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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L4373 • Johannes Burman to Carl Linnaeus, 3 May 1770 n.s.
Dated 3 may 1770. Sent from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Amst[elodami] 3 Maii 1770.

Nobilissimo & Clarissimo Viro,
Carolo Linnaeo,
Botanicorum Coryphaeo primario,
S[alutem] D[icit]
Joannes Burmannus.

Eodem ipso tempore, quo Litteras tuas mihi gratissimas accepi, vehementissimis cruciabar doloribus Rheumatico Arthriticis, a lumbis ad pedes sese undique figentibus, ita ut lecto adfixus continuo decumberem nec mihi ulla quies per dies noctesve concederetur. Recreavit autem me quam maxime lectio dulcissimarum tuarum Litterarum, ad quas jam diu respondissem, si aliquid peculiare tibi indicandum habuissem; nunc autem remittentibus quodammodo doloribus, foco adsidens hasce tibi exaro ad continuandam nostram ac fovendam amicitiam tam diu firmatam.

Mensis spatium praeterlapsum est, quo ex inproviso per noctem doloribus hisce affectus fuerim, quumque venti continui Boreales, caelumque inclementissimum & horridum fuerit, uti in media hyeme, a foco me abstinere non ausus fui, plurimique homines hisce afflicti decumbunt Rheumaticis morbis; an apud vos caelum & vernum tempus quoque tam frigidum praebuerunt aerem? Ego saltem pluresque mecum nunquam tam diu infaustum experti sumus vernale tempus, ita ut pascua adhuc pecoribus sint vacua, inque stabulis quam maxima fuerit vaccarum strages, per contagiosum pestiferumque, qui per totam nostram patriam quam maxime grassatus fuerit, morbum, sique non ingens boum Danicorum copia jam jam adlata fuisset, plurima prata hac aestate denudata fuissent. Sed illi duplo cariore venduntur pretio quam aliis temporibus, licet morbus ille contagiosus nondum cesset. Utinam modo salvi & incolumes pinguescant; alioquin quam maximum paterentur damnum nostri incolae, uti & ego, qui ante binos dies aliquot itidem emi sed inmenso pretio. Quum Zephyrus jam incipit flare, aerque benignus & balsameus, in rus me conferam, ut animum exspatier viresque amissas recuperem ope lactis recentis calidi.

Filius interim, mihi dilectissimus Praxin pro me exercet Clinicam, nec non Nosocomium, reliquasque aedes publicas, quibus uterque sumus praepositi, quod mihi summo est solatio & gaudio; alioquin mihi res foret ingratissima dolores pati simul cum magno damno & detrimento. Jucundissimum vero mihi est experiri, quod ab omnibus meis & suis aegrotis excipiatur humanissime, quique magnam in eo ponunt fiduciam, sed jam ita occupatus est, ut nullis aliis meditationibus vel exercitiis vacare possit, multo minus suum frequentare Museum; quamprimum vero tempus id ipsi permittat, plantas eliget exoticas, nondum satis explicatas, uti & illas, de quibus scripsisti, simulque tibi mittet Indices Horti Malabarici & Amboinensis.

Excuses, quod non magni momenti tibi huc usque quaedam exhibuerim specimina, sed quum amici simus integerrimi, quorum salus utrique cordi est, calamitates meas tibi prius exponere malui, antequam ad jucundiora transeam commercia.

Ante omnia mihi gratissimum fuit ex amicissimis tuis Litteris intelligere umbellulam lateralem plantae Afric[anae] Harmes tibi dictae adeo placuisse & satisfecisse, pro characteris communicatione uti & pro aliis additis obstrictissimus tibi sum, sed comprehendere nequeo, quomodo in tam diu exsiccatis & exaridis plantis partes fructificationis minutissimas quam accuratissime videre & distinguere possis; Lynceos sane habes oculos acutissimos, aliis Botanicis credo denegatos; ego saltem nullo modo illas ita distinguere possem, licet oculi mihi essent armati optimo microscopio, sed tu in hisce omnibus palmam praeripis Botanicis.

Non recordor inter nostras plantas Indicas occurrere Hedysari speciem, talibus flosculis vel fructibus instructam, quales tu tam graphice tamque eleganter describis & exponis; habemus quidem specimina talibus foliis instructa, sed in quibus fructificatio vel deficit, vel alius, ut puto, est naturae; si museum possem adire, inquirerem omnes nostras species, quod differre jam cogor cum pluribus aliis plantis, quas lubens tibi prima occasione mittam.

Utinam nostros thesauros, qui quotannis accumulantur, per 14 dies inspicere posses; plura sane credo detegeres vel nova vel rariora alibi non ita obvia; quum vero nos tam per praxin quam per alia munia non multum nostrum frequentare possumus Museum, cuncta absolvere vel saltem justa indagare non uno tramite nobis permittitur, sed non omnia possumus omnes.

Salutat te humillime Filius meus, qui semina hisce addidit rariora, uti & ego tibi semper devotus sum, ac manebo ad ultimum spiritus halitum.

Valeas vivasque diu incolumis ac felix cum Familia tua nobilissima!

Societati Regiae Scientiarum
Upsaliae

upSUMMARY

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 Harmes 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.

upMANUSCRIPTS

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

upEDITIONS

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