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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1977 • Johannes Burman to Carl Linnaeus, 15 November 1755 n.s.
Dated 15 Novembr. 1755. Sent from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.

Nobilissimo & Clarissimo Viro,
Carolo Linnaeo, Equiti
ac Botanico summo,
S[alutem] D[icit]
Joannes Burmannus.

Tuas hodie accepi Litteras mihi quam gratissimas, quum vestrae erga me amicitiae monumenta sint certissima, sed dolui ex iis videre infelicem successum plantarum mihi promissarum, siccatas nempe istas plantas, quas pro me collegeras, carceri jam quasi esse inclusas per infaustum anni tempus. Utinam modo intra tantum temporis spatium non perdantur a tineis, vel situm contrahant, si nempe tam diu occlusae, vel firmiter compactae sint, praesertim quum recens fuerint exsiccatae, vel chartae loco depositae sint humido, quod tuae committo curae; a die certe in diem illas jam diu juxta tuum promissum speraveram accepisse. Sed persuasum mihi est quam maxime, per incredibiles tuas quotidianas occupationes non omnia ita expedire te posse, quae lubens velles; hinc in posterum ac verno tempore eas exspectabo, sique accedentibus vel acceptis novis quibusdam fasciculum istum interim augere placeat, erit mihi eo gratius, & quam acceptissimum; sique ego in posterum rariores quasdam accipiam, pro te itidem eas seponam & colligam, uti & hoc autumno ex Batavia plurimas rarissimas pro me ibi eleganter exsiccatas accepi, sed singularum tantum unicam speciem, quas scribam mihi mittant in posterum copiosiores; plurimas vero harum in Opere Rumphiano inveni descriptas ac delineatas.

Semina itidem plurima ac radices adfuere, sed tempus nondum mihi vacavit illa examinandi, sique alicujus sint momenti, verno tibi tempore, quum naves iterum vestram petunt patriam, quaedam simul mittam, uti & lubens jam tibi dare vellem fasciculum pl[antarum] Americ[anarum] primum, quum totus jam sit absolutus; praefationem vero huic includam, ut judicare de mea possis Opera; addam itidem tres tabulas subsequentis fasciculi, qui sub vernum tempus paratus erit, quum ipsius tabulae jam sint incisae omnes, sed Asteris species a Plumierio quam obscurissimae sunt, ac pessime denominatae, quum diversissimi penitus sint generis, nominaque ipsis inposita nil indicent. Rogo itaque obstrictissime, ut adtente illas velis examinare, atque juxta tuum Systema ipsis convenientia inponere nomina, mihique prima occasione illa significare, ut in descriptione progredi possim, quae licet brevissima sit, addenda tamen aliqua fuit, juxta tuam methodum; Parisienses dein, si velint, juxta auctoris descriptionem, commentaria quaedam in hasce possunt fabricare & edere icones. Scribas mihi sincere & cordate, Vir Amicissime, an tibi placeat meum institutum, sique alia mutatio tibi videatur necessaria, curabo, si fieri possit, in subsequentibus peragatur. Si recte memini, primam plagulam ipsius textus adjeci ultimo, quem tibi misi, fasciculo, ut judicare posses de meo instituto, quod si tibi ita videatur obportunum, tali modo per reliquos progrediar fasciculos. Faveas modo tu auctoritate tua huic incepto, reliqui tui, spero, amici annuent, quod inchoavi, Operi, sique subscriptio ex voto meo succedat, tentabo id ad finem perducere; millia enim aliquot florenorum requiruntur, ut splendide & adcurate tot icones elaborentur, quae inpensa uni homini vix sustinenda est, praesertim quum alii artifici per totum annum meis quoque sumptibus subpeditem plantas rariores exoticas aeri incidendas, quarum sufficiens copia, si fuerit elaborata & absoluta, tertio tomo Horti Amstelod[amensis] destinare eas vellem; sique haud aegre ferres, proximo Vere tibi earum quasdam pro specimine mittere vellem, ut examinare eas, & sententiam tuam de iis mihi declarare posses.

Primum hunc Fasciculum D[omino] Cliffortio (qui pancratice valet, & ratione aetatis senilis viribus satis pollet) dedicavi, sique in malam partem haud verteres, nec tibi injucundum foret, secundum fascic[ulum] tuo inscribere nomini splendidissimo, est animus, quod in bonam, quaeso, interpretes partem, & summae erga te observantiae sit tibi pignus certissimum, hicque statuto tempore, si deus mihi vitam ac sanitatem largiatur, erit in promptu proximo nempe verno tempore. Oblitus fui, vereor, Auctuario Rumph[ii] iconem addere Radicis Ninzin Japanensis, cujus elegantissimam curavi insculpi iconem, quam prima itidem mittam occasione.

