I wrote to you the 26 of August, wherein I mention’d that I had sent you some fragments of an Encrinus, or Starfish, from the Straights of Malacca; but this animal I have since found is well describ’d in Linkius, on the Stellae marinae, and appears to have no Stem, only a few claws under the principal arms.
I have lately been trying experiments on the Seeds of the Fungus, call’d by you
Agaricus campestris, and also on those call’d the Agaricus fimetarius;
the minuteness of these bodies, oblig’d me to make use of the first magnifying glasses in
the double microscope. This plainly shew’d to me, that these Seeds, though put into
water according to your directions, have no animal life of their own, and are only mov’d
about by the animalcula infusoria, which give[a][a] : MS. 1 give [added above the
line] them such a variety of directions, both circular, as well as backward and forward, that they appear as if alive.
The animalcula are so numerous, and at the same time so pellucid, that without good glasses the most accurate observer may be mistaken. I wait for an opportunity to try the seeds of the Lycoperda, and the dust of the Ustilago in Corn.
Our Friend Solander has been ill of a Slow fever for these 10 days past, the Physicians here give it the name of the Influenza. I hope he will get the better of it; but he grows very weak, notwithstanding he goes out every day, and has the best advice.