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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1007 • Bernard de Jussieu to Carl Linnaeus, 30 January 1749 n.s.
Dated 30 Januarii, anni 1749. Sent from Paris (France) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Celeberrimo doctissimoque Viro,
D[omino] D[octori] Carolo Linnaeo,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
Bernardus de Jussieu.

Te suadente et cupiente, suscepit iter, aleae plenum, tuus non meus ex flora filius D[ominus] Missa. Etenim ab hac die, qua rem herbariam discere coepit summo te prosecutus est studio, et a te edoceri exoptavit. Ipsi gratulor, quod feliciter scopum attigerit tamdiu desideratum, gratesque simul refero quam maximas ob collata officia, licet a me non expostulata.

In Africam proficiscitur juvenis Botanophilus, caeteris historiae naturalis partibus optime imbutus et informatus. Ab illo segetem amplissimam observationibus bene locupletatam expectamus, et sperare fas est; plantas et animalia juxta methodum tuam definire sibi proposuit. Specimina sicca matura semina mittet, sicut et insecta, quibus cognoscendis utilem mecum hac aestate et autumno praeterita navavit operam, tuae faunae vestigia insistens, in qua tamen non pauca emendanda, immutanda aut firmiori talo statuenda videntur. Cum quid ab his calidissimis oris novum appulerit, tu profecto primus eris particeps, et offerre mihi jucundissimum. Semina quae nunc mitto recentissima sunt; alia, ubi primum significaveris, lubenter colligam statimque deferenda curabo. Mutuum vigere commercium jam sinet pax alma. Floram Zeylanicam, hortum Upsaliensem, materiam medicam, systema recusum et caetera a te edita nondum videre contigit; afferet, ut scribis, D[ominus] Missa, at quam sero venient. Tu meae expectationi molestissimum fraenum injicere voluisti, fortasse ut tuae citius responderem votaque solverem. Culpam, fateor, me invito, elapsam; itaque digneris me antiquae redintegrari amicitiae.

Sed quid moror? Ecce nova panduntur orbi litterato miracula. Jam saeculo labente ultimo, innumera corpuscula in semine masculino observaverat, vitali motu donata, natantia, et in quolibet diversi marium generis liquore analogo anxie quaesierat, imo invenerat, sedulus et sincerus arcanorum Naturae investigator Leeuvehoekius, optimis adjuvatus microscopiis. Eadem corpora, animalculorum spermaticorum nomine insignita, ejusdem molis et figurae, prorsus similia, pari motu agitata, progredientia veluti per aequora pisces, in spermata faemineo, lentis vitreae ope observavit demonstravitque D[omius] D[octor] Buffon, Regiae Academiae socius, horti praefectus, physicis disquisitionibus clarus, historiae naturalis studio et operibus praeclarior. Hoc patefacto in viviparis animalibus, oculos convertit ad ovipara, volucrum genus omne majora, unde e tenebris suscitavit prodigia, dicam mysteria, captum humanum superantia; quae quidem labore summo prosequitur, de iis alias locuturus. Spermatis faeminei latex visui non semper se prodit; sunt certa tempora, sua cuique animali lex data est, nec continuo marem appetit faemina; itaque investigandus venit ille liquor, dum oestro venereo percita, turbata, ludibunda, denique lasciviens currit undique faeminea gens; ludit, ejulat, anxia dolet, vulvam referat rore perpetuo madefactam, conspurcatam, succubat impatiens; tunc ovaria seu testiculi subcrescentibus tuberculis immutantur quasi totidem mammillis succo plenis, apice fissis et hiantibus, e quibus postea pedetentim ejicitur semen requisitum manatque ad tubas uterinas. Res profecto stupendae et quae propagatam, ab animalculis spermatids deductam, de generatione hypothesin penitus evertunt, necnon hominis primordia uti caeterorum animantium originem abstrusiori involvunt caligine.

Salutem plurimam accipias a clarissimo fratre, fidelissimo D[omino] Laserre et honesta virgine D[omina] Basseporte, quae alteram a te appellari uxorem summopere gloriatur. Valeas, totaque tua progenies bene valeat! Amare me pergas semper, qui tibi devoto pectore nexus vivere laetor!

Parisiis die 30 januarii, anni 1749.