Non ausus fui Regi tuo Serenissimo obferre exemplaria Operum meorum, uti junior Gronovius suum ipsi obtulit; si haud aegre ferret, paratissimus sum, atque in familiari colloquio proponere id ipsi; si tibi ita visum fuerit, meo nomine posses, sique sententiam tuam vel successum rescribere velis, erit mihi quam gratissimum; desidero enim vehementissime musei Regii videre tomum primum, a te sine dubio exactissime elaboratum.

Laetus ex tuis intellexi, succulentas plantas tam laete apud te germinare & crescere, sique ineunte vere me tibi surculos aliarum quarundam rariorum mittere velis, lubentissime id faciam; denotes modo tum quasnam exoptes.

Planta, quae ollae seu fictili separatim fuit inposita, ipsissima fuit Arctotes, quae forte Arctotheca dici posset, quum in disco suo tanquam in theca quadam, elegantissime sua includat luxuriosissima ac splendentia semina; eademque est, cujus ramulus ultimis tuis fuit inclusus Litteris; apud nos biennis est, quumque semina perfecit, sub hyemem perit. Plurimas istius generis alit hortus noster species, quarum quatuor vel quinque novae penitus, nec ullibi, quantum scio, notatae vel descriptae, quarum surculos vel semina, si cupias, itidem mittere dein possem, uti & Atrophae a Fevillio depictae, quae planta in horto nostro ultra binorum hominum altitudiuem excrevit, quod miratus fui quam maxime aestate hac frigida & quam maxime pluviosa, quum soboles sit Peruviae, tuque scribas in Spec[iebus] pl[antarum] ad binorum tantum pedum altitudinem crescere; semina protulit copiosissima penitusque matura in aperto aere quam luxuriosissime. Stapeliae species tibi missa, si bene recorder, est illa flore fimbriato, qualis in decad[ibus] meis plantar[um] Capens[ium] invenitur, ex quo loco plurimos elegantissimos hoc anno accepi bulbos, quorum plures jam florent in praedio meo sub vitreis fenestris, inter quos rarissimae sunt plantae nunquam antea mihi visae; sique sese propagent ex meo voto in posterum, quosdam etiam tibi mittam bulbos, quos quotannis a gubernatore istius loci accipio, uti & nuper per favorem Comitis cujusdam ex India quondam reducis mihi occasio oblata est literas dandi gubernatori insulae Amboinae, cui itidem scripsi, ut mihi mittat semina & bulbos, ita ut ex variis Indiae regionibus varia exspectem curiosissima, sicuti & hoc anno per directorem Bataviae (sed qui nuper mortuus est, quod doleo) conchylia accepi rarissima ac pretiosissima, quorum uti plantarum marinarum insectorumque splendidissimorum ingens mihi est supellex, quae tres complectitur thecas aliquot pedes latas & altas.

Si tibi, Vir Occupatissime, per horulam vacat tempus, rescribas, quaeso, ad propositas in prioribus meis epistolis periodos.

Senior Gronovius debilis est ac languet, uti a D[omino] Cunone audivi, qui te salutat, ac satis diligenter in hortulo suo colit bulbos itidem Capenses; horum in predio meo hoc anno florentes vidi Cremonias, Cyanellas, Brunsvigias, Sisyrinchia, Hyacinthos, variasque Gladiolorum, & Ornithogalorum species, quas laeti admirati fuimus, & cum depictis meis plantis bulbosis conferimus, quarum bina possideo volumina in ipso Capite Bonae Spei nitidissime ad vivum depicta, quas si examinare tibi daretur, stupesceres sane ex unico isto extremo quasi terrae angulo tot produci, tamque varias ibi latere plantas, in aliis regionibus non ita obvias & quae quam obsequiosissime alii adsuescunt saltem nostro caelo & climati.

Sed vereor nimis diu me jam te commoratum fuisse, unde neque ulterius te inpediam; antequam vero finem hisce inponam literis, hisce addam flosculos quosdam in communi thyrso seu pedunculo excretos plantae cujusdam bulbosae Capensis, quae singularis sine dubio erit generis; producit enim scapum ad duorum pedum altitudinem atque mox e terra longissima & angustata aequaliter lata & striata folia; in scapo autem isto tres quatuorve tales pedunculi communes laterales excrescunt, qui albissimos gerunt flores omnes dependentes occlusos perfecte instar minorum Ovorum, quorum internam substantiam & characterem ipse porro ex doctrina tua adcurate examinare poteris. Si rescribas, indices, quaeso, mihi sententiam tuam de rarissima hac planta, cum qua nullam aliam comparare possum ex hac familia plantam.

Faveas porro, ac valeas, cum tota tua splendidissima familia, uti & nos omnes optime valemus!

Dabam Amstelod[ami]15 Novembr[is] 1755.

P. S. Binos Cunoniae flores a d[omino] Cunone accepto pro examine addidi, uti & binos Hyacinthi Capensis jam florentis flores, quorum unus apertus, alter adhuc clausus est, suntque plantae speciosissimae quam d[ominus] Cuno pro me delineat, ut ejus icon in Tabula exhiberi possit, de qua deinde latius.

