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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1286 • Joseph von Rathgeb to Carl Linnaeus, 25 June 1751 n.s.
Dated 25 Junnii 1751. Sent from Venezia (Italia) to (). Written in Latin.

Nobilissimo, Experimentissimo Doctissimoque Domino
Carolo Linnaeo,
Archiatro P[erillustri] Reg[is] Sv[eciae], Med[icinae] et Bot[anices] Prof[essori] Ups[aliensi],
Viro Celeberrimo,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
Josephus à Rathgeb Eques.

Compositis, uti ultima Epistola mea Februario Mense ad Te, Vir Celeberrime, data scripsi,[1] rebus Aquilejenesibus paucis illis diebus negotiorum propriorum caussa Viennam profectus ibique per Tres Menses commoratus, iam Venetiis redditus, litteras tuas invenio de die 28 Martii mihi, ut omnia sunt Tua, perquam gratissimas.[2] Prius autem quam iisdem respondeam, significare oportet me Viennae adhuc commorantem Epistolam KiesewetteriKiesewetter, Gottfried (?-?).
?. Academy bookseller 1735-1757,
publisher of Linnaeus’s Philosophia
botanica
(1751).
, Bibliopolae Holmiensis, cum adiuncto exemplari Tuae Philosophiae[3] Botanicae recte accepisse. A Tergo frontisspicii eiusdem opusculi Kiesewetterus ipse adscripsit idem a Te mihi mitti. Quam avide perlegerim, quantum mihi placuerit, non est ut dicam. Rari ingenii Tui hoc denuo est insigne documentum. Ceterum si quid pro illo ipso exemplari solvisti, fac me scire, ut sine mora refundam, uti illi ipsi Kiesewettero scripsi. Nunc ad Epistolam Tuam redeo, de qua me Tibi plurimum debere fateor, et quod, uti soles, in eadem non pauca enarrasti de diligentiis, quas impendunt Tui in variis orbis partibus ad investiganda naturae opera, in quo studio ita te occupant, ut, qui iisdem locis propiores sumus, haec negligere nos pudere debeat. Quantum novi adferent secum ex Aegypto, Canada, ex Indiis reduces Juvenes Sveci, quodque eodem tempore, Tibi, Vir Celeberrime, summae laudi cedit omnes hi discipuli Tui.[4] Alterum eiusdem Epistolae argumentum, quod me maxime obstringit, est, quod plantam aliquam meo nomine insignire meditaris. Quum honor iste solum iis debeatur, qui de Studio Botanico plurimum meriti sunt, me immerentem eodem honore afficere velle Tui in me summi amoris maximum signum foret. Quod si vero in hac sententia permanes, mallem plantam seligeres, quae etiam in hortis conservari potest. Quo apprime servisset Auricula Ursi Virginiana PluckenetiiPlukenet, Leonard (1642-1706).
British. Botanist and physician.
Botanist to Mary II (wife of William
III). Superintendent of Hampton Court.
, nisi eamdem iam Dodecatheon nominasses, quum ipsemet existimas hanc pulcherrimam plantam intra paucos annos in Europa vulgatissimam futuram. Ceterum, quum hoc genus novum Dodecatheon in supradicta Philosophia Tua Botanica solummodo nominetur, nescio, utrum alicubi iam characterem dederis aut si idem dandus restat in iis, quae proxime publicabis.

Plantam Baillonianam lubenter mitterem, si GriselinusGriselini, Francesco
(1717-1783). Italian. Cartographer,
journalist and naturalist, founded
Giornale d’Italia di agricoltura.
, qui eamdem ex mari nostro piscatus est, hic foret. Ut me Tecum aperiam libere, Vir Juvenis, cui ingenium non deesset, si id etiam magis firmum haberet, vitae parum laudabilis, et forte etiamnum parum honestae se videri non patitur. Credo ob debita, quae contraxit magis etiam, quod consuetudine nimis dissoluta vivat, quamque iam relinquere nequit, alio se conferre cogatur. Ita dolendum est Juvenes alios etiam in tenera aetate male educari. Ceterum hac planta Bailloniana, fucus est, verum ita minutus, ut difficilime servari queat ex mari extractus. Interea ne credas cuncta vera esse, quae Griselinus in eodem se observasse scripsit! Audacter multa asserere consuevit, ne dicam temerarie, quod vitium ipsi est naturale.

Audio dolenter Te nuper evulgasse Iter tuum Scanium, quod certe, uti alia Tua, lingua Svecica conscripta. Et cuncta, quae apud vos ita prodeunt, libenter perlegerem,[5] sed pro me Arabica sunt! Mecum autem dolent ea de caussa omnes, qui hoc studiorum genere delectantur.

Epistolam BurchardiBurckard, Johann Heinrich
(1676-1738). German. Botanist.
a HeisteroHeister, Lorenz (1683-1758).
German. Anatomist and surgeon,
considered the father of German surgery.
Professor of anatomy and surgery in
1720, of theoretical medicine and botany
at Helmstädt in 1730. He rejected
Linnaeus’s sexual system. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
recusam nondum vidi.[6] Expecto eamdem propediem. Videre cupio, quae Heisterum male adiunxisse suspicor. Habeo huius Epistolae Burchardi editionem primam, quae Wolfenbuttelii Anno 1702 4° prodiit.[7] Ceterum ex Epistola ipsamet elucet Burchardum genitales partes plantarum non eo fine considerasse, ut divisio plantarum inde fieret. Fassus est magis e re esse eamdem ex florum & fructuum conformatione instituere ad summum in plantarum tantummodo, quae flores imperfectos ferunt, classibus instituendis aeque inservire posse, ac in floribus perfectis petalorum situm & numerum.

