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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L3808 • Carl Linnaeus to Kungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien and Pehr Wilhelm Wargentin, 28 October 1766 n.s.
Dated 28 Octobr. 1766. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Stockholm (Sweden). Written in Swedish.

Min kiäreste Herre och Riddare

Det woro wisserligen wärdt att försöka Thlaspi arvense; ty ingen a priori skulle tro det.

Semina Sabadillae äro mycket troligare, allenast man kan obligera wäglössen att äta dem; allenast man kunne strö dem så tätt att Cimices ej hade undan flycht.

Det är wähl också likt att de samme Sem[ina] Sabadillae skulle fördrifwa bokmalen, men när bokmalen kan upäta i grund den argaste Tobaken, som dödar alla andra Insecter, måste först försöket anställas.

Det fägnar mig att Academien fått Hans Excellence Löwenhielm till Praeses; när Academien en gång saknar [den] Herren, hwar finna de mer Maecenates? utom kiännare tages ingen demant af jorden; utom Maecenater hafwa aldrig wettenskaper trifwits. Liksom Maecenater aftaga, så aftaga ock hos oss wettenskaperne i flygande fläng.

Baron Münchhausen skref för 10 åhr sedan att fröen till Swampar äro lefwande; jag wet ingen, som giort där på reflexion. Desse dagar har jag förnögt mig med att hafwa fröen af Brandax och Swampar i watn, och sedt, huru de lekt, som fiskar i fiskleken, innan de fäst sig och förwandlats till swampar. en underlig och förunderlig metamorphosis. quis nisi vidisset, crederet? jag har wist dem lefwande för alla mine disciplar som warit hos mig. Plinium sannar jag mihi contuenti sese persuasit rerum natura nihil incredibile existimare de ea.

uti Insecterne ser man ofta Larver, så stomma att de näpligen kunna röra sig, förwandlas till de qwickaste Diur; och här de qwickaste diur förwandlas till de orörligaste och nästan liflöse swampar. Hade Leuwenhoek desse sedt hade han fått starkt argument för sine vermiculis spermaticis och trott menskior wuxit som swampar. Nu lära vermiculi infusorii upkomma; få se om på slutet all giäsning blifwer idel lefwande particlar, i[d] e[st] medullares substantiae absque corticali.

Blifwer wackert wäder och åhren samt hälsan tillåter, har jag lust resa med de andre Professorer till stockholm, att felicitera Hans Kongl[ig] höghet, och hoppas få råka Min Herre någon gång på halfwa wägen hos wår ärlige Arch[iater] Baeck, som tager dehl af hiertat i hwad wij kalla wettenskaper.

jag fick för ett par månader sedan inemot 300 rara insecter ifrån Medelhafvet, jag har skrefwit till alla menniskior, jag kiänner där ute, men kan ej få wetta, hwilken sändt mig dem.

D[octo]r Browne som skref den härliga Boken öfwer Plantas Jamaicae, sände mig för ett åhr sedan ett nytt genus af en ört ifrån Vera Crux, där han nu är; jag citerade hans bok, där han sielf beskrefwit den; nu sände han mig i dett stället 2 ne nya Genera; men det ena war hans Weidmannia, den andra war ny, så att jag kiänner hans inventa bättre än han sielf.

jag förbl[ifwer]
Min kiäre Herres
ödmiuke tienare
Carl Linne.

Upsala
d[en] 28 Octobr[is]
1766.

Kongl[iga]
Wettenskaps Academien
Stockholm
frijbr[ef]

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus writes to the Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
, i.e., Pehr Wilhelm WargentinWargentin, Pehr Wilhelm
(1717-1783). Swedish. Astronomer and
statistician. Secretary of the Royal
Swedish Academy of Sciences since 1749.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] and says that an advice to use Thlaspi arvense [to get rid of lice] is well worth trying [Linnaeus refers to Tiburts Tiburtius’s "Om ett beprövat sätt att fördriva vägglöss"Tiburtius, Tiburtz "Om ett
beprövat sätt att
fördriva vägglöss",
<i<KVAH (1766), 269.
]. Seeds of Sabadilla would probably be more effective if you could make the lice eat them, or if you cover them with its seeds. Seeds of Sabadilla might be effective against bookworms but, since bookworms can consume even the strongest tobacco, it needs to be tried.

