The honours you have lately rec’d from the King of Sweden could not add
greater lustre to your Name, than they have given pleasure to all your Friends in this
corner of the World. Long may you enjoy them[a][a] : MS 1 them [added above the
line] , and long continue to enlighten the understandings of mankind, hitherto prejudic’d and groping in the Dark, till your excellent works brought Nature into[b][b] : MS 1 <in> into a method to be understood; and cleared away those difficulties, which frightened mankind from attempting to investigate her.
I rejoice at hearing of a new edition of the Genera. Your Queen’s Museum, I understand, will be an elegant work, worthy of her and of you.
You delight me in telling me of your success in getting a living and thriving plant of the Tea-tree from China. Our friend Peter Collinson says, he has seen two plants, about 25 years ago, in England, which grew freely and blossomed; but they were destroyed through the ignorance of a gardener.
I shall communicate your intentions of disposing of it to some of our principal nobility, and do not doubt but they will be glad to purchase it; but desire you would be so free as to communicate your terms to me. Here it certainly will be taken care of, and from hence you may depend upon having some plants raised from it.
I am persuaded if the seeds of Opobalsamum had been full ripe, and inclosed in bees-wax, they would have vegetated. The seeds of Tea which I received from China were too soon covered with wax, before the superabundant moisture had exuded from them; which rotted the outward coat of the seed. The oak acorns and the chestnuts, which I put into wax in the beginning of February, were, a year after, planted, and are now growing; but those that I covered with wax, soon after they fell from the trees, were rotten at the end of the year. Pray try this experiment, and you will find it succeed.
I have heard lately that our friend D[octo]r Garden has not been well. He had some thoughts of coming to England. I believe he has fixed it for next year.
I wish you joy of your insects from the Cape; they must be rare and curious.
Pray send me a few seeds of my friend Cl[aes] Alstroemer’s plants, that I may have something to look on agreeable like him. He leaves this country in a day or two.
When you write to me, direct to John Ellis, Esq[uire] King’s Agent for West Florida, London. It was a great misfortune to me that I did not receive your letter till last week.
My best wishes attend your Excellency.