activities.

Linnaeus is sorry to hear that Albrecht von HallerHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has been so hard on a friend of theirs [presumably Georg Erhard HambergerHamberger, Georg Erhard
(1697-1755). German. Professor at Jena.
One of Albrecht von Haller’s critics
regarding physiological matters.
]. Now Haller is all set on trying to prove that sex is not a criterion in distinguishing genera. His efforts are futile. Good God! What would happen if this person [Hamberger] examined Haller’s Historia Helvetica [Linnaeus means Enumeratio methodica stirpium Helvetiae indigenarumHaller, Albrecht von
Enumeratio methodica stirpium
Helvetiae indigenarum. Qua omnium brevis
descriptio et synonymia compendium
virium medicarum dubiarum declaratio
novarum et rariorum uberior historia et
icones continentur
, I-II
(Göttingen 1742).
]? A Frenchman named Julien Offray de La MettrieLa Mettrie, Julien Offray de
(1709-1751). French. Physician and
philosopher.
has published, in Berlin, Ouvrage de PenelopeLa Mettrie, Julien Offray de
Ouvrage de Penelope; ou Machiavel en
medecine
, par Aletheius Demetrius,
2 vols. (Geneva [Berlin], 1748).
, a libellous pamphlet against Linnaeus, unparalleled in malignity, insolence and mendacity. Linnaeus has taken this very much to heart and vows that, after finishing Materia medica, he will never publish anything. He will never finish Species plantarum, completed now up to Tetradynamia, but will throw it on the fire, unless God or man gives La Mettrie what he deserves [the Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
plantarum
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 480.
was published in 1753].

Instead of labouring day and night as a scientist Linnaeus will now seek pleasures and the good things of life, which – unlike his colleagues – he has spurned, so far.

Linnaeus will be pleased to take care of Pierre Magnol’sMagnol, Pierre (1683-1715).
French. Physician and botanist, director
of the botanical garden of Montpellier.
dried plants.

He sends his regards to François-Xavier de BonBon, François-Xavier de
(1678-1761). French. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
, Etienne-Hyacinthe de RatteRatte, Etienne-Hyacinthe de
(1722-1805). French. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
and J. MaynardMaynard, J. (1706-1797).
French. Historian, Nîmes.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. Linnaeus has not written abour rabies. He does not want to write about a disease he has never seen.

Also this year beautiful plants sown previous years are growing.

The following plants are mentioned and commented on: Blitoides (named by Gmelin, collected in Siberia), Scoparia, Linaria, Chenopodium, Axyris, Sida.

Linnaeus has received a plant from Virgina very like Sida but bigger.

Linnaeus encloses Muscus Norwegicus, a very rare moss, first found in Norway by the English naturalist James PetiverPetiver, James (c.1663-1718).
British. Apothecary. Collector of
natural history specimens. His herbarium
contained more than 5000 items.
. 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.
found a second specimen, a third was found by one of Linnaeus’s disciples in Torneå, and this fourth was found outside Åbo.

A catarrh is common among noblewomen, brought about by cold air coming in through window chinks. Doctors try everything, in vain. Linnaeus is practically the only one in Sweden who knows how to cure it.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (Private collection). [1] [2] [3] [4]

upEDITIONS

1. Lettres inédites de Linné à Boissier de la Croix de Sauvages (1860), p. 102-110   p.102  p.103  p.104  p.105  p.106  p.107  p.108  p.109  p.110.