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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L2557 • François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages to Carl Linnaeus, 10 July 1759 n.s.
Dated 10 julii 1759. Sent from Montpellier (France) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.

10 julii
1759

Illustrissimo et colendissimo viro,
D[omino] Car[olo] Linnaeo equiti de stella polari
et archiatro,
S[alutem] q[uam] p[lurimam]
Fr[anciscus] Boissier De Sauvages.

Misi ad te ante mensem, amice suavissime, epistolam doctoris Gouan, qui in icthiologia Artedi iterum edenda totus est, quique ad te insecta aliquot desiderata misit et cum insectis navi commissis accipies aliquot 30 plantas non bene cognitas gramineas, quas discipulus alter meus tibi devotissimus d[octo]r Pech ad te mittit.

Nuper vero accessit ad me d[ominus] Jaquin Leydensis medicus, qui ante sex annos profectus erat Americam, ubi impensis imperatoris, cujus est Botanicus, Martinicam, Cubam aliasque insulas peragravit botanicae gratia. Ibi vero cum summa cura delineavit et pinxit ipse 350 plantas, quas pro speciebus nondum bene cognitis habet, inter quas 120 circiter genera nova esse existimat; eas omnes icones mihi ostendit cum characteribus Linnaenis [sic] nitide scriptis et paucis notis; opus illud eximium quam maxime meretur, ut typis commitatur. Verum veretur ipse, ne imperator impensam caelaturae iconum facere recusat et in hoc casu ipsi autor fui, ut manuscriptum et icones tibi offerat, praeterquam quod ille adolescens non satis est in botanica versatus, ut possit dignoscere, an plantae, quas depixit, ab aliis jam cognitae sint; adeoque totum hoc opus in te refundendum suasi; saltem a te multis de rebus consilia, quibus indiget, expetiturus est atque promisi me a te hanc gratiam esse exoraturum, ut ipsi consilio faveas. Invenit multa certe mirabilia. Dum erat autem Carthagene in Americam, ibi librum D[omini] Browne venalem invenit et sibi comparavit atque eo cum plantis collato invenit multos errores autoris, ut Brownius stercora insectorum pro seminibus plantae delineaverit non semel, ibi frequens est; capsulas fructuum insectorum aut animalculorum stercore esse plenas.

Plures plantae et arbores supersunt alias notissimae et usitatae, quae a nullo botanico sunt descriptae potissimum 5 vel 6 palmae ut corrota, hygo delata, palma spinosa, cujus folia mihi dedit. Agavem suboliferam hexapetalam esse contendit.

Invenit plantam leguminosam vere drupam ferens pro fructu, quod inauditum.

Aristolochia (dicta contra capitam) erat arcanum nigritae, quod auro sibi comparavit; hoc racide masticata, si conspiratur coluber coral vel etiam crotalus; illico animal convulsum moritur; solus odor omnes colubros fugat et se pluries expertum esse testatur adolescens, qui mihi verax et candidus videtur.

Les Sapotilles non sunt Achras Brownii. Sed Sapote est achras Plumer. et chrysophyllum est idem ac tuum Achras.

Arbor copahifera est decandra monogyna, sed fructum non bene perspexit.

Bois bracelet est novum genus.

Vidit Hederam tetandram.

Conocarpum in una insula constanter invenit pentandrum, in altera hexandrum, in tertia decandrum.

Confirmavit, quod scripsisti de spigelia anthelmia, quae vulgo ob vires venenatas vocatur la Brinxilliers.

Celebrem plantam líherbe an charpentier, si bene memini, credit esse diantherae speciem foliis lineari-lanceolatis. Diantheram inter et justiciam nullos invenit limites propter 5 novas species, quibus uniuntur.

In insula Curaçao dicit syphilidem curari succo plantae cujusdam lactiferae. In Martinica vero ope plumeriae albae.

Helicteris florem descripsit.

Ope icthomediae Brownii, quae est Erithrina, tua pisces inebriantur, capiuntur.

Sanguis draconis Carthaginis americanae non est draco Clus. nec pterocarpus, sed vera Robinia pseudoacaciae non spinosae valde similis; ipse sanguinem draconis ex hac fluentem et venalem extrahit. Lignum, quo utuntur pro dentiscalpio, mihi dedit. Succus ex cortice laeso fluit.