Vale & me ama!

upSUMMARY

Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is grateful for the letter from Linnaeus, which he just received [this letter has not come down to us], but it hurts him to find that he cannot get the dried plants Linnaeus had collected for him owing to the unfavourable time of the year. He hopes that they will not be damaged and that he can receive them in early spring. Perhaps Linnaeus will have the opportunity to add more plants.

Burman received a lot of rare dried plants from Jakarta this autumn, unfortunately only one of each. If there are any important ones, Burman will send seeds and roots, which he also has received, in the spring.

Burman also sends the first fascicle of the American plants [Burman refers to his editing of the Plantarum Americanarum fasciculus primus[-decimusPlumier, 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).
], which now is complete. Burman will add a foreword, and he asks Linnaeus for his opinion of the work. Burman also sends three plates of the following fascicle, which will be ready this spring. All the plates are engraved, but there are problems with Plumierís Aster species, and Burman asks Linnaeus to examine them carefully and give appropriate names to them according to his method. Burman hopes that if Linnaeusís authority favours Burmanís work, other friends will approve of it, too.

Burman has also paid for the engraving of rare and exotic plants to be inserted in the third tome of the Hortus AmstelodamensisCommelin, Caspar Horti medici
Amstelaedamensis plantae rariores et
exoticae
(Leiden 1706).
[vol. I was published in 1697, Horti medici Amstelodamensis [...] descriptioCommelin, Jan Horti medici
Amstelodamensis rariorum tam Orientalis
quam Occidentalis Indiae, aliarumque
peregrinarum plantarum, magno studio ac
labore, sumptibus civitatis
Amstelodamensis, longa annorum serie
collectarum, descriptio et icones ad
vivum aeri incisae. Auctore Joanne
Commelino [...] Opus posthumum,
Latinitate donatum, notisque &
observationibus illustratum, a Frederico
Ruyschio [...] & Francisco
Kiggelario
, I-II (Amsterdam
1697-1701).
, vol. II in 1706; there was no third volume]. He will send a specimen of them to Linnaeus this spring, and hopes that Linnaeus will examine them and tell his opinion.

Burman will dedicate his first fascicle [Burman refers to 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).
], to George CliffordClifford, George (1685-1760).
Dutch. Banker and merchant in Amsterdam,
Linnaeusís benefactor. Owner of
Hartecamp and its botanical garden
outside Haarlem. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
, who is very well and having, considering his age, good health. Burman will dedicate the second to Linnaeus hoping that it will please him.

Burman has forgotten to add the illustration of the Japanese Radix Ninzin to Het auctuarium [Burman refers to his commentary on Georg Eberhard Rumpfís 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).
].

Burman has not dared to offer his books to the Swedish 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.
], as Laurens Theodor GronoviusGronovius, Laurens Theodor
(1730-1777). Dutch. Naturalist. Senator
of Leiden. Son of Johan Frederik
Gronovius. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
did. He asks Linnaeus to propose it when he has the opportunity to talk informally to the king. Burman eagerly wants to see the first tome of the 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).
.

Burman is glad to hear that the succulent plants germinate and grow. He can send more when spring comes.

The plants mentioned in his previous letter, sent in an earthenware pot, belong to the Arctotheca and are the same that Linnaeus sent him in his last letter. Burman has more of that genus which he can send.

Atropha, which was depicted by Louis Econches FeuilléeFeuillée, Louis Econches
(1660-1732). French. Clergyman,
explorer, astronomer and botanist.
, grows in Burmanís garden, having twice the height of a man.

Burman supposes he sent Linnaeus a Stapelia from the Cape of Good Hope, which can be found in his Rariorum Africanarum plantarum, ad vivum delineatarum, iconibus ac descriptionibus illustratarum decas prima-[decima]Burman, Johannes Rariorum
Africanarum plantarum, ad vivum
delineatarum, iconibus ac
descriptionibus illustratarum decas
prima-[decima]
(Amsterdam
1738-1739).
. Burman can forward bulbs from there.

Burman is also in communication with the island Ambon and India. From Jakarta he has received very rare and precious shells.

Johann Christian CunoCuno, Johann Christian
(1708-1790). German. Poet, botanist and
merchant. He made a fortune in the West
Indies and settled in Holland where he
kept a botanical garden. The later years
of his life were spent in Weingarten,
near Durlach in Germany. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
sends his compliments to Linnaeus and mentions that the elder Gronovius, Johan Frederik GronoviusGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeusís benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is feeble and weak.

Burman has seen different species of bulbs from the Cape flower in his garden.

Finally, Burman wants to know Linnaeusís opinion about some flowers grown from a bulb from the Cape of Good Hope. He cannot compare it with any other plant of this family.

In a postscript, Burman mentions that he adds two flowers from Cuno for examination, and two hyacinths from the Cape.

[2004-07-11]

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. (LS, II, 371-372). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1943), vol. II:2, p. 68-71   p.68  p.69  p.70  p.71.