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Louis H Roc 




L I N N M U S. 








Birth of Linnaeus. A short account of his father and 
mother. His childhood, and early love of flowers. 
School-days. His distaste for learned studies. A 
year at the Gymnasium. Linnaeus goes to the Uni- 
versity at Lund. Finds a friend in Stotxeus. Quits 
Lund for TJpsala. His poverty and sufferings. 
Celsius befriends and patronizes him. Friendship 
between Linnaeus and Artedi. The first idea of the 
" Systema Naturae " . . . . . 1 


Linnaeus appointed to lecture in the Botanic Garden 
at Upsala, as Assistant to Rudbeck. His disagree- 
ment with Rosen. Determines to go to Lapland. 
Visits his birth-place. The "BiKung." Linnseus 
starts on his adventurous journey. A sketch of his 
Lapland tour, extracted from his Diary. Safe re- 
turn to Upsala . . . . .26 




The Linnaea, Borealis. Linnasus lectures on the Art of 
Assaying, at Upsala. Rivalry between him and 
Rosen. He visits the great Swedish mining dis- 
tricts. Account of this tour, and his companions 
in it. Linnaeus at Fahlun. A matrimonial project. 
Linnaeus resolves to visit a foreign University 
and take a degree as M.D. Goes first to Stenbro- 
hult, and visits his mother's grave. He journeys to 
Hamburgh. The "Seven-Headed Hydra." Lin- 
naeus proceeds to Amsterdam. And thence to Har- 
dervyck, where he takes his degree. -Gronovius sees 
the "Systema Naturee" in MS. and prints it, at his 
own expense. He introduces Linnaeus to Boerhaave. 
The "Fundamenta Botanica" printed. Linnaeus 
and Artedi meet at Leyden. Accidental death of 
the latter. Linnaeus publishes his friend's work 
on Ichthyology. Linnseus introduced to Mr. Clifford, 
with whom he resides some time. The " Flora Lap- 
ponica " . . 54 


Linnaeus visits England. His interviews with scien- 
tific men in London. At Oxford gains the friendship 
of Dillenius. Fascination of the manners and ad- 
dress of Linnaeus. His lady correspondents and ad- 
mirers. The furze on Putney Heath. Linnaeus 
returns to Holland. Completes the "Hortus Clif- 
fordianus." The "Critica Botanica" and "Genera 
Plantanun." Linnaeus pines for his native land. 
Journeys to Paris, and visits Leyden, where he stays 


some time. Publishes the "Classes Plantarum," 
' ' Corollarium Generum," and "Methodus Sexualis." 
His choice companions at Leyden. Johan Bartsch. 
The death of Boerhaave, and his parting inter- 
view with Linnseus.- Illness of Linnseus, and his de- 
parture from Holland. He visits Paris. Is well 
received by the brothers Jussieu, and other accom- 
plished naturalists. Made a Member of the Aca- 
demie des Sciences. Returns home, and visits his 
father and his betrothed. Goes to Stockholm to 
establish himself as a physician there. Adversity 
soon followed by prosperity. Chosen Member of the 
Upsal Academy. His merits and fame. Is patron- 
ized by Count Tessin. Marriage of Linnseus. 
Friendly intercourse between him and the celebrated 
Haller. Affecting letter of Haller on the loss of his 
wife. " In the midst of life we are in death" . 80 


Review of the early career of Linna3us. His prosper- 
ous circumstances. Obtains the Botanic Chair at 
Upsala. Is deputed by Government to travel 
through (Eland and Gothland. Goes to reside at 
Upsala. His great enjoyment in the duties of his 
new position. The Garden at Upsala embellished 
and enriched by him. Publication of the "Flora 
Suecica." "Fauna Suecica." Linnseus as teacher 
and lecturer. Surprising results of his popularity 
in the prosperity and fame of the University of 
Upsala. The pupils of Linnseus. Early deaths of 
several of their number. Labours, talents, and 



successes of others. Kindness and liberality of Lin- 
naeus to his students.- His pride and satisfaction in 
them, and their zeal and devotion to him . .113 


Fame and honours. The "Flora Zeylenica." 
Linnaeus and Rosen co-professors at Upsala. Lin- 
naeus publishes his "Materia Medica." Travels 
through Scania. Returning thence, visits his aged 
father. An attack of gout cured by eating straw- 
berries. The " Philosophia Botanica." The spirit, 
energy, and diligence of Linnaeus. His ardent 
temperament. The Flowers Asleep. Mrs. Hemans' 
lines. Linnaeus at the Swedish Court. His favour 
with the Queen. Honours and nobility. The 
"Species Plantarum." Haller's eulogy on this 
masterpiece. Linnaeus purchases an estate. De- 
scription of his villa. His personal appearance and 
natural disposition. His inordinate vanity. His 
domestic virtues. His two sons and four daughters. 
His wife. Her unnatural conduct towards her 
son . . . . . .140 


Dangerous illness of Linnaeus. The skill and kind- 
ness of Rosen. Anecdote of Sir H. Moncrieff. The 
"Silfer Brollop." Marriage of the eldest daughter 
of Linnaeus. A picture of the home life of Linnaeus 
by Fabricius, one of his most famous pupils. First 
symptoms of old age. The Diary of Linnaeus. His 



devout acknowledgments of Divine favour and bless- 
ing. His farewell oration before the University. 
Vivacity and spirit shown in the correspondence of 
Linnseus. His letter to Pennant. " It is now too 
late." The ruling passion strong in death. Death of 
Linnseus. Honours paid to his memory. The na- 
tional taste for the study of Natural History inspired 
by his labours. Sir J. E. Smith purchases Museum 
and Library of Linnseus. And founds the Linnsean 
Society. Concluding remarks. "The Observing 
Eye." What one man may do. Patrick Neill and 
the Horticultural Society of Edinburgh. Encourage- 
ment and rewards promised to the young student of 
Botany . . 16(5 





IT has well been said, that though the 
lives of men devoted to silent study 
and secluded labour contain few of those 
stirring incidents which embellish the bio- 
graphies of statesmen and heroes, they are 
scarcely less alluring and instructive. We 
love to know under what circumstances our 
favourite authors conceived and completed 
the works which instruct and delight us, 



brought up by his maternal uncle, Sven 
Tiliander, himself a clergyman, who edu- 
cated the lad with his own children, and 
being fond of plants and gardening, in- 
spired in his nephew also a love for horti- 
culture : so that this predilection appears 
to have been, in some degree, hereditary. 
Young Nils was sent, in due time, to 
school, and afterwards to the university 
of Lund, where he had to struggle for 
some years with poverty, and to apply 
very diligently to his studies, in order 
that he might qualify himself for the pro- 
fession of his choice. Returning to his 
native place, he was admitted to holy 
orders, and was first curate and afterwards 
co-pastor. Soon after he attained to 'this 
degree, he was married to the eldest daugh- 
ter of the pastor, Christina Brodersonia ; 
of whom her son says " She possessed all 


the virtues of her sex, and was an excellent 
economist." No doubt she found ample 
room for the exercise of this her distin- 
guishing excellence, for her husband's sti- 
pend was small, and she brought him a 
goodly family of two sons and three 
daughters. We may well believe that 
thrift and frugality were necessary in the 
menage of this small household. 

Linnaeus tells us, that the young couple 
welcomed their first-born with joy, and 
reared him with the tehderest solicitude, 
" devoting the utmost attention to impress- 
ing on his mind the love of virtue, both in 
precept and example." He has drawn a 
charming picture of his birth-place ; it was 
situated in a very pleasant valley adjoining 
the lake Mb'klen, which formed a bay, in 
the centre of which stood the parish church 
of Stenbrohult. On the banks of this 


fine lake, surrounded by hills and vallies, 
woods and cultivated grounds, the father of 
Linnaeus dwelt ; his garden and his fields 
yielding him, at the same time, both 
amusement and profit. The young Carl 
had no sooner left his cradle than he was 
constantly in the garden, in which, to use 
his own expression, he almost lived ; de- 
lighted with the brilliant hues and fragrance 
of the beauteous shrubs and flowers which 
flourished there. In a letter to Baron 
Haller, written at the time of his father's 
death, Linnaeus says, " He was an un- 
common lover of plants, and had a select 
garden of numerous rare species/ 5 

The favourite taste of the father was 
quickly imbibed by the child, who was his 
constant companion while he cultivated the 
choice parterre, and eagerly tried to yield 
such slight aid as his childish powers per- 


mitted. He has recorded the first occasion 
when this innate passion was decidedly 
displayed, or rather, perhaps, when it sprung 
into consciousness. He was hardly four 
years old when he chanced to accompany 
his father to a rural fete at Mb'klen, and in 
the evening, it being a pleasant season of 
the year, the guests seated themselves on 
the flowery turf and listened to the good 
pastor, who entertained them with remarks 
on the names and properties of the plants 
which grew around them, showing them 
the roots of Succisa, Tormentilla, Orchides, 
&c. The little Carl attended, with the 
utmost eagerness, to all he saw and heard, 
and " from that time never ceased harass- 
ing his father with questions about the 
name, qualities and nature of every plant 
he met with ;" an unlooked-for result of 
the evening lecture, and which seems to 


have cost the worthy man no small trouble ; 
for the child (not unlike other children, 
for that matter) "very often asked more 
than his father was able to answer ; " in 
addition to which he " used immediately to 
forget all he had learned, and especially the 
names of the plants. To cure him of this 
mischievous habit of inattention, his father 
refused to answer his questions, unless he 
would promise to remember what was told 
him ; which judicious management wrought 
a speedy and effectual cure ; insomuch that 
he tells us, he ever afterwards retained 
with ease whatever he heard. Besides this 
retentiveness of memory, he possessed an 
"astonishing quickness of sight;" an 
almost necessary qualification for the study 
of his favourite science. 

When the boy was eight years old, a 
separate plot of ground was assigned him 


by his father, which was called "Carl's 
Garden/' and which he soon stored with 
collections of plants and wild flowers 
gathered from the woods and fields around 
his dwelling. At the same time he intro- 
duced a variety of weeds ; a treasure 
which it afterwards cost his father no 
small pains to eradicate from his flower- 
beds. The enterprising youngster even 
tried the experiment of establishing a 
swarm of wild bees and wasps in the 
garden, the result of which was a devas- 
tating warfare waged against the domestic 

At length it was thought desirable that 
these flowery pursuits should give way to 
more serious occupations ; and he was com- 
mitted to the charge of a private tutor, 
whom he calls, " a passionate and morose 
man ; better calculated for extinguishing 


a youth's talents than for improving them/' 
Nor did he fare any better in his next 
remove, which was to the grammar-school 
of Wexio, where the masters " pursued 
the same methods, preferring stripes and 
punishments to encouragements and ad- 
monitions/' Probably the boy evinced his 
distaste for such coercive measures, since we 
find him soon removed from school to the 
care of another private teacher, of whose 
mild and gentle disposition he speaks in 
terms of approval ; nevertheless he, too, 
failed to inspire in his pupil a love for the 
studies which were considered necessary as 
preparatory to admission into holy orders ; 
for Nils Linnaeus, desirous that his eldest 
son should become his assistant, and even- 
tually his successor, designed him for the 

It was not till three years later that 


Carl received promotion to a higher "form" 
in the school, called the " circle ; " and the 
principal use he seems to have made of 
the greater liberty allowed him in this 
new rank, was to shun the usual exercises 
and give himself up to the study of 
his favourite pursuit the knowledge of 
flowers. He acknowledges that his time 
was chiefly spent in wandering about the 
outskirts of the town, and making himself 
acquainted with all the plants he could 

According to the system then pursued 
in Sweden, it was necessary that youths 
should pass from the schools or private 
tutors, to a superior seminary, called the 
Gymnasium, where the higher branches 
of literature were taught ; and accord- 
ingly, at the age of seventeen, the young 
Linnaeus was removed thither. But the 


original predilections of his mind were 
here still more strikingly evinced and 
matured. He showed the strongest dis- 
taste for theological studies ; in meta- 
physics, ethics, Greek and Hebrew, and 
theology, his companions far outstripped 
him ; but in mathematics, and particularly 
physics, he as much excelled them. His 
favourite science, botany, which at that 
time was wholly neglected, still continued 
to be his most engrossing pursuit, and he 
soon contrived to form a small library of 
books in that branch. Among others he 
mentions the Chloris Gothica of Bro- 
melius, and Rudbeck's Hortus Upsaliensis, 
which he confesses his inability then to 
comprehend clearly ; nevertheless, he says 
he " continued to read them day and night, 
and committed them to memory/' His 
own copies of these books, " used with 


the utmost care and neatness," were 
preserved among his library, and after his 
death were sold with his collection. The 
zeal and eagerness he evinced in these 
studies procured him, both among masters 
and scholars, the name of " the Little 

At the end of two years his father 
went to Wexio, " hoping to hear from the 
preceptors the most flattering account of 
his beloved son's progress in his studies 
and morals/' But he was sorely disap- 
pointed at learning that, unexceptionable 
as the general behaviour of the youth had 
been, he was evidently quite unfit for a 
divine ; and indeed, in the opinion of the 
authorities, it was pity to incur any further 
expense towards giving him a learned edu- 
cation, some manual employment being far 
more suitable for him. The youth, they 


thought, would be well placed as apprentice 
to some tailor or shoemaker ! 

Grieved at having thus lost his labour, 
and supported his son at school for 
twelve years (an expense he could very 
ill afford), to no purpose, the venerable 
clergyman went his way, pondering what 
course to pursue. It chanced that he was 
suffering from a complaint which required 
medical advice, and he betook himself to 
the house of Dr. Rothmann, the provincial 
physician, also a lecturer in physics ; to 
whom, in the course of conversation, he 
mentioned his perplexity with reference to 
his son Carl. Rothmann suggested that, 
though the opinions of his colleagues might 
be correct as to the boy's inaptitude for 
theological studies, there was good reason 
to believe he might distinguish himself in 
the profession of medicine, and possibly 


that he might accomplish great things in 
the pursuit of natural history. At the same 
time he liberally offered, in case the father's 
circumstances did not permit him to main- 
tain his son in a course of studies, to take 
him into his own house and provide for 
him during the year he must remain at the 
Gymnasium. This generous proposal was 
gratefully accepted, and the result was 
most satisfactory. Linnaeus received from his 
benefactor a course of private instructions 
in physiology, with so much success that 
the youth was able to give a most accurate 
report of all he had been taught. At the 
same time this worthy teacher put him 
into the right method of studying botany, 
showing the necessity of proceeding in a 
scientific manner, and directing his atten- 
tion to the system of Tournefort. The 
very imperfections he found in this work 


stimulated his desire for something more 
perfect, and were, in this way, of use to 
the future naturalist. 

The year following (1727), Linnaeus 
proceeded to the University at Lund, fur- 
nished, as he has himself recorded, with a 
" not very creditable certificate." This 
curiosity, after its kind, was to the effect 
that youth at school may be compared to 
plants, which sometimes baffle all the skill of 
the gardener, but, being transplanted to a 
different soil, occasionally turn out well. 
With this view, and no other, the bearer 
was sent to the University, which, pos- 
sibly, might prove propitious to his pro- 

Happily, the young man had a friend 
at the University, in his former preceptor, 
he of the mild and gentle disposition, who 
kept back the doubtful recommendation, 


and procured his matriculation as one of 
his private pupils. 

At Lund, Linnaeus lodged in the house 
of Dr. Stoboeus, professor of medicine, and 
physician to the King. This eminent man, 
perceiving the industry of his lodger, and 
his acquirements in natural science, allowed 
him free access to his excellent museum of 
minerals, shells, and dried plants ; and, 
highly delighted with the idea of a hortus 
siccus, he immediately began to collect all 
the plants which grew in the vicinity, 
and to " glue them upon paper/' Still he 
was denied the privilege of access to the 
doctor's library ; but, as it fell out, he 
managed to obtain that also. He formed 
an acquaintance with a fellow lodger, a 
young German student, who enjoyed the 
advantage he coveted, and, in return for 
teaching him the principles of physiology, 


he obtained of this youth, books from 
Stoboeus's library. He passed whole nights 
in reading the volumes thus clandestinely 
procured ; but it happened that the mother 
of Stobceus, who was infirm and ailing, 
lay awake several nights in succession, and 
seeing a light constantly burning in 
Linnaeus's room, fearful of fire, desired her 
son to chide the young Smalander for his 

Two nights after, at midnight, the lad 
was surprised by a visit from his host, who 
found him, to his astonishment, diligently 
poring over his books. Being asked why 
he did not go to bed, and whence he had 
procured the books, he was compelled to 
confess everything. Stobceus ordered him 
immediately to go to bed ; and the next 
morning, calling for him, gave him per- 
mission to make what use he pleased of his 


library. From that time this excellent 
man admitted the youth to the utmost 
familiarity, received him at his own table, 
and treated him even as a son. 

While botanizing in the country, in the 
following Spring, Linnaeus was bitten in 
the right arm by a venomous reptile, and 
so serious were the consequences, that his 
life was endangered. As soon as he was 
partially recovered he returned to his 
father's house, in order to recruit during 
the summer vacation, and while staying in 
Smaland he was persuaded by his kind 
friend and benefactor, Dr. Rothinann, to 
quit Lund for Upsala, as a superior school 
of medicine, and affording besides, many 
other advantages of which he would gladly 
avail himself. 

