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

Date: 
June 12, 1716
Standard reference information
Cole's number: 
215
AB/CL number: 
324
AB/CL volume: 
18

Text of the letter in the original Dutch and in English translation in Alle de Brieven / The Collected Letters is not yet available at the DBNL - De Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren.

The original manuscript is lost.

Leeuwenhoek 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.

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, move into a barley germ (embryo)?

Do plants originate in putrefaction (spontaneous generation)?

These studies of plant generation paralleled his studies of animal generation.

Figures

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.