Francis Aston wrote to Leeuwenhoek; invited him to investigate colors

February 16, 1683

Letter Book Original supplement 4 GH pp. 397-98

Mr. Aston to Leewenhoeck in Answer
to his to Sr. Christ. Wren and inviting him
to go in search of Colours

Your letter of the 22th of January last came safely to the hands of Sr. Christopher Wren, who imparted it to the Society, and intends to return you his particular thanks. In the mean time I am ordered to signifie to you our Acknowledgments for the Great pains you take in prosecuting the Improvement of Natural knowledg (being the one for which our Society was instituted) As also for your Diligence in writing, without which we could not be partaking of the Industry of many worthy members of our Society living in Several renist? parts of the World. The Observations you mention as formerly sent, have for the most part of them been printed in some of the Transactions, but because you seem not to have read them, I desire you to let me know, what you have since no. 137 (which was the time that Mr. OldernburG dyed, and I will take care to supply you with the rest the first convenience.

Your Observations about wood have not been printed, but are now in a Way of being published in a month or two. I must now desire you for my own Ease in translating your language (which I understand but as a Forreighner) as also for the better comprehending your sense, that when ever you name a Term of Art, or thing out of Common use, you would explain it in the Margin, either by a word of some other Language or a circumlocution of your own. Your Generation by an Animal in Semine Masculo is very ingenious but will find opposers in the World till some persons have convinced themselves by Anatomy (from which all proofs must be drawn) either of its reconsileableness to Eggs, or the totall uselessness of that called an Egg. Your Account of the Globules of liquours and the make of a muscle having been so particularly examined, I cannt think of any thing at present might better deserve your thoughts (if you are not engaged in some other Speculation) than the Appearances of severall Colours, whether in their powders, or more solid bodies, as silk or cloth that are coloured with one or severall Colours. Whether the Colour lye but in a few places of a hair of wool that seems all coloured etc. I name no more, as leaving the contrivance to your self, but rather beg your pardon for the liberty I take in proposing and one re London Feb 16th 1682/3