In this University the first and most 
ancient seat of Swedish learning, and the 

C 2 


scene, in after-years, of his greatness our 
young student underwent a severe process 
of training. Poor and unknown, he had 
no means of adding to the scanty pittance 
his parents were able to allow him. 
Scarcely could they afford to give the 
small sum of 200 silver ducats (about 8*) 
towards the expenses of his education 
there. In a short time he found his pockets 
quite empty ; and having no chance of 
obtaining private pupils he vainly looked 
for any other source of maintenance. In 
a few words he thus touchuigly records the 
tale of his sufferings, and the first beam of 
hope that shone across his path. "As 
Petronius says, poverty is the attendant of 
a good mind; and Linnaeus was not without 
it in this University, ... he was obliged 
to trust to chance for a meal, and in the 
article of dress was reduced to such shifts 


that he was obliged, when his shoes re- 
quired mending, to patch them with folded 
paper, instead of sending them to the 
cobbler. He repented of his journey to 
Upsala, and of his departure from the roof 
of Stoboeus ; but to return to Lund was 
a tiresome and expensive undertaking. 
Stoboeus too, had taken it very ill, that a 
pupil whom he loved so sincerely had left 
that University without consulting him. 

' Labor tamen omnia vincit 
Improbus ; et duris urgens in rebus egestas.' VIRG. 

"It chanced one day, in the autumn of 
the year 1728, whilst Linnaeus was very 
intently examining some plants in the aca- 
demical garden, there entered a venerable 
old clergyman, who asked him what he 
was about, whether he was acquainted 
with plants, whence he came, and how 
long he had been prosecuting his studies ? " 


To all these questions lie returned satis- 
factory answers, and was then invited to 
accompany his interrogator to his house, 
which proved to be that of Dr. Olaf 

This estimable and learned man was 
just returned from Stockholm, where he 
had been engaged as a member of the 
Ecclesiastical Commission, and he was at 
that time preparing his celebrated work 
upon the plants mentioned in the Holy 
Scriptures, which he published in 1745, 
having travelled to the East on purpose 
to make it more complete. Little did 
Celsius imagine that the youth whom he 
first met by chance in the academi- 
cal garden at Upsala, was destined, in 
after-years, by his genius, to immortalise 
its fame. He, however, soon discerned 
the merits of Linnaeus, took him under 


his protection, offering him board and 
lodging in his own house, and allowing 
him the full use of his library, which was 
very rich in botanical books. Among all 
his patrons Linnaeus appears to have che- 
rished most the memory of this venerable 
man, never referring to him but in terms 
of reverence and gratitude. 

The friendship and patronage of one so 
distinguished did not fail to procure for the 
youth the advantages he so much needed. 
Before long the son of Professor Eudbeck, 
and other young men, became his private 
pupils, and by this means his pecuniary 
wants were supplied. 

Nothing, however, seems to have given 
Linnaeus so much satisfaction in reviewing 
the events of this period of his early 
history, as the intimate friendship he now 
contracted with a fellow-student named 


Pehr Artedi, who afterwards distinguished 
himself by his knowledge of fishes and 
umbelliferous plants. To the picture he 
has drawn of his friend, Linnaeus has 
added a slight sketch of himself, which 
will interest the reader. There was a 
great difference in the personal appearance, 
as well as the temperament and disposition 
of the two youths. " Artedi was of a tall 
and handsome figure, more serious, and of 
a deliberate judgment ; whereas, his friend 
was short in stature and stout ; hasty 
in temper, and of a sanguine turn/' 
With an honourable spirit of emulation 
the two companions pursued their favourite 
studies. " They divided the kingdoms and 
provinces of nature between them, and 
while Linnaeus yielded the palm to Artedi 
in Ichthyology, the latter acknowledged 
Linnaeus to be his superior in Entomology. 


Each kept his discoveries to himself, though 
for no great length of time, since not a 
day passed without one surprising the 
other by narrating some new fact, so that 
emulation produced mutual industry of 
research, and stimulated each to new ex- 

Linnaeus was now in his twenty-second 
year ; about which time he met with a 
review of Le Vaillant's treatise " sur la 
structure des fleurs;" by which his curio- 
sity was excited to a close examination of 
the stamina and pistils, and perceiving the 
essential importance of these parts of the 
plant, he formed the design of a new me- 
thod of arrangement, founded upon these 

This was the first dawning idea of that 
great system upon which his subsequent 
fame was based. 



LINNAEUS appears to have been, from the 
first, convinced of the importance of the 
idea he had conceived, and lost no time in 
drawing up a little treatise on the sexes of 
plants, in conformity with what he believed 
to be " genuine botanical principles." This 
essay he showed to Celsius, who commu- 
nicated it to Dr. Rudbeck ; and the per- 
formance was honoured with the approba- 
tion of that professor, who desired to 
become better acquainted with the author 
of so " masculine a composition." This 


introduction was a most important one for 
Linnseus. It led the way to his being ap- 
pointed to lecture in the botanical garden, 
as an assistant to Dr. Kudbeck, whose 
advancing age made him incapable of per- 
forming all the duties of his office. 

Linnaeus thus found himself placed in a 
situation of responsibility; and being au- 
thorised to take the management of the 
garden, he arranged it according to his own 
method, and became actually a teacher in 
the very place where he had, the year 
before, applied for the humble situation of 
gardener. His prospects were now bright 
and hopeful ; Dr. Kudbeck thought so well 
of him that he engaged him as tutor to his 
children, and took him into his own house, 
in that capacity, by which means he had 
access to a fine collection of books and 
drawings on natural history. He tells us 


that, at this period, his mornings were 
passed in giving instructions to the stu- 
dents, and his evenings in composing " the 
new system," and "meditating a general 
reformation of botanical science/' It was 
now, too, that he began his Bibliotheca 
Botanica, Classes Plantarum, Critica Bo- 
tanica, and Genera Plantar um, though these 
works were not completed till about seven 
years after, when he published them in 
Holland, during his stay there. After 
thus enumerating his engagements, he adds 
significantly " hence not a moment 
passed unoccupied during his residence 
at Upsala/' 

Linnaeus was not, however, permitted long 
to enjoy, without interruption, his new 
prosperity. "Scarcely had he surmounted 
poverty, before he became an object of 
envy/' and found himself compelled to re- 


nounce the flattering hopes he had che- 
rished. In the following year, Dr. Rosen 
returned from his foreign travels, and being 
in high professional reputation at Upsala, 
hoped to procure the reversion of Professor 
Rudbeck's office. He immediately applied 
for permission to lecture publicly on botany, 
which Rudbeck was unwilling to allow, 
not judging him competent ; and he there- 
fore tried to induce Linnaeus to give up the 
lectures to him, spontaneously. This, how- 
ever, Linnseus was prohibited doing by his 
patron. This unfortunate collision of in- 
terests appears to have awakened an evil 
spirit of rivalry between Rosen and Lin- 
nseus. This affair, together with a do- 
mestic chagrin he endured in the family 
of the Professor, made him turn his atten- 
tion with eagerness to a new field which 
opened before his adventurous spirit. 



Rudbeck had often related to him the 
curious facts he had noticed, and the plants 
he had discovered during his travels in 
Lapland, and in this way had excited a 
great inclination in the mind of the youth 
to visit that country. The whole fruits of 
Rudbeck's expedition thither had unfortu- 
nately been destroyed in the dreadful fire 
at Upsala, in 1702 ; and the Royal Aca- 
demy was then meditating the design of 
sending out a second expedition of disco- 
very to that country. The friends of Lin- 
naeus succeeded in procuring his appoint- 
ment to this laborious undertaking, and it 
was decided he should set out on the 
journey the year following. In conse- 
quence of this arrangement, Linna3us left 
Upsala in the autumn, and spent the winter 
months in his native place. 

He had been succeeded, in the home of 


his childhood, by a younger brother, who 
was at that time in his fourteenth year, 
and who seems to have imitated the ex- 
ample, or rather to have shared the natural 
tastes of Carl. His parents, especially his 
mother, had been deeply disappointed at 
the failure of their expectations from their 
elder son ; and now set their heart on 
having, in Samuel, a worthy successor to 
his father's office, in the room of Carl. 
But the stripling showed a strong inclina- 
tion to love flowers better than divinity ; 
and it was only in compliance with the 
earnest representations and commands of 
his parents, that he yielded to their wishes, 
and eventually became a preacher, in the 
year 1741 ; on his father's decease succeed- 
ing him in the rectory of Stenbrohult, 
His natural predilections, however, still con- 
tinued strong within him, and he shone as 


an eminent connoisseur and author in one 
branch of natural science, and in the year 
1768 published a work on the breeding of 
bees, which met with so favourable a re- 
ception that its author was called " King 
of the Bees " (Bi Kung). It will be rea- 
dily imagined that the two brothers, with 
such natural similarity of tastes, enjoyed 
the temporary season of intercourse now 
afforded them, and which probably, in the 
course of their lives, was seldom if ever 
renewed for so long a period. 

Early in 1732, Linnaaus left his father's 
house, to set out on his arduous under- 
taking. On his way to Upsala he paid a 
visit to his former friend and preceptor 
Stobceus, at Lund ; and studied his col- 
lection of minerals, the only branch of na- 
tural history with which (he tells us) he 
was unacquainted He shortly after pro- 


ceeded to Upsala, from which place he set 
out on his journey alone, May 12, 1732 ; 
" being at that time within half a day of 
twenty-five years of age." 

During this journey Linnaeus travelled 
over the greater part of Lapland, skirting 
the boundaries of Norway ; and returned 
to Upsala by the eastern side of the 
Bothnian Gulf, having, in five months, 
performed a journey of near 4000 English 
miles, mostly on foot. He necessarily en- 
dured many hardships, and vast fatigue, 
and his life was several times imperilled. 
Bogs and forests intercepted his way, and 
food, even of the coarsest description, it 
was occasionally no easy matter to procure. 
Yet, amid all difficulties his spirit was un- 
flagging, and obstacles only seemed to 
quicken his zeal. The natural curiosities 
of the country, the manners of the people, 



and the general features of the various 
regions he traversed, all were observed and 
written down for future use. He collected 
above 100 plants, entirely undescribed and 
unknown before, and upon his return ar- 
ranged all the Flora of Lapland according 
to his own favourite system, and delivered 
publicly an account of his journey. 

The result of Ms botanical observations 
was not published till several years after- 
wards, during his residence in Holland. 
The general account of this expedition, 
entitled Lachesis Lapponica, (or a Tour in 
Lapland,) originally written in the Swedish 
language, was translated into English for 
Sir J. E. Smith, and published in two 8vo. 
volumes. This expedition was the first 
and most difficult of all the six journeys 
of Linngeus. He spoke of it afterwards in 
one of his academical addresses, in these 


words: "My journey through Lapland 
was particularly toilsome, and I own that 
I was obliged to sustain more hardships 
and dangers in that sole peregrination 
through the frontier of our northern world, 
than in all the travels I undertook in other 
parts. But having once sustained the toils 
of travelling, I buried in the oblivion of 
Lethe all the dangers and difficulties I en- 
dured; the invaluable fruits I reaped having 
compensated for every toil." Writing to a 
friend on the same subject, he says, " All 
my food in those fatiguing excursions con- 
sisted, for the most part, of fish and rein- 
deer's milk. Bread, salt, and what is found 
everywhere else, did but seldom recreate 
my palate. One of the greatest nuisances 
which I met with in Lapland, was the im- 
mense numbers of flies ; I used to keep 
them off by drawing a crape over my face. 

D 2 



. . . This numberless quantity of teasing 
insects is not, however, without its utility. 
They serve as food to the birds of passage, 
and the latter are a valuable branch of the 
Laplander's subsistence." 

A short sketch of this tour, with occa- 
sional extracts from Linnseus's diary, will 
probably be acceptable to the reader ; and 
the more so, as this is the only one of his 
journeys the record of which is accessible 
to us. 

The youthful traveller started on his ad- 
venturous journey " without incumbrances 
of any kind, and carried all his baggage on 
his back ;" by which means alone, he was 
enabled to prosecute the objects he had in 
view. Leaving Upsala by the northern 
gate, he travelled for a considerable dis- 
tance through fertile corn-fields, bounded 
by hills, and the view terminated by exten- 


sive forests. "With respect to situation 
and variety of prospects," the young Swede 
was of opinion that scarcely any city could 
stand a comparison with this. At a short- 
distance from the gates, he left, on the 
right, old Upsala, the place renowned for 
the worship of the primeval gods of Sweden, 
and for the inauguration and residence of 
her earliest kings. Here, in days of high 
antiquity, human sacrifices were offered at 
the shrines of the Pagan deities ; and here 
our traveller noticed the three large sepul- 
chral mounds, which tradition has assigned 
to the bodies of Odin, Frigga, and Thor. 

" Cheered with the song of the charming 
lark," which attended his steps through the 
lowland, his approach to the forests was 
welcomed by the redwing, "whose amorous 
warblings from the tops of the spruce firs/' 
appeared to him to rival the nightingale 



itself. As the summer was advancing, he 
thought it not desirable to lose time by the 
way, nor to stray far from the high road, 
in the early part of the tour ; but atten- 
tively observing what presented itself to 
him as he passed along, he noted the 
various plants, animals, and insects, to- 
gether with the general features of the 

Arrived in the province of Hedelpad, he 
ascended its highest mountain, leaving his 
horse " tied to an ancient Runic monumen- 
tal stone/' He found several uncommon 
plants here ; and from the summit, gazed 
on the country spread out below, varied 
with plains and cultivated fields, villages, 
lakes, and rivers a most picturesque and 
romantic region. The descent was very 
difficult, and even dangerous. Leaving this 
mountain, Linna?us took his route along 


the sea-shore, which was spread with the 
wrecks of vessels, telling to the feeling 
heart of the young traveller a sad tale of 
woe. " How many prayers, sighs, tears, 
vows, and lamentations all, alas ! in vain 
rose to my imagination at this melan- 
choly spectacle ! " he exclaims. The sight 
reminded him of a student who, going by 
sea from Stockholm to Abo, experienced so 
severely the terrors of the ocean, that he 
chose to walk back round the head of the 
Bothnian Gulf, rather than adventure 
himself again upon the deep ! This youth, 
afterwards a Professor at Abo, assumed the 
surname of Tillands, expressive of his at- 
tachment to terra flrma, and Linnseus 
named, in honour of him, a plant which 
cannot bear wet. 

In five or six days, Linnaeus reached 
Hernosand, the principal town of Anger- 



mania, on the Bothnian Gulf, and visited 
a tremendously steep and lofty mountain 
called Skula, where was a cavern, which he 
desired to explore. Here he was within a 
hair's breadth of a fatal accident, for one of 
the peasants who accompanied him, in 
climbing up, loosened a large stone, which 
was hurled down the track Linnaeus had 
just left, and fell exactly on the spot he had 
occupied. " If I had not (he says) provi- 
dentially changed my route, nobody would 
ever have heard of me more ; I was sur- 
rounded by fire and smoke, and should 
certainly, but for the protecting hand of 
Providence, have been crushed to pieces." 
From this point of the journey a change 
came over the face of nature. The country 
was covered over with snow, in some places 
inches deep ; the pretty spring flowers dis- 
appeared, and in their place nothing but 


wintry plants were seen peeping through 
the snow. At length, on the 23rd of May, 
he reached Umoea, in West Bothnia, where 
he turned out of the main road to the left, 
designing to visit Lycksele, Lapmark ; by 
which means he lost the advantage of the 
regular post-horses, and found the ways so 
narrow and intricate, that at every step 
he stumbled. " In this dreary wilderness I 
began to feel very solitary, and to long 
earnestly for a companion (lie says) ; the 
few inhabitants I met had a foreign accent? 
and always concluded their sentences with 
an adjective." As the night shut in, the 
way-worn traveller began also to long for 
a good meal, and has thus recorded the 
result of his application, on arriving at a 
village where he passed the night : " On 
my inquiring what I could have for supper, 
they set before me the breast of a cock 


of the woods, which had been shot and 
dressed some time the preceding year. 
Its aspect was not very inviting ; but the 
taste proved delicious, and T found, with 
pleasure, that these poor Laplanders know 
better than some of their more opulent 
neighbours, how to employ the good things 
which God has bestowed upon them/' 
The bird is prepared by a process of salting 
and drying, and will keep even for three 
years, if necessary. Linnaeus next pro- 
ceeded up the river of Uincea as far as 
Lycksele, where he was hospitably received 
by the worthy pastor of the place, and the 
next day, being Whitsunday, he stayed there, 
and would fain have remained longer, but, 
for fear of the floods impeding his journey, 
he hastened his departure on the morrow, 
and on the 1st of June entered the terri- 
tories of the native Laplanders, passing 


through wild forests, with no traces of 
roads. A more desolate picture of wretch- 
edness than this region presented, one 
cannot imagine. Fenny marshes, flooded 
by the rivers, and bogs utterly impassable, 
where at every step the water was above 
the knees, and ice at the bottom. "We 
pursued our journey (continues the diary) 
with considerable labour and difficulty, all 
night long, if that might be called night 
which was as light as the day, the sun dis- 
appearing for half an hour only, and the 
temperature of the air being rather cold." 
The poor inhabitants had themselves, at 
this season, nothing to eat but a scanty 
supply of fish ; for they had not begun to 
kill their reindeer, nor to milk them. In 
addition to these evils, the villainous bites 
of the gnats and other insects tortured the 
unhappy traveller, till at length he ex- 


claims, " I had now my fill of travel- 

Gladly would he have returned by the 
way he came, but he could find no road 
back to the boat, and even the hardy Lap- 
landers themselves, " born to labour, as the 
birds to fly," could not help complaining, 
and declared they had never been in such 
extremity before. It is evident that even 
the robust frame of Linnaeus was begin- 
ning to yield to the combined effects of 
fatigue, exhaustion, and hunger. He at 
length obtained some food which he was 
able to eat, and after incredible exertions 
succeeded in retracing his steps to the river, 
on which he again embarked, and returned 
to Umcea ; having, as he ingenuously ac- 
knowledged, " with the thoughtlessness of 
youth, undertaken more than he was able 
to perform." 


From Umoea Linnaeus proceeded to Pi- 
thosa, which he reached after two days' 
journey "the night being as pleasant for 
travelling as the day." He notices the 
beauty of the fresh shoots of the spruce 
fir, which constitute one of the greatest 
ornaments of the forests which adorn this 
part of Sweden. 