Sauvagesiae characterem emendandum esse contendit.

Cal. periant. 5-phyllum fol. lanceol. acuminatis concavis patentibus persistentibus.

Cor. petala 5 rhomboideao-ovata, acuta, plana, patentia, longitudine calycis. Nectar. petala 5, oblonga, obtusa, petalis duplo breviora conniventia, cincta pilis pluribus filamenta mentientibus nectario brevioribus.

Stam. filamenta 5 brevissima intra nectarium, antherae lineari-acutae erectae, nectariis breviores.

Capsula oblongo-ovata acuminata. Unilocul. apice trifariam dehisc.

Non sine singulari stupore circa praestantiam tuorum principiorum pluries miratus est te divinasse structuram plantarum, quas numquam videras, et cognovisse rem aliter se habere quam autores autoptae asserebant, seu errores Plumerii et aliorum conjectando detexisse, ut exemplis probat Jacquinus.

Vides, quod non assertandi gratia illud dicit, cum in progressis iam tibi aperuerim, quid sentiat de tuo achras, de numero incerto staminum conocarpi &c.

Doleo maxime, quod Jacquinus, ne minimam herbulam siccam in Europam adsportaverit dicens prae putredine omnia herbaria in America corrumpi. Doleo, quod ne unicum gramen unicam silicem, muscum, algam &c. attigerit.

Descripsit plantam leguminosam, cujus legumen est compressum amplum quaeque scandit cacumina arborum densarum; ibique eas supereminet et trunco arboreo suo ita eas aggravat, ut sylvam integram prosternat suo pondere destinatque; quod vero mirum magis est, quod unica planta sylvam integram ad leucae longitudinem cooperiat.

Videt autem nomina plurima Brownii, quae in lobium saepe abeunt aut a personis ignotis et ignaris derivantur, ut Boureria a pharmacopola Bourer.

Invenit Camajondera, quae est gynandra 10-candra.

Lemonieram, quae est didynama angiosperma. Utinam, vir optime, velles in altera editione addere speciebus nomina patria ut calophyllum (calaba) 2 spec., cujus oleum vulgo pro lampadibus est!

Schizzolobium Brownii pois à gratter vel pois pouilleux. Pruritus oleo et aqua compescitur.

D[omi]nus Donati Taurinensis non potuit Pontederae cathedram ipsi oblatam adire, quia Rex Sardiniae eum misit in Aegyptum et orientales plagas historiae naturalis gratia; jamque est Venetiis pro duobus mensibus cum discipulo meo D[omi]ne Roche, qui cum eo profiscitur; interea respublica Veneta parcimoniae causa nullum botanices professorem elegit, sed a doctore praelectiones interim institui curavit.

Boecler, professor botanices Argentinensis, obiit mense majo et ejus consobrinus Philippus Boecler, ibidem anatomiae professor, amicus meus, obiit hepatitide 7° junii. Et D[ominus] Spielman, professor chemiae, botanicam prioris loco docebit.

Quaeso, mihi des tuas species animalium, quia editio Leydenensis, quae sola hic potest haberi, est ita truncata et coarctata, ut vix sufficiat, adeoque editione Suecica carere non possum. Nondum potui 3 volum[ina] amoenitatum ex bibliopolis obtinere.

Si mittere velis, mitte, quaeso, ad D[ominum] Holm consulem generalem Sueciae, Monspelium, qui mihi tradet. Nautae ipsi lubenter serviunt.

Si tertia centuria plantarum prodierit aut iter D[omini] Hasselquist similiaque tua opera, quaeso, per navem mittas, vir optime.

