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C18

L0381     

Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch [+] to Carl Linnaeus [+]

Trebnitz, Germany, 20 April 1740 n.s. [Display apparatus in new window]

Viro
Celeberrimo
Summoque Botanico,
Carolo Linnaeo,
S[alutem] Pl[urimam] D[icit]
Joh[annes] Gottlieb Gleditsch,
Art[ium] Mag[ister] et Cand[idatus] Med[icinae].

Ne aegre feras diu tardatum epistolare responsum, obsecro, cum febrem causam agnoscat[a] atrocibus pectoris doloribus stipatam. Perrarus hujus mali accessus e sterni fractura, quam annum aetatis XVI agens perpessus sum, originem ducit. Cum enim herbarum gratia in saltubus Thuringicis et quidem locis muscosis praeruptis versarer, factum est, ut Rutam murariam novam germanicam, Brey[nii] Eph[edram] N[o]. C., appeterem et infelici conamine speluncam transcendens subito in saxum durissimae sortis ab alto delapsus sterni fracturas experirer.

Suavem animi Tui candorem, quem scripta ubique indicant et literae amantissimae optimi Breynii[+] cura ad me delatae nunc egregie confirmarunt, ut proinde, si placent humanitatis pro virium modulo a me expectanda officia, Tuus totus et Tibi deditissimus ubique existam.

Benevole admodum sentis de nostris primitiis botanicis seu Catalogo horti Ziteniani, quas datis laudibus dignas optarem, sed non sunt.[1] Adaucta et mutata per aliquod tempus horti facie nunc proxima occasione designationem novam plantarum systematice tradam.

Dignis nuperrime Tibi collatis honoribus summum Numen addat corporis robur mentisque tranquillitatem perennem, ut et Respublica Botanicorum plura de Te sperare queat et Tu ipsi Tibi et amicis facias satis.

Quod de mea Americam penetrandi cupidine ad amicos Gallos, Anglos aliosque scripsisti, gratissima mente agnosco et, si ea quae Tibi debeo, ex asse remunerare non potero, Florae, inquam, Tuae meaeque tribuam. Haec mihi in tenera jam aetate placuit et amabilis visa. Nunc placet dulcissima. Dum spiro et spero, placebit, et quamvis mundum intrare secunda vice datum esset mihi, Flora absente mea, si possem, facile redirem.

Hortum Cliffortianum[2] cum aliis doctissimis operibus si dabis, gratissimum facies opus, praesertim si egregia illa dona nomine et sigillo Tuo ornaveris, cum princeps ac primum ornamentum bibliothecae meae botanicae novae constituant. Lipsiae enim furtiva et violenta manu (quam indicare dubito) omnibus ac singulis botanicis libris cistae inclusis nec non observationibus VIII annis ad Floram Lipsiensem collectis orbatus sum. An huic malo sensim paulatimque mederi queam? Studebo!

Muscos, Fungos, et Algas anno 1737 et 1738 Michelii[+] ductu, Gramina vero 1739 ad mentem Scheuhzeri[+] pertractavi et potior ferme pars in Marchia Electorali Viadrina obviam venit. Hoc fecisse mirifice delector, cum plura nova in fructificationibus earundem plantarum detegerim mihi plane incognita. Ut obiter moneam, corolla Graminum vera equidem talis est uti et ipse concedis in Gen[eribus] Plant[arum],[3] sed non petalis instructa, species potius corollae, Nectarium nempe diphyllum.

Filicum examen quoque aggrediar, si modo Lüberkühnianum[+], quod spero, microscopium accipiam. Hac vice gravissimo Tuo judicio Equiseti characterem submitto.[4] Plura et certiora, ut videam, conabor. D[omi]n[i] D[octo]r[is] Lüberkühnii frater[+] (amicus noster honoratissimus), qui apud Roscovienses[5] in Marchia pastorali munere fungitur et cui Tuo praesertim suasu opus splendissimum horti sui dedit Cliffortius[+], curiosissima circa plantas tentamine instituit et indicat nuperrimis literis se in peculiari opello sexum plantarum per observationes, experimenta et ratiocinia esse demonstraturum, quod ipse avide expecto.

