Wrote Letter XXV of 1716-06-12 (AB 324) to Antony Cinck

June 12, 1716
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In this letter, Leeuwenhoek continued his investigations of questions that had occupied much of his career.

How do plants, in this case barley, germinate, or sprout?

How does food travel, in this case into a barley embryo?

Do plants originate in putrefaction (spontaneous generation)?

He addressed this letter to Cink, Narez, and Riga because they had presented him with a medal a week earlier on June 3. After thanking them, he commented:

My work, which I carried out during many years at a stretch, has not been done in order to gain by this the praise now lavished on me, but mostly through the passion of curiosity which, as I notice, resides in me more than in many other people. And besides this, having then discovered something which was noteworthy, I have felt it to be my duty to put down on paper what I had discovered, in order that it would become known to the educated world.


9 figures. The original drawings have been lost.

In Leeuwenhoek's Dutch and Latin editions, figures 1-5 were brought together on one plate facing p. 223, and figures 6-9 on one plate facing p. 228 (Send-Brieven) and p. 226 Epistolae Physiologicae). See Related images below.