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Link: • Petter Jonas Bergius to Carl Linnaeus, 19 November 1764 n.s.
Dated 19 Nov. 1764. Sent from Stockholm (Sweden) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Petter Jonas BergiusBergius, Petter Jonas
(1730-1790). Swedish. Physician and
botanist. Professor of natural history
and pharmacy at Collegium Medicum,
Stockholm. Linnaeus’s student.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has been told from Pehr Wilhelm Wargentin that Linnaeus no longer wants to have specimens sent to him, for statement of opinion, as such a remark could cause bitterness on the side of the inquirer. The background is that a description of the Soya bean [‘Beskrifning på Soja-bönan’Bergius, Petter Jonas
”Beskrifning på Soja-bönan”,
KVAH, 25 (1764), 271-75.
], made by Bergius and sent to Linnaeus has been returned. This has caused Bergius to write the following lines, filled with unctuous flattery, and in which he says he is convinced of Linnaeus’s absolute fairness, particularly as the question is mostly put by a beloved disciple, towards whom Linnaeus would never be able to bear grudge or envy.

Any man - says Bergius - a botanist as well, can make a mistake, especially if he is not sufficiently skilled in writing. Should that happen even to Bergius, he can assure that a friendly correction founded on reason more than authority, most of all from Linnaeus, ‘my praiseworthy master’, should be received most gratefully. Bergius continues in a lengthy exhortation, praising Linnaeus in every possible strain. Linnaeus is, in a word, a man who is loved by Bergius as a son loves his father.

Towards the end of the letter, however, it appears that rumours from Uppsala have reached Bergius saying that Linnaeus, in front of his students, has spoken of Bergius in a derogatory manner. After a few weeks of illness Bergius is now, during his convalescence, going through his herbarium. There are more than 30 new species that will be described and published in the the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
], as well as in foreign Academies and Societies. The letter ends with comments on a sketch of the Soya bean, especially the shape of the leaves, which is much better than the one made by Engelbert KämpferKämpfer, Engelbert
(1651-1716). German. Physician,
botanist and explorer. Travelled in
Asia. Known for his works on Japan and
Japanese natural history.


a. contemporary copy (KVA, Bergius, X, 256).


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1909), vol. I:3, p. 142-144   p.142  p.143  p.144.