Antonio Magliabechi wrote Letter L-337 to honor Leeuwenhoek with a poem in praise of great erudition

March 1, 1698

This letter is known only by reference in Leeuwenhoek’s reply, Letter L-342 of 17 April 1698, so it must have been written sometime before then, perhaps around 1 March 1698.

Along with this letter, Antonio Magliabechi sends an unknown poem from an unknown poet.

The man to whom Magliabechi gave the book is Luca Giamberti. For the exchange of letters between L. and Giamberti, see Letter L-324 of July 1697 to Giamberti and Giamberti’s reply, Letter L-325 of 19 July 1697.

The book is Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Academia del Cimento (Essays on natural experiments done at the Academia del Cimento) by Lorenzo Magalotti. See the Letter L-322 of 1 June 1697


Letter L-342 of 17 April 1698 to Antonio Magliabechi

Most illustrious sir, I duly received with great pleasure your letter as well as the poem enclosed therewith, with which you again thought fit to make me happy.

I see that therein a talented poet beautifully sings the praises which such great erudition, so rare a munificence towards honourable people, in short a multitude of so many virtues (which seem to have fixed themselves in your heart) deserves from everyone. And these praises, long since implanted in my own heart and those of all good people who love virtue, strike deeper roots from day to day as we consider more and more that you are adorned with so many excellent qualities in this very period in which all virtue and respectability alas! seem to have vanished from the souls of most people.

It seems to me I have found a very plain example of this in the person of the man to whom was entrusted the wonderful book with which you thought fit to present me undeservedly.