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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L2017 • Carl Linnaeus to Abraham Bäck, 31 March 1756 n.s.
Dated 1756 d. 31 Martii.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Stockholm (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Amicissimo suo BAECKIO,
Archiatro Praesidi,
S[alutem]
C[arolus] Linnaeus.

Non valui ab eo tempore, quo D[ominus] Hallman hic fuit. Lassus et torpidus permaneo; vasa tibiae et pedum atro cruore livent, manifestissimis scorbuti signis. Per mensem coffeam non gustavi. Ad fata mea propero.

Lubenter ad Tuas responderem, sed quaestiones non rite intelligo.

An Ficus foecundatione per caprificum ad liquidum perduxerit? Nescio, quid desiderabatur in hac historia aliud quam cognitio specialis Psenes s[ive] insecti; hoc descripsit et misit, ut nihil mihi desideretur.

Caeterum ex relatione, quam fecit pag. 591, 592, 593 observationum suarum conscriptarum, facile intelligas, quot deficiunt, quae numquam ad nostras oras accessere: uti n:o 3, 10, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23, 31, 32, 56, 57, 77, 78, 79 &c. Plura de ficus generatione obtinuissemus, si ejus observatio 15 de Sycomori Ficus specie accessisset, sed ne folium inter specimina hujus exsiccata aderat.

An Palmae dactyliferae sexum vere investigavit? Puto Tyronem posse hunc manibus palpare. Norunt Arabes et omnes Lotophagi.

Nunc ex Hasselquistianis refelli possunt illi, qui negant sexum plantarum. An opus refellere eos, qui negant circulationem sanguinis, generationem univocam, sexum plantarum, quae negantur hodie a nullo sano. Anne potuit pulchrius experimentum institui, quam quod Gleditschius ante aliquot annos, qui habuit in Horto Palmam feminam quotannis in cassum florentem, sed obtinuit per literas Lipsia flores masculos Palmae, quorum polline adspergebat suam feminam, quae tum fructus protulit numerosissimos. Quid in hac re praestiterit Hasselquist, ex literis ejus ad calcem libri impressis facile intelligis.

Quaeso, ne obliviscaris Burmanni, qui adeo anxie exspectat museum Regium.

Adansonii librum de Senegale habui mutuam ab Illustr[issimo] Excellentiss[imo] D[omino] Tessin, sed restitui; si verbo moneas, facile librum per mensem obtinebis.

Doleo et immense doleo, quod avis altera istius Pemtades, vulgo Pärlehöns, mihi perierit; si possem resarcire, lubenter redderem Pavonem.

Si poteris ulla ratione obtinere, curam gere, quaeso, ut habeam; maxime enim doleo me amisisse pulcherrimam avem. Mas est qui periit; femina vidua viget. Si poteris emere, lubenter reddo 24 thaleros cupreos.

Upsaliae 1756 d[ie] 31 Martii.

Archiatren
Wälborne H[err] Doctor BAECK
Stockholm.

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus writes to Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
has not felt well since Johan Gustaf HallmanHallman, Johan Gustaf
(1726-1797). Swedish. Physician. At the
recommendation of Linnaeus Hallman
travelled in Europe to study the
mullberry tree. In charge of the
mullberry plantation in Stockholm.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
came to see him. He is tired, and the veins of his shin and feet are black with blood, a manifest sign of scurvey. He has not tasted coffee for a month.

Linnaeus would be glad to answer the questions Bäck has made, but he does not understand them.

One of the questions was on the fertilization of the fig tree by caprification. Linnaeus does not see that anything has to be added to the description of the insect Psenes, which is already well known. From information found in certain pages of Fredrik HasselquistHasselquist, Fredrik
(1722-1752). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist, explorer. Studied under
Linnaeus and Lars Roberg 1741-1749. Went
to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus,
Rhodes and the island of Chios. Died
near Smyrna. Son of Magnus and Helena
Maria Hasselquist, brother of Andreas
Hasselquist. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
manuscript report, Linnaeus can conclude which of Hasselqvistís specimens never reached Sweden. The specimens lost include Sycomorus.

Bäck had also questioned the observation of the sexes of Palma dactylifera. Linnaeus considers that to be a very simple task, and all inhabitants of the countries where they grow know the facts.

From Hasselqvistís observations, it is possible to refute those who do not believe that plants have sexual details. It is quite as easy to prove that as to prove the circulation of blood. Johann Gottlieb GleditschGleditsch, Johann Gottlieb
(1714-1786). German. Botanist and
sylviculturist in Berlin, disciple of
Anton Wilhelm Platz and Johann Ernst
Hebenstreit, supervisor of Caspar Boseís
garden 1731-1735, professor at the
Collegium Medico-Chirurgicum in 1746.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had had a female palm flowering in his garden for several years without setting fruit, but when he received male palm flowers from Leipzig and put pollen from them on the female flowers, he received a large number of fruits. It is easy to see what Hasselqvist had done in this field from his letters, now carefully printed,.

Bäck should not forget Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who is eagerly waiting for his copy 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).

Linnaeus had borrowed Michel AdansonísAdanson, Michel (1727-1806).
French. Botanist. Travelled in Senegal.
An opponent of Linnaeus. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
work on Senegal [Linnaeus refers to the Histoire naturelle du SénégalAdanson, Michel Histoire
naturelle du Sénégal.
Coquillages. Avec la relation
abrégée d'un voyage fait
en ce pays, pendant les années
1749, 50, 51, 52 & 53, etc.

(Paris 1757).
] from Carl Gustaf TessinTessin, Carl Gustaf
(1695-1770). Swedish. Count, important
politician and patron of science and
art. He supported Swedish artists and
scientists and collected art, books and
natural history objects. He assisted
Linnaeusís career in many ways. Married
to Lovisa Ulrica Tessin. Uncle to
Fredrik Sparre. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
, but he has returned it. Bäck can easily borrow it for a month if he asks for it.

Linnaeus is sorry that one of his two guinea-fowls has died. He would rather have those two than keep his peacock.

If Bäck could find another for him, namely a cock, Linnaeus would be glad to pay 24 daler in copper for it. The hen now lives as a widow.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original (KVA). [1] [2] [3] [4]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1911), vol. I:5, p. 6-7   p.6  p.7.