Being anxious to proceed with all haste, 
in order if possible to reach the Alps of 
Luleau Lapland, " in time to see the sun 
above the horizon at midnight, which is 
beheld there to the best advantage," the 
traveller made no longer stay at Lulea than 
was needful for the purposes of exploring 
the neighbouring coast and islands. He 
has noted the various entomological and 
other specimens he observed, and after ad- 
miring the beauty of some of them, ex- 
claims, in a sort of rapture, "The ob- 


server of nature sees with admiration that 
the whole world is full of the glory of 
God/' The last day he spent at Lulea, 
he writes " Midsummer-day ; Blessed be 
the Lord for the beauty of summer and 
of spring, and for what is here in greater 
perfection than almost anywhere else in 
the world the air, the water, the verdure 
of the herbage, and the song of birds." 
After Divine Service next day, Linnaeus 
left the town and embarked on the river 
of Lulea, which he " continued to navigate 
upwards for several successive days and 
nights, having good accommodation both 
as to food and boat/' At length he ar- 
rived at Quick] ock, situated close to the 
Alps. He was accompanied by a mine- 
master, named Swanberg, who was at that 
time journeying to Kurivari. During this 
voyage, Swanberg, who had taken great 


delight in Linnseus's conversation, " offered 
to instruct liim in the art of assaying 
within a very short time, if he would 
agree to visit Calix, in his way home- 
ward." At Quickjock, the wife of the 
curate provided our traveller with stores 
sufficient for eight days, and procured him 
a Laplander, whose assistance as interpreter 
and servant was highly necessary. 

" On my first ascending these wild Alps 
(he says), I felt as if in a new world. 
Here were no forests to be seen, but moun- 
tains upon mountains, larger and larger, as 
I advanced, all covered with snow. No 
road, no tracks, nor any sign of inhabi- 
tants were visible. The declining sun never 
disappeared sufficiently to allow any cooling 
shade, and by climbing to the more elevated 
parts of these lofty mountains, I could see 
it at midnight, above the horizon. This 


spectacle I considered as not one of the least 
of nature's miracles, for what inhabitant of 
other countries would not wish to behold it ? 
O Lord, how wonderful are thy works ! " 

In this frozen region, there were no 
traces of verdure, save in the deep valleys 
between the mountains. Very few birds 
were visible except some ptarmigans, those 
hardy inhabitants of the bleak mountain 
tops. A pretty little incident, recorded by 
Linnaeus, shows so kind a heart, that it 
must not be omitted here. "The little 
Alpine variety of the ptarmigan was now 
accompanied by its young. I caught one 
of these, upon which the hen ran so close 
to me, that I could easily have taken her 
also. She kept continually jumping round 
and round me, but I thought it a pity to 
deprive the tender brood of their mother ; 
neither would my compassion for the mo- 


ther allow me long to detain her offspring, 
which I returned to her in safety." 

After a long and wearisome journey along 
these mountain passes, the traveller reached 
one of the cottages of the country. Here 
the inhabitants, sixteen in number, received 
him kindly, and gave him two reindeer 
skins to sleep between. In the morning 
some hundreds of reindeer came home to 
be milked, and it amazed the stranger to 
perceive that, although to his eyes they 
were all perfectly alike, yet each of the 
herd had its appropriate name, and was 
readily distinguished by the owners. 

Steering his course S.W., Linnaeus pro- 
ceeded to the lofty ice mountains, or 
" main ridge of the country," which he 
had no sooner reached, than a storm over- 
took him, accompanied by a shower of thin 
pieces of ice, which soon encrusted his gar- 


ments. The cold was intense, and the 
whole country was one dazzling waste. 
No sooner, however, had he crossed the 
summit of the ridge than a change was 
perceptible, and soon, from the lofty 
heights, he beheld the ample forests of 
Norway lying far beneath. The whole 
appearance of the country was perfectly 
green, and notwithstanding its vast extent, 
looked like a garden in miniature. The 
descent was slow and long protracted, but 
at length he reached the plains, of which 
he had enjoyed so glorious a prospect. 
"Nothing (he exclaims) could be more de- 
lightful to my feelings than this transition 
from all the severity of winter, to the 
warmth and beauty of summer. Oh ! how 
most lovely of all is summer ! The ver- 
dant herbage, the sweet-scented clover, the 
tall grass, reaching up to my arms, the 


grateful flavour of the wild fruits, and the 
fine weather that welcomed me at the foot 
of these Alps, seemed to refresh me both 
in mind and body." 

Here Linnaeus found himself close to 
the sea-coast, and he went to sea in a boat 
to search for the natural productions of that 
element. He would fain have approached 
the celebrated whirlpool, called the Mael- 
strom, but he found no one willing to 
venture it. On the 13th of July, he ar- 
rived at the parsonage house of Rorstadt, 
from the occupant of which, himself a 
traveller and a naturalist, Linnseus received 
a cordial welcome. A rather significant 
entry tells us that here, " in this far dis- 
tant nook of the wide peopled earth," the 
young enthusiast found an object of sur- 
passing interest. "The pastor (he says; 
has a handsome daughter, named Sarah 

E 2 


Rask, eighteen years of age ; she seemed 
to me uncommonly beautiful ! " 

The next morning, Linnseus took his leave 
of this elysium, and proceeded on his way. 
Climbing the mountains again, he found a 
work of " no small fatigue and exhaustion," 
and he has given us a most painful account 
of the subsequent route he pursued towards 
the Alps of Tornea, "What I endured," 
he concludes, " is hardly to be described ; 
how many weary steps I had to set, the 
precipices that came in my way, and my 
excessive fatigue. Water was our only 
drink during this journey, and it never 
appeared so refreshing as when we sucked 
it out of the melting snow." At length, 
tired of advancing further into this inhos- 
pitable country, he determined to return to 
Quick] ock. In the course of his journey 
thither, his life was twice endangered, 


but at length he reached the place of 
his destination, "having been four weeks 
without tasting bread." After resting some 
days at Quickjock, Linnaeus descended the 
river again to Lulea, where he " learned the 
art of assaying from the mine-master Swan- 
berg, at Calix, in two days and a night ; " 
and thence his journey was continued 
through Tornea. He had intended to 
visit the mountains, but before he could 
get thither the winter set in, and he was 
obliged to return along the coast on the 
eastern side of the Bothnian Gulf. The 
last entry in his journal is dated October 
1 Oth, and is as follows "About one o'clock 
P.M. I arrived safe at Upsala. To the 
Maker and Preserver of all things be praise, 
honour, and glory for ever ! " 



THE little plant, of which a figure is given 
on the title-page, is the Linnsea borealis, 
selected by the youthful naturalist as his 
own flowery prototype. He afterwards 
distinguished many of his friends by affix- 
ing their names to various plants : and he 
seems to have chosen this humble floweret 
to be called after himself, when he gathered 
it at Lycksele, May 29th, 1732. It is 
common in West Bothnia, and in almost 
all the great northern forests ; but it may 
be easily overlooked, because it grows only 


where the woods are thickest, and its 
delicate twin blossoms are almost hid 
among the moss, and interwoven with ivy. 
Their smell resembles that of the Meadow- 
Sweet, and is so strong during the night, 
as to discover the plant at a considerable 
distance. Linnaeus traces a resemblance 
between this lowly Lapland flower and his 
own early lot. Like it, unfolding in a 
remote northern region, he was unknown 
and overlooked, without the advantages of 
fortune or place. The world thought not 
of him, while, in poverty and obscurity, he 
pursued his scientific researches ; few knew 
or valued the solitary wanderer, who, 
taking for his motto the words, " Tantus 
amor floruin, " ("Thus great is the love of 
flowers,") explored the recesses of nature, 
and culled the treasures of the mountain 
and glen, the forest and moor, returning 


enriched with these sylvan spoils, which, 
in due time, he presented, arranged in new 
and beauteous order, to the delight and 
astonishment of kindred minds in every 

At first, indeed, he seemed to reap but 
a humble reward for his toils. " On his 
arrival at home, he presented to the Aca- 
demy of Sciences an account of his expe- 
dition, which obtained their approbation, 
and they gave him 112 silver dollars" (not 
more thanlO) "his travelling expenses.'' 

In the following spring he began a 
private course of lectures on the art of 
assaying (which he had learned so cleverly 
from his chance companion during the Lap- 
land journey). This art had never been 
taught at Upsala before ; and the novelty 
of the subject, the skilful manner in which 
he communicated instruction, and the rea- 


sonable terms he exacted, secured Linnseus 
a considerable number of pupils. 

Unfortunately that spirit of rivalry 
whose germ had already occasioned him 
so much trouble, now broke out afresh 
with renewed violence. The jealousy of 
Rosen was rekindled, and LinnaBus accuses 
him, in his diary, of the meanness of ob- 
taining, partly by entreaty, partly by 
threats, his MS. lectures on Botany 
(which he valued more than anything 
else he possessed), and which he after- 
wards detected his rival in surreptitiously 
copying. This formidable enemy next pro- 
ceeded to use all his influence to prevent 
Linnseus from obtaining the means of sub- 
sistence. He procured for another candi- 
date the place of Adjunct in the Medical 
Faculty at Lund, which would have been 
very advantageous to Linnseus, and in the 


following year obtained from the Arch- 
bishop (whose niece he had married) an 
order to prevent all private medical lec- 
tures in the University. This act, for 
which no motive can be assigned, save that 
of a base malice, deprived Linnaeus of his 
only means of obtaining a livelihood, and 
seemed the death-blow to his hopes. It is 
said that Linnaeus was so exasperated on 
this occasion, as to draw his sword upon 
Rosen. He has not himself recorded this 
incident ; and, if he wished it to be for- 
gotten, it may reasonably be inferred that 
he regretted it. 

Thus thwarted in his efforts to resume 
his engagements at Upsala, Linnaeus turned 
his attention to mineralogy, and in order to 
improve his knowledge in this branch of 
science he visited the great Swedish mining 
districts. At Fahlun he was introduced to 


Baron Reuterholm, Governor of Dalecarlia, 
by whom he was employed to investigate 
the productions of that province. Several 
of his students applied for permission to 
accompany him in this tour ; and he chose 
seven of the ablest and most zealous among 
them, forming, as it were, a caravan of 
naturalists, by whose assistance he might, 
with the greater ease, prosecute his objects. 
He acted himself as Governor, and took 
the lead of the whole enterprise, while to 
each of the band he assigned a distinct 
department, adapted to his knowledge and 

Nahemann, the first of the staff, had 
signalised himself by a treatise on the 
Dalecarlia n language ; and he was to act 
as geographer, and give an accurate de- 
scription of all the villages, mountains, 
lakes, rivers, roads, &c., to say morning 


and evening prayers, and to preach on 
Sundays. The second companion was a 
naturalist, and was to make observations 
on the four elements. The third acted as 
metallist. To the fourth was assigned the 
botanical part of the enterprise, in addition 
to that of provider general of stores, &c. 
The fifth was the zoologist of the party ; 
and to the sixth the office of draughtsman 
and general supervisor was entrusted. By 
a strict observance of rules and regulations 
laid down for the general direction of all, 
the tour was carried out with the utmost 
convenience and ease, and to the perfect sa- 
tisfaction of the President, by whose saga- 
city and excellent management the whole 
was designed and effected. In the course of 
this expedition, the mountains of Dalecarlia 
were twice explored, and a part of Norway ; 
and the materials collected formed the Iter 


Dalecarlium, a work which, it seems, was 
never published.* 

After his return from this journey, Lin- 
naeus remained at Fahlun, where he gave a 
course of lectures on the subject of assay- 
ing, which was numerously attended. Here 
he soon gathered around him a circle of 
friends and admirers. His diary thus 
records his satisfaction : " Linnseus here, 
at Fahlun, found himself quite in a new 
world, where everybody loved and assisted 
him, and he acquired considerable medical 
practice/' Here he first became acquainted 
with Browallius, afterwards Bishop of Abo 
who conceived a particular regard for Lin- 
nseus, and desired his instruction in botany, 

* A particular fruit of this journey was a list of pasture 
herbs, which was afterwards published under the title of 
" Pan Suecus," and inserted in the second part of the 
" Amoenitates Academical," a collection of the academical 
dissertations of Linnaeus. 


mineralogy, &c. This judicious friend ad- 
vised him to go abroad, and take his 
doctor's degree, by which means he might 
settle with more favourable prospects, and 
he further suggested the desirableness of 
aiming at some advantageous matrimonial 
engagement. Over the management of the 
latter delicate project, love and prudence 
seem to have equally presided, and we 
have, in Linnaeus's own account of the 
matter, reason for believing that he at- 
tained his wishes in every respect. He 
says that Dr. John Moroeus, to the hand 
of whose daughter he aspired, was a man 
of considerable property (for his situation in 
life); and it was evidently with some 
trepidation that the penniless student ven- 
tured to make his proposals. Probably 
had he been instigated by prudence only, 
he had remained silent ; but love was at 


work, and tie ventured, at length, after 
having assured himself of the favourable 
dispositions of his mistress towards him, to 
apply to Dr. Moroeus. The worthy phy- 
sician "thought well of Linnaeus, but not 
of his prospects in life." He wavered 
about giving his consent to the union, 
" voluit et noluit," says Linnaeus, in a 
letter to a friend ; and ultimately decided, 
that after a probation of three years he 
would give his final answer. 

Thus, in the 29th year of his age, Lin- 
naeus found himself virtually betrothed ; 
and it was thenceforward his grand object 
to procure some settled and remunerative 
occupation. Having fixed upon medicine 
as a profession, he resolved, in accordance 
with the advice of Browallius, to take a 
doctor's degree. For this purpose he con- 
trived to procure about 15, and set off 


on his way to the University of Harder- 
wyck, " bent on seeing as much of the 
learned world as his chances and means 
might enable him to do/' He did not go 
unaccompanied ; a medical student named 
Sohlberg took the place which would have 
been occupied by his beloved friend Artedi, 
had he not recently left Upsala, to proceed 
to England. His first visit was to his 
native place, in order to pay his dutiful 
respects to his father, who had, a short 
time before, lost his faithful wife. She died 
the preceding summer, in the 45th year of 
her age. Thus she was not permitted to 
see the success and honours which her 
eldest-born was destined to achieve. Poor 
mother ! Her sun had gone down when 
it was yet mid-day ; she had borne the bur- 
den and heat of the noon, but the season of 
rest, of ingathering and rejoicing, she tasted 


not in this life : for she is laid in her 
lowly grave, in the shadow of the church 
of Stenbrohult ; and thither her son re- 
pairs, to shed in secret the tear of filial 
love and regret. Perhaps he has never 
more longed for the sympathy of a mo- 
ther's heart than now, when he feels the 
anxieties and fears of " hope deferred," 
and to whom could he have so unre- 
servedly communicated the thousand hopes, 
joys, fancies, and desires that throng around 
his heart, as to her who lies there ? Ah, 
in vain he sighs, and longs for some re- 
sponse; there is no sound save that of the 
murmuring breeze that waves the harebells 
which cluster over the greeri sod beneath 
which she lies. "Alas! my mother;" 
and again, " Alas, alas ! my mother," he 
cries, and the bitter tears fall fast. . . But 
soon he has dried them; he may not yield 


longer to grief: the day of life is yet be- 
fore him, and he must gird himself and go 
on his way; and do his work ere it be 
night, and he too shall lie down and sleep. 
Linnaeus continued his journey through 
the southern provinces of Sweden, and 
crossed to Elsineur, from which place he 
proceeded, by sea, to Lubeck, and thence 
to Hamburgh ; where he continued for 
about a month. In this city he received 
many civilities from the literati and scien- 
tific men to whom he had introductions, 
among others, Professor Kohl, Dr. Jcenisch, 
and M. Von Sprekelsen. His whole time 
was employed in " viewing the fine gar- 
dens and everything else worthy of atten- 
tion." The public library he examined 
" with great eagerness/' and also the prin- 
cipal cabinets of natural history, and the 
botanical gardens, and private libraries, 


in one of which he was much pleased at 
finding the botanical work of Hay, which 
he had so long wished to see.* 

In the museum of the Burgomaster An- 
dersen, there was a seven-headed monster, 
which had been regarded as "a masterpiece 
of nature," and figured by the celebrated 
Seba, in his " Thesaurus :" it was esteemed 
so valuable, that it had been pledged in 
security for a loan of 10,000 marks (750). 
" Linna3us thought himself extremely happy 
in obtaining a sight of this curiosity, which 
he viewed at the place where it lay, depo- 
sited in a box about an ell and a half long, 
and embalmed in a perfect manner. He 
gazed with the utmost wonder at this 
prodigy, and could not sufficiently admire 
it ; " till at length, bent upon a close in- 

* Linnaeus, as he frequently told Ms pupils, never ceased 
to esteem Ray as one of the most penetrating observers of 
the natural affinity of plants. 

F 2 


spection of the marvellous phenomenon, 
he, with keen eye, examined the gaping 
mouths of the beast, some of which had 
been shrivelled up, worn by the edge of 
time, and showed the teeth, which, it seem- 
ed to him, bore a strong resemblance to those 
of weasels ! Weasels' teeth in a serpent's 
mouth ! Strange, and wholly inconsistent 
with the established laws of the Regne 
Animal ! There must be something amiss. 
Regardless of " disagreeable embarrass- 
ments," and of all probable results, the 
young naturalist pronounced the famous 
seven-headed Hydra that rare masterpiece 
of nature, which had formerly been exhi- 
bited on an altar in a Catholic Church at 
Prague (!) to be a deception, composed of 
weasels' jaw-bones covered with serpents' 
skins ! It may be readily imagined that 
this discovery by no means enhanced the 


value of the prodigy ; and in the end, Lin- 
naeus found it would be his wisest course 
to follow the advice of Dr. Josnisch, who 
whispered in his ear, to begone with all 
possible speed if he wished to avoid end- 
less delays and litigations. " I had but 
one friend in Hamburgh/' he was wont, 
in after-years, to say ; "that was Dr. Jce- 
nisch, and, truly, he was a friend indeed ! " 
Without delay, therefore, Linnaeus pro- 
ceeded to Amsterdam, where he spent 
eight days, " and saw all the splendour 
and expense bestowed on that city." 
Thence he proceeded to Hardervyck, and, 
after having undergone the requisite pre- 
vious examinations, he obtained his degree, 
June 23rd, 1735. On this occasion he 
published and defended a thesis on the 
" Causes of Intermittent Fever," in the 
dedication of which to his friends and 


patrons, it is remarkable that among other 
names we find that of Rosen. 

