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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1931 • Johannes Burman to Carl Linnaeus, 12 July 1755 n.s.
Dated 12 julij 1755. Sent from Middenmeer (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.

Nobilissimo & Doctissimo Viro,
D[omino] Carolo Linnaeo, Equiti & Archiatro
Summoque Botanico,
S[alutem] D[icit]
Joannes Burmannus.

En tibi viginti quatuor primas & duas insuper icones plantarum Americanarum a magno Plumierio olim depictarum, quibus singulis ipsius viri nomina adscripsi, illasque examini tibi servare potes, sique sententiam tuam & observationes de iis receperim, quod, quamprimum fieri poterit, summis opto votis; eas pro editione parabo, quamprimum ipsarum descriptio, licet compendiosa, sit absoluta; hasque meis sumptibus insculpi curavi, quae omnes quam exactissime ad exempla sunt delineatae & incisae, ita ut ne minima pars desit, quibus tuto fidere poteris; sique has intellexero tibi inprimis reliquisque placuisse Botanicis, subsequentes titulo subscriptionis provulgare vellem; omnes enim sumptus me solum inpendere nullus cordatus homo jure a me petere posset, sicuti & Auctuarium Indicemque Rumphianum meis inpensis in Botanicorum gratiam inprimi curavi, quum primi editores omnes mortui essent, nullusque alius Bibliopola in se suscipere vellet inpressionem, ita ut nunquam prodiisset, si in me laborem & inpensa non tulissem. Per fasciculos itaque edere decrevi Plumierianas plantas, ac quivis viginti quinque continebit tabulas; tum enim inpensa sunt magis moderata, atque emptor non unica vice tot inpendit nummos; credo etiam tibi hac ratione placere, quum simul omnes prodere tabulas ob nimios & stupendos sumptus inpossibile est. In ultimis tuis, mihi quam gratissimis, Literis scripsisti de <u<triplici itinere periculosissimo D[omini] Plumierii, quae hanc ob caussam summus instituit vir inpensis magni Ludovici; si tibi, Vir Solertissime, horum itinerum circumstantiae quaedam essent notae, rem mihi faceres gratissimam, si has mecum communicare velles, vel si forte apud quendam invenirentur auctorem, si hunc mihi declarare velles, ut illas ibi investigare possem, quum in praefatione de iis mentionem facere omnino oporteat; res itaque erit non tantum mihi, sed cunctis harum deliciarum aestimatoribus jucundissima simul & utilissima, si illam mihi declarare non dedigneris, Vir Generosissime.

Mitto simul specimina plantarum Africanarum & quarundam etiam Zeylanensium, quae ad manus jam erant, ac quibus obiter modo nomina adscribere ob temporis angustias licuit; si alias dein inveniam, pro te colligam & seponam reliquas, uti quotannis ex Capite Bonae Spei novas recipio, nuperque Prothearum quarundam semina accepi recentissima, quae simul hisce inclusa tibi obfero; si progerminare & crescere apud vos vellent, esset mihi quam gratissimum, uti & surculi plantarum succulentarum, quos simul hisce addi curabo, speroque tibi placituros, sique alias, quas hortus noster alit, desideras plantas, indicare eas velis; lubenter, si sint in duplo, subministrare illas tibi cupiam.

Quamprimum Rumphii Auctuarium sit paratum, dono tibi illud mittam, sique apud vos prostet Bibliotheca publica regia, obferre ipsi, si auderem tam vile munusculum, exemplaria Thesauri, & Decadum pl[antarum] Afric[anarum] vellem, cujus ultimi exemplar possideo vivis coloribus inluminatum satis exactum, & splendidum, sed quod magno mihi constitit pretio.

Historia Jamaicae nondum, ut credo, erit absoluta; quumque Americae Australis continebit plantas, sine dubio Plumerianae quaedam intererunt.

De morbo spasmodico, cujus mentionem in Litteris tuis facere placuisti, obstupui sane ob tristissimos effectus, quum tot millia hominum licet plebejorum jugulaverit, summumque Dei beneficium est, te ingeniosissime detegere potuisse plantam, cujus semen horrendos istos causaret paroxismos; avidissime itaque illam cognoscere desidero, sique eam mihi mittere cum reliquis, quas in dies exspecto & exopto, plantis, esset mihi quam gratissima.

Ex toto animo tibi gratulor de premio, quod reportasti, nummo scilicet aureo, quum demonstraveris Alpes Laponiae fertiles reddendas; res sane est humano generi quam utilissima, quae statuam profecto meretur in tanti viri memoriam erigendam.

De planta Capensi, quam scribis Chrysanthemo tota facie simillimam, inquiram. Credo hanc nostrum alere hortum, sique inveniam, ut puto, tibi simul transmittam, ut examinare eam poteris; vellem, quod voto tuo respondeat, si vivam eam habeamus; nemini enim ante aliquod tempus me similem siccatam seposuisse inter alias, quarum stupendus mihi est numerus, sed quas omnes ob temporis angustias plurimasque occupationes in ordinem redigere inpossibile hactenus fuit; hocque distuli in adventum filii mei unici, qui mihi cum unica filia superest quique per tres jam annos Academiam Leydensem haud sine fructu frequentavit; varia enim ipse jam dextra Anatomica dissecuit cadavera, hocque inprimis anno incepit Hortum satis attente examinare publicum, cui plurimas per diem inpendit horas, rarioresque ipsius siccavit plantas, ita ut hasce primitias magna satis cura & studio inchoaverit, summumque mihi erit gaudium, si cum honore & gloria reliqua absolvat, Botanicemque prae omnibus colat, quod in senio meo, si vitam protrahere mihi concedat summum numen, summa erit recreatio & voluptas.

