Antonio Magliabechi wrote Letter L-286 to Leeuwenhoek, reporting that he finally received the copies of Arcana Naturae Detecta, one for Grand Duke Cosima III

March 6, 1696

L. also wrote about these books in Letter 158 of 18 October 1695, Letter 159 of 31 October 1695, and Letter 162 of 22 December 1695.

For more about Baron Ricosoli, see note 2 to Letter 158 of 18 October 1695.

The duke is Cosima III De' Medici and the princes are Ferdinand De' Medici and his brother Gian Castone.

Leghorn is also called Livorno.

The notes to Letter L-301 of 28 August 1696 explain that the books referred to here are two complimentary copies of Arcana Naturae Detecta., which Leeuwenhoek dedicated to Magliabechi. See Letter 153 L-266 of 16 August 1695. Letter 158 L-274 of 18 October 1695 was the cover letter that accompanied the books, entrusted to Baron Ricasoli. In Letter L-276 of 31 October 1695 to Magliabechi, Leeuwenhoek noted that “to be on the safe side”, he has sent two additional copies via ship from Rotterdam to Livorno, the seaport closest to Magliabechi’s home in Florence. See Letter L-277 of 31 October 1695 to Jacob Calckberner. In Letter L-282 of 22 December 1695, Leeuwenhoek mentioned these books again.

Magliabechi’s previous letter to L. was Letter L-280 of 5 November 1695. Leeuwenhoek did not reply to the present letter before receiving Magliabechi’s next letter, Letter L-290 of 5 June 1696.


In Letter L-301 to Magliabechi of 28 August 1696, Leeuwenhoek wrote,

From your letter, Illustrious Sir, of the sixth of March, full of signs of extraordinary benevolence towards me, I learned that my books, which I had entrusted to the Most Noble Baron Bettino Ricaroli, have been handed to You and that You will present one copy to the Most Serene Duke upon his return from Pisa to Florence.

From that moment I was very anxious to know how my work has been received, by the Most Serene Duke as well as by the princes. I was also desirous to know whether the packet of books sent by me to Leghorn, to the Most Excellent Consul of the Netherlands, has reached you, and at the same time whether my theses are not exposed to many objections, which is usually the common lot of all new things.