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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1105 • Carl Linnaeus to Johannes Gessner, 24 February 1750 n.s.
Dated d. 13 febr. 1750.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to ZŁrich (Switzerland). Written in Latin.

Botanico Summo,
D[omino] D[octori] JOHANNI GESNERO,
Professori Tigurino,
Societatis Regiae scientiarum Upsaliensis Socio.

Annus circiter elapsus est, ab eo tempore, quo ultimas ad Te, Vir Illustris, dedi literas. Responsorias cum nullas obtinuerim, cogor has exarare, ne cadam ex amicitia Viri, quem prae reliquis Botanicis magni facio. Duplicati labores in hac academia a Rege omnes horas subsessivas Professoribus auferunt; hinc furtim quasi Botanica invigilare possum, demtis iis, quae Praelectiones publicas concernunt. Praeterito vere missus fui a Rege in Scaniam, provinciam maxime australem Sueciae, ut ibi naturae thesauros investigarem; iter typis destinatum conscribo, sed lingua vernacula, ex mandato superiorum.

Discipulus meus D[ominus] Kalm, Professor designatus Aboensis, qui in Canada Americes versatur, numerosam messem seminum misit; plantas omnes ibi nascentes collegit, quas secum reducet, cum redierit verno tempore v[olente] D[eo] 1751; a quo viro multa curiosissima obtinebimus. Auctor etiam fui, ut alter discipulus Hasselquist Palaestinam Historiae naturalis caussa adiret, a quo nuper literas habui a Smyrna, ubi commoratur in mensem aprilis, cum adiet Hierosolymas cum patriarcha Hierosolymitano nunc Smyrna degenti. Mihi, si vixerit, plura et fere omnia colligat. Tertius discipulus, sed minus insignis, qui praeterito anno cum nave adiit Canton Chinensium, nunc cum alia nave Malabariam adibit proximo mense. Adduxit priori in itinere multa ex classe vermium, pro Museo nostro academico. Quartus discipulus D[ominus] Montin praeterita aestate Alpes Lapponiae adiit, eisdem passibus, quo ego 1732; adduxit plantas alpinas pro Horto; detexit novam speciem junci et Muscum norvegicum umbraculo ruberrimo, sed aliam speciem umbraculo luteo; hoc novum genus constituit, de quo dissertationem sub meo praesidio ventilabit propediem. Detexi semina Muscorum, de quibus alius etiam propediem dissertationem dabit. Ante 3 menses typis mandavimus dissertationem de Gemmis arborum; descripsi gemmas omnium arborum nostratum, quae mire diversae in diversis speciebus. Planta calidissimis regionibus propriae gemmis curat; hoc frigidis climatibus adsuescere nequeunt. Alius itidem sub meo praesidio dedit dissertationem Pan Suecicus dictam, ubi secundum Floram Suecicam recensentur plantae, quae eduntur a Bove, Capra, Ove, Equo, Sue vel ab iisdem non gustantur. Hae meae fuere lucubratiunculae, quas vellem lubentissime tecum communicare, modo distantia locorum non vetaret. Absoluto itinere Scanico ejusque impressione totus v[olente] D[eo] me committam speciebus plantarum enumerando omnes mihi notas species certas sub generibus a me conditis, ut habeant tyrones in compendio species examinatas cum synonymis paucis e[xempli] gr[atia] C[aspari] Bauhini vel Iconographi praestantioris, Horti Cliffortiani, Royeni, Gronovii, Fl[orae] Suecicae, Hort[i] Upsaliensis, Fl[orae] Zeylanicae, Guettardi, Dalibardi, Halleri, &c.; ibi etiam addam numerosas species indicas ad genera cum differentiis relatas. Haec cum volvo, intelliges facile, quam necessaria mihi esset Tua consuetudo prae omni alia, ut possem plures species colligere sub suis generibus. Hinc est, quod Tuam Historiam plantarum immense efflagito. Opus suscepisti herculeum, quod nullus nisi Helvetus praestaret; vestrates, quod suscipiunt, absolvunt ita ut nullus aliquod idem imitaret.

Quod methodus mea non plane Tibi, Tanto Botanico, displiceat ex animo laetor. Quomodo autem cum methodo naturali sit combinanda non ita facile liquet. Plantae ipsae a summo Creatore dispositae sunt secundum affinitates, ita tamen ac si in charta s[ive] Mappa geographica essent scripta, ubi repones proxime adjacentes difficillimas; distinguuntur limitibus. Sed agnoscunt duplicem affinitatem, quam nullus mortalium facile erueret. Est summum desideratum methodus naturalis; dum vero eandem obtinemus, difficillma omnium evadit, quum limites vix dantur, ubi constat hodie ex classibus naturalibus. Ubi casus sunt ardentissimi, ubi in Salvia, Rosmarino, Lycopo, Monandra cum verticillatis posset cum notula indicari et sic conjungi classes naturales. Modo genera naturalia sancte servantur, minus refert de ordinibus. Si erit methodus, debent leges methodi absolute sequi; alias ruant omnia.

