To the Right Honourable, WILLIAM LORD VISCOUNT BROUNCKER.
March 6. 1677/8.
IN the Printed Paper of Dr. Holder, which your Lordship shewed me when I was last in London, about a fortnight since, (which, till that time, I had not seen) I find great complaints of the Royal Society; Of the Philosophical Transactions; (particularly that of July, 1670.) Of the Publisher thereof, Mr. Oldenburg, (who deserved better things;) Of Dr. Plot; and of some others, (whom, because he did forbear to name in par∣ticular, I shall forbear it too;) but, most of all, of my self.
He complains (page 1, 2.) of subtil Contrivances, and subtil Practices; to abuse the Reader with false Shews, somewhat resembling Truth. And they be so subtil, and so resembling Truth, or rather so perfectly true, that there is not one Sentence or Clause in what he finds fault with, which (notwithstanding all his displeasure) he doth so much as charge with untruth. Whereas his Paper is full of gross mistakes.
That in the year 1659/60 (or at any other time) at Bletchington near Oxford, (or any where else) Dr. William Holder, (or Mr. William Holder) did teach Alexander Popham Esquire to speak, (as page 1.) If it be true, is more than I yet know: that he did attempt it, I know very well; but that he did effect it, I never yet heard any body say but himself.
What there follows, That I saw and perfectly knew this; that I resorted to Blechington, to see and hear Mr. Popham, is a very great mistake. I never Page 4 (to my knowledge) saw Mr. Popham, (either at Blechington, or any where else) till that very day when his Mother, the Lady Wharton, brought him to me at Oxford (in the year 1662) to stay with me, and learn to speak. Much less had I heard him speak; and least of all had seen Dr. Holder teach him.
Who were those many, pag. 1, 5. (or those few, if any) who did, on purpose, resort to Blechington on that account, (or, what they found there) I cannot tell; sure I am, that I was none of them.
'Tis true, I then liv'd at Oxford, (that is, I had an habitation there) and have (both before and since the time mentioned) had conversation with Dr. Holder, and had (before that time, but, I think, not since) been some∣times with him at his house in Blechington. But sure I am, that I was not with him there at any time when Mr. Popham was with him: For, had I been so, and on an account so remarkable, it is not possible that in so short a time (as two years, or less) I should so perfectly forget it, as then to take Mr. Popham for a strange person, whom I had never seen before; and, that (from that time to this) I should never (by any circumstance) call it to mind that I had before seen him.
It is much more possible, that Dr. Holder's memory may fail him, who, having divers times, before, seen me at Blechington, might think one of those times to have been, while Mr. Popham was with him: if at least it be true, that so very many did resort thither, on purpose, upon that occasion, as page 1, 5.
When Mr. Popham came to me, in the year 1662. (which was the first time that I ever saw him) he had (as Dr. Holder words it, page 3, 5.) begun to loose what he had been taught: That is, he had so perfectly forgot (if at all taught) that I found him not able to pronounce one word or syllable.
Now, if so lately, as in the year 1660, he had learned to speak so well, (as page 6.) to pronounce plainly and distinctly, and with a good and graceful Tone, whatever words were shewn him, in Print or writing; or, represented to him by several ways; or, as he had occasion to ask for, &c. (as page 5.) it is very strange it should so perfectly be forgotten within two years.
And if (as pag. 1. 5.) so many did then, from Oxford, resort to Blechington, to see and hear him; if it was then so publickly taken notice of, and known (not onely to those eminent Persons there named, but) generally in Oxford; and that, from thence, so very many did resort thither, on purpose to satisfie their curiosity, and have a particular knowledge of what they had received by report. It is very much that there be now (as page 3.) so very few (if any) in Oxford, who know or think otherwise, but that it was the effect of my skill, not of his.
Habits so well acquir'd, do not use to be so quickly lost; and matters of fact, so remarkable, so publick, so generally known, so particularly inquired in∣to, and by so very many, who did hear and see it, and did on purpose resort thi∣ther for that end, are not wont to be so suddenly forgotten, by the same persons, and in the same place.
However, if I have never challenged it, (as page 3.) I have, at least, done him no wrong, ('tis, at most, but, not being not so kind to him as he could Page 5 have wish'd) to say nothing of it. And if all people give me the credit of it without my claiming it; surely they must therein be very kind, or there was some ground for their so doing.
