Visited by Karl von Hessen-Kassel and Willem Meester

October 15, 1685

In October 1685, shortly before Constantijn Huygens, Jr., wrote to his brother Christiaan about it, Karl von Hessen-Kessel visited Leeuwenhoek at his home laboratory. Hessen-Kessel was accompanied by Willem Meester, a Dutch army engineer and explosives expert who had worked with Christiaan for many years.


Letter from Constantijn Huygens to his brother Christiaan, November 5, 1685, no. 2408 in Huygens' Ouvres Completes.

He (Meester) had gone with him (Karl, Landgraaf van Hessen-Kassel) to Leeuwenhoeck who had not wanted to show him of his microscopes than those he showed to everyone and whose little glasses had at least the width of a knife-back, that when the Landgrave had asked him if he could have some of it in his own way, he replied with great pride that he had never given it to anybody, had intended not to do it, that if once he were tired of going to that he would be enslaved by everyone else, and other things of that force. After showing three or four of his microscopes, he carried them off, and went to quarrel with so many others, saying that he was doing this for fear that he would get rid of someone in the hands of the spectators, that he did not rely on people, especially Germans; repeating this two or three times. O che bestia!