Extrait Critique

Hartsoeker, N.
in Cours de Physique
den Haag: Jean Swart

Published posthumously

The final section is titled Extrait Critique des Lettres de M. Leeuwenhoek par feu M. Hartsoeker

Excerpt Critics of Mr. Leeuwenhoek Letters by the late Mr. Hartsoeker

Hartsoeker writes in negative, derisive terms about Leeuwenhoek, his observations, his methods, and his personality.

"Ce qui me surprend, c'est qu'une illustre societe a pu entretenir un commerce de lettres assez regulier avec un homme comme lui, qui avait des yeux, des verres et beaucoup de patience, mais peu ou point de bon sens!"

"What surprises me is that an illustrious society [Royal Society] was able to maintain a fairly regular correspondence with a man like himself, who had eyes, glasses and much patience, but little or no common sense!"

Dobell (p 70):

Hartsoeker was a man of undoubted ability, but quarrelsome and arrogant and in every way the very antithesis of Leeuwenhoek. He attacked and found fault with everybody he envied -- not only Leeuwenhoek, but also Newton, Leibniz, and even Christiaan Huygens (who had befriended him) -- and his foolish criticisms and personal complaints are now best consigned to the oblivion which they deserve.