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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1584 • Carl Linnaeus to Abraham Bäck, 18 May 1753 n.s.
Dated 18 maj 1753. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Stockholm (Sweden). Written in Swedish.

Min beständiga Broder.

jag tackar tusende falt för brefwet; jag fruchtade mig kommit i M[in] K[iäre] Br[oder]s område, och kunne ej drömma om orsaken.

jag har talt med Bergius, som säger sig wara nögd at resa wid midsomaren, han skall få med sig hwar ewige en enda officinalis, som är i trägården och tohl climatet.

Låt H[err] Tuwén införa alla willa örter officinales och sätta på sina ställen.

om M[in] Br[oder] går igenom min materia Medica, så skall M[in] Br[oder] se att intet flere, utom plantis culinaribus et exoticis in caldario serendis, gifwas annuelle, men perennes många, af dem skall M[in] Br[oder] som sagt är, få alla slagen som jag har.

M[in] Br[oder] bör i åhr aldeles ej beswära sig med orangerie örter, alt bör wäxa sensim, ty så giör naturen.

jag fägnar mig hierteligen at lilla Elephanten i miniateure lyckeligen ankommit; kostar han mycket, så smakar han wähl. nog är han så konstig som en deamant.

Hos wår Makalösa Drotning beder jag min K[iäre] Broder aflägger min underdånigsta wördnad, och tacka på wettenskapens wägnar den som gifwer henne lif och authoritet. wist woro det artigt at få en till China, och rätt artigt; nog äro här ämne; men alla äro rädde att komma på ostindiska skeppen sedan Ternström dog af chagrin, som gick af på wett[enskaps] acad[emiens] recommendation, där likwähl lofwades honom all undsättning; wåra naturkunniga få altid en miserabel hytta och den wärsta på skeppet där de ligga som hundar; begabbas på resan, och då de komma ifrån landet måste stå under tyranner, och lära altför dyrt, hwad förmon det är at stå under en stor och nådig öfwerhet; ty de nedrigas regering är grymast. många wille gierna gå men alla äro rädda, som läsit Ternströms journal och hört Osbecks klagowisor. jag förbehåller mig få bättre fram komma med underdånigt swar, sedan jag hört mine bussar.

jag har nu fått tredie berättelsen ifrån Frankrike at mitt medel för frantzoser som jag communicerat med en enda under Ed, är försökt i det största nosocomium, och at det curerar promt frantsoser utan at klecka, utan at giöra smärta äller evacuation. och at frantsoser cureras på 14 dagar, men gonorrhaea går trögare än sielfwa frantsoserne, doch säkert. — jag hoppas få premium, om jag det kan praestera.

en annor skref mig till altså:

D[octor] Haller est ab aliquot diebus Bernae in patria sua. quidam magnas Hungarus ipsius puellam deperiebat, Hallerus vero qui catholico suam gratam nubere recusabat, discessit insalutatis omnibus cum conjuge et filia, media nocte, et Bernam petiit, quam tamen petere debebat prout cogitaverat, paucos post dies nostalgia fere laborans, ut omnibus helveticis solemne est.

en annor, nämligen Sauvages, skrifwer. Hallerus scripsit thesin de irritabilitate, cujus experimenta non succedunt apud nos. quis ipsi potest assentiri. contendit et ad me scripsit costas inter inspirandum ad se accedere mutuo ita ut spatium interpositum dimidio minus evadat. ego vero ampliari hoc spatium constanter observo cum canis inspirat, imminui cum ejulat.

far wähl min såtaste wän och Broder.

jag är
M[in] K[iäre] Br[oder]s
lydige
C[arl] L[innaeus]

Upsala d[en] 18 maj
1753.

Archiatren
Wälborne H[err] D[octor] Baeck
Stockholm

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus thanks Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
for a letter [this letter has not come down to us]. He was afraid Bäck had got tired of him, but he did not understand why that could have been.

Linnaeus has talked with Petter Jonas BergiusBergius, Petter Jonas
(1730-1790). Swedish. Physician and
botanist. Professor of natural history
and pharmacy at Collegium Medicum,
Stockholm. Linnaeus’s student.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who will leave at Midsummer. Linnaeus will let him have all the medical plants that are available and can stand the climate.

Bäck should let Tuwén [Erik TuvénTuvén, Erik (1721-?).
Swedish. Botanist. Employed by the
Collegium Medicum, demonstrator of the
botanical garden of the Seraphimer
Hospital in Stockholm.
] plant all wild medical plants in their proper places in his garden.

In Linnaeus’s 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.
, Bäck will find that there are rather few annual medical plants, except the exotic edible plants that should be sown in the greenhouse. The perennial ones are more numerous, and Linnaeus will let Bäck have all he has.

