Sout-figuren

Author: 
Leeuwenhoek, A. van
Publisher: 
Leiden: Boutesteyn
Year: 
1685

Full title:

Ontledingen en Ontdekkingen van Sout-figuren van verscheyden Souten: van Levendige Dierkens in de Mannelyke Saden de Baarmoeder ingestort; ende van de Voort-telinge

Vervat in twee Brieven, geschreven aan de Wijt-vermaarde Koninklyke Wetenschap-soekende Societeyt tot Londen in Englandt.


Dissections and Discoveries of the Salt-figures of various salts: of Living Animals in the Male Seed of a collapsed Uterus; and of the process of reproduction.

Contained in two Letters, written to the Widely renowned Royal Scientific-research Society of London in England.

Dobell #6: Letters 44, 45

AB/CL #83, 84

In 1685, Cornelis Boutesteyn in Leiden printed this edition of two letters to the Royal Society that had been written earlier that year and published in Philosophical Transactions volume 15 numbers 173 of July 22, 1685, and 174 of August 22, 1685. They were unnumbered in the pamphlet, which had continuous pagination: 3 - 39, 40 blank, 41 - 76. It had a title page that noted the most important topics in each letter. Then each letter had its own title or subtitle, long enough to be a table of contents or summary. All three title pages are on the left sidebar (click to enlarge).

A full text scan is available for downloading from Utrecht University Library.

Dobell #6a

In 1696, Boutesteyn re-typeset and re-printed this pamphlet, this time with the letters numbered. Letter 44 was mistakenly dated 23 January 1679 instead of 23 January 1685. Letter 45 of March 30, 1685, was mistakenly given the number and date of Letter 46 of July 13, 1685. STCN notes that this version was part of the 1696 version of Deel I of the Werken, which implies that Dobel #6 from 1685 was part of the 1685 version of Deel I.

Letter 44 of January 23, 1685 (AB 83), about different salts and their crystals as well as his mechanistic theory of the sense of taste, with 17 figures.

Letter 45 of March 30, 1685 (AB 84), about his discovery of sperm in a dog's uterus, with 6 figures.

These two letters were paginated continuously, not separately. That is, Letter 44 ends on page 39 and Letter 45 begins on page 41 of Sout-figuren even though it had nothing to do with salt crystals. However, Letter 43 began Leeuwenhoek's investigation of salt crystals and was written just two weeks before Letter 44 in January 1685. It would have made more sense to package Letter 43 and Letter 44 together under the title of Sout-figuren. They were both printed by Boutesteyn in 1685. Nevertheless, Letter 43 was printed as the final letter in Onsigtbare verborgentheden, also continuously paginated, where it began on page 51.

A note on language:

What Leeuwenhoek called sout-figuren, here translated "salt figures", we would today call salt crystals. At the time, crystal was not used in that manner. The translation of Leeuwenhoek's Letter 44 of January 23, 1685 in Philosophical Transactions: "An Abstract of a Letter from Mr. Leewenhoeck, to the R. S. Dated Jan. 23d, 1684/5; Concerning the the Various Figures of the Salts Contained in Several Substances".

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