Utinam Tua historia plantarum non excresceret in minus amplum vastumque opus, quod pauci emere possent. Fac, ut sciam quantum enituisti et quam brevi liceat hoc a Te expectare. Exspectant enim boni omnes avidissime. Desunt nobis pictores, alias quae desiderasti, si ferat occasio, habebis.

In Epistolis D[omini] Kalmi e Canada intelligo homines plerasque sylvestres vivere ex Zizania mea et Gronovii, quae crescit in aquis; inde pones & ferula habent; frumentum hoc sapidissimum est.

Mira nobis restat D[omi]ni Hasselquist de Canada Pinna s[ive] Perna, quae habet vigilem s[ive] militem custodem a cancro quodam demidato, qui cavet, ne ejus hostis infensissimus sepia eam prosternat.

Si mittam schedulas Göttingam, annon rite acceperis? Hoc ut intellexerim, mittam mox. Quaeso, rescribas, ut sciam, num litteras acceperis. Rectoratus, quo fungam munera, omnes mihi horas auferunt. Hinc hisce cogor definire.

Te valere jubeant Societatis nostri socii omnes ac singuli. Fac, ut sciam, quae nova in vestris terris.

Dabam Upsaliae d[ie] 13 febr[uarii] 1750.

Viro Celeberrimo
D[omino] D[octori] Joh[anni] Gesnero
Professori Basiliensi
per Hamburg
Basel

upSUMMARY

A year has passed since Linnaeus last wrote to Johannes GessnerGessner, Johannes (1709-1790).
Swiss. Naturalist, Zürich.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
[this letter has not come down to us] but he has received no answer.

Linnaeus complains that his teaching and public lectures take too much time from his research. The previous year the King [Fredrik IFredrik I, (1676-1751).
Swedish. Reigned 1720-1751. Married to
Ulrika Eleonora.
] sent Linnaeus to Scania to investigate the resources there. He has written down this journey in Swedish [Linnaeus refers to his forthcoming work, Skånska resaLinnaeus, Carl Skånska
resa, på höga
öfwerhetens befallning
förrättad år 1749. Med
rön och anmärkningar uti
oeconomien, naturalier, antiquiteter,
seder, lefnadssätt
(Stockholm
1751). Soulsby no. 209.
].

Linnaeusís disciple, 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.
, Professor at Åbo, is travelling in Canada; he has sent many seeds [see for example, Kalm to Linnaeus, 10 September 1749 Letter L1040]. When Kalm returns in the spring of 1751, he will bring many plants with him.

Linnaeus has sent another disciple, Fredrik HasselqvistHasselquist, Fredrik
(1722-1752). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist, explorer. Studied under
Linnaeus and Lars Roberg 1741-1749. Went
to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus,
Rhodes and the island of Chios. Died
near Smyrna. Son of Magnus and Helena
Maria Hasselquist, brother of Andreas
Hasselquist. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, to Palestine on a natural history expedition. Linnaeus has recently received a letter from Smyrna where Hasselqvist will stay until April when he will continue to Jerusalem together with the patriarch of Jerusalem who for the present is in Smyrna [Hasselquist to Linnaeus, 27 December 1749Letter L1077]. A third disciple [Linnaeus refers to Olof TorénTorén, Olof (1718-1753).
Swedish. Clergyman, naturalist.
Linnaeusís pupil. Went to China in
1748-1749 and to India and China in
1750-1752. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
], less distinguished though, who the previous year went to Kanton in China, will travel with another ship to Malabar the following month. He has contributed much to the classes of worms. The previous summer a fourth disciple, Lars MontinMontin, Lars (1723-1785).
Swedish. Physician and botanist. Studied
medicine in Uppsala under Linnaeus and
Nils Rosén von Rosenstein.
Provincial physician of the province of
Halland. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, travelled to the Alps of Lappland and following the steps of Linnaeus in 1732. He brought back with him plants for the Uppsala University Botanical Garden [LinnéträdgårdenLinnéträdgården,
Swedish. The Uppsala University
Botanical Garden was founded by Olof
Rudbeck the Elder in 1655.
]. Montin has discovered a new species of Juncus and a Norwegian moss with a very red umbraculum, Muscus norvegicus umbraculo ruberrimo, but another species with a deep yellow umbraculum, umbraculo luteo, constituted a new genus. Montin will soon defend a dissertation with Linnaeus as praeses on this subject [Linnaeus refers to the Dissertatio botanica sistens SplachnumLinnaeus, Carl Dissertatio
botanica sistens Splachnum
, diss.,
resp. L. Montin (Uppsala, 1750). Soulsby
no. 1589.
.