Having obtained the object of his visit 
to Hardervyck, Linnaeus returned to Am- 
sterdam, and thence to Ley den, where he 
visited Professor Van Eoyen. But, of 
all the persons he met with in Holland, he 
said, " there was none who paid him more 
attention than Dr. J. F. Gronovius, who 
returned the visit Linnaeus paid him, and 
saw his Systema Naturae in MS., which 
astonished him, and he requested permis- 
sion to get it printed at his own ex- 
pense." That work was accordingly 
published in eight large sheets, in the 
form of tables; "which edition (says 
Sir J. E. Smith) is now a great bib- 
liothecal curiosity." This was the germ 
of that system upofl which are in a great 
measure founded most of the zoological 


systems in use at the present day, and 
which many botanists still prefer to any 

By the advice of Gronovius, Linnaeus 
waited on the celebrated physician, Boer- 
haave, to whom, after eight days' applica- 
tion, he obtained admittance. The ante- 
chamber of this illustrious man was always 
as much crowded as that of a minister 
of state, and even Peter the Great was 
unable to obtain immediate access to him. 
So far had the renown of this oracle of 
medicine extended, that a letter from the 
Emperor of China, simply directed to 
" Boerhaave the famous physician in Eu- 
rope," was duly delivered. Boerhaave 
showed Linnseus his garden (not far from 
Leyden), stocked with all the plants that 
would bear that climate, and Linnseus had 
thus an opportunity of manifesting his 


skill in the science of botany, of which 
he availed himself to such purpose, that 
Boerhaave advised him not to leave Holland 
immediately (as he had intended doing), "but 
to take up his abode and remain there. 
This advice Linnaeus was not in circum- 
stances to follow ; in fact, his little store 
of money was now all expended, and (as 
he significantly intimates) he knew the 
disposition of his father-in-law too well to 
trouble him on that score. He, therefore, 
proceeded to Amsterdam, on his way home- 
ward ; where, being desired by Boerhaave 
to present his respects to Dr. Burmann, 
the Professor of Botany, he found himself 
most cordially welcomed, and so generously 
urged to remain and make the house of 
the Professor his home for some months, 
that he yielded to the invitation, and re- 
mained there till the year following. 


During this period he printed his Fun- 
dam enta Botanica, a small octavo of 36 
pages, in the form of aphorisms ; of which 
Sir J. E. Smith (in his biographical notice 
of Linnseus in Rees's Cyclopaedia) says, 
" It contains the very essence of botanical 
philosophy, and has never been superseded 
nor refuted. The subsequent performances of 
the author himself and of his followers, have 
been excellent in proportion as they have 
kept to the maxims of this little book." 

In connection with this publication, Lin- 
nseus has recorded an incident which pleas- 
ingly indicates his fidelity to the early 
friendship of his youth. " No sooner (he 
says) had I finished my Fundamenta Bo- 
tanica, than I hastened to communicate 
them to Artedi ; who, on his part, showed 
me the work which had been the result 
of several years' study his Philosophia 


Ichthyologica, and other MSS. I was de- 
lighted with his familiar converse. Mean- 
while, overwhelmed with business, I grew 
impatient at his detaining me too long. 
Alas ! had I known that this was the last 
visit, and these the last words of my 
friend, how fain would I have tarried to 
prolong his existence \" 

A few months previously Linnaeus had 
found an opportunity of aiding his unfortu- 
nate friend, whom he had met with at 
Leyden, on his return from England, where 
"he had spent all his money/' and was 
now in great difficulty, having no means 
of obtaining funds sufficient for his neces- 
sities. His friend comforted him with the 
assurance that he was now in circum- 
stances to relieve his urgent wants ; and, 
still more, he procured for him remunera- 
tive occupation. He has thus recorded the 


facts connected with this transaction, and 
with the disastrous end of Artedi : " Al- 
bertus Seba, a German apothecary at Am- 
sterdam, had, a short time before, requested 
Linnseus to assist him in completing the 
third volume of his Thesaurus ; but, being 
otherwise engaged, Linnseus could not accept 
this offer ; and besides, this third volume 
related chiefly to fishes, which he liked the 
least of all the branches of zoology. Lin- 
nseus went to Seba with Artedi, whom he 
recommended as the first man in Ichthyo- 
logy. The work was accordingly put into 
Artedi's hands, with the promise of a hand- 
some recompense ; and he lived comfort- 
ably at Amsterdam, where he at length so 
far completed the undertaking, that only 
six fishes remained ; but, one evening, on 
leaving Seba's to return to his own house, 
he fell into a canal, and was, unhappily, 


As soon as the tidings of this distressing 
event reached Linnaeus, he went to Am- 
sterdam, anxious to obtain possession of 
Artedi's MSS. 

When they were fellow students at Up- 
sala, the two friends had reciprocally con- 
stituted themselves heirs to each other's 
books and manuscripts ; and the time was 
now come for Linna3us to redeem his pledge, 
and do all in his power to preserve from 
oblivion the works of his deceased friend. 
The landlord, however, having made out an 
exorbitant bill, refused to deliver up his 
effects, and it was necessary to have re- 
course to the liberality of Mr. Clifford, to 
advance the money. In 1738, Linnseus 
published the principal of these MSS., 
which was the work on fishes ; in the 
preface to which he says " How fortunate 
shall I deem myself if I have perpetuated 
the memory of my deceased friend, and 


rescued from oblivion a work which is one 
of the best and most meritorious of its 
kind !" 

After LinnaBus had been some months 
with Burmann, he was introduced to Mr. 
Clifford, a rich banker, whose garden at 
Hartecamp was one of the finest in the 
world, and who was the most enterprising 
botanist and horticulturist of the day. 
He had been advised by Boerhaave to se- 
cure the services of Linnaeus to arrange 
and describe his magnificent collection of 
plants and natural curiosities, and, certain 
of finding in Linnseus a man equal to the 
task, he considered himself fortunate in 
persuading Burmann to give him up. 

Thus was Linnaeus removed to Clifford's, 
"where," he has told us, "he lived like 
a prince, had one of the finest gardens in 
the world under his inspection, obtained 


permission to procure all the plants that 
were wanted in the garden, and such books 
as were not to be found in the library ; 
and, of course, enjoyed all the advantages 
he could wish for in his botanical labours, 
to which he devoted himself day and 
night." He now first set about getting 
his Flora Lapponica printed, and was as- 
sisted by the contributions of a society at 
Amsterdam, which offered to advance the 
plates for it. This work, which is one of 
the happiest literary compositions of its 
author, is strikingly characteristic of the 
state of his mind at the time it was 
written. Its principal charm is derived 
from the delight which the writer takes 
in his subject. Sir J. E. Smith speaks in 
terms of high admiration of it, and says, 
" The enthusiasm with which his imagina- 
tion retraces every idea of his Lapland ex- 


pedition turns the wild scenes of that 
country, even in the mind of his reader, 
into a paradise inhabited by all that is 
innocent and good. His effusions resemble 
the longings of an exiled Swiss, and are, 
in fact, incipient symptoms of that oppres- 
sion of the heart which, after a while, ren- 
dered his abode in Holland, with all its 
scientific charms, no longer tolerable to one 
born in the purer air of Sweden, and nur- 
tured among her Lapland Alps." 




IN the year 1736, Linnaeus paid a visit to 
England. He did so by the request and 
at the expense of Mr. Clifford, who was 
desirous to procure various botanical novel- 
ties for his collection, and to communicate 
with some of the most celebrated botanists 
and horticulturists of the day. He carried 
with him a letter from Boerhaave to Sir 
Hans Sloane, the accomplished naturalist 
and collector in natural history, and after- 
wards founder of the British Museum. 
This letter is still preserved among the 


archives of that institution, and it is 
written in the strongest language of re- 
commendation. Notwithstanding such an 
honourable introduction, however, the old 
baronet was indisposed to do justice to the 
merits of a young man whose innovations 
on established systems he viewed with 
suspicion and dislike ; he therefore treated 
the stranger with coldness, and dismissed 
him without any marks of regard. One 
of the principal objects of interest to Lin- 
nseus in this country, was the botanical 
garden at Chelsea ; and from the keeper 
of that collection, Philip Miller, the famous 
botanist, he experienced much attention, 
and was supplied with many rare plants, 
and the garden at Chelsea was afterwards 
the first in Great Britain that was ar- 
ranged according to the Linnsean system. 
Dr. Shaw, the oriental traveller, Professor 



Martyn, Peter Collinson, and many other 
men of true science, received him as be- 
seemed the high testimonials he bore, and, 
admiring his genius, forwarded his objects 
by all the means in their power ; and on his 
return to the Continent, continued long to 
correspond with him on subjects of mutual 
interest in science. 

From London our traveller proceeded to 
Oxford, where he paid his respects to the 
celebrated Dillenius, justly considered one 
of the first botanists of the time. This 
learned man was not by any means dis- 
posed to regard Linnseus favourably. He 
had received from Gronovius a sheet of 
the Genera Plantarum, and conceiving it 
to be written in opposition to him, was 
irate, and, pointing to the young Swede, 
said to a gentleman who chanced to be in 
his company at the moment of Linnseus's 


entry " See ; this is the young man who 
confounds all botany ! " Linnaeus did not 
understand English ; but the word con- 
found, so similar to the Latin, confundere, 
let him into the secret of the Professor's 
words. He, however, showed no sign of 
comprehending him. Linnaeus almost des- 
paired of gaining the friendship of this 
learned man, and obtaining from him the 
plants he wanted. At length, on the third 
day of his visit to Oxford, he went to take 
leave of Dillenius, and, in parting, said 
" I have but one request to make of you. 
Will you tell me why you called me, the 
other day, the person who confounds all 
botany ?" Unable to evade so direct a 
question, Dillenius took him to his library, 
and showed him the sheet of his Genera 
which he had obtained. It was marked 
in sundry places with notes of query. 

G 2 


"What signify these marks?" said Lin- 
nseus. " They signify all the false genera 
of plants in your book," answered the 
other. This challenge led to an explana- 
tion, in which Linnaeus proved his accu- 
racy in every instance. The result was an 
entire change on the part of Dillenius, who 
afterwards detained Linnaeus with him a 
month ; and found so much satisfaction in 
his company, that he kept him always in 
close converse, scarce leaving him an hour 
to himself. At last he parted from him 
with tears in his eyes, after making him 
the offer to stay and share his salary, 
which would have sufficed for them both. 

There must, surely, have been something 
peculiarly prepossessing in the manners and 
address of Linnseus, by which he secured 
the attention and won the good- will even 
of strangers ; and, what awakens both 


surprise and interest, is the fact that he 
knew no modem language but his own. 
How, therefore, he managed to carry on 
an intercourse with others, it is difficult 
to conceive ; above all, how it was that 
he contracted a friendship and close inti- 
macy with those whom he could only 
address through the medium of the Latin. 
He has expressly stated in his diary, that 
he never learned any language ; not even 
Dutch, though he lived three years in 
Holland. " Nevertheless, " he ^says, " I 
found my way everywhere well and hap- 


Despite this great obstacle, Linnaeus 
appears to have counted among his friends 
and correspondents some of the fair sex, 
in several countries. Lady Ann Monson, 
in London, and Mrs. Blackburne, at Ox- 
ford, were among this number ; and he 


had a most enthusiastic admirer in Miss 
Jane Golden of America, who was intro- 
duced to his notice, by one of his corre- 
spondents, as the only lady then known 
to be scientifically acquainted with the 
Linnsean system. She had drawn and 
described 400 plants, according to his 
method, using English terms. Pleased 
with the favour and interest thus mani- 
fested, Linnaeus acknowledged his sense 
of them by preserving the names of these 
ladies in the vegetable kingdom ; and, 
among others, he denominated two beau- 
tiful plants, Monsonia and Coldenia. 

The study of botany was so greatly 
promoted and facilitated by the easy and 
pleasant method introduced by Linnseus, 
that it is no wonder the ladies acknow- 
ledged with gratitude their obligation to 
the naturalist who first originated a me- 


thod by which this delightful study could 
be brought within the attainment of all 
who loved it. 

Bousseau, in the preface to his " Lettres 
sur la Botanique," says, after his piquant 
fashion, " Nothing could be more absurd 
and ridiculous, than, if a woman asked the 
name of some herb or garden flower, to 
give, by way of answer, a long tirade of 
Latin names which sounded like a conjura- 
tion of hobgoblins ! " In place of this 
uncouth technology, Linnaeus substituted 
an easy and descriptive nomenclature, which 
renders the science more attractive, and 
was, besides, far more appropriate to the 

Linnaeus is said to have been much struck 
with London. " Of his observations on the 
natural history of this country," observes 
Sir J. E. Smith, " nothing is preserved but 


a tradition that the golden bloom of the 
furze on the commons about London, es- 
pecially Putney Heath, delighted him so 
much that he fell on his knees, in a rap- 
ture, at the sight." He was always an 
admirer of this plant, and vainly endea- 
voured to preserve it in a greenhouse 
through a Swedish winter. 

Having fully accomplished the purposes 
of his visit to this country, Linnseus de- 
clined the many urgent invitations he re- 
ceived to prolong his stay. During this 
journey he had greatly enriched the garden 
and herbarium of his excellent patron ; and 
immediately on his return to Holland he 
completed the arrangement of this fine 
collection, and undertook the superintend- 
ence of the Hortus Cliffortianus, a mag- 
nificent volume, splendidly illustrated, in 
which all the plants in Mr. Clifford's pos- 


session were enumerated and described. 
This work, he tells us, he both arranged 
and wrote, and also corrected for the press; 
performing the whole within nine months. 
In the intervals of this arduous under- 
taking, when fatigued by it, he used (to 
employ his own expression) to " amuse 
himself with the Critica Botanica, which 
he got printed at Ley den." At the same 
time he continued the impression of his 
Genera Plantarum, which appeared in 

So much constant study and exertion 
seem, at length, to have affected his health 
and spirits. He became so much enervated 
that he felt no longer able to bear the 
climate of Holland ; he pined for his na- 
tive air, and, despite of all the advantages 
of the situation in which he found himself, 
he resolved to leave. Clifford was in des- 



pair when he perceived the intention of his 
favourite. He made him the most inviting 
offers, which he urged with all the warmth 
and earnestness of friendship ; but no tiling 
availed. He " longed to be at home," and 
persuaded himself that the climate of Hol- 
land could not long be healthy for a 

On his way to Paris Linnseus went to 
Leyden, designing to " bid farewell to all 
his friends and acquaintance/' There he 
was prevailed on by Professor Von Royen 
to remain with him a few months, in order 
to assist him in arranging the University 
Garden. This determination on his part 
was very displeasing to the friend he had 
just left, and to whose entreaties he had 
turned a deaf ear. He excused himself 
to Mr. Clifford as he best could, assuring 
him that he had no other motive than the 


desire to do honour to himself and his 
patron ; and he remained long enough to 
accomplish his purpose. At the same time, 
he assisted Gronovius with his Flora Vir- 
ginica, which was published about the same 
time as Yon Royen's Hortus Leydensis ; both 
these naturalists having adopted Linnaeus' 
names and principles. With his charac- 
teristic industry, " that the evenings might 
not pass uselessly/' he employed them in 
working at his Classes Plantarum, which 
was published during his stay at Ley den. 
This work is " a complete view of all the 
botanical systems ever known." Here, 
also, he published his Corollarium Gene- 
rum, and his Methodus Sexualis. 

His indefatigable attention to the pur- 
suit of science did not so wholly engross 
Linnseus as to prevent him from enjoying 
the recreations of social intercourse; and 


he has given an entertaining account of 
some of his choice companions at Leyden. 
A party of six or seven " kindred spirits " 
formed themselves into a club, and, meet- 
ing at each other's houses, discussed subjects 
of mutual interest. Each was distin- 
guished for something in which he pecu- 
liarly excelled. John Lawson, a learned 
Scotchman and traveller, was skilled in 
history and antiquities. Of him Linnseus 
makes honourable mention, as " a man of 
great judgment." He also proved himself 
substantially friendly ; for several times 
he supplied Linnaeus with money, always 
saying he had still enough left for his own 
necessities. Liberkuhn, a Prussian, was 
possessed of " incomparable microscopes," by 
which he aided the investigations of the 
rest. There were, beside, Kramer, a Ger- 
man, "who possessed a wonderful talent 


of remembering everything that was read 
to him," and was learned in chemistry ; 
and Von Swiaten, a skilful physician. 
But of all the company, Linnaeus preferred 
Johan Bartsch, whom he instructed in 
botany and entomology, and whom he 
has described as "a genteel, handsome, 
ingenuous, and well-behaved youth." 

This talented and promising young 
student died prematurely, to the great 
grief of Linnaeus, who had procured him 
a medical appointment at Surinam, through 
the influence of Boerhaave. He unhappily, 
shortly after his arrival, fell a victim to 
the climate and the ill-usage of the Gover- 
nor, as Linnaeus has pathetically lamented 
in his Flora Suecica, when writing of a 
plant to which he had given the name 
of his unfortunate friend. 

