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Link: • Johannes Burman to Carl Linnaeus, 3 May 1770 n.s.
Dated 3 may 1770. Sent from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


When Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
received Linnaeusís last letter [Linnaeus to Burman 22 February 1770Letter L4341] he was suffering from very bad rheumatic arthritis from the hips to the feet. He was confined to bed but could not rest during the day or during the night. Now he feels a little better and sits by the fire writing this letter.

It is a month since Burman fell ill and the weather has been like the middle of winter with a continuous north wind. Burman did not dare leave the fireplace and many people have fallen ill with the same rheumatic illness. The fields are empty of cattle and many of them have died in the cow sheds suffering from an infectious disease that has been raging all over the country. If a great number of Danish cows had not been imported the fields would have been deserted this summer. However, the prices have doubled and Burman hopes that the cattle will fatten and survive, otherwise the inhabitants will sustain heavy losses including Burman, who bought some cattle two days ago for an enormous sum of money.

Burmanís son [Nicolaas Laurens BurmanBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
(1734-1793). Dutch. Professor of
botany. Linnaeusís pupil in Uppsala in
1760. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] is looking after the practice and he is very busy, but as soon as possible he will send uncertain exotic plants, the plants Linnaeus wrote about and the indices.

Burman excuses himself for not yet having said anything about the specimens, but as he and Linnaeus are genuine friends he peferred to talk about his illness first.

Burman is happy to see that the lateral umbel of the African plant Hermas pleased Linnaeus. Burman cannot understand how Linnaeus can discern the very small fructifications of the since long ago dried plants. He must have eyes like a Lynceus and not like other botanists.

Burman cannot remember having seen among their Indian plants the species Hedysarum with the flowers and fruits that Linnaeus described.

Burman wishes that Linnaeus could inspect their collections for a fortnight. He would certainly find new or rare specimens.

Burmanís son sends his regards and encloses some rare seeds.


a. (LS, II, 484-485). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1943), vol. II:2, p. 194-195   p.194  p.195.