Antonio Magliabechi wrote Letter L-273 to praise Leeuwenhoek

October 14, 1695

This letter is known only by reference in L.’s reply.

In this letter, Magliabechi praises L. and his work upon learning that L. has dedicated Arcana Natura Detecta to him.

This letter was written two days after Magliabechi’s previous letter to Leeuwenhoek, Letter L-272 of 12 October 1695, probably upon receipt of the news that Leeuwenhoek had dedicated Arcana Natura Detecta to him. His next letter was written later that month, Letter L-275 of 23 October 1695. Both letters contain book news that was published in Boekzaal van Europe.

The exchange of letters between Magliabechi and L. also involves three others, Jacobus Gronovius, a professor of history and Greek from Leiden, Daniël Papenbroek, a Jesuit priest from Antwerp, and Pieter Rabus, a poet and journal editor from Rotterdam. Gronovius knew Magliabechi personally from his years in Italy before he became a professor in Leiden. He may well have been instrumental in initiating the contact between Magliabechi and L. Daniël Papenbroek, a Jesuit priest from Antwerp, passed letters and printed volumes between Magliabechi and L. Rabus never corresponded with Magliabechi directly, but between 1692 and 1701, he published a dozen excerpts of letters from Magliabechi to L. as “Italiaansch Boeknieuws” in his journal Boekzaal van Europe and its successor Twee Maandelijke Uittreksels.


Letter 162 L-282 of 22 December 1695 to Antonio Magliabechi

After this I received from the Rev. Father Daniel Papenbroek your very welcome letter of the 14th of October, and from the hands of the famous Gronovius himself the letter you wrote to me on the 5th of November. Both these letters are filled with so many and such great proofs of esteem that I blush with shame whenever I recall them, because I am aware of the fact that I never deserved such homage, in the sense that my work is not worthy of such great honour as you, very noble and illustrious sir, vouchsafe to it.