What he adds, page 5. That I had discourse with him on that occasion divers times, when we hapned to meet at Oxford, is but a mistake like the rest; for I do not remember that then he and I had ever discoursed this in Oxford at all, much less divers times.
And, it may be, he will begin to think so too, when he shall remember, (what perhaps he did not so well consider when he wrote this) that Dr. Wil∣kins (at whose Lodgings, in Wadham Colledge, it was, that he and I did use to meet in Oxford, and but accidentally) was in the year mentioned (1659) Master of Trinity Colledge in Cambridge. And though he did, for some part of that year, retain his Title to Wadham Colledge, yet he was but little there, in that year, save when he came to resign, and carry away his Goods. And if I did at that time chance to meet him there once, it is more than I do remem∣ber; much less do I remember that I had then discourse on this occasion.
But, if his 1659. page 4. be the same with his 1659/60 page 1. the thing is past dispute. For Dr. Wilkins was gone from Oxford before that time; and the Meetings, page 4. (which he makes the Foundation of the Royal Society) had been there disused long before, and were then held at Gresham-Colledge in London.
Not but that ingenious persons in Oxford, as they met occasionally, (whe∣ther in those Lodgings, or else-where) did oft discourse of Philosophical af∣fairs: But the Set Meetings for such purpose (which had before been there) were then dis-used, and had been for a good while. And, what was of this nature at Oxford (about Experimental Philosophy) in those days, was rather at Mr. Boyl's Lodgings, than at Wadham-Colledge.
Nor doth he pretend that, from any such meetings this was commended to him, but from Dr. Ward, Dr. Wilkins, and Dr. Bathurst, or at least some of them, (the same persons from whom Mr. Popham was afterwards commend∣ed to me, when Dr. Holder had given it over:) Nor, that at any such meetings it was discours'd of, or that to any such meeting it was known. But one∣ly that it might serve the ends of that worthy Company before mentioned, and was known to those eminent persons above-named. (So warily are his words penned.) Nor is it pretended, that I was privy to that recommending, or was before∣hand acquainted with that undertaking: but onely, that, afterwards, upon my resorting to Blechington to satisfie my curiosity (which never was) some after∣discourses were had upon that occasion, pag. 5.
Or if his 1659 be not the same with his 1659/60 it comes much to the same purpose. For, though it might at some time in 1659 (without my privity) be commended to him (as page 4.) yet, if not before 1659/60 (as page 1.) he did teach, or had taught. My pretended resort to Blechington upon the report thereof, would come too late to usher in those many discourses on that occasion in the Lodgings of Dr. Wilkins. For, in Summer 1659, Dr. Wilkins was gone, and Dr. Blandford then Warden of Wadham-Colledge; and 1659/60 must at least be later than the Christmas following.
Page 6If at any time before this undertaking (which I do not remember) he and I might chance to discourse of the Possibility of teaching a Deaf man to speak; it may be as fairly supposed, that I might tell him I thought it fesible, (for I never thought otherwise) as that he might tell it me. And, if we came to discourse of Means how this might be effected; he may as well be supposed to learn of me, as I of him. Especially considering, that my Treatise De Lo∣quela, printed 1653. (at which he is now so much troubled) had then been publick for many years, and known to him. When his Elements of Speech were neither printed, nor written, nor (I suppose) thought of; and which (I be∣lieve) had it not been for that of mine, had never been thought of till this day.
If of late years he and I have had any such Discourse, (which hath not been much) it is nothing to the present purpose. For I am here charged with what I saw and perfectly knew, before my Letter of March 14. 1661.
And truly, if he did not teach till 1659/60 (as page 1.) and did in March 1659/60 go to London, and, that Summer, to Ely, as page 5. (before which time Mr. Pop∣ham and he were parted) and Dr. Wilkins long before to Cambridge: I know not well when (within that compass) he supposeth those divers times should be, that he and I hapned to meet at Oxford, there to discourse on that occasion; of my resorting to Blechington on purpose to satisfie my curiosity, and have a par∣ticular knowledge of what I had received by report, page 5. or to see and hear Mr. Popham speak, page 1. For the thing we must suppose to be Done before it was Reported; and Reported, before I Heard it; and this, before my Resort to Blechington; and this also, before those After-discourses on this occasion.