Montpellier
A Messieurs
Messieurs De Líacademie
Royale Des Sciences díupsal
a Upsal

upSUMMARY

A month ago François Boissier de La Croix de SauvagesSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
(1706-1767). French.
Botanist and clergyman and physician,
professor in medicine at Montpellier.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
sent a letter to Linnaeus from Antoine GouanGouan, Antoine (1733-1821).
French. Botanist, Montpellier. Student
under Sauvages. Director of the
botanical garden in 1767, later
professor of botany and medicine.
Although an admirer of Linnaeus he tried
to develop a hybrid of his system of
classification. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
[presumably Gouan to Linnaeus, 29 april 1759Letter L2524], who is now working on a new edition of Peter ArtediísArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
Swedish. Ichtyologist. Close friend of
Linnaeus.
Ichthyologia sive opera omnia de piscibusArtedi, Peter Ichthyologia
sive opera omnia de piscibus, scilicet:
Bibliotheca ichthyologica. Philosophia
ichthyologica. Genera piscium. Synonymia
specierum. Descriptiones specierum.
Omnia in hoc genere perfectiora, quam
antea ulla. Posthuma vindicavit,
recognovit, coaptavit & edidit
Carolus Linnaeus
(Leiden 1738).
[Sauvages presumably means Gouanís ichtyological research, published 1770 in Historia pisciumGouan, Antoine Historia
piscium, sistens ipsorum anatomen
externam, internam, atque genera in
classes et ordines redacta [...]

(Strasbourg, 1770).
]. Gouan has recently sent insects to Linnaeus. Together with these insects Dr PechPech, French?. sent about 30 species of gramineae not yet classified. Sauvages has been visited by Nicolaus Joseph von JacquinJacquin, Nicolaus Joseph, baron von
(1727-1817). Dutch. Botanist. In
1755 at the order of emperor Franz I of
Austria he went to the Antilles and
South America. In 1763 he became
professor of mineralogy and chemistry at
Chemnitz, later professor of botany at
Vienna and director of the botanical
garden at Schönbrunn. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
of Leyden. He is a physician and also the Emperorís [Josef IIJosef II, Emperor of Austria
(1741-1790). Austrian. Reigned from
1765-1790.
], botanist. On imperial orders he was sent to Martinique, Cuba and other islands, from which he has returned with drawings and pictures of 350 plants, all well characterized according to the Linnean system. Sauvages has advised Jacquin to offer the whole collection to Linnaeus for expert analysis and publication.

In America Jacquin acquired Patrick BrowneísBrowne, 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.
flora [Sauvages refers to 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).
] and found many faults and misconceptions there, e.g. Browne had mistaken the faeces of insects for seeds. Among these American species there are many that are not classified including 5-6 palms. One plant is said to be very effective against snakes, and its mere smell can chase them away. A long list of Jacquinís plants is presented. Jacquin is extremely impressed by Linnaeusís precision in predicting the structure and properties of plants he has not even seen. Unfortunately, Jacquin did not bring back one single dried plant, no species of grass, no mosses, no algae, no stones.

Vitaliano DonatiDonati, Vitaliano (1713-1763).
Italian. Professor of natural history,
Turin. Travelled in the Balkans and in
the Orient. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
could not accept the chair offered him because the King of Sardinia [Carlo Emanuele III de SavoieCarlo Emanuele III, King of Sardinia
(1701-1773). Italian. Reigned
1730-1773.
] sent him on a mission to Egypt together with Sauvagesís disciple Dr Roche [Sauvages means Bartolomo Giambattista RoncoRonco, Bartolomo Giambattista
Italian.
]. Sauvages needs Linnaeusís Swedish edition of Species animalium [Fauna SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Fauna Svecica
sistens animalia Sveciae regni:
quadrupedia, aves, amphibia, pisces,
insecta, vermes, distributa per classes
& ordines, genera & species. Cum
differentiis specierum, synonymis
autorum, nominibus incolarum, locis
habitationum, descriptionibus
insectorum
(Stockholm, 1746).
Soulsby no. 1151.
], because the Leyden edition [Fauna SvecicaLinnaeus, Carl Fauna Svecica
sistens animalia Sveciae regni:
quadrupedia, aves, amphibia, pisces,
insecta, vermes, distributa per classes
& ordines, genera & species. Cum
differentiis specierum, synonymis
autorum, nominibus incolarum, locis
habitationum, descriptionibus
insectorum
(Leiden 1746). Soulsby
no. 1152.
], the only available one, is incomplete. The third volume of Amoenitates academicaeLinnaeus, Carl Amoenitates
academicae
, I-X (Stockholm
1749-1790). Soulsby no. 1280.
,impossible to acquire in Montpellier [volume 3 was published in 1756], is also desired.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. (LS, XIII, 113-114). [1] [2] [3]