Johan Arnoldi wrote to Leeuwenhoek about problems delivering Magliabechi's gift book

January 15, 1698

On February 20, 1698, Leeuwenhoek wrote to Magliabechi,

I am bound to inform You in this letter that Mr J. Arnoldi wrote to me on 15 January 1698 from Brussels; he had received a letter from Prague in Bohemia from one Mr Cooqus, one of the Domestics of the Most Serene Prince of Tuscany, in which he was asked to inquire about a book entitled:

Saggi di Naturali Experi.

In connection with this letter he had made every effort to trace this book and finally he had found the man to whom the Book had been entrusted for delivery to me. This man, however, had left for England, but had left behind his possessions, including also the book repeatedly mentioned, in Brussels, since he had decided to return there shortly.

For that reason Mr Arnoldi in his letter asked me to inform him shortly what I wished to be done in this matter; indeed, he stated that delay was dangerous, because the man to whom the book had been entrusted had already offered it for sale to the Secretary of the most serene Prince of Vaudemont.

Thereupon I wrote again to the Noble Mr Arnoldi and requested him urgently to use in this matter such means as he thought in his discretion to be required in order that I should at last get the book. I told him that I should very gladly pay the expenses that would have to be incurred for the purpose, and this with the more pleasure because I know that this present was given to me by the Most Illustrious Magliabechi, whose friendship I must always cherish.

Moreover I enclosed in my letter an epistle I had received from Düsseldorf, since it can be seen therefrom that the book was in the hands of that man for no other purpose than for delivery to me. In this way therefore I hope that this treasure I so ardently long to receive will at last reach me; if this has happened, I will not omit to write and tell you as soon as possible.