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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1528 • Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch to Carl Linnaeus, 1 February 1753 n.s.
Dated ipsis Calendis Februarii MDCCLIII. Sent from Berlin (Germany) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Viro Celeberrimo
D[omi]no Carolo Linnaeo,
Fautori et Amico optimo,
Upsaliam,
S[alutem Pl[urimam] D[icit]
J[ohannes] G[ottlieb] Gleditsch.

Statum rerum mearum praesentem et bonum notum Tibi jam esse opinor. Plura enarrabit ValboomiusWahlbom, Johan Gustaf
(1724-1808). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist. Studied at Uppsala under
Linnaeus, anatomy, surgery and
obstretics at Wittenberg. Provincial
physician at Kalmar. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
Tuus, et mihi amantissimus. Quam vereor autem, Amicissime Linnaee, quia rarius succedit commercium epistolicum nostrum, ne quid de me suspicere durius, quod certe non debes. Quo pessimo interim fato tam epistolae cum seminibus ad TE quam ad ipsam Academiam Regiam Scientiarum Holmiensem datae (cujus membrum Tuo me potissimum suasu factum esse indicasti) certo statoque tempore non accesserint, nescio.

Praesidi Acad[emiae] nostr[ae] acta Upsaliensia transmissa statim ipse tradidi.[1] Sed frustra exspectavi humanitatis indicia, responsionem, literas, gratiam. Et nunquam miratus sum praesidis rerum suarum animique virium probe gnarus.

Caveas KrausiumKrause, Christian Ludwig
(?-1773?). German. Gardener, Berlin.
Author of Unterricht von der
Gärtnerei
(1773). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
Berolinensem, rei hortensis trasonem[2] facile impudentissimum, si rariorum plantarum collectio et conservatio in horto Tibi curae cordique est, credasque mihi fraudes atque malitiam maledicentissimi centies experto. Plantas rariores in hortulo suo quidem alit. Sed ultra omnem fidem ferme extollit divitias suas hortenses. Nescio a quibus regulis insularum Indiae utriusque proprio studio congestis [sic] et commercium epistolicum sibi familiarissimum cum Mogole, imperatore Japonensium, Turcarum, regibus Persarum, Hispanorum, Anglorum, Danorum, aliis mirifice commendare solet. Faciem satis eruditam MilleriMiller, Philip (1691-1771).
British. Gardener of the Chelsea Physic
Garden. Corresponded with many
botanists. His rich herbarium was sold
to Joseph Banks. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
Londinensis hortulani simulat et plantarum genus novum sub Krausiae nomine facile exspectat, licet a reliqua hortulanorum turba parum differat.

In MylioMylius, Christlob (1722-1754).
German. Student of medicine, disciple of
Christian Ludwig Krause, Berlin.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, genuino Krausii discipulo, nescio an magis admiranda sit audacia an aliorum fiducia. Si verum dicere licet, dicam. Paucissima et confusa existit ejus notitia in tribus naturae regnis. De pane lucrando hactenus scripsit nova publica Berolinensia apud bibliopolam RüdigerumRüdiger, (?-?). German.
Bookseller.
. Satyrae[3] nimium indulsit et nobis omnibus multum creavit molestiae. Respondeat igitur in hunc finem! Palmae foecundatio artificialis a me propria manu (non Mylii aut hortulani nostri manu) suscepta! Scias porro, Vir Celeberrime, Suecos Tuos potiores ad me meumque hortum rarius vel nunquam venire[a][a] : MS1 <veniant> venire nec literas sibi commissas tradere,[b][b] : MS1 <tradant> tradere unde aliquando epistolas aliquot mensibus post illorum ex urbe decessum accepi, id quod dictorum virorum suasu factum fuisse satis constat. Sed, ut cum Lipsiensibus loquar, ad Krausium juvenum turba ingens quasi confluit non propter rastrum, sed propter amabile rostrum virginis; ad rastrum plebs studiosa venit.[4]

De Philosophia Botanica[5] in nostris provinciis tanquam non scripta altum est silentium, quia Botanophili RivinumRivinus, August Quirinus
(1652-1723). German. Professor of
medicine and botany at Leipzig.
Constructed a plant classification
system based on petals.
et TournefortiumTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
sequuntur, ut labores evitent et scientiam nullam addiscant. Solum forte habemus StrumpfiumStrumpff, Christopher Karl
(1711-1754). German. Doctor of medicine
and professor of chemistry and botany in
Halle, edited Linnaeus´s Genera
plantarum
(Halle 1752). Husband of
Dorothea Catharina Helena Strumpff and
son-in-law of Johann Heinrich Schulze..
Hallensem, qui ingenio systematico praestat suo et characteres generum intelligit.

