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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Nicolaus Joseph, baron von Jacquin, 1 April 1764 n.s.
Dated d. 1 Aprilis. 1764.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Chemnitz (Poland). Written in Latin.


Linnaeus received Nicolaus Joseph von Jacquin’ sJacquin, 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.
letter of 18 September 1763Letter L3294 on the previous day and had read it several times, although he was down with a bad fever. He congratulates again Jacquin on his new job and especially on the salary; he gives his own salary as never exceeding 150 ducats.

Linnaeus admits that he has gone through Jacquin’s works several times and corrected his own along with Jacquin’s as often as possible. However, he does not think it is possible to publish a perfect work. Even nature produces plants with defects. Advancement of botany is what should go first, not perfect publications. Bees collect honey and wasps collect poison from the same flowers. So, Linnaeus collects the good things from the works of others, while others may collect misprints and other defects to mock and blame the authors for.

Linnaeus admires his picture of Scopolia carniolica, and he even has a dried specimen and a seeds, sown in a pot. Regrettably, they do not germinate, although Linnaeus observes and waters them carefully. He really wants a living specimen. He has never been so doubtful over a flower as over this one, in some respects a Belladonna, in others a Hyoscyamus. He supposes it can be an offspring of a father Belladonna and a mother Hyoscyamus.

Linnaeus asks for Jacquin’s opinion on that. Also, he expects seeds of Peloria, which also could be a very remarkable plant.

Linnaeus tells Jacquin and Giovanni Antonio ScopoliScopoli, Giovanni Antonio
(1723-1788). Italian. Physician and
naturalist. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
that he is not angry with Scopoli for not agreeing with him on everything. If Linnaeus was to be angry with all those whom he does not please, he would have to be angry always. It would be unfortunate if everybody agreed with him on everything. There is contrast everywhere: What is light without darkness, joy without sorrow, or a climate without changes? – He owes very much to Scopoli for his specimens of plants and for his work on insects.

Linnaeus has succeeded in keeping the tea bush alive through the winter; it seems to withstand the climate well, as well as Vella fruticosa, Cressa, Drypis and other plants. He hopes to see them flower. And the seeds Jacquin sent of Peltaria have grown in a pot. – Linnaeus makes an adjustment of Jacquin’s name of the fern Polypodium sent in the previous letter.

On the future, Linnaeus has decided to make a new edition of Systema naturae [Linnaeus refers to Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
] when he has finished Museum Reginae [Linnaeus means Museum s:ae m:tis Ludovicae Ulricae reginaeLinnaeus, Carl Museum s:ae
m:tis Ludovicae Ulricae reginae

(Stockholm 1764). Soulsby no. 1095a.
]. He has so much to add, as compared with earlier editions. He is afraid he will die before finishing that. He has friends and colleagues who have a pleasant life, while he is overrun by work and correspondence. He longs for some days when he could take his ageing horse and ride, to keep that animal in good shape, or when he can enjoy the rare plants in his garden. – He will bequest his library, his herbarium and other collections to his son, who has been appointed his successor.


a. (Private collection). [1] [2] [3] [4]


1. Caroli Linnaei epistolae ad Nicolaum Josephum Jacquin (1841), p. 74-76   p.74  p.75  p.76.