De Philosophia Tua Botanica[6] praelo subjecta (ut vult D[omi]n[us] D[octor] Ludwig[+] ) et scripto Browalliano[+] vehementer gaudeo, quamvis nondum viderim.[7]

Cl[arissimum] Siegesbeckium[+] quod concernit, miror illius propositum. Rem interim, quomodo judicanda erit, aestimabo, ne minorum gentium dii in re publica Botanica factionibus perniciosis (uti videtur) porrigant manus et de veritatibus luce meridiano clarioribus supprimendis cogitare opus habeant. Breynio[+] equidem meo meas cogitationes consecrare volui. Cum autem rusticana vox Siegesbeckii me haud fugiat, circulos illius mea causa turbandos aptum nequaquam judico, quapropter ad Summum Philosophum Christianum Wolffium[+] dabo.[8]

Ipsa vero Consideratio Epicriseos Siegesbeckianae[9] ultimis mensis Maji diebus lucem videbit, quam statim et Tibi et Tuis, e.g. Jussieuis fratribus[10], Breynio, Royeno[+], Gronovio[+], Burmanno[+], Browallio[+] et magno Celsio[+] communicabo. Adversarius doctissimus sexualis systematis robur meris negationibus (quorum tamen rationes sufficientes adhuc debet) penitus prostratum fuisse judicat, sed, cum sensus aphorismorum[11] et dictorum pro arbitrio male intellectus et applicatus est, ratiocinandi fallacia, falsa experientia imo et ipsum argumentum ab invidia desumptum nullius autem valoris sint.[12] Salva omnino adhuc res est. Et, ut ingenue fatear, plane aphilosophus esse videtur Siegesbeckius, unde Botanosophiae nomen aeque ac Holostei Dillenii[+] ?????_??_?????[13] intelligendum esse opinor. Praeterea illis quoque annumerari meretur, qui characteris et methodi naturalis dignitatem minus capiunt, ut omnes sunt qui, e.g. folia et modum florendi ad generum determinationem commendant vel Pseudo-botanici-coi-dastro-agi-na-strellis, affines, nonnihil similes, aemuli, valde accedentes vel forte cognati, etc.

Plures in vicinia systematis Tui ac methodi huic superstructae[14] acerimos adversarios agunt, sed succurram cunctis illorum dubiis in scripto contra Siegesbeckium. Praecepta Linnaeana nodus Gordius existunt omnium illorum, fateor, qui, ut labores evitent, capitula sua somnolenta distinctis notionibus et demonstrationibus fatigare dubitant.

Hyemis inclementia communes Botanicorum et curiosorum Europae movebit querelas et nos dolemus hybernacula XIV fornacibus a die IV Januarii ad IIX Febr[ruarii] calefactis munita a frigoris inclementia violenta defendere non potuisse plantas. Stragem exoticarum et tristiora longe phaenomena solis calor ascendens Majo mense revelabit et moribundas plures jam video plantas.

Incolas horti nostri vegetabiles omnes, si cupis, mittam; velim proinde, desideres species, quas optimas esse judicas vel Tibi desunt. Si e thesauro Lapponico vel exotico quaedam abundant, et mihi communices, obsecro.

Salutandum Te jussit D[omi]n[us] de Zieten[+], maecenas meus, quem ob singularem prorsus circa vegetabilium culturam peritiam et rei herbariae studium ut hortulanum omnium doctissimum (qui rem scientifice tractat) Tibi valdopere commendo.

Nuperrimo Regio jussu[15] factus sum Medicus provincialis circuli Lebusensis in Marchia Electorali Viadrina, unde et laboribus profecto detineor summis.[16]

Vale et amare perge Tuum! Dabam Trebnizii die XX April[is] MDCCXL.

Si ad me scribis, scribas vel cursu publico duplici, e.g. par Hamburg, Berlin, Müncheberg[17] a Trebniz vel par Stralsundt, Stargard,[18] Cüstrin,[19] Mü[n]cheberg a Trebniz vel literas mandes legato, qui munere hoc fungitur in aula Berolinensi.

En
Equisetum!
Calyx communis: est margo integer brevis, pluribus angulis notatus (septem).
Spicam terminans ovato-oblongam, quam constituunt receptacula fructificationis, plura brevibus pedunculis fulta et serie quinduplici circulari ut plurimum dense congesta.
Proprius deficit.

Fructificationem singulam constituit
Receptaculum peltatum prona parte ferme planum, margine inaequali circumscriptum, pluribus (quinque ad septem) angulis distincto; in parte postica, ubi pedunculus implantatur, marginem cingunt capsulae seminales plures (sex) inferiora spectantes.

