Letter L3514
Letter written by Carl Linnaeus
Letter addressed to C. Ryk Tulbagh
Date 30 June 1764


Last summer Linnaeus had received from C. Rijk Tulbagh[+] a most valuable present of more than 200 specimens of plants, several birds well preserved, a collection of bulbs, and 50 seeds.

In a letter of last August Linnaeus expressed his gratitude to Tulbagh [this letter has not come down to us]. At the same time Linnaeus sent the names of the plants and a drawing of Tulbaghia. Tulbaghia will be a monument to Tulbagh’s honour. Linnaeus sent his letter to the house of the East India Company at Amsterdam. No doubt it has reached Tulbagh long ago.

Some time ago Linnaeus had sent Museum s:ae m:tis Ludovicae Ulricae reginae[+]. Since he does not know whether Tulbagh has received it, he sends another copy so that Tulbagh can see how faithfully he has acknowledged the curious insects that Tulbagh sent him.

Linnaeus assures Tulbagh that he has never before received a more welcome communication than Tulbagh’s last one nor one that gave him more satisfaction. It contained such a great number of rare Cape plants that he had never seen before. Linnaeus has sown all the seeds, but none have come up yet. Several of the bulbs are putting forth leaves, though. He has carefully dissected and examined the flowers of the dried specimens and has referred them to their proper genera with suitable specific distinctions.

Linnaeus wishes that Tulbagh will favour him with a bulb or two of Tulbaghia so that it can be propagated throughout the gardens of Europe and render Tulbagh’s name known to all lovers of rare and beautiful plants.

Linnaeus has requested the captain who takes charge of this letter to ask Tulbagh for living plants, in pots, of two Cape plants which he particularly wishes to procure, the Liparia globosa and Xeranthemum canescens. Linnaeus has shown the captain specimens of both that he may be sure of them.

Linnaeus congratulates Tulbagh on the fact that he inhabits and enjoys paradise on earth, The Cape of Good Hope. If Linnaeus were at liberty to change his fortune for that of Alexander the Great or of Salomon, Croesus or Tulbagh, he would prefer the latter without hesitation.

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