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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L2413 • Carl Linnaeus to Abraham Bäck, 12 September 1758 n.s.
Dated 1758 d. 12 sept.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to (). Written in Latin.

Fratri optimo integerrimo,
D[omino] D[octori] BAECK,
Archiatro,
S[alutem]
C[arolus] Linnaeus.

O bone Deus, et sic deciderit pulcherrimus flos, dulcissima filia, Parentum Spes et gaudium. Tamquam flos solstitialis repente exorta, repente fuit, repente occidit. Nullus novit, quid ejusmodi jactura sit, nisi qui filios amiserit; ego novi, qui expertus, licet non unicam amiserim. Doleo jacturam Tuam et impense doleo; video moestissimas Tuas genas; video nobilissimae Matris cor diffluere lacrymis et gemitibus; nec miror. Frangit hoc debiles optimae matris vires, nec quidquam efficit boni; vincenda itaque omnis fortuna ferendo. Qui mutuum dat, juste potest sua recipere. Felix ego, quod non praesens eram testis tanti doloris. Cogita Tecum, qualem vitam Deus nobis concessit. Quid omnia nostra mundana quaeque peregimus tam strenue; respice viam navis per mare et videbis fabulam somniumque. An iste felicior qui diu somniavit, an qui parum? Fatum declinare nemo potest. Vita nostra innumeris miseriis & calamitatibus obnoxia; an ille felicior dicendus qui plures sustinuit, quas cum longiori vita sustinere necesse est? Quo plures libri eo plures curae et dolores; quo pauciores eo ardentiores. Nobis numquam deerunt dolendi caussae. Vana haec omnia et omnia vanitas! Sed, cum delectamur hisce vanitatibus, potest etiamnum idem dare novas curas, qui gubernat omnia; etiamnum spes est; sed charo pretio redimendae. Cave, ne dolor hic Te Tuamque frangat; quantum umquam posses, quaere varia negotia, conversationes, itinera &c., ne anima figatur in eodem objecto. Cura, ut valeas!

Upsal[iae] 1758 d[ie] 12 sept[embris].

Cum ad Te redieris, cura, ut fasciculus pro Gortero deferatur ad Legatum Russicum.

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus expresses his deep sympathy with Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
and his wife [Anna Charlotta BäckBäck, Anna Charlotta
(1737-1767). Swedish. Wife of Abraham
Bäck. Born Adlerberg.
] on the death of their little daughter [Margareta BäckBäck, Margareta
(1757-1758). Swedish. Daughter of Anna
Charlotta and Abraham Bäck.
].

Nobody who has not experienced it can imagine what a loss it is. Linnaeus has, although that was not his only child. It breaks the vigour of a mother, and that is never good.

Bäck should consider life’s uncertainty and rely on God as the governor of everything. There is still time for hope, and Bäck should be careful not to let this break his wife or himself. They should try to find variety in their lives to counteract their sorrow.

In a postscript, Linnaeus asks Bäck to send the pamphlet meant for David de GorterGorter, David de (1707 or
1717-1783). Dutch. Botanist and
physician. Succeeded his father Johannes
de Gorter as physician-in-ordinary to
the Empress Elizabeth of Russia. Son of
Susanna de Gorter, brother of Herman
Boerhaave de Gorter. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
to the Russian ambassador, as soon has Bäck has recovered from the shock.

upMANUSCRIPTS

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

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1911), vol. I:5, p. 54-55   p.54  p.55.