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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L3807 • Carl Linnaeus to Peter Collinson, 28 October 1766 n.s.
Dated 1766. d. 28 octobr.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to London (Great Britain). Written in Latin.

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus thanks CollinsonCollinson, Peter (1694-1768).
British. Merchant and amateur naturalist
in London, corresponded with many
scientists. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
for his letter of June 1 [1766; this letter has not come down to us] and is glad that Collinson is well. Collinson is almost the only one still alive of the many friends that Linnaeus met in England during his journey. The others are dead. Linnaeus wishes he can enjoy his garden and promote botany for a long time more.

The reason why Linnaeus has not sent the latest edition of Systema naturae is that it is not finished [Systema naturae, 12th edition Linnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
]. Only the first part of the volume about the animals is ready. Daniel SolanderSolander, Daniel (1733-1782).
Swedish. Naturalist, explorer. Student
in Uppsala under Linnaeus and Johan
Gottschalk Wallerius. Went to London in
1760. Curator of natural history
collections at the British Museum.
Botanist on Cook’s first voyage
1768-1771. Joseph Bank’s librarian.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
knows how difficult it is to send anything by ship from Uppsala, which is far from Stockholm. Linnaeus gets only eighteen copies from the printer, and friends in Uppsala take those. Linnaeus will try to send Collinson the first volume as soon as it is published.

Linnaeus cannot remember if he wrote and thanked Collinson for Sarracenia. In addition, the summer has been very difficult for Linnaeus. Due to a fire in Uppsala, Linnaeus had to move all his belongings into his country estate [Hammarby] in a great hurry and without order and to bring them into order again out there. After that, he had been summoned to the Court and had to be there for a long time without being able to see friends or attend to his own affairs.

Linnaeus has never had a Nectarina nucipersica alive, and he has not been able to see how close it is to the Persica. According to tradition, the Persica once came from Persia, if the Persica of tradition is the same as ours. However, that is more probable than that it would be a Persea. Linnaeus will try to find when it became known to botanists as soon as he returns to town. Linnaeus is still in the country and will move to town in a fortnight.

Autumn has never been milder than this year. Persica and Armeniaca are still green outdoors, but the leaves of the vitis were bitten by frost three days ago. The crop of grain has also been very rich this year.

Collinson has asked if swallows have an open foramen ovale, as the seals are said to have. Linnaeus does not know. The swallows left Uppsala three weeks ago. Nature is so rich in devices that you cannot see in advance how it is arranged. Is the bat not dead the whole winter and returns to life in spring like a flee? Who could know that the fungi are animals and that their eggs develop in water and live like fish before they transform into fungi? Linnaeus often thinks of the words of Pliny [Gaius Pliny the ElderPliny the Elder, Gaius (23-79).
?. Naturalist and natural philosopher.
Author of Historia naturalis (c.
77), the most important Roman text on
botany.
], who said that you should not think anything is impossible for nature. Linnaeus had been very glad this autumn to see the worms from which fungi develop, and their remarkable change from very mobile worms to immovable and plant-like fungi.

Now, everybody is working on zoophyte, which Collinson could have in great numbers, and on molluscs, the nature of which is incompletely known. It would be good if Collinson could pay them some attention, if he has some strength left, for they can only be investigated by somebody who lives in the middle of the sea.

Some years ago, Linnaeus received a substantial collection of insects from the governor of the Cape of Good Hope [Linnaeus refers to C. Rijk TulbaghTulbagh, C. Rijk (1699-1771).
Dutch. Governor at the Cape in 1751. He
sent plants, bulbs and seeds to Linnaeus
in 1761. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
]. Apart from butterflies, very few insects from outside Europe are known. It is beyond doubt that Collinson has many foreign insects.

Linnaeus sends his regards to their mutual friends and wishes Collinson a happy life.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (SLS, Ms 144). [1] [2] [3]