Wrote Letter 24 of 1678-03-18 (AB 38) to Nehemiah Grew

Date: 
March 18, 1678
Standard reference information
Cole's number: 
24
AB/CL number: 
38
AB/CL volume: 
2

Text of the letter in the original Dutch and in English translation from Alle de Brieven. The Collected Letters at the DBNL - De Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren


Leeuwenhoek wrote this letter to Nehemiah Grew about sperm in other animals and what Harvey and de Graaf got wrong about reproduction. At the end of the letter, a passage indicates that Leeuwenhoek's lab was not portable. Perhaps the instruments he refers to are things like clamps for his microsopes, to keep them still and free his hands.

My only chance lies in using the sperm that the animals may drop now and again after copulation, which I must use at once without loss of time lest it should change into a watery matter. I hardly see my way to do this as I require my customary seat and instruments, which I cannot place everywhere for use. If I could manage to do so I do not doubt that I should see as numerous vessels as I discovered in the case of human semen.

9