Linnaeus is content that Carl Gustaf LöwenhielmLöwenhielm, Carl Gustaf
(1701-1768). Swedish. Nobleman,
politician and public official, member
of the Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has become President of the Academy; he is a great patron of science.

Ten years ago Otto von MünchhausenMünchhausen, Otto von
(1716-1774). German. Chancellor of
Göttingen University. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
wrote that the seeds of mushrooms are alive [Münchhausen iscussed that in vol. 2 of Der HausvaterMünchhausen, Otto von
Der Hausvater, 6 vols. (Hannover,
1764-1768).
]; he was probably the first man to maintain this. Linnaeus has now studied the seeds of Brandax and mushrooms in water. They play like fish before sticking and transforming into mushrooms, a very strange metamorphosis. Who would have believed that? Linnaeus has demonstrated it to his students. He quotes 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.
:”When I studied nature, I was convinced that I should not regard anything as impossible”.

You often see larvae that can hardly move transform into very lively insects. If Antoni van LeewenhoekLeeuwenhoek, Antoni van
(1632-1723). Dutch. Cloth merchant and
scientist from Delft. Improved the
microscope and contributed to the
establishment of microbiology.
had seen these, he would have got support for his theory of vermiculi spermatici. Now vermiculi infusorii will probably be a new concept. Perhaps all fermentation will be explained by living particles, “i.e. medullary substances lacking cortical layers”.

If the weather and his health permit, Linnaeus intends to go to Stockholm together with the other professors to honour His Royal Highness [presumably Gustav IIIGustav III, (1746-1792).
Swedish. Reigned 1771-1792. Son of King
Adolf Fredrik and Queen Lovisa Ulrika,
brother of Sofia Albertina and Karl
XIII. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who had married Sofia MagdalenaSofia Magdalena, (1746-1813).
Swedish. Queen of Sweden, wife of Gustav
III. Daughter of King Fredrik V and
Queen Louise of Denmark.
earlier that month].He also hopes to see Wargentin at Abraham Bäck’s Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
.

Linnaeus has received a collection of 300 Mediterranean insects from an anonymous gentleman [the donor was Joseph André Ignace SoubrySoubry, Joseph André Ignace
(1705-1774). French. Amateur
entomologist, treasurer of France.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
]. All his efforts to find out who the donor is have so far been fruitless.[Enclosed with the collection was, however, a letter from Soubry, dated 6 April 1766Letter L3745, which Linnaeus found and replied to later that yearLetter L3852 and received a new letter from Soubry, dated 26 January 1768Letter L4018].

Patrick BrowneBrowne, Patrick (1720-1790).
Irish. Botanist who made six voyages to
the West Indies. In 1756 he published
The Civil and natural history of
Jamaica
(1756). Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
, the author of Plantas Jamaicae [Linnaeus refers to The Civil and natural history of JamaicaBrowne, Patrick The Civil and
natural history of Jamaica: in three
parts: containing, I. An accurate
description of that island [...] with a
brief account of its former and present
state, government, revenues, produce,
and trade: II. A history of the natural
productions [...] native fossils [...]:
III: An account of the nature of
climates in general, and their
different effects upon the human
body
(London 1756).
], sent a plant of a new genus [Sauvagesia] from Vera Cruz a year ago [Browne to Linnaeus, 24 May 1765Letter L3588]. Now he has sent two plants of new genera [Browne to Linnaeus, 1 June 1766Letter L3770], one of which is the Weidmannia already described by Linnaeus, “so now I know his inventa better than he does himself”.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (KVA, Carl von Linnés arkiv). [1] [2] [3] [4]

upEDITIONS

1. Svenska arbeten (1878), vol. 1, p. 375-383   p.375  p.376  p.377  p.378  p.379  p.380  p.381  p.382  p.383.
2. Bref och skrifvelser (1908), vol. I:2, p. 289-291   p.289  p.290  p.291.