In answer to your very kind Letter letting me know that you had, after many
attempts, at last got a true tea plant, which you wish’d to dispose of to some of our
Nobility, I wrote you that I had mention’d it to some of our Magnates, and they desir’d
to know what would be agreeable to you in return, as it was impossible for me to put a
proper value on it. I have waited long, expecting an answer to my last letter, which I
wrote in May last; but, hearing from your Disciple, and my very good friend, M[iste]r
Adam Kuhn, that you had expressd a desire to hear from me, and that you wonder’d at
my Silence, I now assure you that I do, and always did, esteem in the greatest honour
of my life to be a Correspondent of Professor Linnaeus, always considering you as the
great Ornament to science, especially Natural History, which I so much esteem.
M[iste]r Kuhn has fully explain’d the affair between Solander and you, which I was
totally ignorant of[a][a] : MS 1 of [added above the
line] before, and for which I am extremely sorry. I wish to see you in the same friendship as before. What friends I made him, were intirely owing to your warm recommendation. I have lately introduced him to our Lord Chancellor who is in[b][b] : MS 1 in [added above the
line] rank the first man in dignity, except the Archbishop to the Royal Family, but if I thought he had acted dishonourably by you, I should never esteem him more. I sent a dissertation to you, and one to your Son, upon the Pennatula, to the care of M[iste]r Kuhn, who promised me it should go by the first Ship. In that I have observd, that there does not appear any perforation in the base, which not only from my own Observation, but that of Bohadsch, I am thoroughly convinced of. Your Letter to our Friend Peter Collinson I have heard the contents of. I rejoice to find poor Forskall discovered it, and I observe likewise that you think the Rheum compactum is the true officinal Rhubarb. I wish for a few seeds by the post. I am now (thank God) in a place as King’s Agent to West Florida, that entitles me to the Correspondence of many Gentlemen that are gone to reside there, and are curious in Natural History. I expect to hear every day from them; and you may depend on it, no man of the Royal Society of London shall sooner be acquainted with what I receive than you. I shall go to the Sea side to search for Marine Insects next Summer. I attended last Summer in pursuit of the animals in Sponges, but believe me there are none; but the whole is an Animal, and the water passes in a stream through the holes, too and fro,[c][c] : MS 1 to and fro [added above
the line] in each papilla; and whatever has been wrote by Peysonell & others, is not true. Adieu, my Dear Friend.