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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L3436 • Johannes Burman to Carl Linnaeus, 18 August 1764 n.s.
Dated 18 Augusti 1764. Sent from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.

Nobilissimo & Clarissimo Viro,
Carolo Linnaeo, Archiatro &c.,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
J[oannes] Burmannus.

Ex litteris Tuis 27 Julii ad nos datis laetus perspexi Tibi placuisse Plantas Capenses nuper Tibi missas, inprimis Petasitidem Bliti fructu, cujus characterem exactissime exhibuisti, quumque novi sit generis an non Tibi videretur Blitispermi nomen illi convenire; si vero aliud nomen melius Tibi placeret, scribas, quaeso, ut Florae Capensi inseri posset, quam Filius meus pro parte jamdum composuit absolutaque Flora Indica ulterius perficere in animo habet. Doleo vero maxime Plantas Indicas adeo esse mutilatas, verebamurque quidem Eas extricare fere Tibi inpossibile futurum, uti et nobis in determinandis generibus multum negotii facesserunt; at cum tot ac omnes Botanici simul, et plures ac ullus Mortalium videras plantas, sperabamus multas interfuturas, quae Tibi ex figuris innotescerent, vel quibus annotare posses, cuinam generi proxime accedere viderentur, ut eas, si perfectiores denuo reciperemus facilius extricare possemus.

Mirati fuimus nullam mentionem a Te factam fuisse incisarum Iconum, quas Filius meus Florae Ejus insereret, num Tibi placeant necne, an quoque in illis vitium vel errorem quemdam detexisti; si denuo ad nos scribas, fac nos earum certiores, Tuamque sententiam de iis libere et aperte nobis declares, antequam edantur. Capenses Tibi dono sunt oblatae Plantae, sed numeros addidit filius, ut si quid de iis notandum haberes, secundum illos numeros id adnotes, quaeso, et observationes illas ad nos transmittas, ut eo perfectior fiat Capensis Flora; habemus enim illas hisce numeris insignitas in duplo.

Si plantas Indicas remittas, communices et de illis, quaeso, quae de his extricare potuisti, sed quo citius hoc fiat eo gratius nobis foret, quum dum e rure in urbem revertamur; Illius Operis revisio mox instituetur, atque quamprimum fieri poterit, illius operis impressio, quum hujus tabulae jamdum pro parte sint paratae.

Gladioli tristis petala cuncta sunt undulata coloris albidi. Hodie apud me floret Ferraria, cujus flos singularis admodum structurae, variique coloris. Digera arvensis ex seminibus Forskållianis quoque floret, cujus spicam floriferam inclusi, ut eam posses examinare, an non adfinis est Achyranthi. Sic saltem mihi apparet. Nova quoque Geranii species flore singularis structurae nobis nata est ex Capensibus bulbis; variat colore luteo, albo et carneo ultimumque cum foliatura hisce inclusi, ut eam examinare et, si velis, determinare posses.

Adansonii methodum naturalem nondum vidi et, quantum ex Tuo testimonio detegere possum, non multum interest, num viderim, cum contra naturam egerit, eamque dilaceravit.

Floret quoque Arum foliis perforatis.

Ne quidquam de Filio Tuo audivi vel accepi, ubinam degit an iter suscepit; promiserat mittere decades suas ac plantas quasdam siccas, sique Tu quasdam Exoticas sive Hispanicas sive alias habeas in duplo, nobis forent gratissimae.

D[omi]nus Alstroemer apud nos saepius fuit praesertim in praedio, Ipsique tantum, quantum domesticae nostrae occupationes, quae in tam magna urbe multo majores quam in alia, nobis permiserint, praestitimus; est Vir Candidus ingeniosus et humanissimus, Plantarum & Historiae Naturalis valde peritus, quique probus cujuscunque favorem meretur; per Hollandiam peregrinatur, brevique rediturus erit, et abhinc in Patriam. Alter Suecus, qui apud Witbaum moratur, ante aliquot septimanas et hic fuit Gelriam petiturus.

Simiae nostrae delineationem pro Te componere curavi, quam Tibi offero; si eam vivam videres, quam maxime eam miraberis ob agilitatem et Ejus astutiem, nec ullus homo mihi indicare potuit Ejus parem unquam vidisse; ante quinque sexve annos ex Surinamo ab amico accepi, qui mihi narravit ex Guinea eam delatam fuisse; amat omnes fructus Horraeos, oleraque cocta, Jura carnium, lac &c.; cum Hortulano meo comedit, in cujus hospitio per hiemem moratur.

Nil porro Tecum communicandum scio, quapropter hasce finio Tibique Totique Nobili familiae omnia fausta et prospera apprecor, salutatque Te Filius meus.

Vale nosque ama!