Caeterum valeas vivasque diutissime cum charissima tua conjuge Morea, reliquaque tua familia nobilissima in patriae tuae decus & honorem, familiae splendorem & honorem, artis nostrae ornamentum & incrementum, amicorumque tuorum gaudium & voluptatem, inter quos, si me porro numerare & colere haud dedigneris, erit mihi summa animi recreatio & desiderium.

Dabam ex praedio meo suburbano Middemeer dicto 12 julii 1755.

upSUMMARY

Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
sends 26 of Charles Plumier’sPlumier, Charles (1646-1704).
French. Botanist, travelled in Central
America and the Carribean. Linnaeus
generally approved of the descriptions
in his richly illustrated botanical
works.
illustrations, which he wants Linnaeus to examine. Burman has had them engraved at his own expense. If they please Linnaeus and other botanists he would like to publish them by means of a subscription. He will edit fascicles, each containing 25 plates [Burman refers to his editing of the Plantarum Americanarum fasciculus primus[-decimus]Plumier, Charles Plantarum
Americanarum fasciculus primus[-decimus]
continens plantas, quas olim C.
Plumierius [...] detexit, eruitque,
atque in insulis Antillis ipse depinxit.
Has primum in lucem edidit, concinnis
descriptionibus & observationibus,
aeneisque tabulis illustravit J.
Burmannus
(Amsterdam 1755-1760).
].

Burman wants further information about Plumier’s triplex iter periculosissimum, mentioned by Linnaeus in his latest letter [this letter has not come down to us].

Burman sends some African and Ceylonese plants and seeds of Protea, which he recently received from the Cape of Good Hope.

Burman will send Het auctuariumBurman, Johannes Het
auctuarium, ofte vermeerdering, op het
Amboinsch kruyd-boek. [...]

(Amsterdam 1755).
as a gift as soon as it is finished [Burman refers to his commentary on Georg Eberhard Rumpf’s Herbarium AmboinenseRumpf, Georg Eberhard
Herbarium Amboinense, plurimas
conplectens arbores, fructices, herbas,
plantas terrestres & aquaticas, quae
in Amboina et adjacentibus reperiuntur
insulis [...] Omnia [...] Belgice
conscripsit G. E. Rumphius [...] Nunc
primum in lucem edidit, & in Latinum
sermonem vertit Joannes Burmannus [...]
qui varia adjecit synonyma, suasque
observationes
, I-VII (Amsterdam
1741-1755).
]. If there is a public Royal library in Sweden, Burman would like to offer his Thesaurus ZeylanicusBurman, Johannes Rariorum
Africanarum plantarum, ad vivum
delineatarum, iconibus ac
descriptionibus illustratarum decas
prima-[decima]
(Amsterdam
1738-1739).
and the decades of African plants [Burman refers to the Rariorum Africanarum plantarum, ad vivum delineatarum, iconibus ac descriptionibus illustratarum decasBurman, Johannes Rariorum
Africanarum plantarum, ad vivum
delineatarum, iconibus ac
descriptionibus illustratarum decas
prima-[decima]
(Amsterdam
1738-1739).
], if he dares to offer such a simple gift.

Burman thinks Patrick Browne’sBrowne, Patrick (1720-1790).
Irish. Botanist who made six voyages to
the West Indies. In 1756 he published
The Civil and natural history of
Jamaica
(1756). Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
The Civil and natural history of JamaicaBrowne, Patrick The Civil and
natural history of Jamaica: in three
parts: containing, I. An accurate
description of that island [...] with a
brief account of its former and present
state, government, revenues, produce,
and trade: II. A history of the natural
productions [...] native fossils [...]:
III: An account of the nature of
climates in general, and their
different effects upon the human
body
(London 1756).
is not yet ready, and because it contains plants from South Africa, without doubt some of Plumier’s plants will be there.

Burman wants Linnaeus to send him the plant causing the spasmodic disease [Raphania] Linnaeus mentions in his letter [this letter has not come down to us].

Burman congratulates Linnaeus on the gold medal he has received showing how to make the alpine Lapland fertile [Linnaeus’s work was entitled, “Tankar om nyttiga växters planterande på de lappska fjällen”Linnaeus, Carl “Tankar om
nyttiga växters planterande
på de lappska fjällen”,
KVAH 16 (1755), 76-77.
Soulsby no. 533.
].

Burman thinks he has in his garden the plants from the Cape of Good Hope that Linnaeus found very similar to Chrysantemum.

For three years Burman’s son, [Nicolaas Laurens BurmanBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
(1734-1793). Dutch. Professor of
botany. Linnaeus’s pupil in Uppsala in
1760. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
], has been studying medicine, and he has now started botanical studies. If he finishes them successfully, it will give his father great pleasure.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. (LS, II, 367-368). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1943), vol. II:2, p. 64-66   p.64  p.65  p.66.