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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L5974 • Carl Linnaeus to Claude Richard, 19 July 1771 n.s.
Dated 1771, Julii 19.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Versailles (France). Written in Latin.

Viro Experientissimo
D[omi]no RICHARDO
S[alutem] pl[urimam] d[icit]
Car[olus] Linné.

Heri (die 16 julii) primum accessit scatula spithamea fere cubica ab Augustissimo Monarcha Gallorum &c., gratissime data, cui quondam vivae radices, musco obductae, fuere inclusae, cum inscriptione Plantes donnee par le Roy du jardin Botanique du Roy a Trianon Te obstretricante.

Uti hoc mihi gloria summa, a Maximo totius orbis Rege fuit plantis rarissimis ditari, ita etiam fui perculsus, cum cistulam aperirem et viderem omnes has exsiccatissimas et aridas, ut ne foliorum restaret, praeter bulbos quatuor, qui etiamnum vivebant. Vidi tamen in ea scatula folia duo Apalanches, plantae scilicet istius, cujus flores numquam mihi innotuere.

Proh piaculum! Quis ausus fuit Tanti Regis mandata ita defraudare, et tamdiu in itinere detinere! Oro rogoque, dicas mihi, quando haec fuere missae, dicas, cui tradita fuere, dicas quaenam plantae missae fuere.

Tanto dolore fui imbutus ob has plantas demortuas, ut me in urnam sequatur, cum certus sim, quod Summus Rex non potuit misisse alias quam rarissimas plantas.

Nunc florent in Horto nostro plurimae rariores plantae, in Horto nostro Upsaliensi in laudem sui Datoris, Potentissimi Gallorum Regis, quemadmodum plantae indigenae in laudem sui Creatoris.

Vivas diu felix in augmentum botanices et me Tuis annumera!

Upsaliae 1771 Julii 19.

A Monsieur
M[onsieur] RICHARD
Jardinier de Sa M[ajesté] le Roy de France
a Trianon
par Paris.

upSUMMARY

On July 16, 1771, Linnaeus had received material from Claude Richard’sRichard, Claude (1705-1784).
French. Botanist. The king’s gardener at
the Trianon. Father of Antoine Richard.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
garden, one small box and one larger.

The small box contained live roots, wrapped in moss. The larger box contained live plants, which, however, had been so long in transport that only four small bulbs were still alive. All the others were completely destroyed.

Linnaeus had been enormously flattered by having received such a gift from the greatest court of Europe, so he was immensely disappointed at the negligence in packing and transport.

Linnaeus asks with some emphasis to be informed when the boxes were sent, who was responsible and which plants were meant to be included in the sending. As long as he lives, he will remember the disappointment over this, as he knew that they must have been very precious plants indeed.

However, Linnaeus has in his garden many rare plants flowering in honour of the French king [Louis XVLouis XV, (1710-1774).
French. Reigned 1715-1774.
], their donor, as well as indigenous Swedish plants in honour of the Creator.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (Bibliothèque municipale, Versailles). [1] [2] [3]