De inventis et industria discipulorum ex animo Tibi gratulor et maxime spero fore, ut horum peregrinantium laboribus nobilissima nostra scientia majora in dies captura sit incrementa. De meo plantarum systemate nihil est, quod moneam. TE enim ipsum habeo judicem dignissimum.

In Marchia hactenus obviam mihi saepius facta est Hydnae varietas, petiolata, sessilis, crustacea vel imbricata squamosa, porulis subtus partim integerrimis donata, partim subulato-denticulatis, unde judicavi Boletum in Hydnam transire et duo distincta hactenus genera ad unicum pertinere. De exoticis nihil certi statuo, quum figurae mihi apud auctores suspectae, monstrosae vel admodum dubiae videntur.

Placuit epistola Burghardi{bio-BurckardJH?} ab 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.
edita, minus vero pessima et inepta editoris conclusio.[6] Hac ratione etiam facile dicere posset Heisterus meum systema a Burghardo jam inventum et a me transscriptum fuisse. Sed vixit ante Burghardum JungiusJungius, Joachim (1587-1657).
German. Botanist, professor of
mathematics, Rostock.
, CaesalpinusCesalpino, Andrea (1519-1603).
Italian. Botanist, professor of medicine
and botany in Pisa and Rome and
physician of Clement VIII. Best known
for his De plantis libri xvi
(1583).
et MalpigiusMalpighi, Marcello (1628-1694).
Italian. Anatomist and botanist.
Observed the capillary vessels. Together
with Nehemiah Grew one of the founders
of microscopic plant anatomy.
. Quis igitur facile dixerit nostra systemata e libris istorum virorum esse transcripta, cum nobis ipsis sint sensus nudi et armati, quorum auxilio partes fructificationis earumque differentiae secundum numerum, figuram, situm et proportionem dijudicare valemus, optimorum virorum libris nunquam visis?

BotanosophusSiegesbeck, Johann Georg
(1686-1755). German. Prussian botanist,
doctor of medicine at Wittenberg in
1716, physician and director of the
botanical garden at St Petersburg
1735-1747. One of the most bitter
opponents of Linnaeus’s sexual system.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
noster Petropolitanus summa pauperie oppressus non propria, ut opinor, sed uxoris et liberorum maxime culpa hodie vivit in vico quodam Magdeburgico ad fines Lüneburgensium et rustici miserrimam vitam, victum et mores gerit. Foemina illa, cui maxima ex parte debemus botanosophiam[7] et uranosophiam[8] quandam nondum impressam, furiosissima Xantippe[9] esse dicitur, quae maritum suum Socratiformem in pessimum illum statum deduxit.[10]

Methodus fungorum annis prioribus in gratiam tyronum scripta et bibliopolae culpa nondum impressa hoc forte anno lucem videbit.[11]

Cum Gentianae species quaedam antheris 5 in cylindrum connatae a reliquis differant locumque inter Lobeliam et Corymbium in Monogamia obtineant, a Gentiana separavi sub titulo Pneumonanthe,[12] ut Fl[ora] Lips[iensi] BoehmerBoehmer, Georg Rudolph
(1723-1803). German. Botanist at
Wittenberg.
indicavit.[13]

Semina pauca Kalmiana, quae a satione supersunt, nec non Anandriae, Betulae nanae et Browalliae avide exspecto. Absque semine periit Spigelia, Hymenaea, Ptelaea, Theobroma, sed 2 vice proximis mensibus habebo Camphoram florentem, cujus figuram eleganter depictam cum descriptione Hist[oriae] Ac[ademiae] Reg[iae] tradere potero. Arborem ante 2 annos transplantavi, ut fructus ejus perfectiores obtinerem.