Besides this, I was my self very little at Oxford all that time, (and, much of it, my Family was also absent, in London, Kent, Essex, and Cambridge) Good part of November and December 1659 I was in London; in January I went again: and from that time till toward Michaelmas, I was hardly a fortnight together at home, and scarce a moneth in all; (partly upon occasion of my own affairs, partly upon those of the University, and some other con∣cerns) which perhaps your Lordship may in part remember, if you call to mind what passed that year, both before and after His Majesties Return, and how much, during that time, I was with your Lordship.
However, let us a little consider his story, p. 1, 4, 5. In that time, viz. in the year 1659. divers ingenious persons in Oxford, used to meet at the Lodgings of Dr. Wilkins then Warden of Wadham-Colledge, where they diligently conferred about Researches and Experiments in Nature, and indeed laid the first Ground and Foundation of the Royal Society. And (at the instance of the said Bishop Wilkins, &c.) Alexander Popham Esq being deprived of Hearing, and conse∣quently of Speaking, was recommended to the care of Dr. Holder; VVho, desirous to serve the ends and contribute something to the design of that worthy Company, viz. Improvement of Natural Knowledge, and Publick Benefit; Did, in a short time, teach the said Mr. Popham, to Speak Well, to Pronounce Plainly and Distinct∣ly, and with a Good and Graceful Tone, whatsoever Words were shewn or represented to him, or as he had occasion to ask for. This was publickly taken notice of, andPage 7known (not onely to those eminent Persons, but) generally in Oxford. Whence very many resorted to Blechington, &c. Amongst whom, Dr. Wallis was one; with whom Dr. Holder had discourse, on that occasion, divers times, when they hapned to meet in Oxford.
How far this Narrative differs from the Truth of Fact, may appear in part from what is already said.
But we must not be so severe, as to consider this Narrative according to the strict Rules of History, (where the Writer should affirm nothing but what he knows to be true, or at least thinks so to be) but rather as a Chan∣cery-Bill, for Discovery; where the Plaintiff (being in the dark) sets forth, not what he knows to be true, but what-ever he thinks possible, that would be to his advantage if true; in order to make discovery (from the Defendants Answer) of what he did not before know. Yet is not such Bill to be charged with falshood, though the things affirmed chance not to be true. For, though the things so set forth be (as to the Grammar) Indicative, (direct Affirma∣tives or Negatives:) yet, as to common intendment, they are to be consi∣der'd as Interrogatories, to which he would have the Defendant Answer. And the same Latitude I am willing to allow this Writer, if he be contented so to be understood.
In Answer therefore to his Bill of Complaint; I do acknowledge, that, some years before (but not immediately before) His Majesties happy Restoration, such Meetings had been at those Lodgings, (though not at that time, viz. in the year 1659.) and that those Meetings might be somewhat conducing to that of the Royal Society which now is: But (without disparagement to Bi∣shop Wilkins) not, that the first Ground and Foundation of the Royal Society was there laid. Which I take to be much earlier than those Meetings there.
I take its first Ground and Foundation to have been in London, about the year 1645. (if not sooner) when the same Dr. Wilkins (then Chaplain to the Prince Elector Palatine, in London) Dr. Jonathan Goddard, Dr. Ent, (now Sir George Ent) Dr. Glisson, Dr. Scarbrough, (now Sir Charles Scarbrough) Dr. Merrit, with my self and some others, met weekly, (sometimes at Dr. Goddards Lodgings, sometimes at the Mitre in Wood-street hard by) at a certain day and hour, under a certain Penalty, and a weekly Contribution for the Charge of Experiments, with certain Rules agreed upon amongst us. Where (to avoid diversion to other discourses, and for some other reasons) we barred all Dis∣courses of Divinity, of State-Affairs, and of News, (other than what con∣cern'd our business of Philosophy) confining our selves to Philosophical In∣quiries, and such as related thereunto; as Physick, Anatomy, Geometry, Astronomy, Navigation, Staticks, Mechanicks, and Natural Experiments. We there discoursed the Circulation of the Blood, the Valves in the Veins, the Copernican Hypothesis, the Nature of Comets and new 〈◊〉, the Attendants on Jupiter, the Oval shape of Saturn, the Inequalities and Se•enography of the Moon, the several Phases of Venus and Mercury, the Improvement of Tele∣scopes, and grinding of Glasses for that purpose, (wherein Dr. Goddard was particularly ingaged, and did maintain an Operator in his house for that pur∣pose) Page 8 the weight of the Air, the Possibility or Impossibility of Vacuities, and Natures abhorrence thereof, the Torricellian Experiment in Quicksilver, the Descent of Heavy Bodies, and the Degrees of Acceleration therein; with others of like nature. Some of which were then but new Discoveries, and others not so generally known and embraced as now they are.