Linnaeus continued at Leyden till the 



spring of 1738. Not long before his depar- 
ture, he had an affecting interview with the 
great Boerhaave, then on his deathbed. 
This illustrious man, who had proved him- 
self so generous a friend to the young and 
inexperienced naturalist, from the time of 
his first arrival in Holland, was then so 
ill that he received no visitors. He, how- 
ever, made an exception in favour of Lin- 
naeus, and took an affectionate and sorrow- 
ful leave of him. His parting words were, 
" I have lived out my time, and done what 
I could. May God preserve thee, from 
whom the world expects much more ! 
Farewell, my dear Linnseus ! " Tears and 
exhaustion forbade him to continue. On 
the return of Linnaaus to his lodgings, he 
found, as a parting gift from the venerable 
invalid, an elegant copy of his Chemistry. 
On the point of leaving Leyden, the 


subject of this memoir was seized with a 
very severe ague ; from which he had 
hardly recovered, before he was attacked 
by a more dangerous disorder. He at- 
tributed his cure entirely to the skill and 
attention of Dr. Von Swiaten (one of the 
company of friends before alluded to). 
He was indefatigable in watching the 
invalid ; and as soon as he was able to be 
removed, the amiable Clifford received him 
to his former home, at Hartecamp, where 
he spent some weeks, until his strength 
was sufficiently restored to enable him to 
travel. No sooner had he left Holland 
and reached Brabant, than his whole frame 
seemed at once invigorated, and he breathed 
a new life. It had been the intention of 
Linnaeus to travel through Upper and 
Lower Saxony, and the Danish dominions ; 
and to visit Baron Haller at Gottingen, 


and Professor Ludwig at Leipsic. But 
all his plans were disarranged by his te- 
dious illness, and he hastened on to Paris, 
which he was very desirous to visit before 
returning to Sweden. In this capital he 
remained a month ; availing himself of the 
advantages he enjoyed through the atten- 
tions of the celebrated brothers Jussieu, to 
whom he carried a letter of recommenda- 
tion from Von Royen. He inspected the 
botanic garden, the herbariums of the 
Jussieus and others, and visited the neigh- 
bourhood of Fontainebleau, where he "saw 
no small number of exotic plants, and was 
especially gratified by an opportunity of 
examining almost all Vaillant's Orchideae 
in flower." He also formed an acquaint- 
ance with Reaumur, and other accomplished 
naturalists, and was admitted a correspond- 
ing member of the Academic des Sciences, 


a distinguished honour to be conferred on 
a young foreigner. 

Efforts were made to induce him to 
settle at Paris ; hut his heart was set 
upon his native country. He, therefore, 
having seen all that was most remarkable, 
took leave of his generous and truly liberal 
friends, by whom he had been treated in 
the most cordial and affectionate manner. 
With Bernard de Jussieu, the younger 
brother, he continued ever after to cor- 
respond on terms of mutual amity. 

Embarking at Rouen, after a passage of 
five days our traveller reached Helsingburg, 
in Scania, from whence he proceeded to 
Stenbrohult, to see his venerable father. 
After some days devoted to filial duty and 
affection, Linnaeus hastened onward to 
Fahlun, eager to behold again the object 
of his affections, from whom he had been 



so long separated. They had constantly 
corresponded with each other, by means 
of a mutual friend, who unhappily proved, 
in the end, unworthy of the trust reposed in 
him, and endeavoured to supplant Linnaeus 
in the affections of his mistress. This 
treachery was discovered, and its author 
condignly punished for his unworthy con- 
duct. The lady received her lover favour- 
ably, and they were formally betrothed. 
It was necessary to postpone their mar- 
riage till some eligible settlement could be 
procured ; and Linnaeus turned his eyes 
toward Stockholm, where he hoped to es- 
tablish himself as a physician. According- 
ly, in September, 1738, he took up his 
residence in that city, with what results, 
in the first instance, he has recorded after 
a serio-comic manner. " Being unknown 
to everybody, people were unwilling to 


trust their lives in his hands. Nay, they 
even hesitated to trust him with their dogs ! 
Abroad he had been honoured in every 
place, as Princeps Botanicorum ; but in his 
own country, he was looked upon as a 
Klim, newly arrived from the subterranean 
regions ! No one cared how many sleepless 
nights and toilsome hours he passed. Had 
he not been in love, he would certainly have 
left Sweden and gone abroad." This ad- 
verse state of things continued a while ; 
but, by a fortunate cure he effected, a 
sudden change was wrought in the popular 
feeling, and the tide turned in his favour. 
" After so long a succession of cloudy pro- 
spects," he writes to a friend, "the sun broke 
out upon me. I emerged from obscurity 
obtained access to the great, and every un- 
favourable prestige vanished. No invalid 
could now recover without my assistance ; 

H 2 


I was busy in attendance on the sick, from 
four in the morning, till late in the evening; 
nor were my nights left undisturbed." 

Notwithstanding these complaints, it is 
evident that the scientific merits of Lin- 
naeus were not overlooked by his country- 
men. He was unanimously chosen a mem- 
ber of the Upsal Academy, the only one 
then existing in Sweden. Very shortly 
after this time a plan was formed for in- 
stituting a new literary society at Stock- 
holm. The most active promoter of this 
project was Captain Triewald, who fre- 
quently consulted Linnaeus, Baron Hopken, 
and Alstromer. These four meeting to- 
gether, formed their regulations, and laid 
the foundation of the Academy. This 
society, however small in its beginning, 
rose speedily to an honourable esteem, and 
being incorporated by royal authority, was 


by-and-by augmented with all the most 
learned men of the country. The office of 
President was first allotted to Linnaeus, 
who, in compliance with the rules, held 
the post three months, at the end of which 
time he resigned it ; on which occasion 
he made an oration in Swedish, on the 
"wonders of the insect tribes/' This ad- 
dress was printed in the Transactions of 
the Academy. 

The merits and fame of Linnseus rose 
from this time into higher repute, and 
attracted to him the attention of Count 
Tessin, who had been tutor to the King 
of Sweden, and was himself well versed 
in the sciences, and a lover of natural 
history. This nobleman showed him the 
utmost favour, and through his influence 
procured him a salary of 200 ducats per 
annum, on consideration that he would 


give public lectures on botany and mine- 
ralogy. And this was but the commence- 
ment of his benefits, which Linnaeus, desi- 
rous of transmitting the memory of his 
benefactor to posterity, has thus enumerated 
in his last edition of his great work, the 
Sy sterna Naturse.* " He received me, a stran- 
ger, on my return ; he obtained me a salary 
from the States, the appointment of phy- 
sician to the Admiralty, the professorship 
of botany at Upsal, the title of dean of 
the college of physicians, the favour of 
two kings, and recommended me by a 
medal to posterity." 

Linnaeus appears to have marvelled at 
his own sudden prosperity, which, he inge- 
nuously says, came to him without any 
special merit of his own. In addition to 
the lucrative situations thus given him, 
* Edit. Optima. [XII.] Holm., 1766. 


his practice as a physician continued to 
increase, and brought him in what he re- 
garded as a large income. This propi- 
tious season he considered, "the proper 
time for reaping the fruit of all his pains." 
He, therefore, entreated that his marriage 
might not be any longer delayed ; and 
as Dr. Moroeus yielded his consent, this 
request was acceded to, and on the 26th 
of June, 1739, he was married to Sara 
Elizabeth Morcea, at the country house 
of her father, near Fahlun. 

At the end of a month Linnaeus carried 
his bride to her new home, being anxious 
to resume the duties with which he had 
been entrusted. Shortly after his return, 
he received a letter from the celebrated 
Haller, containing a most generous pro- 
posal, which, had it arrived a few months 
earlier, when Linnaeus was in so much 


perplexity and want, might possibly have 
effected an entire change in his future 
course. It will be remembered that Lin- 
naeus wished to visit Haller on his home- 
ward journey, but was prevented doing 
so by his long illness at Leyden. They 
had, for some time previous, carried on a 
correspondence which was commenced by 
Linnaeus, who, having heard from Grono- 
vius a report that Haller intended to 
write against his new system, addressed 
to him a letter deprecating his opposition, 
and begging for his friendship. In this 
letter he expresses, in most earnest and 
reiterated language, his aversion to all con- 
troversy ; and declares it to be his opinion 
that all teachers and professors should es- 
pecially eschew it, as calculated to detract 
from their dignity and usefulness. " What 
man (he asks) was ever so learned and 


wise, who, in correcting others, did not 
now and then show he needed correction 
himself? Something always sticks to him. 
I dread all controversies. Who ever fought 
without some wound or hurt ? Time is 
too precious ; and can be far better em- 
ployed by us both. Besides, the serious 
contentions of our time may, fifty years 
hence, seem to our successors no better 
than a puppet-show ; let there be peace 
between us ! " 

What good sense and practical wisdom 
are here displayed ! How much would the 
interests of science and truth have been 
promoted, if all philosophers had spoken 
and acted in accordance with these senti- 
ments ! The anxiety of Linna3us was 
speedily removed by an amicable reply 
from Haller, assuring him that the report 
which alarmed him was but an idle tale, 


and at the same time expressing his cordial 
disposition to fraternize with one whom 
he regarded as a co-worker. From this 
time these two remarkable men continued 
a friendly intercourse, which was, however, 
not ^infrequently disturbed by jealousy and 
literary disagreement. Considering their 
different genius and way of thinking, it 
could hardly have been otherwise. Lin- 
naeus aspired to reign as monarch over the 
science of his choice, and claimed universal 
homage. Haller, piqued and indignant at 
so much assumption, said, " this man re- 
gards himself as a second Adam, and gives 
names to all the animals, according to their 
distinctive marks, (a significant concession !) 
without ever caring for his predecessors. 
He can hardly forbear to make man a 
monkey, or the monkey a man ! " 

Notwithstanding these occasional skir- 


mishes, the personal and reciprocal esteem 
and regard between the two illustrious 
rivals was genuine and prolonged. Haller 
gave a striking proof of his good will to 
Linnaeus in the letter above referred to. 
He was, at that time, meditating a return 
to Bern, and, in the prospect of relin- 
quishing his Professorship of Botany at 
Gottingen, he proposed to instal Linnaeus 
in his place. " I have fixed upon you (he 
writes), if the situation be worth your 
having, to inherit my garden and my 
honours ; and I have spoken on this sub- 
ject to those in whose hands these concerns 
are placed." Linnaeus, in his reply (dated 
Stockholm, September 12, 1739), acknow- 
ledges, in the warmest terms, his sense of 
so much kindness. " I can only say (he 
concludes) in one word, I have had a nume- 
rous acquaintance among my fellow crea- 


tures, and many have been kindly attached to 
me, but none has ever made me so bountiful 
an offer as yourself. I can't give you an 
answer ; but, as you have placed yourself 
in the light of a father to me, I will lay 
before you a short history of my life up to 
the present time/' He goes on to narrate, 
in a few words, the principal events of his 
history, concluding with his recent mar- 
riage, and proposing to pay Haller a visit, 
and bring his " little wife " with him. In 
the answer to this letter, Haller makes 
affecting mention of his personal affliction 
in the loss of a wife endeared to him " by 
her manners, her accomplishments, and her 
connexions." He closes with these words : 
" Adieu ! May you long live happy with 
your Moroea, and enjoy deserved fame ! 
But, may the Supreme Governor of all 
things teach you, as well as me, that there 


is nothing in this uncertain state which can 
shield us against the terrors of an approach- 
ing and inevitable eternity ; fame, riches, and 


the dearest attachments are of no avail ; 
nor anything else but the divine favour." 

Solemn and impressive language from 
the lips of a man, who, in the midst of 
life and its busiest and most fascinating 
pursuits, had been suddenly arrested, and 
taught the insecurity and insufficiency of 
all he had hitherto accounted desirable 
of attainment ! All was now " less than 
nothing and vanity" in his esteem, for it 
would avail him nothing in the day when he 
must appear in the presence of God ! What 
effect this touching appeal produced on the 
mind of Linnaeus we know not. Possibly 
it made slight impression, coming, as it did, 
in the hour of his own domestic felicity, 
and at the season when he had just attained 


his warmest desires, and found himself, after 
long and toilsome ascent, about to reach the 
crowning pinnacle of his ambition. That 
he was by no means an inconsiderate and 
undevout observer of the works of the 
Great Creator, has already been seen, in 
the various allusions contained in his Lap- 
land tour, and elsewhere ; and, in his 
works generally, frequent and pleasing 
evidence is given of his acquaintance with 
Scripture, and of his desire to acknowledge 
the sense he entertained of the divine per- 
fections in the works of nature. Good and 
excellent as these feelings in themselves 
are, they must not, however, be suffered 
to mislead the mind. We must not attach 
so much importance to them as to suppose 
that they constitute the whole of true re- 
ligion. The heart of man is too prone to 
mistake natural, for revealed religion. But, 


to suppose that the truths which this last 
alone can teach us, are to be learned by 
the most attentive regard to this lower 
world, and all its varied and marvellous 
productions, is an error, fatal to the best 
and highest interests of the soul. 

Linnseus, in the preface to one of his 
works, has suggested, that probably the 
study of the various works of creation 
formed one of the principal pleasures and 
employments of the paradisaical state ; 
and, indubitably, when man was pure and 
unfallen, the book of nature was his 
Bible, in which he read the perfections and 
attributes of God, and saw, as in a mirror, 
an image of things spiritual and divine. 
But it is otherwise now ; and while, from 
the birds of the air and the flowers of the 
field, the Christian observer draws lessons 
of humility, confidence, and love, he knows 



that in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ 
alone he sees the whole mind and will of 
God revealed. He has learned a the wis- 
dom of God/' in the mystery of the Cross, 

*& v*- T 

and from that standing-point he looks on 
the beauties and the marvels of creation 
around him, and loves and admires them, 
with a joy peculiar and surpassing, as he 
recognises in them the handiworks of Him 
who is "the brightness of the Father's 
glory," and " by Whom also, He made the 
worlds of Whom, and through Whom, 
and to Whom are all things." /*> c~V^ 

4$Wtr '"*fa\ - 

*}w (w-^ c*-*^ "j "H-o 

^ - iC*~*- O*< 




OUR illustrious naturalist may now be re- 
garded as having attained the objects of 
his ambition. He found himself inde- 
pendent in his circumstances, surrounded 
by Mends and admirers, happy in his do- 
mestic relations, and in circumstances to 
pursue, with ardour and success, his 
favourite studies. If the youthful reader 
be disposed to pause awhile, and retrace 
the steps by which Linnaeus had thus 
reached so high a point in the toilsome and 
difficult ascent to fame and honours, he 
cannot fail to perceive that, while much 




was undoubtedly owing to the original 
talent with which he was endowed, yet 
this alone would have been unavailing, had 
it not been joined to an inflexible determi- 
nation and an unwearying diligence which, 
flowing from the principle of love, never 
tired, but pursued, till they had attained 
their object. His labours were incessant 
and abundant. Though, at the outset, he 
encountered a thousand obstacles and 
drawbacks from the indifference and oppo- 
sition of others, yet his hope and confi- 
dence never failed. He had faith in him- 
self; and strong in that self-reliance, he 
bore up amid difficulties with a never- 
flagging zeal. 

He was not to be diverted from the 
choice he had made ; but, even while com- 
pelled to obtain the necessaries of existence 
by lecturing and otherwise, was " inwardly 


meditating a general reform of botanical 
science/' His means were scanty, and 
when lie had succeeded in procuring Tour- 
nefort, the " principal guide" in the study 
of botany, he was involved in great per- 
plexity by the inaccuracies and imperfec- 
tions of his system. In short, he "found 
the science wholly neglected," and had to 
arrange and methodise it. We cannot but 
admire as we see him going over completely 
new ground in the wide field of natural 
history at large ; classing and naming birds, 
insects, and flowers, often according to a 
system which his own ingenuity and pene- 
tration devised, to supply the deficiencies 
of former naturalists. An accurate exami- 
nation of the minuter parts of the object 
under his consideration, frequently enabled 
him to arrive at a juster conclusion as to 
the order or genus to which it belonged, 

I 2 


than those who had preceded him ; and 
with an indefatigable industry, having as- 
certained these points, he proceeded to 
arrange and methodise for himself. 

Having obtained such a satisfactory set- 
tlement, accompanied by so many privi- 
leges and sources of emolument, we might 
have supposed Linnaeus would feel himself 
permanently established at Stockholm. But 
there was yet another object, on which his 
heart was set. This was the botanic chair 
at Upsala. A plentiful income was, indeed, 
not to be despised ; and yet he sighed to 
be released from his medical duties, that he 
might devote all his time and attention to 
his beloved science. One of his biographers 
has said very quaintly and very truly, 
" He was, upon the whole, fonder of meddling 
with plants than with patients/' And, 
writing to Haller, we find him complain- 


ing, " Once I had plants and no money ; 
now what is money good for, without 
plants ?" 

