Richard Waller wrote Letter L-243 to Leeuwenhoek about recent observations, to request a portrait, and to introduce Mr. Walfort, who delivered it

May 2, 1694

No manuscript is known. This letter is known only by reference in Leeuwenhoek's reply, Letter L-244.

The date is New Style, which was ten days ahead of the Old Style date of 22 April 1693 used by Waller in London.

This letter was inserted, unnumbered, in Collected Letters, vol. 10, between Letter L-241 of 2 April 1694 and Letter L-242 of 30 April 1694 because it was there dated 22 April 1694 O.S. Here, with the New Style date, it comes between Letter L-242 and Letter 244 of 26 May 1694, Leeuwenhoek's reply.

The letter was delivered by hand by an otherwise-unknown Mr Walfort, to introduce Walfort and ask Leeuwenhoek to show him his microscopes and preparations. Walfort also delievered some issues of Philosophical Transactions. Waller also asked for copies of Leeuwenhoek's portrait.

It was almost two years later, Letter L-284 of 17 February 1694, before Leeuwenhoek received another letter from anyone at the Royal Society.


Letter L-244 of 26 May 1694

I duly received your welcome letter of the 22nd of April as well as the Transactions through the kind offices of Mr. Walfort. I remain highly grateful to the Royal Society for this present. I have also seen that my discoveries have been received with full satisfaction and that you were quite satisfied with them, which I was pleased to learn.

I had only read part of your letters when I showed Mr. Walfort two magnifying glasses with the subjects before them, and I thought thereupon that the said gentleman did not take much pleasure in the sights, the more so because he did not request me to show him anything further. And after I had drunk some wine with him, he wanted to leave again.

But when he had gone and I had understood your letters, I was embarrassed because I had not shown the said Mr. Walfort anything further, the more so because I then thought that he had not wanted to make such a request out of courtesy and generosity.

I do not have any of my pictures; moreover, the plate has been printed off and the plate-maker, who was also the printer and painter, is dead. But if I can get one at our forthcoming annual fair, when many art-dealers come to our city, I will not neglect to let you have what you ask for.