Document information

Physical location:

RB MSS M200, Library, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. 57.05.01

Preferred Citation:

the Academia Caesarea Leopoldino-Carolina Naturae Curiosorum to Ferdinand von Mueller, 1857-05-01. R.W. Home, Thomas A. Darragh, A.M. Lucas, Sara Maroske, D.M. Sinkora, J.H. Voigt and Monika Wells (eds), Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller, <>, accessed December 3, 2023

MS is a printed certificate, addressed on the back as follows: 'Sr. Wohlgeboren Herrn Dr. Ferdinand Müller, Gouvernement-Botaniker der neuholländischen Colonie Victoria zu Melbourne. Diplom Angelegenheiten der Kaiserl. Leopoldin. Carolin. Academie. No. 185.'
Viro illustri, celeberrimo, experientissimo FERDINANDO MUELLER, philosophiae doctori, coloniae novae hollandiae melbournensis, victoriae illustri nomine celebratae, botanico publico, instituti victoriani et societatis philosophicae victorianae membro, rel. rel.
S. P. D.
Quod statim a primordiis suis symbolum sibi elegit Academia nostra: NUNQUAM OTIOSUS, hoc ipsum ut cuncti, in eandem recepti vel recipiendi, sedulo observarint et perpetuo observent, vehementer exoptat; atque illud quoque de iis, quos noviter ad collegium suum invitat, aut qui generoso instinctu ad societatem feruntur, aut qui a collegis commendati sunt, subsumit. Sunt enim inexhaustae rerum naturae, et medicae scientiae, et artis divitiae, ut cuilibet prostet aliquid, in quo industria se exerceat. Atque quum unius hominis, aut paucorum non sit, in tantum tamque amplissimum campum excurrere et cuncta in eo perscrutari, et sint mille rerum species, et rerum discolor usus:
A variation of Perseus 5.52: 'Mille hominum species et rerum discolor usus' ('Men are of a thousand kinds, and diverse are the colours of their lives').
utique complurium bonarum mentium inclinatione, labore strenuo et consociatione opus est. Quapropter non poterit non exoptatus gratusque evenire nobis accessus Tuus, Vir excellentissime et experientissime, quo magis eruditio Tua, et in perscrutandis Naturae operibus admirandis studium, non nobis solum, sed toti orbi litterario cognita perspectaque iam existunt. Esto igitur, ex merito, nunc quoque noster! Esto Academiae Caesareae Naturae Curiosorum decus et augmentum, macte virtute Tua et industria, et accipe, in signum nostri ordinis, cui Te nunc adscribo, ex antiqua nostra consuetudine cognomen LECHENAULT, quo collegam amicissimum Te hodie primum salutamus. Salve in consortio nostro! Salve, inquam, et effice, ut in posterum Tua, nunquam otiosa, suavi doctaque sodalitate laeti frui diu queamus. Vale!
Dabam Vratislaviae ad Viadrum d. I. MAII a. MDCCCLVII.
Christianus Godofredus Daniel Nees ab Esenbeck
There follows a lengthy statement of the offices held by Nees von Esenbeck and the learned societies of which he was a member which is not reproduced here.
The President of the Imperial Leopoldine-Carolinian Academy of Naturalists
sends warm greetings to the distinguished, famous and experienced Ferdinand Mueller, Doctor of Philosophy, of the Melbournian colony of New Holland, celebrated by the illustrious name of Victoria, official botanist, member of the Victorian Institute and the Philosophical Society of Victoria, etc. etc.
Because our Academy immediately from its inception chose as its motto 'Never Idle' it earnestly desires this very thing that those who have been received into it or are due to be received have energetically observed and continually observe; and it assumes that also in the case of those whom it newly invites to its company or who come to its fellowship by a generous instinct or who have been recommended by colleagues. For unexhausted are the natures of things, and medical sciences and the riches of art, with the result that there is something available to each person in which he may train himself with energy. And since it is not possible for one man, or a few, to run over so great and so spacious a field and thoroughly to study everything in it, and things are of a thousand kinds, and diverse are the colours of their natures, of necessity there is need of the agreement, the energetic labour, and the association of numbers of good minds. Wherefore your arrival, distinguished and practised Sir, will not fail to turn out desirable and pleasing to us, the more so as your erudition and your zeal in studying the admirable works of Nature are already known and conspicuous not only to us but to the whole literary world. Therefore be now, according to your deserts, ours also. Be the glory and increment of the Imperial Academy of Naturalists, distinguished for your courage and industry, and receive as the badge of our order, in which I now enrol you, according to our ancient practice the cognomen LECHENAULT,
It was the Academy's custom to bestow cognomens on its members, naming them after distinguished naturalists of earlier generations. M was named after the French traveller-naturalist Leschenault de la Tour, suggested by Johannes Lehmann when he proposed that M be elected and requested that the diploma be sent to him to be transmitted to M (see J. Lehmann to C. von Esenbeck, 27 April 1857 (in this edition as M57-04-27)).
by which we greet you as a colleague and warm friend today for the first time. Welcome into our fellowship. Welcome, I say, and bring it to pass that in the future we may be able long to enjoy in happiness your pleasant and learned company, never idle. Farewell.
Given at Breslau on the Oder, 1 May 1857.
Christianus Godofredus Daniel Nees von Esenbeck
M was elected a member of the Imperial Leopoldine-Carolinian Academy of Naturalists a second time in 1865 — his earlier successful nomination having apparently been overlooked. See Jahn & Schmidt (1996) p. 15.