Majo mense ad TE certo certius mittam Palmae dact[yliferae] flabellif[ormis] et Terebinthi subolem, testes artificialis foecundationis propria manu susceptae et sexus plantarum, omni exceptione majores, in perpetuam rei memoriam.[14] Simulque accipies Coffeae arborem pulchram cum phylicae specie quadam rariore, Hydrophyllo et aliis, quae in Catalogo H[orti] Upsaliensis desiderantur.

Vale, Vir Praestantissime, meque, ut soles, amare ulterius perge!

Dabam Berolini ipsis Calendis Februarii MDCCLIII.

[address] A Monsieur / Monsieur Linnaeus / Archiatre de Sa Majesté / le Roi de Suede et / Botaniste tres celébre / a / Upsala.

upSUMMARY

Johan Gustaf Wahlbom will tell Linnaeus more about Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch’s activities. Gleditsch does not know why his letters to Linnaeus and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, of which Gleditsch has been elected a member, have not arrived.

Gleditsch has sent Acta literaria et scientiarum Sueciae to the chairman of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, but there was no reaction.

Gleditsch dislikes Christian Gottlieb Krause at the Botanical Garden in Berlin. Krause boasts about his rich collections of plants and his large correspondence. He pretends to be a learned Philip Miller.

Christlob Mylius’s knowledge of the three kingdoms of nature is poor and confused. It was Gleditsch who carried out the artificial fertilization of the palm tree.

There is silence regarding Linnaeus’s Philosophia botanica, because those interested in botany follow the antiquated August Quirinus Rivinus and Joseph Pitton de Tournefort. Only Christopher Karl Strumpff in Halle is a systematic botanist and understands the characters of genera.

A variety of Hydna is discussed.

Gleditsch is pleased with Lorenz Heister’s edition of Johann Heinrich Burchard’s letter, but the conclusion is inept. From the way Heister reasons one could say that Gleditsch’s system was invented already by Burchard. But Joachim Jungius, Andrea Cesalpino and Marcello Malpighi lived prior to Burchard. Nowadays the parts of fructification and their differences according to number, figure, site and proportion can be discerned by the eye or a microscope.

Johann Georg Siegesbeck lives a miserable life in a little village in Magdeburg. His wife is a furious Xanthippe.

Gleditsch’s Methodus fungorum will perhaps be published this year.

Gleditsch has separated Pneumonanthe from the species Gentiana. He asks for seeds of Kalmia, Anandria, etc. In May Gleditsch intends to send Linnaeus a shoot, which is the result of Gleditsch’s artificial fertilization of a Palma dactylifera flabelliformis and a Terebinthus. He will also send a coffee-tree.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, IV, 515). [1] [2]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 <veniant> venire
b.
MS1 <tradant> tradere

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
2.
Sc. thraso, a “braggart”, “boaster”, name of a braggart soldier in Terence’s Eunuchus.
3.
4.
A wordplay with rastrum “rake” and rostrum “mouth” (or pars pro toto for facies, “face”).
5.
6.
7.
8.
Siegesbeck asked the Imperial Academy of St Petersburg to print his thesis “Dubia contra systema Copernicanum”, where Copernicus’s system was doubted. But the offer was declined.
9.
Xanthippe was the wife of Socrates.
The shoot that Gleditsch intends to send Linnaeus was probably a Pistacia therebinthus. Gleditsch was the Director of the Berlin Botanical Garden and an ardent supporter of the theory of plant-sexuality. He managed to fertilize a female palm tree, Chamaerops humilis L., in his garden with the pollen from a member of the same family from the Leipzig Botanical Garden. This Experimentum Berolinense brought much fame to Gleditsch and Linnaeus. In fact this palm existed into the 1920’s and was a living testimony of a great struggle between scholars in the eighteenth century. Goerke, “Linnaeus’ German pupils and their significance”Goerke, H. “Linnaeus’ German
pupils and their significance”,
SLÅ (1978), 223-239.
, 237.