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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1916 • Charles De Geer to Carl Linnaeus, 4 May 1755 n.s.
Dated 4. Maij 1755. Sent from Leufsta (Sweden) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.

Leufsta d[en] 4. Maij 1755.

Ädel och Höglärde H[err] Archiater,

Det war mig wisst äfwen i högsta måtto okiärt, att Herr Archiatern just skulle wara borta, då jag med flit mig föresatt att längre än wanligit blifwa i Upsala, endast att få språka med H[err] Archiatern, och bland annat få en idée om indelningen af Snäckor och Musslor som H[err] Archiatern nÿligen uptäckt. Men det slog mig således felt.

Att H[err] Archiatern gier Madame Elisson ett så hederligit witnesbÿrd, fägnar mig otroligt; fast det eljest å andra sidan giör mig ond, att jag priverat Upsala boerna från henne. Men jag för min del är dock glad, wi fått henne, hälst hon äger mÿcket beröm, äfwen af H[err] Archiatern. Jag hoppas hon skall ock wara nögd hos oss och med oss.

Herr Rolander har sänd mig frö, som skulle wara af Diosma foliis linearibus. Jag har satt det uti en kruka, som jag satt i mitt fönster; men en gemen Alsine har kommit upp i stället. Rolander skref mig, att han äfwen skickat H[err] Archiatern deraf. Jag wore curieux att weta huru dermed gått.

Några Genera Jnsectorum har jag delt i flere, hwilka jag wid tillfälle skall underkasta H[err] Archiaterns mogna ompröfwande; äfwen har jag ändrat caractererne på några.

Squama erecta är ej general hos alla Mÿror; till exempel, Etter-Mÿrorne hafwa den ej. Tÿckes således ej duga till Character genericum.

Att Spindlarne hafwa Oculi octo, går ej eller ann; tÿ jag har nu observerat en Spindel med ej mera än 6 ögon. det är densamma som Lister kallar Araneus senoculus, subflavus, &c: Tit: 24. Raj. Jns. pag. 32. Både desse Autheurer, samt äfwen M. Homberg i Parisiske Acterne af 1707, hafwa rätteligen observerad, att denna Spindel ej har mera än 6 ögon, och de nästan alla lika stora. När wi råkas skall jag wisa accurat afritning på densamma och dess ögon. – Ju mera man observerar, ju mera kommer man under wäder med sanningen.

Äfwenledes har jag observerat, att wår Twästiert, Scolopendra pedibus utrinque 15, intet har Oculi 2 singuli ex tribus compositi, utan att hwardera af de twenne ögon består af en hop små hemisphaerique ögon, lika ungefärligen dem af Coleopteris. Men de Jndianskes ögon bestå hwardera af twenne, eller ännu rättare af fÿra små ögon. Ögonen få då ej komma uti Caracter genericum af desse Jnsecter. Lÿcka är, att de hafwa kiänneteken nog ändock.

Pediculus terrestris niveus F. 117O. har jag funnit hafwa en liten klufwen stiert, fast hon intet är bögt under kroppen. Blir således en Podura, af hwilken H[err] Archiatern ock funnit att hon har aldeles skapnaden.

Af Blatta och Gryllus har jag giord en à part Ordo. Om H[err] Archiatern det lärer approbera, får jag see. Jag underkastar mig så gierna H[err] Archiaterns omdöme uti desse saker.

detta är hwad jag nu i hast kan påminna mig hafwa observerat denna tiden; hwilket jag nu som förr giör mig ett nöje af att communicera med H[err] Archiatern.

Jag har ofta tänkt öfwergifwa Jnsecterne och deras skiärskådande, efter nÿttan deraf är så ringa i det allmänna, och jag kanskie giör illa att ej bättre employera min tid. – Men hwar gång jag har tillfälle att tala eller skrifwa till H[err] Archiatern, så upmuntras denna min håg åter å nÿo. Hwad det lider, så ledsnar jag likwäl wid dem.

Är icke det ömkeligit, att Museum Regis aldrig skall kunna bli färdigt? och det endast för H[err] Lieutenant Rehns ohåg att arbeta och giöra ifrån sig? Jag kommer emedlertid ingen wärt med min Natural-samlingz i ordning sättiande.

Min hustru ber rätt mycket hälsa, och jag förblifwer beständigt med all estime

Ädle och Höglärde H[err] Archiaterns
Hörsamste Tie[na]re
Charles De Geer

[a][a] : MS 1[added in the left margin
f. 374v; there is no indication of where
it should be inserted
].
I Amsterdam war ett magnifikt Snäcke-Cabinett till salu; men för dÿrt; 15000 gÿllen! det tenterade mig således icke.

upSUMMARY

Charles De GeerDe Geer, Charles (1720-1778).
Swedish. Entomologist and natural
history collector, Leufsta Bruk. Member
of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
in Stockholm and Académie des
sciences, Paris. Corresponded with
Réaumur, Bonnet and other
naturalists. Husband of Catharina
Charlotta Ribbing and father of Emanuel
De Geer. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is disappointed that Linnaeus was not in Uppsala when De Geer had decided to stay there longer than usual especially to see Linnaeus and talk with him about the classification of shells and mussels that Linnaeus had discovered.