Dicat Gallus[8] , quod vult de caussa Lucis aquae marinae. Certum est in dubium revocari non posse, quae in Scolopendra marina observata fuere.[9] Verum, quum hoc studium meum non sit, ne plura dicendo minus apte dicam, amplius de hoc argumento dicere supersedeo, eo solo contentus, quod ad plantarum cognitionem & delectationem refertur.

Vitaliana aut, si mavis, Androsaces species nondum in hortulo meo floruit aut floruisse me absente non observatum fuit, ut ramulum cum flore & fructu mittere possum. Forsan etiam in caussa est, si non floruit, Temperies anni perversissima, ob quam etiam nulla semina nata, quorum non levis numerus, etiam me absente Terrae mandata, ita ut ferme plantae aestivae omnes apud me periere.

Nihil novi apud nos nisi quod prodiit libellus plantarum Horti Florentini Manetto auctore, quem hic adiungo.[10] Invenies insuper Catalogum librorum, quem Holmiam Kiesewettero mittere velis, quaeso. Utinam mors optimi Regis vestriFredrik I, (1676-1751).
Swedish. Reigned 1720-1751. Married to
Ulrika Eleonora.
nihil immutet. Quo facto spem concipimus pacem ubique ulterius duraturam.

Vale, libere iube & me amare perge!

Venetiis 25 Junnii [sic] 1751.

upSUMMARY

Having sent his last letter to Linnaeus in February 1751, Joseph von Rathgeb went to Vienna for personal reasons. When he came back to Venice he received Linnaeus’s letter dated 28 March 1751 o.s., 8 April 1751 n.s.

Gottfried Kiesewetter has sent Rathgeb Linnaeus’s Philosophia botanica.

Rathgeb congratulates Linnaeus on his disciples, who have gone to Egypt, Canada and the Indies.

Rathgeb is honoured by the fact that Linnaeus wants to name a plant after him. He would like to suggest a plant that can be kept in gardens. Leonard Plukenet’s Auricula Ursi from Virginia would have suited Rathgeb, had not Linnaeus already named this plant Dodecatheon. Rathgeb wonders about the character of the genus Dodecatheon in Philosophia botanica.

Rathgeb cannot send a Baillonia, because Francesco Griselini, who found this plant in the sea, is not available. Griselini is a dissipate young man, whose observations cannot be entirely trusted.

Rathgeb regrets that Linnaeus’s Skånska resa is written in Swedish.

Rathgeb has not yet seen Lorenz Heister’s edition of Johann Heinrich Burckard’s letter. He longs to see what Heister has added. However, Rathgeb has the first edition of Burckard’s Epistola ad Dominum Godofredum Gulielmum Leibnitium (1702). It is obvious that Burckard does not think that plants can be divided according to their genital parts.

Gallus[8] can say what he wants about bright light at sea. What has been observed regarding Scolopendra marina cannot be doubted.

Linnaeus cannot have a twig with a flower and fruit of Vitaliana, since it has not flowered in Rathgeb’s garden this summer.

Rathgeb sends Saverio Manetti’s Viridarium Florentinum. He has enclosed a list of books that he wants Kiesewetter to send him.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original (LS, XII, 158-159). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
[added by Rathgeb]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
See Joseph von Rathgeb to Linnaeus, 12 February 1751 n.s.Letter L1174.
2.
Linnaeus’s letter to Rathgeb, 28 March 1751 o.s., 8 April 1751 n.s., has not come down to us.
3.
4.
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.
travelled to North America in 1748-1751. Fredrik HasselquistHasselquist, 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.
travelled in Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus, Rhodes and died near Smyrna. Pehr LöflingLöfling, Pehr (1729-1756).
Swedish. Botanist and explorer. Studied
under Linnaeus. Went to Spain in 1751
and took part in the Spanish expedition
to Venezuela in 1754, where he died.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
went to Spain in 1751 and took part in the Spanish expedition to Venezuela, where he died of fever. Pehr OsbeckOsbeck, Pehr (1723-1805).
Swedish. Clergyman, botanist explorer.
Studied at Uppsala under Linnaeus
1745-1750. Chaplain on ships of the
Swedish East India Company on voyages to
China. Vicar of Hasslöv (Halland).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
was chaplain on the ships of the Swedish East India Company on voyages to the East in 1750-1752.
5.
6.
7.
8.
The Latin Gallus can either be interpreted as a name “Gallus” or an adjective meaning “Frenchman”.
9.
Griselini, ObservationsGriselini, Francesco
Observations de François
Griselini de l’Academie des Sciences de
Boulogne sur la Scolopendre marine
luisante et la Baillouviana
(Venice
1750).
. Griselini, p. 7, thanks “un illustre Cavalier”. In Linnaeus’s copy of this work at the L.S. there is a note by Linnaeus saying that this Cavalier is Joseph von Rathgeb.