The post he coveted was vacated by the 
death of Professor Rudbeck, shortly after 
the marriage of Linnseus, and he offered 
himself as a candidate. But, notwithstand- 
ing his fame, he was disappointed in this 
object. His former rival, Dr. Rosen, had 
greater claims, according to the statutes of 
the University, and to him it was given. 
He attained, however, this summit of his 
wishes very shortly after ; for the medical 
chair in the same University being resigned 
by M. Roberg, he was appointed to it ; and 
by a private arrangement with Dr. Rosen 
an exchange was effected between them, 
giving him the superintendence of the 
Botanic Garden and charge of the whole 
department of natural history. In the 


meantime the war between Sweden and 
Russia began, and Linnseus being apprehen- 
sive lest he should be commanded to attend 
the fleet, in his official capacity as physician 
to the navy,* thought himself fortunate to 
receive, at this juncture, an order from the 
States to travel through Oeland and Goth- 
land, for the purpose of describing the pro- 
duce of those countries. One principal 
object to which his researches were directed, 
was the discovery of an earth fitted to 
make porcelain ; but in this he was un- 
successful. His tour was, nevertheless, of 
great utility. He made observations on 
the habits and manners of the people and 
on natural history in general ; and dis- 

* During the year 1740 Linnseus acted in this capacity, 
and it may not be uninteresting to mention, that, finding 
himself, after his morning visits to the sick in the Naval 
Hospital, constantly affected by a cardialgia, he attributed 
it to the effluvia of the place, and found singular benefit 
from the use of coffee. 


covered numerous plants, some of them 
useful in medicine and dyeing. Above all, 
he first pointed out to the natives of those 
shores the use of the Sea Reed Grass, to 
arrest the sand, and bind together the soil 
on the sea banks. In this journey he was 
accompanied by six of his students, and 
subsequently published an account of the 

Immediately on his return (in the au- 
tumn of 1741), Linnaeus removed, with 
his wife and infant son, born in the spring 
of that year, to Upsala, which was thence- 
forward his constant residence. On the 
17th of October, he assumed his profes- 
sorial office, and gave an address, occa- 
sioned by his recent journey, on the Benefit 
of Domestic Travel. This animated and 
spirited discourse has been considered one 
of the most pleasing of his orations. Pro- 


bably his love for his native land inspired 
him with a zeal which gave life and energy 
to his words ; and beside, he was doubtless 
flushed with the pleasurable feelings inspired 
by his recent appointment, and the attain- 
ment of his most cherished desires. 

Linnaeus appears to have enjoyed, to the 
utmost, his new position ; and to have 
found, in the discharge of its duties, the 
happiness of his life. His attention was 
first given to the Botanical Garden, which 
he calls his " elysium ;" and the enthusiasm 
with which he set about improving it knew 
no bounds. At his appointment everything 
was in a state of dilapidation and confu- 
sion. This institution had been com- 
menced about the middle of the preced- 
ing century, by the celebrated Swedish 
naturalist Rudbeck, and, under his aus- 
pices, it flourished for a season. But the 


dreadful fire which devastated the city in 
1702 entirely destroyed it ; and the whole 
tiling had fallen into decay. It did not 
even contain fifty exotic plants. 

Immediately on his instalment, Linnseus 
applied to the chancellor of the University, 
who, fortunately, was a man of scientific 
acquirements and taste ; and it was re- 
solved that the garden should be laid out 
anew, a green-house erected, and the super- 
intendent's house rebuilt. All this was ac- 
cordingly done ; and before long Linnaeus 
had the satisfaction of seeing the grounds 
enlarged and properly laid out, and himself 
in a suitable habitation ; the old house of 
stone built by the Rudbecks which was, 
he protests, " a veritable owl's nest," being 
converted into "a lodging fit for a Pro- 
fessor/' On the 18th of July, 1743, he 
took possession of this commodious abode, 


which adjoined the Garden, and thus af- 
forded him more favourable opportunity 
for its constant visitation and superintend- 
ence, and the embellishing and enriching 
this place was the favourite study of his 
life. His zeal, talents, and wide-spread 
renown soon produced the desired effect, 
and, in a few years, the garden at Upsala 
ranked equal, if not superior, to similar 
institutions in Europe. Contributions to 
its stores continually poured in from all 
quarters, and the most celebrated botanists 
vied with each other in presenting to its 
distinguished superintendent the treasures 
of every region and climate of the globe. 
Six years after the establishment of this 
Garden, the new Professor published its 
description. The number of foreign species 
of plants at that time amounted to one 
thousand one hundred. Filled with delight 


as he beheld these fruits of his labours 
with a glad heart he burst into this ani- 
mated expression of joy and thankfulness, 
on occasion of a public celebration. " I 
render thanks to the Almighty, who has 
ordered my lot so that I live at this day ; 
and live, too, happier than the King of 
Persia. I think myself thus blessed, be- 
cause, in this academic garden, I am prin- 
cipal. This is my Rhodus, or rather, my 
Elysium ; here I enjoy the spoils of the 
East and the West, and, if I mistake not, 
that which far excels in beauty the gar- 
ments of the Babylonians, and the porce- 
lain of China. Here I behold myself the 
might and wisdom of the Great Creator, 
in the works by which He reveals Himself, 
and show them unto others." 

Linnaeus now continued, in an uninter- 
rupted career, following out his duties as 



Professor, and thoroughly absorbed in the 
discharge of his general academical func- 
tions. He published, in 1745, the first 
edition of his Flora Suecica,* and in the 
year following the Fauna Suecica ;* " which 
works (says Sir J. E. Smith) are models for 
similar compositions ; especially their second 
editions, published many years after, with 
specific names, and many valuable addi- 
tions/' On the latter of them the author 
tells us he had laboured 15 years. 

As a teacher and lecturer, Linnaeus in 
a particular manner distinguished himself, 
and it will be interesting to regard him in 
this character. Formerly the University 
lectures had been neglected, or considered 
more as a matter of form than of instruc- 
tion. But, at his appearance a new epoch 

* A description of the Swedish plants; and of the 
Swedish animals, birds, fishes, insects, &c. A local 


commenced. The hall in which he de- 
livered his addresses was presently crowded, 
and, before long, overflowed. By his genius 
he charmed, and by his enthusiasm he 
earned away his hearers, so that he in- 
spired them with a measure of his own 
ardour; and his favourite. science, botany, 
was now diligently studied, and its impor- 
tance so highly rated, that a regulation 
was made by which the young divinity 
students were obliged to learn the elements 
of botany and domestic medicine, to enable 
them to act as physicians, in remote dis- 
tricts, where professional aid could be but 
tardily and with difficulty procured. 

He gave lectures on natural history, the 
medicinal properties of plants, dietetics, 
and other, subjects beside botany ; and his 
delivery is said to have been a model for 
popular speakers, energetic, instructive, 


and entertaining. One of his hearers 
eulogizes him thus, " Science streamed with 
peculiar pleasantness from his lips ; he 
spoke with a conviction and perspicacity 
which his deep penetration and ardent zeal 
imparted to him ; and it was impossible 
to hear him without attention, and without 
participating in his enthusiasm/' It is 
evident he possessed, in a remarkable de- 
gree, the power of personally interesting 
his students and attaching them to him- 
self. The results were very striking ; the 
ordinary number of pupils had been 
500 ; after his death it was reduced 
to the same average. It now speedily 
reached 1000; and in 1750, during which 
year Linnseus was rector, it amounted to 
1500. The fame of the University spread 
over Europe, and even to America, and 
young men of various countries flocked 


thither. Impressed with the importance 
of conveying instruction in a popular 
manner, and by personal observation, Lin- 
naeus took his students into the fields and 
woods, there to gain an intimate acquaint- 
ance with the productions of nature. 
During his summer lectures he made excur- 
sions, twice in the week, at their head ; and 
was often attended by them to the number 
of 200. They went in parties, to explore 
different districts of the country, and when- 
ever some rare or remarkable plant, or any 
other natural curiosity, was discovered, a 
signal was given, by a horn or trumpet, at 
the sound of which the whole corps gathered 
around their chief to hear his demonstra- 
tions or remarks. After exploring the 
neighbourhood "from early morn till dewy 
eve," the various detachments congregating 
together, returned with flowers in their 


hats, and, clustering around their leader, 
marched to the sound of drums and trum- 
pets through the city to the garden. The 
eclat given to these floral exploits made 
them matters of general interest, and not 
unfrequently foreigners and persons of dis- 
tinction came from Stockholm to accompany 
Linnaeus and his young companions. 

There is another circumstance connected 
with the instructions of our naturalist, too 
remarkable to be passed over. He com- 
municated his ideas to his pupils in so 
happy and persuasive a manner, that they 
became converts to any system he had 
himself adopted, and imbibed his zeal and 
enthusiasm in the cause. Thus natural 
history was studied, not merely as a branch 
of polite education, but for its own sake, 
and the advancement of the science. Never 
was there so much done for its promotion 



in so short a time, as during the period when 
he flourished. His lecture-room became the 
nursery of eminent and celebrated men, who, 
possessing the same thirst for knowledge as 
their master, travelled to all quarters of the 
globe, to study Nature and collect her trea- 
sures. Linnaeus gave them ample oppor- 
tunities to exercise their talents, and, after 
imbuing them with a love of foreign 
travel and research by pointing out the 
delight of discovery in the most fascinating 
terms, he sent them out, on the right and 
on the left, affording them his counsel and 
assistance, and not unfrequently obtaining the 
aid of Government in defraying the expenses 
incurred. In a few years his most per- 
severing and adventurous pupils were distri- 
buted over the whole world, and we are as- 
sured that their various histories would alone 
form a volume of the most interesting kind. 




In his Critica Botanica, speaking of the 
enthusiasm for science by which all its true 
votaries have been distinguished, he says, 
" Must I call madness or reason that desire 
which allures us to seek and examine 
plants? If I look back on the fate of 
naturalists, I am persuaded that the irre- 
sistible attractions of nature alone can in- 
duce us to face such dangers and troubles. 
No science had ever so many martyrs as 
natural history/' He proceeds to enume- 
rate a long list of those who fell a sacrifice 
to their exertions in the cause ; and some 
of his pupils painfully illustrated the truth 
of these statements. Not a few of them 
fell victims to the elements or the diseases 
of a pestilential climate, and over several 
their illustrious master shed the tear of 
regret. Three of his young pupils found 
an early grave in Asia. The first of these 


C. Ternstroem, " a young man who 
seemed born to collect natural curiosities," 
went out to China, but unhappily died im- 
mediately after his arrival. 

Soon after, Linnseus became the origi- 
nator of a second attempt. He represented, 
in one of his lectures, in the most eloquent 
and persuasive manner, the extraordinary 
merits and great celebrity a youth might 
obtain by travelling through Palestine, and 
inquiring into and describing the natural 
history of that country, which was at that 
time unknown, and had become of the 
greatest importance in the illustration of 
Scripture, and the study of Eastern phi- 
logy. This certainly was an enterprise 
full of danger, but one to which a young 
enthusiast, and one, too, of true Chris- 
tian feeling and love, might gladly devote 
himself. Such an one was Frederic Hassel- 

K 2 


quist, who, listening to the eloquent words 
of his master, said, " Send me." The ener- 
getic representations of Linnseus, and the 
obvious importance of the mission, awakened 
a general interest, and private liberality soon 
provided the necessary funds. The young 
naturalist was successful in his mission, and 
fulfilled the expectations of his patrons ; 
but he was not destined to reap the re- 
ward of his toils. The burning sands of 
the Arabian deserts had affected his lungs ; 
and he sickened and died on his way 
home, in the thirtieth year of his age. 
Linnseus published the journey of Hassel- 
quist, and gave him a place of honour in 
his catalogue of worthies. The project 
thus commenced was revived shortly after 
by the celebrated Professor Michaelis, of 
Gbttingen, who demonstrated the necessity 
of obtaining a more extensive knowledge 


of that country, which was the theatre of 
most of the events recorded in the sacred 
scriptures. Through his influence an ex- 
pedition was sent into Arabia, and five 
persons were selected ; among them Fors- 
kal, a pupil of Linnseus, and well versed 
in the eastern languages. The journey 
proved fatal to all who engaged in it, 
excepting M. Niebuhr, who afterwards 
published an account of this memorable 
expedition. Poor Forskal died, in the 
thirty-first year of his age ; his observations, 
however, were not lost ; his surviving 
companion published them at Copenhagen, 
and sent a copy of the work to LinnaBus, 
who regarded Forskal as one of his most 
worthy and excellent pupils "whose name 
he never mentioned without respect." 

Loefling, another favourite pupil of Lin- 
na3us, was chosen by the Spanish govern- 


ment to travel through their South Ame- 
rican settlements, where he sickened and 
eventually died in the bloom of his youth* 
distinguished for his zeal and talents. This 
loss singularly affected his great teacher, 
who said that, of all his travelling disci- 
ples, there was none more remarkable for 
his love of plants and his botanical learning, 
nor had any a finer opportunity to enrich 
his favourite science. 

The melancholy fate of these young men, 
cut off thus in the flower of their days, by 
no means deterred others from following in 
their steps. Among them were many whose 
destinies were auspicious, and by whose 
labours and talents the science of natural 
history was advanced. The names of Kalm, 
Thunberg, Sparrman, Solander, Fabricius, 
and others, are well known in the scientific 
world ; and there is perhaps nothing more 


truly honourable to the memory of their 
great master, than the fact that he was the 
founder of such a school of able and en- 
terprising men. 

So much was he beloved and respected 
by those whom he instructed, that they 
prided themselves in transmitting to him 
their collections, and communicating the 
rich harvest of information and discovery 
they reaped. Scarcely had he to complain 
of an instance of ingratitude or neglect 
among them. Not a few, settling in distant 
universities, were afterwards promoted to 
professorships, and did lasting honour to 
the memory of Linnaeus, by promulgating 
his system and illustrating it by their 

The records of his diary are everywhere 
interpersed with notices concerning the 
proceedings of his pupils, and he notes 


down, with the most minute care, the 
contributions he received from them, and 
records the most striking events in their 
history, occasionally breaking out into a 
eulogy of one or other of his favourites. 
Thus, Burmann he pronounced the most 
penetrating of any he ever had under him ; 
and of another he says, " How much I 
loved and esteemed Gieseke, he cannot him- 
self but know. I initiated him into the 
higher secrets of science, and laboured to 
instruct him in the natural orders of 
plants." And again " If Fabricius come 
to me with an insect, or Zoega with a 
moss, I pull off my cap, and say, ' Be you 
my teachers/ " These are Ms own words, 
given verbatim. 

To the poor, and even to the rich, foreign 
students who resided at Upsala entirely on 
his account, he was most generous ; refusing 


the perquisites which he should have re- 
ceived for his lectures. To the former he 
remitted the money from purely benevolent 
motives, while he declined it from the others, 
that he might convince them how nobly 
proud he was of his science, so that he 
would fain make it free of cost to those 
who sought after it. One of them having 
repeatedly urged him to accept a Swedish 
bank-note as an acknowledgment for the 
pains he had taken to teach him, he said, 
" Tell me, candidly, are you rich, and can 
you afford it? Can you well spare this 
money on your return to Germany ? If 
you can, then give the note to my wife 
but, if you be poor, so help me heaven, 
I will take not a single farthing from you." 
" You are the only Swiss that visits me, 
and I feel a pleasure in telling you all 
I know, gratis," was his answer to another 


who importuned him in the same manner. 
Some of them, finding him inflexibly refuse 
to take his fees, used slyly to leave the 
money upon his chest. 

This liberal conduct on the part of Lin- 
naeus was the more honourable, as he was, 
undoubtedly, parsimonious in his habits, 
and fond of money. " Gold, the noblest of 
metals, did not a little recreate his sight, 
and inspire him with fondness." " And 
why/' asks Dean Boeck, one of his most 
intimate friends "why should not gold 
have been amassed by him who hoarded up 
all that was precious and beautiful in the 
lap of nature?" An ingenious plea; but 
there is another and more natural way of 
accounting for these seeming anomalies in 
his character. If we recall to mind the 
extremes of poverty which so long and so 
heavily oppressed him in his early days, we 


can readily account for a frugality which 
sometimes bordered upon meanness, and no 
longer wonder that he who had been at his 
wits' end for a daily meal, knew too well 
the value of gold to despise or squander 
it. At the same time his natural benevo- 
lence prompted him to generous deeds ; 
and he found a pleasure in rendering to 
young and meritorious men whose circum- 
stances resembled his own, the same kind- 
nesses as he had himself experienced at the 
hands of a Celsius and a Rudbeck. 



WHILE the spirit of Linnaeus was thus 
diffused by means of his disciples, and his 
fame spread over most parts of the civilized 
world, honours, both foreign and domestic, 
accumulated upon him. He was admitted 
a member into most of the scientific 
societies of Europe. The Imperial academy 
distinguished him by the name of Dioscorides 
Secundus; a gold medal of him was struck 
by some of his friends in 1746, and in the 
following year he received from the king 
the title of Archiater, that is, Dean of the 


College of Physicians. He was also the 
only Swede chosen into the new-modelled 
academy of Berlin. Although far from 
indifferent to these things, he appears to 
have felt a superior satisfaction in the 
acquisition, about this time, of the her- 
barium collected by Professor Herman in 
Ceylon. It had fallen into the hands of an 
apothecary at Copenhagen who was igno- 
rant of the treasure he possessed. In his per- 
plexity about naming the dried specimens 
of plants he applied to Linnaeus, who speaks 
in ecstacy of the delight it gave him to re- 
cover this treasure, which had been missing 
more than fifty years, and was given over 
for lost. He spent day and night ex- 
amining the flowers, which, from the length 
of time they had been dried, occasioned him 
much trouble. Hence originated another 
of his works, the Flora Zeylanica. 