Dabam Amstelaedami 18 Augusti 1764.

upSUMMARY

Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is happy seeing from Linnaeusís letter dated 27 July 1764Letter L3420 that the Cape plants pleased him, particularly Petasites Bliti fructu. Linnaeus has given an exact description of it. Since it is a new genus Linnaeus can change the name if he finds Blitispermum unsuitable, but then he must tell Burman and his son [Nicolaas Laurens BurmanBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
(1734-1793). Dutch. Professor of
botany. Linnaeusís pupil in Uppsala in
1760. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] so that the new name can be added to the Flora Capensis that his son is composing [this work was later added to Nicolaas Laurens Burmanís Flora IndicaBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
Flora Indica: cui accedit series
zoophytorum Indicorum, nec non prodromus
florae Capensis
(Leiden &
Amsterdam, 1768).
]. He has also in mind to complete the Flora Indica [published in 1768, Flora IndicaBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
Flora Indica: cui accedit series
zoophytorum Indicorum, nec non prodromus
florae Capensis
(Leiden &
Amsterdam, 1768).
].

Burman regrets that the Indian plants were so damaged that it will be almost imposible for Linnaeus to describe them. Burman and his son hope, however, that Linnaeus will note what genus they resemble most. If they receive better specimens they can more easily classify them.

Burman and his son are surprised that Linnaeus does not mention the engraved illustrations that the son inserted into Linnaeusís Flora [presumably Flora Svecica 2nd ed.Linnaeus, Carl Flora Svecica
: exhibens plantas per regnum Sveciae
crescentes, systematice cum differentiis
specierum, synonymis autorum, nominibus
incolarum, solo locorum, usu
oeconomorum, officinalibus
pharmacopaeorum
2nd ed. (Stockholm
1755). Soulsby no. 409.
]. Did they not please Linnaeus? He must tell them his opinion before they are to be published.

The Cape plants are given to Linnaeus as a gift. Burmanís son has added the numbers that Linnaeus can refer to if he has some remarks.

Burman asks Linnaeus to return the Indian plants with his commentaries. The sooner the sonís work can be sent to the printers.

The Gladiolus has undulate petals with whitish colours. The Ferraria flowers with different colours. Digera arvensis flowers. He has received the seeds from Pehr ForsskålForsskål, Peter
(1732-1763). Swedish. Naturalist and
explorer. Linnaeusís student, professor
in Denmark in 1759. Joined a Danish
expedition to Egypt and Arabia in 1761.
Died at Jerîm, Arabia.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and he encloses a spica with flowers with the letter so that Linnaeus can examine it. Is it not similar to Achyrantes? Burman has a new species of Geranium. He encloses it with some foliage, too.

Burman has not yet seen Michel AdansonísAdanson, Michel (1727-1806).
French. Botanist. Travelled in Senegal.
An opponent of Linnaeus. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
natural system [Burman refers to the method brought forward by Adanson in Famille des plantesAdanson, Michel Familles des
plantes
, 2 vol. (Paris, 1763).
], but he understands from Linnaeusís letter that it is not worth seeing.

The Arun with perforate leaves flowers.

Burman has not heard or received anything from Linnaeusís son [Carl Linnaeus the YoungerLinnaeus the Younger, Carl
(1741-1783). Swedish. Botanist. Son of
Carl Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Brother of Elisabeth Christina, Louisa,
Sara Christina and Sophia Linnaea.
Attended his fatherís lectures, had
private tutors (Löfling, Rolander,
Solander and Falk, all Linnaeusís
students). Demonstrator of botany at
Uppsala. Succeeded his
father.
]. Did he start his journey abroad? [Except for a journey to Copenhagen, Carl Linnaeus the Younger didnít go abroad during his fatherís lifetime, but waited until 1781 Ė1782]. He had promised to send his decades and some dried plants. Burman asks for exotic and Spanish plants.

Clas AlströmerAlströmer, Clas
(1736-1794). Swedish. Baron,
industrialist. Sent plants and specimens
to Linnaeus from his travels abroad.
Bought Linnaeusís ďlittle herbariumĒ,
now in the Natural History Museum in
Stockholm. Son of Jonas Alströmer,
brother of August, Johan and Patrick
Alströmer. Correspondent of
Linnaeus
has often visited Burman, particularly at his estate. He is an honest, gifted and charming man and very skilled with plants and in natural history. He is travelling through Holland, he will soon return, and then go back to Sweden. Another Swede stayed with Sven VittbomVittbom, Sven Swedish.
Gardener at Zuidwijk, close to Leiden.
some weeks ago and visited Burman on his way to Geldern.

Burman has had a picture made of his monkey for Linnaeus. If Linnaeus could see it live he would be surprised to see its agility and shrewdness. People say that they have never seen anything like it. Burman received it five or six years ago from a Surinam friend who told him that it comes from Guinea. It is fond of fruit, boiled vegetables, meat juice and milk. It eats with the gardener and lives in his house in winter.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. (LS, II, 475-476). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1943), vol. II:2, p. 172-173   p.172  p.173.