Vijfde Vervolg

Leeuwenhoek, A. van

Full title:

Vijfde Vervolg der Brieven, geschreven aan verscheide Hoge Standspersonen ed Geleerde Luijden

Fifth Continuation of the Letters, written to various High-standing Persons and Learned People

Until 1694 Leeuwenhoek added geschreven aan de Koninglyke Societeit tot Londen (written to the Royal Society in London). After that, beginning with Vijfde Vervolg in 1696, he added geschreven aan verscheide Hoge Standspersonen en Geleerde Luijden (written to various High-Standing Individuals and Learned People).

Dobell #15: Letters 84 - 96

It contained thirteen letters:

AB/CL # 139 - 144, 147, 149, 151, 154, 155, 157, 160

AB/CL # 161 is the dedication to Vijfde Vervolg, writtern to Frederik Adriaan van Reede van Renswoude. Leeuwenhoek did not number it separately as a letter.

The letters were addressed to:

Frederik Adriaan Van Reede, 5 letters
Anthonie Heinsius, 4 letters
Johann Wilhelm von Pfalz-Neuburg, 2 letters
Richard Waller, 1 letter
Pieter Rabus, 1 letter

The volume had an engraved title (dated 1696).

Pagination: vi + 172 + x

The front matter had a short explanation by Rabus, the title page, a dedication from Leeuwenhoek to Frederik Adriaan Baron van Reede and a poem by P. Rabus.

The letters were numbered and paginated continuously. See the first page of the first letter, Letter 84 of September 14, 1694, to Richard Waller.

The figures are in the text and on 7 plates.

The index at the end is ten pages long.

Explanation by Pieter Rabus

On the verso of the De Hooghe's Eye of Providence frontispiece is a short paragraph:

De Titelplaat word van Pieter Rabus dus verklaart
The Title plate is explained by Pieter Rabus

Dedication from Leeuwenhoek to Frederik Adriaan Baron van Reede

After a page listing the titles and responsibilities of Frederik Adriaan, Leeuwenhoek wrote a dedication (opdract) to his friend. He recalled frequent visits to the Baron's estate outside of Utrecht and elsewhere, perhaps Den Haag, where he also lived. The visits included Leeuwenhoek's daughter (my als ook de mijne) and perhaps his second wife, though she had been dead for two years when Leeuwenhoek wrote this dedication. These visits may well have included the Baron's wife, Maria Duyst, who grew up across the gracht from Leeuwenhoek and was only five years younger than his daughter Maria.

Poem by P. Rabus

Aan den Heere Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Op het Vijfde Vervolg Zijner Ontdekking-Brieven
To Mr. Antoni van Leeuwenhoekon the Fifth Continuation of his Discovery-Letters


Leeuwenhoek wrote these 13 letters in the 15 months between late 1694 and the end of 1695. Only the first of these letters was addressed to an officer of the Royal Society, Richard Waller. He was the only one of the five addresses whom Leeuwenhoek did not know personally. However, around this time, he sent Waller a copy of the 1687 edition of Anatomia Seu interiora Rerum with the misspellings on the title page.

The next letter was addressed to Pieter Rabus, who also wrote two parts of the front matter. Four letters were addressed to Leeuwenhoek's old friend from the Stadhuis, Anthonie Heinsius. Five were addressed to Frederik Adriaan. The final two, in late 1695, were addressed to Johann Wilhelm von Pfalz-Neuburg, who had visited Leeuwenhoek in Delft the previous August.

None of these letters was published in Philosophical Transactions.


There were 48 figures in 7 of the 13 letters.


The volume concluded with a 10-page index (blad-wyser, literally: page pointer).

De voornaamste Saken in dit Vyfde Vervolg der Brieven begrepen.
The main Topics included in this Fifth Continuation of the Letters.