From the time that Linnaeus and Rosen 
were appointed professors at Upsala, it 
should seem that the credit of the place as 
a medical as well as botanical school had 
been rapidly increasing ; and it is certain 
that the united zeal and ability of these 
two able teachers attracted to the Uni- 
versity many young men who were invited 
to the study of medicine, by the excellent 
manner in which it was taught. Although 
Linnasus declares, in his diary, that he gave 
up the general practice of physic on his 
establishment there, he appears ever to 
have paid great attention to the science, 
and his lectures on medicine, diet, and the 
animal economy were in high repute ; nor 
is he, it must be confessed, at all behind- 
hand in commending his own skill in this 
department. In the year 1749, he pub- 
lished for the use of his students, his 


Materia Medica, and subsequently two 
other works on medicine, the Genera 
Morborurn, and Clavis Medicinse ; which 
are pronounced by Sir J. E. Smith to be 
at once striking and instructive. His idea 
of a systematic arrangement of diseases 
was afterwards carried out by other authors ; 
and it is evident that the talent of Linnseus 
was most conspicuous in his classification of 
natural objects. He excelled in a happy 
perception of such general characteristics as 
brought together things most nearly allied 
to each other ; and it was he who first 
perceived and declared the difference be- 
tween a natural and an artificial botanic 

During the summer of this year he tra- 
velled, in the public service, through Scania, 
the most southerly of the Swedish pro- 
vinces, and on his return from this his 


sixth and last tour, he visited his birth- 
place, where his venerable father had died 
the preceding year, aged seventy-four, and 
where he had now the satisfaction of seeing 
his younger brother (the Bi-kung) honour- 
ably installed as his successor in the living 
of Stenbrohult. The following year, during 
which he executed the office of rector of 
the University, was one of laborious exer- 
tion to Linnseus, who attributed to the 
over-excitement and fatigue he had under- 
gone, a violent attack of the gout, which 
proved so severe as apparently to endanger 
his life. He chanced one day, while the 
malady affected him, to eat some straw- 
berries, and experienced immediate relief; 
and to this simple remedy he thought he 
owed his recovery from that and other subse- 
quent fits. To this illness, distressing as it 
was to the patient, the world is indebted, 


for the publication of one of his most 
valuable and remarkable books, the Philo- 
sophia Botanica. This work, " which em- 
braces the whole range of botanic science, 
and indeed all the principles of natural 
knowledge," had been long projected, but 
hitherto he had not arranged and selected 
his materials, so as to communicate them to 
others. This illness, however, prompted 
him to rescue from the grave (to which 
he supposed himself hastening) what he 
believed would prove of value to those 
he left behind. Accordingly, his pupil 
Loefling was employed, sitting by his bed- 
side, to write down whatever in the inter- 
vals of his sufferings he was able to com- 
municate ; and in this way was produced 
the work of which Rousseau said, " It is 
the most philosophical book I ever saw in 
my life." 



The spirit and energy of the man were 
evinced by such traits as these, of which 
there are many sufficiently striking on re- 
cord. For instance, it is said that when 
he was confined by a violent access of his 
disorder, the return of one of his pupils, 
bringing a valuable collection of plants and 
natural curiosities so delighted him, that, 
springing up from his couch, he recovered, 
through pleasure at the sight of these 
treasures! On the other hand, the disap- 
pointment of his expectations keenly affected 
him in an opposite manner, of which he 
gives a remarkable instance in his diary. 
He had been very anxious to procure living 
specimens of the cochineal, and one of his 
pupils who had wholly applied himself to the 
study of insects, returning from Surinam, 
sent him a cactus with cochineals in a jar. 
It chanced that Linnaeus was lecturing at 


the time they arrived. The gardener opened 
the jar, took out the cactus, cleansed it 
from the dirt, and of course from the insects, 
and replaced it in the jar. By this unto- 
ward accident these long-desired treasures 
were destroyed before Linnaeus even had a 
sight of them, and so vanished all his hopes 
of rearing them, in the conservatory. This 
grieved him so excessively that it brought 
on one of the most dreadful fits of lateral 
headache (meagrim) he ever felt. 

It is evident that he was never so much 
at home, so entirely happy, as in his gar- 
den, and while searching into the secrets 
and hidden properties and workings of 
nature. Hence he reckoned it among the 
choicest favours vouchsafed him by Provi- 
dence, that he had been "inspired with an 
inch-nation for science so passionate," as to 
become the source of highest delight to 

L 2 


him. His diligence and minute observa- 
tion were continually adding to his know- 
ledge, and imparting some fresh light in 
the study he loved. It is interesting to 
see him carefully noting the observations he 
thus personally made, and gradually per- 
fecting his theories and systems. " He led 
very active and bustling life," says one 
who visited him at Upsala. " I never saw 
him at leisure ; even his walks had for 
their object discoveries in natural history." 
On one occasion he had received the seed 
of a rare plant, which he was anxious to 
rear. He succeeded in this object. The 
plant bore two flowers. Delighted with 
them he desired the gardener to take 
especial care of them ; and two days after, 
returning home late in the evening, he 
eagerly went to the garden to see how they 
were thriving ; but they were not to be 


found. The next night the same thing 
occurred. In the morning the flowers re- 
appeared, fresh and beautiful as ever. The 
gardener supposed them to be new ones, as 
he had not been able to find them the two 
previous evenings. The attention of Lin- 
naeus was immediately caught, and he 
visited for the third time, at nightfall, his 
fugitive flowers. They were once more 
invisible ; but he found them at last, 
deeply wrapped up in, and entirely covered 
by, the leaves. This discovery stimulated 
his curiosity, and he visited his garden and 
hothouses in the night-time, lantern in 
hand, desirous of observing minutely the 
condition of the plants under the influence 
of darkness. He found the greater part of 
the flowers contracted and concealed, and 
the vegetable kingdom almost entirely in a 
dormant state. From these facts he formed 


his theory of the sleep of plants, and proved 
that it occurred at regular periods, like 
that of animals. This discovery gave him 
the idea of forming a sort of vegetable 
timepiece, in which the hours of the day 
were marked by the opening and closing of 
certain flowers ; and in the same manner, 
he formed a rural calendar for the regula- 
tion of the labours of husbandry. The 
tables in this Calendarium Florae (as it was 
designated) were formed from observations 
made on the common plants of Sweden in 
the garden at Upsala in 1755. Mrs. 
Hemans's pretty lines on this subject 
may probably recur to the mind of the 
reader : 

'T was a lovely thought to mark the hoxvrs, 
As they floated in light away, 

By the opening and the folding flowers 
That laugh to the summer's day. 


" Yet is not life, in its real flight, 

Mark'd thus even thus on earth 
By the closing of one hope's delight 
And another's gentle birth ? 

" Oh ! let us live so that flower by flower 

Shutting in turn, may leave 
A lingerer still for the sunset hour 
A charm for the shaded eve." 

About this time, the Queen of Sweden, 
Louisa Ulrica, sister to the great Frederic 
of Prussia, having a great taste for natural 
history, showed much favour to Liimseus. 
She had formed a very fine collection of 
shells and insects, and he received com- 
mands to repair to the country palace of 
Drotningholm, to describe and arrange them. 
Her Majesty was so much pleased with the 
conversation of her distinguished subject, 
that she treated him with the regard due to 
an honoured guest, and, that he might have 
everything to his content, permitted him to 
indulge in his habitual habit of smoking, 


even in her apartments ; at the same time 
giving him many proofs of her considera- 
tion and munificence. Whether, however, 
he felt not so entirely at ease as in his own 
study, or his attention were distracted by 
the variety of objects, it seems that the 
work he produced on the museum of the 
queen was by no means one of his most 
correct. Indeed, after mentioning with 
evident satisfaction the honours showed 
him, Linnaeus somewhat significantly, and 
very curtly, adds, " Thus was he obliged to 
be a courtier, contrary to his inclination." 

In the same year 1754 Linnseus also 
published a magnificent folio volume, con- 
taining descriptions of the rarer animals, 
birds, &c., of the king's collection in Latin 
and Swedish, with plates and a preface, 
which is pronounced by a competent judge, 
" one of the most entertaining and eloquent 


recommendations of the study of nature 
that ever came from the pen of an enthu- 
siastic naturalist." 

These services were rewarded by suitable 
marks of royal favour and consideration, 
and on the 27th of April, 1753, he re- 
ceived from the hand of his sovereign the 
order of the Polar Star, an honour which 
had never before been conferred for literary 
merit.* On receiving his patent of nobility 
he called himself Von Linn4"f" and took for 
the motto on his coat of arms, the words, 
" Famam extendere factis ;" the helmet 
which surmounted the crest was adorned 

* Not long after, the King of Spain paid him a very dis- 
tinguished compliment. He invited him to settle at Ma- 
drid, with the offer of an annual pension, for life, of 2000 
pistoles, letters of nobility, and the free exercise of his 
religion. This extraordinary proposal proves in what esteem 
the talents of Linne were held by foreigners. 

f* In accordance with the universal custom of the coun- 
try, which prescribes the prefix Von, and abolishes the 
affix us, in the names of those who are ennobled. 


with a spray of his own flower, the Lin- 

In the same year appeared the Species 
Plantarum, which his great rival, Haller, 
terms his " Maximum opus et seternum." 
It contained a description of every known 
plant, arranged according to the sexual 
system. On this masterpiece its author 
had bestowed all his abilities ; but the 
incessant labour and close confinement 
brought on a pain in his right side, and 
laid the foundation of a distressing in- 
ternal disorder, from which he ever after 

The emoluments derived by Linnseus 
from his various publications are said to 
have been by no means great. His dif- 
ferent appointments, however, had pro- 
cured him a considerable degree of wealth, 
and in 1758 he purchased the two estates 


of Hammarby and Sb'fja, for above 2,330. 
The former was about a league distant from 
Upsala, and there, during the last fifteen 
years of his life, he chiefly resided in the 
summer. Here he kept, comparatively 
speaking, a little University, his pupils 
following him thither, and many of them 
lodging in the neighbouring villages. To 
several he gave private courses of lectures, 
completely laying aside the state of a no- 
bleman and Professor, while he discoursed 
with them on his favourite topics. A few 
years after he came into possession of this 
property, he erected a small building upon 
an eminence which commanded one of the 
finest views imaginable of the surrounding 
country, and there he kept his collection of 
natural history. Numerous distinguished 
visitors and all the curious came to see 
this place, and pay their respects to its 


distinguished owner, who relates with the 
utmost naivete, the gratification it afforded 
him to listen to their compliments. At 
the same time he expatiates on. his plants, 
zoophytes, shells, insects, and animals, not 
forgetting the paper-hangings which adorned 
his parlour covered with drawings of the 
rare plants of the East and West Indies, 
and the tapestry of his bedchamber em- 
broidered with curious insects. 

The mention of this villa, which he says 
he bought chiefly for the enjoyment of his 
family, naturally inspires a desire to know 
something of the private character and life 
of the great naturalist. From his own 
account of his personal appearance, we 
learn that he was a little below the stand- 
ard height, and of a strong and compact 
figure. He rather stooped in walking, 
having contracted this habit from the fre- 


quent examination of plants and other 
objects. His head was large and a good 
deal raised behind, and there was a wart 
on the side of his cheek. His hair was of 
a dark brown, till silvered by age, when 
his brow became much furrowed and 
wrinkled. His eyes were brown, bright 
and piercing, and his sight exceedingly 
keen. His ear, too, was very acute, and 
quick in catching every sound except that 
of music, in which he took no delight. 

His natural temperament, he tells us, 
was vivacious ; prompt to joy, sorrow, and 
anger, but the latter was speedily appeased, 
and he was so averse to disputes that he 
never would answer any of his numerous 
assailants. In his early days he was full 
of energy and spirit, and through life his 
movements were rapid and agile. In his 
habits he observed the strictest temperance 


and method. He never delayed anything 
he had to do, and noted down immediately 
what he wished to preserve in memory. 
He has recorded that he never neglected a 
lecture ; and by rigid economy of time, 
and a regular and exact distribution of the 
hours, he completed those extraordinary 
labours which remain lasting proofs of his 
talents, acuteness, and industry. 

Linnaeus's foible was vanity, and in- 
ordinate desire of fame. This is nowhere 
more strikingly seen than in the pages of 
his diary, from which such frequent quota- 
tions have been made. This curious and inte- 
resting document was drawn up by him for 
the use of his intimate friend, Dr. Menander, 
Archbishop of Upsala, to serve as materials 
for a history of his life. It was evidently 
written at different times, and by various 
hands, and is disjointed and incoherent in 


style, frequeut and abrupt transitions being 
made in the construction from the third to 
the first person. At the head of it Linnseus 
wrote a few lines, in which he says, " I 
have here drawn up my own panegyric, 
which I should never have shown to any- 
body in the world but the only one of my 
friends who has proved himself ever and 
unalterably such." 

If it be unbecoming and even ridiculous 
for a man to speak of himself as he has 
done (observes one of his biographers), the 
justice and accuracy of his statements, had 
they come from any other source, could not 
have been called in question. 

It is agreeable to turn from the observa- 
tion of this weakness in a great man, to 
notice the pleasing little traits interspersed 
here and there, in this private record of his 
history, and especially the occasional touches 


of domestic affection. If he took delight 
in mentioning the progress of his pupils, 
and the acquisitions he made through their 
means, with a still deeper feeling he alludes 
to his children. Thus, after mentioning the 
many kindnesses and presents he received 
from his Royal Mistress, he adds, " But 
what, above all, pleased Linnaeus was, that 
the excellent Queen inquired after his only 
son, and being informed that he had a taste 
for natural history, she promised to send 
him, at her expense, to travel over Europe, 
in which gracious promise Linnaeus heartily 

At a somewhat advanced period of his 
life another son was born to him, whose 
early death he thus touchingly notices: 
" My little son Johan, who had just begun 
to talk a little, was attacked with the 
epidemic cough which now prevailed, and 


after having been ill eight days, he took leave 
of this world, in the night, between twelve 
and one o'clock. He had not attained 
the age of three years." Beside these two 
sons, Linnseus had four daughters, the eldest 
of whom inherited much of her father's 
taste for natural history. She first discovered, 
while walking at nightfall in her father's 
garden at Hammarby, a luminous property 
in the flowers of the nasturtium, which are 
sometimes seen to flash, like sparks of fire, 
in the evening after dark. The youngest 
daughter was cherished by Linnseus, as the 
darling of his family ; and this predilec- 
tion was, perhaps, partly occasioned by a 
remarkable occurrence which took place at 
her birth. She was, to all appearance, still- 
born ; but her father, perceiving the vital 
spark was not entirely extinct, hastened to 
reanimate her by emitting his breath into her 


lungs. This treatment was successful, and 
the infant revived and lived. The Danish 
Professor, Vahl, is reported, when a student, 
to have made an impression on the heart of 
this young girl, but her father did not think 
proper to countenance his advances. This 
circumstance is supposed to have prevented 
his showing that favour and encouragement 
to the young Dane, which his talents and 
scientific zeal deserved. Both these daughters 
married. Of the two others, nothing is 
known but that they remained single, and 
after their father's death lived at Ham- 
marby, with their mother, who survived to 
a very advanced age. 

Of this lady, Linnseus makes honourable 
mention, and numbers her as among the 
choice gifts bestowed on him. " She was," 
he says, "the wife for whom he most wished, 
and who managed his household affairs 


while he was engaged in laborious studies." 
The truth, however, undoubtedly is, that, 
though a good housewife, she was in no 
respect a pattern of a sweet and amiable 
mother and spouse. Quite the contrary. 
Her picture is thus drawn by one of the 
pupils of Linnd, who had abundant oppor- 
tunities of judging from personal obser- 
vation. " His wife was tall, robust, domi- 
neering, and selfish. She frequently robbed 
us of the joys which brightened our social 
hours ; and, destitute herself of the advan- 
tages of a liberal education, her influence 
worked disadvantageously for her children. 
The young ladies, her daughters, were all 
good-tempered, but rough children of nature, 
and destitute of the external accomplish- 
ments they might have acquired by a better 
training." But the most extraordinary 
and reprehensible point in her character, 

M 2 


was an unnatural dislike to her own son, 
which she manifested in the most offensive 
manner, in a constant series of petty per- 
secutions, so that, during his youth, he 
lived in a slavish restraint and continual 
fear of her. There appears to have been 
no cause in the behaviour of the youth to 
occasion this ill-treatment. On the con- 
trary, he was of a gentle and docile nature, 
and early distinguished himself by diligence 
and industry in the studies to which he 
was trained. In his eighteenth year he 
was appointed Demonstrator in the botanic 
garden at Upsala ; and when he attained 
the age of twenty- one was nominated 
Assistant Professor of Botany, in the Uni- 
versity, with the promise to succeed to all 
his father's academical functions. He is 
said to have personally resembled Linnaeus, 
and to have possessed a noble and excellent 


heart ; but he was not endowed with the 
same energy and resoluteness, nor had he 
an equal degree of self-possession, love of 
fame, and consciousness of superiority.* 
The painful circumstances of his domestic 
lot told unfavourably upon him, and chilled 
and cowed his spirit, which would have un- 
folded and strengthened beneath the foster- 
ing care of maternal love. 

But what can we think of the conduct 
of Linnaeus, who appears to have yielded, 
in a most reprehensible degree, to this 
domestic tyranny ? That he loved his son, 
is evident; but that he feared his wife still 
more, can hardly be doubted 

* As a lecturer, too, he wanted the animation which 
characterized his father. His style is thus described by the 
celebrated eminent mineralogist Schultz : "His delivery 
was fluent ; but mixed with a certain cold indifference. It 
appeared as if his exertions were rather a strict perform- 
ance of the duties of his station than a real zeal, flowing 
from a natural fondness for his science. His father, on the 
contrary, betrayed, even in his conversation upon subjects 
relative to natural history, an enthusiastic predilection 
and a most scrutinising zeal." 




THE year 1764 was marked by three 
events of domestic interest in the life of 
Linnseus. Early in the Spring he was 
attacked by a violent pleurisy, which 
threatened to cut short his existence. He 
relates how, with great difficulty, and 
through the kind assistance and consum- 
mate skill of Rosen, he was brought safely 
through the crisis. It is truly pleasing to 
read in his private memoranda, the grati- 
tude he felt to his old rival, and the ex- 
pressions of intimate regard which thence- 
forward prevailed between them. There is 
something instructive and consolatory in 


the thought that age and mature experience 
operate to soothe the asperities and cool 
down the rivalries of an earlier stage of 
life, so that a man embraces, with a sort of 
tender eagerness, any opportunity to be 
reconciled to a former adversary, and to 
heal the breach that has separated them. 
This incident in the life of Linnaeus re- 
calls to my mind an anecdote related by 
Dr. Cockburn, of Sir Harry Moncrieff. 
Chancing one day to meet a person who 
had formerly been an illiberal opponent of 
his, he seized the occasion to address the 
man kindly, and with a degree of friendly 
cordiality which somewhat surprised the 
object of it. Being asked the reason of this 
behaviour, he replied, " He is a foolish, in- 
temperate, creature enough, but, to tell you 
the truth, I dislike a man fewer every day 
I live now !" 