Linnaeus has discovered the seeds of mosses. Another disciple [Peter Jonas BergiusBergius, Petter Jonas
(1730-1790). Swedish. Physician and
botanist. Professor of natural history
and pharmacy at Collegium Medicum,
Stockholm. Linnaeusís student.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] will soon defend a dissertation regarding this discovery Semina muscorum detecta Linnaeus, Carl Semina
muscorum detecta
, diss., resp. P. J.
Bergius (Uppsala 1750). Soulsby no.
1596.
.

Three months previously Linnaeus had sent his dissertation Gemmae ArborumLinnaeus, Carl Gemmae
Arborum
, diss., resp. P.
Löfling (Uppsala 1749). Soulsby no.
1556.
to the print. He has described the buds of all Swedish trees, since they are marvellously different in the various species. Another disciple [Nils Lars HesselgrenHesselgren, Nils Lars (b.
1729). Swedish. Student of Linnaeus in
1745-1749. After that held a position at
the estate Höjentorp, Eggeby, in
Skaraborg county.
] has under Linnaeusís presidency defended a dissertation entitled Pan SuecicusLinnaeus, Carl Pan
Suecicus
, diss., resp. N.L.
Hesselgren (Uppsala, 1749). Soulsby no.
1565.
where, according to Flora SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora Svecica,
exhibens plantas per regnum Sveciae
crescentes, systematice cum differentiis
specierum, synonymis autorum, nominibus,
incolarum, solo locorum, usu
pharmacopaeorum
(Stockholm, 1745).
Soulsby no. 407.
, Linnaeus covers the plants that are eaten by oxen, goats, sheep, horses, pigs, etc.

Linnaeus would have been pleased to send Gessner his works but the great distance deters him.

Having finished the printing of the journey to Scania [[Skånska resa], Linnaeus will devote himself to improving Species plantarum [Linnaeus refers to his forthcoming Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
plantarum
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 480.
]. He refers all the species that he knows, and that are certain, to the genera he has created so that amateurs get a compendium of species and their synonyms, for example, Caspar BauhinísBauhin, Caspar (1560-1624).
Swiss. Botanist and physician, Basle.
Bauhinís Prodromus and Pinax
theatri botanici
(1620, 1623, 1671)
were important works in the field of
botanical nomenclature.
, or excellent iconography [such as], 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.
, Adriaan van RoyenísRoyen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
[Florae Leydensis ProdromusRoyen, Adriaan van Florae
Leydensis Prodromus, exhibens plantas
quae in horto academico Lugduno-Batavo
aluntur
(Leiden 1740).
], Johan Frederik GronoviusísGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeusís benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
[Flora VirginicaGronovius, Johan Frederik
Flora Virginica, exhibens plantas
quas v.c. Johannes Clayton in Virginia
observavit atque collegit. Easdem
methodo sexuali disposuit, ad genera
propria retulit, nominibus specificis
insignavit, & minus cognitas
descripsit J. F. Gronovius
, I-II
(Leiden 1739-1743).
], Flora Svecica, 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
, 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.
, Jean Etienne GuettardísGuettard, Jean Etienne
(1715-1786). French. Naturalist,
geologist and mineralogist. Director of
the museum of natural history objects of
the duke of Orléans. Best known
for his geological and mineralogical
studies of France. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
, [Observations sur les plantesGuettard, Jean Etienne
Observations sur les plantes,
I-II (Paris 1747).
], Thomas François DalibardísDalibard, Thomas François
(1703-1779). French. Naturalist, an
early adherent of Linnaeusís system.
[Florae parisiensis prodromusDalibard, Thomas François
Florae parisiensis prodromus, ou
catalogue des plantes qui naissent dans
les environs de Paris rapportées
sous les dénominations modernes
& anciennes, & arrangées
suivant la méthode
séxuelle de M. Linnaeus

(Paris 1749).
], Albrecht von HallerísHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
[Enumeratio methodica stirpium HelvetiaeindigenarumHaller, 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).
], etc.

Linnaeus is in great need of Gessnerís systematics of plants, a herculean work, which only a Swiss could do [Gessnerís planned work was published posthumously in 1795, Tabulae phytographicae analysin generum plantarum exhibentesGessner, Johannes Tabulae
phytographicae analysin generum
plantarum exhibentes, cum commentatione
edidit Ch. S. Schinz, med doct.
,
I-II (Zürich 1795-1804).
].

Linnaeus is pleased that his botanical method does not altogether displease Gessner. However, he does not know how it can be combined with a natural method. The Creator has planted out the plants according to affinity, just as if they had been written on a geographical map, where those that are closely related can be restored. However, the limits are difficult to draw. A natural method is very much to be desired.

Linnaeus hopes that Gessnerís systematics of plants will not grow into too big a work, which only a few can buy. He wonders when it will be published.

Linnaeus has learnt from letters from Kalm that many people in the woods live from Linnaeusís and Johan Frederik Gronoviusís Zizania.

Hasselquist has told Linnaeus strange things about a Pinna [see above Letter L1077].

Linnaeus sends his letter to Gessner via Göttingen. He wants to know whether he receives it.

All the members of 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.
] send their regards.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (UUB, G152a). [1] [2]