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C18

L0055     

Johan Frederik Gronovius [+] to Carl Linnaeus [+]

Leiden, Netherlands, 3 November 1735 n.s. [Display apparatus in new window]

Vir Doctissime

Literas vestras, quas ex Hartecampo Amstelodamum petiturus ad me dedisti summo cum gaudio perlegi. Ad quaestiones quoque meas egregias observationes dedisti, pro quibus me Tibi maxime devinctum scias. Restant adhuc quinque dubia, quae in adjuncta charta recensui, ad quae data occasione responsum dare non dedigneris.

Quod Tibi innocens imposuerim cum Phytolacca, nimiae fidei quam in Indicem habeo, tribuendum est;[1] postea itaque cautius ambulandum esse me doces.

Quales plantes per Mitram et Xyridem intelligas, plane ignoro; fere omnes evolvi, sed nullibi tale vel simile nomen adscriptum inveni, adeo ut ad eas respondere nequeam, quod alioquin libentissime facerem.[2]

De Douglassia, Justicia, Buddleya et Richardia potes characteres componere eosque suo loco tradere. Tabulas Milleri[+] nondum vidi.[3] Res privatae tantopere me occupant, ut quo me vertam nesciam, nec somno, caenae aut prandio locus sit.

Interim anatomiae subjeci aprum Americanum quem umbilici speciem in dorso habere narrant. Est maxima glandula quae foris habet ductum excretorium ex quo humor emanat qui tetrum odorem refert; sita est intra cutem et panniculum adiposum, adeo ut superius plane libera sit. Ad latera eam tegere incipit panniculus adiposus, forte ut vim adderet ad exprimendum humorem. Infra duo vasa tendunt per musculos dorsi in spinam. Ventriculus duo cornua habet.

Quod desideret Dominus Cliffort[+], impossibile nobis est propter rationes sonticas neque Vir Nobiliss[imus] debet hoc aegre ferre. Cum enim omnia erunt absoluta, desiderabimus ut omnes chartas remittat, quas ilico eadem die remittemus completas. Cum plurimis amicis communicavi characteres vestros, nec ullum inveni cui non placent. Ergo age. Ego res bene perficiam neque possum oblivisci Amstelodamenses tam egregia opera vestra tam pessimis mendis defoedasse.[4] Unus quisque desiderat videre itinerarium vestrum Laponicum.[5]

Secundae partis Tabulae animalis primam correctionem perfeci, cras nitidius specimen ad Te mittam.

Vellem ad duas quaestiones, quas in adjuncta charta vides, ilico respondeas. Salutat Te Dominus Lawson[+] qui Derhamum[+] obijsse Tibi relatum desiderat.[6]

Vale & saluta D[omin]um Cliffortium.

J[ohannes] F[redericus] Gronovius

Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], 3 Nov[embris] 1735.


SUMMARY

Johan Frederik Gronovius thanks Linnaeus for the excellent observations he has made regarding the questions raised by Gronovius. On a separate sheet added to this letter Gronovius has noted another series of five problems which need to be resolved. Next follows a short list of remarks with respect to plants described by Linnaeus in his Genera plantarum.

Gronovius complains in passing that he is completely occupied by his private affairs. Nonetheless he has taken the time to anatomize an American boar having some sort of navel on his back. Linnaeus is given a detailed description of the anatomical examination.

Gronovius cannot comply with George Clifford’s wishes for serious reasons. Clifford is kindly asked to send back all the sheets of Systema naturae to Gronovius, who will complete them and send them back immediately.

Gronovius has shown Linnaeus’s description of genera to various friends, all of whom reacted favourably. Therefore, Linnaeus is encouraged to continue his work. Gronovius will see to it that the Genera plantarum will be neatly printed, since he cannot forget the damage done to his works by the Amsterdam folk. Gronovius informs Linnaeus that everyone wants to see the itinerary of his Lapland journey.

Gronovius has corrected the first proofs of the second part of the “animal kingdom”, which will be sent to Linnaeus tomorrow. Linnaeus is asked to answer immediately the two questions noted on the sheet which has been added to the letter. Finally, Isaac Lawson sends Linnaeus his regards and lets him know that William Derham has passed away.



MANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 374).

72 dpi :  [1] [2]


EXPLANATORY NOTES
1. The meaning of the sentence is not altogether clear. The plant is analysed by Linnaeus in his Genera plantarum[+], no. 384 under the Decandria Decagynia: Phytolacca * Tournef. 154.
2. See Genera plantarum[+], nos. 932 and 31, resp. On xyris, see also Gronovius’s letter of 25 November 1735[+].
3. Gronovius is discussing plants collected and described by William Houston[+]. Although Houston’s botanical collection would not be pubished until 1781, his notes containing engravings of plants were communicated to Linnaeus by Philip Miller, Houston’s executor testamenti, in 1736. See the booklet entitled by Linnaeus Houstonia(1736). The Tabulae Milleri seem to refer to the engravings in this booklet, some of which would later be used in Houston, Reliquiae Houstounianae[+] (London 1781). See p. 3 and tab. 1 (Justicia), p. 4 and tab. 3 (Buddleja), p. 5 and tab. 9 (Ricardia), and p. 6 and tab. 13 (Douglassia). See also the list of Authores added to the first edition of the Genera plantarum of 1737: “Houst. A.A.: Houstoni Acta anteacta MSS. a Millero communicata”. It can be inferred from this letter that Linnaeus was looking forward to receiving Miller’s tables as early as November 1735.
4. Gronovius is attacking above all Salomon Schouten[+], the Amsterdam bookseller who published Bibliotheca botanica[+] and Fundamenta botanica[+] in 1736. For Gronovius’s criticism, see also his letter to Linnaeus of 2 October 1735[+].
5. This is a reference to the journal of Linnaeus’s Lapland journey of 1732 which would not be published during his lifetime. See also Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 3 December 1735[+].
6. William Derham died in Upminster, Essex on 5 April 1735. See Knight, “Derham, William”[+], 40-41.