Recovered from this illness, Linnaeus re- 
tired to Hammarby, to enjoy the fresh 
invigorating air of the country, and to 
celebrate his " Silfer Brollop,"* a Swedish 
custom of commemorating the return of 
the twenty-fifth wedding-day. Three days 
after, he married his eldest daughter, Lisa 
Stina (of whom mention has already been 
made), to an officer in the Swedish army. 
One of his most celebrated pupils, Professor 
Fabricius, has given some interesting par- 
ticulars respecting his eminent master, at 
this period of his life. 

" For two whole years/' he says, " I was 
so fortunate as to enjoy his instruction, 
guidance, and confidential friendship. When 
I became acquainted with the Chevalier Von 
Linne', although he had not attained his 
sixtieth year, increasing age had already 

* Silver Bridal. 


furrowed his brow with wrinkles. His 
countenance was open, almost constantly 
serene, and bore great resemblance to his 
portrait in the Species Plantarum. But his 
eyes of all the eyes I ever saw, were the 
most beautiful. They certainly were but 
small, but they shone with a brilliancy, and 
had a degree of penetration, such as I never 
observed in another man. His mind was 
noble and elevated, though I well know some 
persons have accused him of several faults. 
But his greatest excellence consisted in the 
systematic order of his thoughts. What- 
ever he did or said was faithful to order, 
truth, and regularity. His passions were 
strong and violent ; his heart open to every 
impression of joy, and he loved jocularity, 
conviviality, and good living. An excel- 
lent companion he was, pleasant in conver- 
sation and full of entertaining stories ; at 


the same time, suddenly roused to anger, he 
was boisterous and violent, but immediately 
his displeasure subsided, and he was all 
good-humour again. His friendship was 
sure and invariable, science being generally 
its basis ; and every one who knew him 
must be aware what concern he always 
manifested for his pupils, and with how 
much zeal they returned his friendship. 

" Not a day elapsed in which I did not 
see him, either being present at his lectures, 
or, as frequently happened, spending several 
hours with him in familiar conversation. 

" We were three Kuhn, Zoega, and I, all 
foreigners; and this was one reason why he 
showed himself so exceedingly kind to us. 
Jn winter we lived directly opposite his 
house, and he came to us almost every day, 
in his short red robe de chambre, with a 
green fur cap on his head, and a pipe in his 


hand. He came for half an hour, but 
stayed a whole one, and sometimes two. 
His conversation on these occasions was 
extremely sprightly and pleasant. It either 
consisted in anecdotes relative to the learned 
men in his profession, with whom he had be- 
come acquainted in foreign countries, or in 
removing our difficulties, and giving us other 
kinds of instruction. He laughed heartily, 
and his countenance indicated the friend- 
liness and good fellowship of his nature. 

"In summer we followed him into the 
country. Our life was then much happier. 
Our dwelling was about a quarter of a 
league distant from his house at Hammarby, 
in a farm. He rose very early in summer, 
mostly about four o'clock. At six he came 
to us, because his house was then building ; 
breakfasted with us, and gave lectures upon 
the natural orders of plants as long as he 


pleased, and generally till about ten o'clock. 
We then wandered about among the neigh- 
bouring rocks, the productions of which 
afforded us plenty of entertainment. In 
the afternoon we went to his garden, and 
in the evening mostly played at the Swedish 
game of trissett, in company with the 

" Occasionally the whole family came to 
spend the day with us, and then we sent for 
a peasant, who played on an instrument re- 
sembling a violin, to which we danced in 
the barn of our farm-house ; and though the 
company was but small and the dances 
superlatively rustic, we passed the time 
merrily. While we danced, Linnd sat look- 
ing on, and smoking his pipe ; sometimes, 
though very rarely, he danced a Polish dance, 
in which he excelled every one of us young 
men. He was exceedingly delighted when 


he saw us in high glee, nay, even if we be- 
came noisy. His only anxiety was, that 
we might be well entertained. Those days, 
those hours, will never be erased from my 
memory, and every remembrance of them 
is grateful to my heart I" 

In this simple and natural picture we 
get such a peep into the home life of Lin- 
naeus as makes us better acquainted with 
him ; and the bonhommie and kind-hearted- 
ness here displayed give the key to much 
of that popularity which he seems through 
life to have secured. The freshness and 
spring of his character continued as long 
as his mental faculties lasted unimpaired. 
The first symptom of decay in his powers 
was a failing of the memory, which in his 
youth had been so uncommonly vigorous. 
Even at the time when Fabricius was with 
him, he remarked with concern, that he was 


often unable to recollect the names of his 
friends ; so much so, that, on one occasion, 
he saw him much embarrassed, when, after 
writing a letter to his father-in-law at 
Fahlun, he had great difficulty in remem- 
bering his name. These premonitory signs 
of age did not prevent him from continuing 
his usual engagements, and he laboured 
diligently in preparing new editions of his 
principal works during the succeeding three 
or four years. 

And now the shadows of evening began 
to gather around him those cold shades 
that make themselves felt, and whose chills 
bespeak the near approach of darkness and 
the grave. He saw his early friends and the 
associates of his riper years fallen, or drop- 
ping on all sides, and exclaimed, "Ego infelix 
socius resto ; " and, casting his eyes on the 
one of them in whose friendship he most 


confided, he committed to his care the diary 
which has been spoken of, begging him, as a 
last act of friendship, to translate it into 
Latin, and to arrange and prepare it for pre- 
sentation to the French academy, of which 
he was a foreign member. He seems, before 
sending it, to have added at the close, a 
sort of summary of his deeds, his merits, 
his honours and his obligations. With scru- 
pulous care, and that love of truth and 
justice which always characterized him, he 
reckoned up, under the latter head, the 
various aids afforded him by his pupils and 
friends, and, conscious of his higher obliga- 
tions, he enumerated the favours he had 
received from the Divine hand which he 
acknowledged had led and prospered him. 
After stating that over the door of his room 
he had caused this sentence to be inscribed, 
" Innocui vivite ! Numen adest," and 


adding that he had " always entertained 
veneration and admiration for his Creator, 
and endeavoured to trace his science to its 
author," he proceeded to record the deal- 
ings of Providence on his behalf how God 
had caused him to spring up from a tree 
without root, and had planted him, and 
made him to flourish, inspiring him with 
an ardent love for nature, giving him what 
he most desired, and, where he had failed 
to attain his objects, making even his dis- 
appointment subservient to his good ; 
granting him favour in the eyes of the 
learned and the noble, a wife and children, 
houses and lands, and safety and protection ; 
and he concluded with these remarkable 
words : " He hath permitted him to visit 
his secret council chambers, and to see more 
of the creation than any mortal before him, 
and given him greater knowledge of natural 


history than any one had hitherto acquired. 
' The Lord hath been with him whitherso- 
ever he hath walked ; and hath cut off his 
enemies from before him, and hath made 
him a name like the name of the great 
men that are in the earth.' " 1 Chron. 
xvii. 8. 

There is something striking and impres- 
sive in this close to the great naturalist's 
autobiography. It is evidently the earnest 
and sincere utterance of his heart ; the 
acknowledgment of his fealty, his dutiful 
tribute to the Divine Author of his being 
and well-being. Would that he had added, 
with the illustrious Bacon, " Thy creatures 
have been my books, but thy Scriptures 
much more. I have sought thee in thy 
fields and thy gardens. I have found thee 
in thy Word and thy Temples ! " 

In December, 1772, Linnaeus resigned 



his office of Rector of the University, 
which he had thrice exercised, and on this 
occasion he gave an Oration " On the De- 
lights of Nature." It was the last ever 
delivered by him, and was so much admired 
by the audience, that the morning after, 
a deputation was sent to him in the name 
of the University, to request that he would 
print it in the Swedish language. 

This address was a befitting termination 
to the public exertions of the venerable 
man who was himself the most striking 
instance of that on which he dilated the 
peculiar pleasure attending the pursuit of a 
science, which, unlike so many of the ob- 
jects in which men seek happiness, is one of 
the richest and most permanent sources of 

Even beneath the pressure of increasing 
infirmities the fondness of Linnseus for his 


beloved studies continued undiminished, and 
his desire of adding to his knowledge was 
keen as ever. Some, of his letters at this 
period are full of vivacity, and strikingly 
express the ardour of his zeal. An idea of 
their spirit may be gained from a short 
extract taken from one (dated August 8th, 
1771). "I received an hour ago" (he 
writes) " yours of the 1 6th July, nor did I 
ever get a more welcome letter, as it con- 
tains the happy tidings of my dear Solan- 
der's safe return. Thanks and glory to 
God, who has protected him through the 
dangers of such a voyage. If I were not 
bound fast here, by sixty-four years of age 
and a worn-out body, I would this very 
day set out for London, to see this great 
hero in botany. Moses was not permitted 
to enter Palestine, but only to view it from 
a distance ; so I conceive an idea in my 

N 2 


mind of the acquisitions and treasures of 
those who have visited every part of the 

Not long before his final illness he wrote 
in a similar strain, to Mr. Pennant, the 
celebrated zoologist. After warmly thank- 
ing Mm for the present of two of his works 
on natural history, he adds, " I will peruse 
and re-peruse your synopsis a thousand 
times ; and after having read the work, I 
will ask you many questions and never 
prove ungrateful to you. I will enter into 
no disputes about methods. Whether 
nature is Calvinistic, Jewish, or Mahomedan 
is all one to me, and the knowledge of the 
species is the only thing I shall look to. 
Would that I could see your other works, 
especially that on birds ! " 

In his reply to this letter, Mr. Pennant 
entreated him not to forget his promise of 


writing the natural history of Lapland, 
which he had given in the preface to his 
Flora Lapponica. He replied, " It is now 
too late." (Nunc nimis sero inciperem.) 
And, indeed, his labours were nearly at an 
end. In the Spring of 1774, while lec- 
turing in the Botanic Garden, he suffered 
an attack of apoplexy, the debilitating 
effects of which obliged him to relinquish 
all active professional duties and to close 
his literary occupations. In 1776 a second 
seizure supervened, which rendered him 
paralytic on the right side, and impaired 
his mental powers so much that he became 
a distressing spectacle. Yet, even then, 
with the natural flow of cheerfulness so 
peculiar to him, he thus described his own 
situation : " Linnseus limps, can hardly walk, 
speaks unintelligibly, and is scarce able to 
write." Nature remained, to the last, his 

182 LIFE OF 

sole comfort and relief. He used to be 
carried to his museum, where he gazed on 
the treasures he had collected with so much 
care and labour, and as long as possible he 
continued to manifest peculiar delight in 
examining the rarities and new productions 
which had been latterly added to them by 
some of his pupils. 

It is scarcely possible to find a more 
striking illustration of the "ruling passion 
strong in death," than is afforded in the 
instance of Linnaeus. Well did he prove 
the truth of the motto of his youth, 

" Tantus amor Florum." 

Lingering and painful were the last twelve 
months of his existence ; but at length, on 
the 10th January, 1778, he gently ex- 
pired, in his sleep, having lived precisely 
seventy years, seven months, and seven days. 


The death of Linnaeus was regarded in 
Sweden as a national calamity. The whole 
University went into mourning, and all 
the professors, doctors, and students then 
at Upsala attended his funeral. The King, 
in his speech to the States in the same 
year, publicly lamented his death, and 
ordered a medal to be struck in his honour; 
and in 1798 a monument was erected to 
him in the cathedral at Upsala, where he 
was interred. 

But the most enduring honours to the 
genius of Linnaeus consisted in the extent 
of his fame, and the influence of his labours 
upon science. By his writings, correspond- 
ence, lectures, and active zeal in sending 
his pupils into all quarters, he inspired a 
national taste for the study of natural 
history, so that it became in Sweden " the 
study of the schools, by which men rose 


to preferment/' And by the order, per- 
fection, and immediate application of theory 
to practical uses, which he introduced into 
the science of botany, he awakened a 
universal interest in it, which formed an 
era in its history. The museum and library 
of Linnaeus passed into the hands of his 
widow on the death of his son (who sur- 
vived him but a few years) ; and eventually 
the whole collection was purchased of her by 
the late Sir J. E. Smith, for the sum of 
1029. The sale was precipitated before 
the return of the King of Sweden, who 
was then on his travels, and it is a 
curious fact, that a vessel was despatched 
by the Swedish Government, to intercept 
the ship which was bearing away the 
prize. The treasure, however, reached 
England in safety, and its learned and 
amiable owner, having gained possession of 


it, showed himself desirous to communicate 
the benefit of it as extensively as possible 
to the public. With this view, he, in the 
year 1788, drew the plan of an institution 
to be called the Linnaean Society, intended 
for the promotion of discoveries and im- 
provements in natural history. Of this 
society, Sir James was, most properly, 
chosen president, and it obtained a Royal 
Charter in the year 1802. In his will he 
desired that the Linnsean Collection should 
be offered, after his death, to the Society, 
and it was accordingly purchased by that 
body for the sum of 3000 guineas. 

Having brought my pleasing task to a 
close, I wish to add a few words recommen- 
datory of the study of Botany for its own 
sake. We are no longer in the infancy of 
the science, and its utility is put beyond 
question. Of its benefits no one doubts. 


Our food, our physic, our luxuries, are all 
improved by it. All this is acknowledged. 
But are its benefits, as a mental exercise, 
sufficiently considered ? And yet, what 
study is calculated to afford more delightful 
instruction to the young, at once gratifying 
a taste for beauty, and training the youth- 
ful mind to thought and observation ? 
Affording, too, the most healthful gratifica- 
tion and innocent enjoyment, its pleasures 
spring up beneath our feet, and, as we 
pursue them, reward us with simple and 
true joys. All is elegance and delight in 
this charming study, and there are no 
painful, distressing or unhealthy experi-' 
ments to be made. Its stores present an 
inexhaustible variety ; the circling seasons 
bring a succession of flowery treasures, and 
even when Nature retires into her dormi- 
tory, and sleeps beneath the warm shelter 


of her snowy coverings, there are her more 
hidden secrets over which we may pore, 
while we arrange the stores we have accu- 
mulated, or imitate their beauties by the 
mimic art of the pencil. 

In short, the youth who loves botany 
for its own sake has a pure source of hap- 
piness always at command, and would find 
himself neither solitary nor desolate had he 
no other companion than a humble moss or 
weed, finding, as he will ever find, some- 
thing to examine or illustrate, and a great 
deal to admire. 

It has been said that almost every one 
who takes up the study of nature, does so 
either avowedly or tacitly hoping that he 
may make some discover} 7 for himself. Nor 
has the aspiring young naturalist any need 
to despair ; for wherever persevering in- 
vestigation is at work, new facts are 


brought to light, and much that is curious 
and valuable in natural history is con- 
tinually being added to its stores. It may, 
perhaps, at first sight, seem surprising that 
much of interest in natural history has been 
observed and verified in the immediate 
vicinity of the metropolis. The reason is 
soon given. It is because there are good 
observers there who, determined to use their 
eyes and understanding, see much that is 
curious and instructive, though the hills 
about Hampstead and Highgate are their 
only Alps and Pyrenees, and the gardens 
at Kensington their nearest approach to a 
forest. Mr. Yarrell assures us that a young 
ornithological friend of his sent him a list 
of birds observed by himself in Kensington 
Gardens, including nearly seventy species ; 
an unusually large number for so limited 
a locality, in such a situation. 


A very striking and instructive fact, 
proving how much may be done even by 
one intelligent and active naturalist for the 
advancement of science and the promotion 
of general taste is given in Lord Cockburn's 
Memorials. He mentions that the Horti- 
cultural Society of Edinburgh was chiefly 
the work of Patrick Neill, a printer. This 
useful citizen was a most intelligent florist, 
the author of several excellent works on 
horticulture, and himself an amateur culti- 
vator of flowers ; the exotics in his small 
acre garden at Canonmills putting many a 
grander establishment to the blush. Prin- 
cipally to this man was due the commence- 
ment of a society, " which " (says Lord 
Cockburn) "was one of the first buds of 
that extraordinary and delightful burst of 
floral taste, which has since poured such 
botanical magnificence over our great places, 


and such varied and attainable beauty 
round our cottages. It is not " (he con- 
tinues) "in our public establishments or in 
our great private collections that its chief 
triumph is to be looked for; but in the 
moderate place, the villa, and especially in 
the poor man's garden; in the prevalence 
of little flower societies, its interest as a 
subject of common conversation, and the 
cheap but beautiful and learned practical 
works that are to be found in the houses 
of the humblest of the people." 

Encouraged by such examples, may 
many a young reader of this little volume 
be induced to devote himself with loving 
zeal to the study of botany, and he will 
assuredly reap an excellent reward, not only 
increasing his knowledge and giving a use- 
ful stimulus to his mind at present, but he 
will be guided to thoughts and habits useful 


for the future. For it is certain that no 
one can rightly enter upon this and kindred 
pursuits without having cause in the end 
to pronounce them profitable both here and 




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Ethnology of Europe 10 

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England before the Norman Conquest. . 12 
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'Manual of Gothic Architecture 13 
Poor Artist 12 

Prestwich's Geological Inquiry 8 

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Evening Thoughts 12 
Everv-day Wonders 12 
Flv Fishing in Salt and Fresh Water . . 3 

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Manual of Marine Zoology 11 
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Omphalos 8 

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Wall on a new Sperm Whale 1 
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Gray's Bard and Elegv 14 

Gregg and Lettsom's British Mineralogy 7 
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Sea-side Book 9 
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Elementary Course of Botany 6 
Rudiments of Botany 6 
Translation of Mchl 6 
Vegetation of Europe 6 
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British Fishes 3 

Exotic Butterflies .... , . 6 

on the Salmon ... .3 


Santa Barbara 



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