Robbert Gordon wrote to the Royal Society attesting to microbes in Leeuwenhoek's infusions

Date: 
June 2, 1677

Robbert Gordon, a medical student in Delft, wrote to the Royal Society, also in Latin, attesting to what he saw when he looked through Leeuwenhoek's lens. "I saw as many as 20,000 of those little animals in a quantity of pepper-water not exceeding the size of a grain of millet."

Document: 

Enclosures with letter #33. Alle de Brieven / Collected Letters, vol. 2, pp 257-271.

Translated from the Latin

The attestation on the back of this was submitted to us by Mr. BENEDICTUS DE HAAN. In it he assures us that he saw in a glass tube, made, as shown in the margin, by Mr. LEUWENHOEK, and filled with pepper-water, an innumerable number of little animals, by means of a microscope. I not only subscribe this attestation, but also, driven by truth, I affirm that, taking into account the relation in respect of quantity1 I saw as many as 20.000 of those little animals in a quantity of pepper-water not exceeding the size of a grain of millet. For which reason I have willingly put my signature to this attestation, which should serve as a proof of the truth and nothing but the truth to all those who shall deign to turn their attention to it and cast an eye upon it.

Given at Delft in Holland. June the 2nd 1677.
R. GORDON, medical student.

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