Bäck should not bother about the greenhouse plants this year but let everything grow little by little, as Nature does.

Linnaeus is very glad that the little elephant arrived safely [Linnaeus refers to a specimen of an elephantfoster, kept in a bottle with liquor; this specimen was bought by the King [Adolf FredrikAdolf Fredrik, (1710-1771).
Swedish. King of Sweden. Reigned
1751-1771. Married to Lovisa Ulrika.
Father of Gustav III. Chancellor of
Uppsala university 1747-1751.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] at an auction in Amsterdam, after a special request from Linnaeus]. It cost something, but it is a remarkable specimen.

Linnaeus asks Bäck to thank the Queen [Lovisa UlrikaLovisa Ulrika, (1720-1782).
Swedish. Queen of Sweden 1751-1771.
Married to Adolf Fredrik. Mother of
Gustav III. Sister of Fredric II of
Prussia. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] for her generosity. It would be very suitable to send somebody to China, and with good reason. However, everybody is reluctant to go on the the Swedish East India Company’s ships, since Ternström [Christopher TärnströmTärnström, Christopher
(1711-1746). Swedish. Clergyman and
botanist. At the recommendation of
Linnaeus, he was accepted as chaplain by
the Swedish East India Company. In 1746
he departed for China but died on the
island of Pulo Candor, Vietnam.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
], who was recommended by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
], died from sorrow. He was promised all support, but it is a fact that the scientists always get a miserable cabin and are bullied during the voyage by the officers and the crew. Many would like to travel like this, but they are afraid to do so, having read Ternström’s travelreport and heard Pehr Osbeck’sOsbeck, 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.
complaints [Tärnström’s travelreport was sent, presumably by Magnus LagerströmLagerström, Magnus
(1691-1759). Swedish. Director of the
Swedish East India Company.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
to his widow Brita TärnströmTärnström, Brita
Swedish. Wife of Christopher
Tärnström in his second
marriage, born Stenhof.
, who in 1749 communicated it to Linnaeus, who in his turn sent it to the Academy of Sciences; there were several plans to publish the travelreport, but that was not done until 2005 in Christopher Tärnströms journalTärnström, Christopher
Christopher Tärnströms
journal : en resa mellan Europa och
Sydostasien år 1746 = Christopher
Tärnström's journal : a
passage between Europe and East Asia in
the year 1746
, ed. Kristina
Söderpalm & Lars Hansen, Serie
Mundus Linnaei series, 1 (London :
Whitby, 2005).
; Osbeck complained of his health, in letters from 1752, 23 AugustLetter L1467, 29 AugustLetter L1465, 8 NovemberLetter L1483, 29 NovemberLetter L1506, 2 DecemberLetter L1173, 9 DecemberLetter L1499]. Linnaeus will have to return to the matter when he has talked to his pupils.

Linnaeus has received a third report from France [François Boissier de La Croix de SauvagesSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
(1706-1767). French.
Botanist and clergyman and physician,
professor in medicine at Montpellier.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
to Linnaeus, 18 April 1753Letter L1566], about his remedy for syphilis, which he has discussed with one person only [Linnaeus here refers to Sauvages] under oath. It has been tested in a large hospital and has worked without failure or pain. Syphilis is cured in a fortnight, gonorrhoea in a slightly longer time but without fail.

Linnaeus reports from two letters he has received [what he here says concerning 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.
was told by Sauvages in one letter, the letter dated 18 April]. Haller has returned to Bern in his native country. A Hungarian nobleman had wanted to marry his daughter, but Haller did not like getting a Catholic for son-in-law, so he left in the middle of the night together with his wife and daughter and reached Bern, where he had intended to settle down. He had been homesick recently, as the Swiss generally are.

From Sauvages, Linnaeus had heard that Haller had written a treatise on irritability ["De partibus corporis humani sensilibus et irritabilibus"Haller, Albrecht von "De
partibus corporis humani sensilibus et
irritabilibus", Commentarii
societatis regiae scientiarum
Gottingensis ad annum 1752
(1753),
Bd 2, 114-158.
, a treatise on the same subject was published in Swedish in, "Rön om de känslo-egande (sensibiles) och reteliga (irritabiles) delar"Haller, Albrecht von
"Rön om de känslo-egande
[sensibiles] och reteliga (irritabiles)
delar uti menniskans kropp",
KVAH (1753).
]. However, Haller’s experiments had not worked with Sauvages. Haller had written that the ribs come closer to each other during inhalation, so that the distance between them is halved. Sauvages, in his turn, had manifestly seen in a dog that the distance increases during inhalation and decreases when the dog howls.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (KVA, Carl von Linnés arkiv). [1] [2] [3] [4]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1910), vol. I:4, p. 211-213   p.211  p.212  p.213.