Capsula singula est recta cylindracea unilocularis univalvis persistens elastica; per longitudinem in latere interiore dehiscens mutatur in foliolum planum vel semi-circulare barbatum, apice tenuiter dentatum.

Semina sunt subrotunda minutissima innumera, villis ramosis.

[address] A Monsieur / Monsieur Charles Linnaeus / Membre de l’Academie Royal / de Sciences / a Örebro[b]


SUMMARY

Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch has suffered from a fever and has not been able to write earlier. This illness goes back to a fracture of the breast-bone at the age of sixteen. When he travelled in the passages of Thuringia to collect plants he fell badly, when trying to get hold of a new German Ruta muraria (Breyne’s Ephedra no.C.).

Gleditsch’s Catalogus plantarum, quae tum in horto Domini de Zieten Trebnizii coluntur is out of date, since the garden has been restructured and he plans a new systematic description. From now on this Garden will be arranged systematically.

Gleditsch thanks Linnaeus for having written to friends in England and France about Gleditsch’s wish to go to America.

Gleditsch would be grateful for Linnaeus’s Hortus Cliffortianus. All his botanical books together with his own observations collected during eight years for a “Flora Lipsiensis” have been stolen.

Gleditsch has studied mosses, Fungi and Algae under Pietro Antonio Micheli in 1737-1738 and grasses under Johann Scheuchzer in 1739. Gleditsch has found many new things regarding the fructification. The corolla of the Grasses is as Linnaeus says in his Genera plantarum, but it has no petals; it is a kind of corolla and as it seems a two-leaved nectary. Gleditsch will proceed to the Filices, if he gets Johann Nathanael Lieberkühn’s microscope. He sends over the character of Equisetum for Linnaeus to evaluate. Lieberkühn’s brother will elucidate the sexes of plants.

Gleditsch will be pleased to receive Linnaeus’s Philosophia botanica and Johan Browallius’s work. He wanted to dedicate his refutation of Johann Georg Siegesbeck to Johann Philip Breyne, but he will dedicate it to Christian Wolff.

Gleditsch’s Consideratio epicriseos Siegesbeckianae will be published at the end of May. He will send it to the Jussieu brothers, Breyne, Adriaan van Royen, Johan Frederik Gronovius, Johannes Burman, Johan Browallius and Olof Celsius the Elder. People will see that Siegesbeck has written out of envy.

The winter has been very cold and many plants have died in the greenhouses. Gleditsch would like to have some Lapland plants. Zieten sends his regards. The King has made him district medical officer in Lebus.

P.S. Letters should be sent via postoffices in Hamburg, Stralsund, etc.

Gleditsch adds a description of Equisetum.



MANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, IV, 502-503).

72 dpi :  [1] [2] [3]


EDITIONS

1. Orbis eruditi judicium (1740)

TEXTUAL NOTES
a. sc. epistola
b. MS1 <Upsala> Örebro [added by another hand] i Lilla huset Räntemästare vid Skiepps broen [added by another hand]

EXPLANATORY NOTES
1. In 1737 Gleditsch wrote Catalogus plantarum [...] Zieten[+].
2. Linnaeus, Hortus Cliffortianus[+].
3. Linnaeus, Genera plantarum[+].
4. For the decription of Equisetum, see the postscript.
5. I.e., Roscoff, Bretagne.
6. Linnaeus, Philosophia botanica[+].
7. Browallius, Examen epicriseos in systema plantarum sexuale Cl. Linnaei[+].
8. In his Epicrisis (added Botanosophiae verioris brevis sciagraphia[+] ), Siegesbeck refutes Linnaeus’s sexual system.
9. Gleditsch, Consideratio epicriseos Siegesbeckianae[+].
10. The Jussieubrothers are Antoine Laurent[+], Bernard[+] and Joseph de Jussieu[+].
11. Linnaeus, Fundamenta botanica[+].
12. For the antagonism between Johann Georg Siegesbeck and Linnaeus, see Jönsson, “Odium botanicorum. The polemics between Carl Linnaeus and Johann Georg Siegesbeck”[+].
13. Greek for “contradictory”.
14. Linnaeus, Corollarium Generum plantarum[+].
15. He is King Frederick Wilhelm I[+] of Prussia.
16. In 1740 Gleditsch became district medical officer in Lebus, Brandenburg.
17. Münchenberg, Brandenburg.
18. Stargard, Pomerania.
19. Cüstrin, Brandenburg.