Wrote Letter L-035 of 1676-04-21 to Henry Oldenburg about movement of liquid in ash and other trees, little animals in wine, and cinnamon and taste

April 21, 1676
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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

The original manuscript on six folio pages, written and signed by Leeuwenhoek, along with four figures on one additional leaf, is preserved at the Royal Society (MS. 1847. Early Letters L1.18). Oldenburg's English translation is Early Letters L1.19. It includes line numbering corresponding to the notes supplied by Nehemiah Grew and published in Philosophical Transactions, vol. 11, pp. 653-660.

An excerpt was published in Philosophical Transactions, vol. 11, no. 137, dated 18 July 1676. See Publication history below.

Leeuwenhoek wrote this letter to Henry Oldenburg about:

  • the vessels of three types of wood with reference of Nehemiah Grew's book on this subject
  • eel-like creatures found in French wine
  • the taste of cinnamon.

In Philosophical Transactions, the letter is followed by some comments about Leeuwenhoek's letter.

Grew’s observations differed from Leeuwenhoek’s. In the next issue of Philosophical Transactions, no. 127 with a publication date of 18 July 1676, Oldenburg added four pages (pp. 656-660) of notes about Grew’s observations directly after the excerpt from Leeuwenhoek’s letter that he translated himself.

In the letter, Leeuwenhoek wrote:

Since then I have received through Mr. Constantine Huygens some of the Transactions, and your welcome letter of Febr. 10th.

On 1 May 1676, Huygens wrote to Oldenburg (translation from the French from Correspondence):

Mr. Leeuwenhoek has fixed me up with a copy of no. 119 so that my volume 9 is complete up to no. 121 inclusive ... I have put no. 100 in Vol. 8, so that you have nothing further to worry about concerning the past.

Leeuwenhoek wrote this letter two months after the previous letter at the end of February. For the past year, Oldenburg had replied to a letter soon after his received it. After the February letter, however, Oldenburg had not written, so Leeuwenhoek began this one:

My last letter was that of Febr. 22nd, in which I told you about my observations and opinion concerning hair. I shall be glad to hear in what respect I differ from or agree with Mr. Hooke.