De Geer is glad that Linnaeus had praised Mrs ElissonElisson, ?. so much, although he is sorry that he has taken her away from the inhabitants of Uppsala. He is glad to have her in his service, and he hopes she will be content with De Geer and his household.

De Geer had received seeds from Daniel RolanderRolander, Daniel (1725-1793).
Swedish. Naturalist and explorer.
Studied at Uppsala University under
Linnaeus. Went to Surinam in 1755-1756.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
that were said to be Diosma foliis linearibus. He had sown them in a pot, but a common Alsine appeared. Rolander had told De Geer that he had sent Linnaeus the same kind of seeds, and De Geer wants to know what came out of them.

De Geer has divided some genera of insects, and he will submit the result to Linnaeus. He has also changed the characters of some of them.

Not all ants have squama erecta, so that criterion does not work for ants.

De Geer does not accept eight eyes as a character of spiders, for he has seen one with just six eyes, the one that Martin ListerLister, Martin (1638-1712).
British. Naturalist.
calls Araneus senoculus subflavus. There is also a reference to John Ray’sRay, John (1627-1705).
British. Naturalist and clergyman. One
of the most influential botanists before
Linnaeus.
Historia InsectorumRay, John & Martin Lister
Historia Insectorum. Opus posthumum
jussu Regiae Societatis Londinensis
editum. Cui subjungitur Appendix de
Scarabaeis Britannicis, autore M.
Lister
(London, 1710).
[in this work an Appendix de scarabeis Britannicis by Lister was also published]. Besides Ray and Lister, Willem HombergHomberg, Willem (1652-1715).
Dutch. Chemist. Supervisor of the
laboratory of the Académie royale
des sciences, Paris. Physician in
ordinary.
, in a paper in Acta Parisiensia [De Geer means the transactions of the Académie royale des sciencesAcadémie royale des sciences,
Paris,
French. The French
Académie des sciences was founded
in 1666 and became a royal academy in
1699. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] for 1707 ["Observations sur les araignées"Homberg, Willem
"Observations sur les
araignées", Histoire de
l'Académie Royale des Sciences
année [...] : avec les
Mémoires de Mathématique
& de Physique, pour la même
année [...] : tirés des
registres de cette Académie

(1707), 339-352.
], have seen that this spider has just six eyes and that they are the same size. De Geer will show Linnaeus a drawing of this spider and its eyes. The more you observe, the more you get to know about the truth.

De Geer has also seen that the common earwig, Scolopendra pedibus utrimque 15, does not have two eyes composed of three small eyes each. Instead, its two eyes are composed of a lot of small hemispherical eyes like those of Coleoptera. However, the Indian earwig has eyes composed of four small eyes each, so the eyes do not work as a characteristic for these insects either. There are enough of characteristics for them without this one.

Pediculus terrestris niveus has a small and divided tail, which makes it a Podura. Linnaeus has already seen that it also looks like one.

De Geer has made a separate order of Blatta and Gryllus. He is not sure if Linnaeus will approve, and he will accept Linnaeus’s verdict.

De Geer is glad to have been able to tell Linnaeus about these recent discoveries.

De Geer has often considered abandoning the study of insects, since it brings so little of real usefulness to the public and De Geer might be able to use his time in a more useful way. Whenever he is in contact with Linnaeus on the subject, Linnaeus encourages him to continue. In the long run, however, he will tire of insects.

De Geer finds it deplorable that Museum S:ae R:ae M:tis Adolphi Friderici Regis SuecorumLinnaeus, Carl Museum S:ae
R:ae M:tis Adolphi Friderici Regis
Suecorum [...] in quo animalia rariora
imprimis et exotica: quadrupedia, aves,
amphibia, pisces, insecta, vermes
describuntur et determinantur, Latine et
Suetice cum iconibus
(Stockholm
1754).
is still not finished, and he wonders if this delay is due to Jean Eric Rehn’sRehn, Jean Eric (1717-1793).
Swedish. Architect, assisted Linnaeus
and the Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences with drawings of natural
history specimens.
laziness. However, De Geer makes no progress in the arrangement of his collection of natural objects.

De Geer forwards greetings from his wife [Catharina Charlotta De GeerDe Geer, Catharina Charlotta
(1720-1787). Swedish. Wife of Charles
De Geer, mother of Emanuel De Geer. Born
Ribbing af Zernova.
] to Linnaeus.

P.S. De Geer remarks that a magnificent cupboard with shells was for sale in Amsterdam for 15,000 guilders. It was too expensive, so De Geer was not interested.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, IV, 373-374). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1911), vol. I:5, p. 340-341   p.340  p.341.

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS 1[added in the left margin f. 374v; there is no indication of where it should be inserted].