Musci Norvegici egregium specimen, Ceratoidis semina, tuae erga me benevolentiae munera, grata mente recordor.

upSUMMARY

Bernhard de JussieuJussieu, Bernard de
(1699-1777). French. Professor of
botany, brother of Antoine and Joseph de
Jussieu. Demonstrator at the Jardin des
plantes. Sébastien Vaillant’s
successor. Uncle of Antoine Laurent de
Jussieu. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
reports on Henri MissaMissa, Henri (?-?). French.
Physician. Arrived in Uppsala in 1748.
Linnaeus’s first foreign student.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, a pupil of Linnaeus and not of Jussieu, who had made rapid progress. Jussieu thanks Linnaeus for his services, although Jussieu had not asked for them.

A young botanist [Jussieu means Michel AdansonAdanson, Michel (1727-1806).
French. Botanist. Travelled in Senegal.
An opponent of Linnaeus. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
] is on his way to Africa, and he is well prepared for all kinds of natural history. Jussieu expects much from him, and he will describe plants and animals according to Linnaeus’s method. He will send dried specimens, mature seeds and insects, on which he has helped Jussieu a lot during the preceding summer and autumn. In the Fauna SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Fauna Svecica
sistens animalia Sveciae regni:
quadrupedia, aves, amphibia, pisces,
insecta, vermes, distributa per classes
& ordines, genera & species. Cum
differentiis specierum, synonymis
autorum, nominibus incolarum, locis
habitationum, descriptionibus
insectorum
(Stockholm, 1746).
Soulsby no. 1151.
, however, which will be used in that work, Jussieu thinks that much has to be corrected, changed or based on better evidence. Jussieu will keep Linnaeus oriented on the information arriving from him.

Jussieu sends some fresh seeds and will send more when Linnaeus asks for them, since a two-way exchange is to be preferred. Jussieu has not yet received the publications from Linnaeus, which Missa would bring [among them 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.
, Hortus UpsaliensisLinnaeus, Carl Hortus
Upsaliensis, exhibens plantas exoticas,
Horto Upsaliensis academiae a sese
illatas, ab anno 1742, in annum 1748,
additis differentiis, synonymis,
habitationibus, hospitiis, rariorumque
descriptionibus, in gratiam studiose
juventutis
, I (Stockholm 1748).
Soulsby no. 424
, 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.
and the new edition of the Systema naturae [Systema naturae, 6th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae
, 7th edition (Leipzig 1748).
Soulsby no. 52.
], but unfortunately, Missa seems to be delayed. Jussieu remarks that it could seem that Linnaeus deliberately delays his answers to Jussieu in order to make Jussieu write sooner. If that is really the case, Jussieu admits his part of the fault and is eager to revive the old friendship.

Jussieu then describes a real novelty. After a reference to Antoni van Leeuwenhoek’sLeeuwenhoek, Antoni van
(1632-1723). Dutch. Cloth merchant and
scientist from Delft. Improved the
microscope and contributed to the
establishment of microbiology.
discovery of the spermatozoa by means of the microscope, Jussieu reports that Jean-Louis Leclerc, comte de BuffonBuffon, Jean-Louis Leclerc, comte de
(1707-1788). French.
had discovered and shown similar phenomena in the female animal, with a certain rhythm which shows similarities with a more general rhythm of the sexual behaviour of the female. Various utterances of such sexual activities, periodically occurring, are exemplified, and clearly combined with the ovulation period. Buffon’s work has concerned viviparous animals only, but will continue by looking at the birds. This has terminated in a complete overthrow of Leeuwenhoek’s theory and the whole matter is involved in more uncertainty than ever.

The letter ends with good wishes and greetings from Antoine de JussieuJussieu, Antoine de
(1686-1758). French. Botanist,
professor of botany, Paris. Brother of
Bernard and Joseph de Jussieu. Joseph
Pitton de Tournefort’s successor. Uncle
of Antoine Laurent de Jussieu.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, LaserreLa Serre, French. Physician
and naturalist, Paris.
and Madeleine Françoise BasseporteBasseporte, Madeleine
Françoise
(1701-1780).
French. Painter, Paris. Pupil of Claude
Aubriet, painter at the French court,
where she taught the princesses.
, who boasts at being by Linnaeus called his second wife. Jussieu finally thanks for the fine specimen of the Norway Moss and the seeds of (Axyris) Ceratoides.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. (LS, VII, 396-397). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. A selection (1821), vol. 2, p. 218-221   p.218  p.219  p.220  p.221.