Hartsoeker did not actually see the miniature, but he affirmed that it was hidden under the "skin" of the animalcule
: "We just affirmed that the animalcule
joins the egg by the most tender part of its body.
Ironically (or perhaps not), van Leeuwenhoek is also the man who documented the first account of antisepsis by adding wine vinegar to one of his collections and noting that the animalcules
His famous observations of pond water led to the first descriptions of bacteria and protozoa, which he named "animalcules
." He investigated saliva, sperm, and many other biological samples.
As the limestone of the continent consists of infinite masses of the shells of animalcules
, so language is made up of images or tropes, which now, in their secondary use, have long ceased to remind us of their poetic origin.
1963), Les sciences de la vie dans la pensee frangaise au XVIIIe siecle, Paris, Albin Michel, 1987, en particular el capitulo II <<les nouvelles decouvertes sur la generation des animaux>>, seccion II <<les animalcules
(91) His descriptions of the primordial world, containing details of fossils, "microscopic organisms" (animalcules
microscopiques), and masses of water, are rendered in the language of genesis and mythology.
I could not discern the least trace of any living animalcules
on the surface of the leaves, and I am certain, that, had there been any such, though an hundred millions of degrees less than a grain of sand, they would have been visible by my microscope.
Strange that it seems more, not less, urgent to play some part in this struggle, this brief effort of animalcules
striving to win for their race some increase of lucidity before the ultimate darkness.
While natural philosophers turned to investigation as a tool for learning and in Delft, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was seeing "with great wonder...many very little living animalcules
" with his microscope, artists shifted their focus from mythologic subjects to landscapes, animals, and plants.
; the activities, impacts, and investigators of microbes.