These Meetings we removed, soon after, to the Bull-head in Cheap-side; and (in Term-time) to Gresham-Colledge, where we met weekly at Mr. Fo∣ster's Lecture, (then Astronomy-Professor there) and, after the Lecture ended: repaired, sometimes to Mr. Foster's Lodgings, sometimes to some other place not far distant, where we continued such Inquiries; and our numbers encreased.
About the years 1648, 1649. some of our Company were removed to Oxford; (first, Dr. Wilkins, then I, and soon after, Dr. Goddard;) whereupon our Company divided. Those at London, (and we, when we had occasion to be there) met as before. Those of us at Oxford, with Dr. Ward, (now Bishop of Salisbury) Dr. Petty, (now Sir VVilliam Petty) Dr. Bathurst, Dr. VVillis, and many others of the most inquisitive Persons in Oxford, met weekly (for some years) at Dr. Petty's Lodgings on the like account; (to wit, so long as Dr. Petty continued in Oxford, and for some while after;) because of the con∣veniencies we had there, (being the House of an Apothecary) to view, and make use, of Drugs and other like matters, as there was occasion.
Our Meetings there, were very numerous, and very considerable. For, be∣side the diligence of Persons, studiously Inquisitive, the Novelty of the De∣sign made many to resort thither; who, when it ceased to be new, began to grow more remiss, or did pursue such Inquiries at Home.
We did afterwards (Dr. Petty being gone for Ireland, and our numbers growing less,) remove thence. And, (some years before His Majesty's Return) did meet, (as Dr. Holder observes) at Dr. VVilkin's Lodgings, in VVadham-Colledge.
But, before the time he mentions, those set Meetings ceased in Oxford, and were held at London. Where (after the death of Mr. Foster) we continued to meet at Gresham-Colledge (as before,) at Mr. Rook's Lecture, (who succeeded Mr. Foster,) and from thence repaired to some convenient place, in or near that Colledge: And so onward; till the Fire of London, caused our removal to Arundel-house; from whence we are since returned to Gresham-Colledge again.
In the mean while; our Company at Gresham-Colledge, being much again increased, by the accession of divers Eminent and Noble Persons upon His Majesties Return; we were (about the beginning of the Year 1662) by His Majesties Grace and Favour, Incorporated by the Name of The Royal So∣ciety, &c.
All this while, Dr. VVilkins and Dr. Goddard, through all these changes, continued those Meetings, (and had a great influence on them,) from the first Original, till the days of their death; and some others of us, to this day.
This Digression, though somewhat long, is not altogether impertinent, Page 9 to rectifie what by Dr. Holder was so imperfectly reported, concerning those Philosophical Meetings. Which yet do not concern Dr. Holder's business, nor were at all interressed in it. Though (if I may use his words, page 11.) with subtilty of contrivance, he speaks like Truth so artificially, that his Reader is to believe more than is true, (that from those Meetings it was commended to him, and to those Meetings it had been made known) else, to what purpose are those Meetings named.
By what particular Persons, or on what Account, that business was com∣mended to him, I cannot tell, nor was at all privy to it. Nor do I know who those many (or any) were, that resorted to Blechington on that account; onely, that I was none of them. Nor had I those divers discourses with him at Ox∣ford on that occasion, which he suggesteth to have then hapned.
But now, what is all this to the business of Mr. VVhaly? and to my Letter of March 14. 1661? Was it not as lawful for me to undertake Mr. Whaly, as for him to undertake Mr. Popham? Had he, before that time, obtained a Patent for the sole-teaching of Dumb persons to speak? Or, was it a crime (because he had failed of his enterprise on Mr. Popham) for me to undertake Mr. VVhaly with better success?
Mr. VVhaly (whom he calls the young Gentleman, page 2.) was then about 26 years of age; with some of whose Relations I had been acquainted for 20 years before, and more, (though not with him, nor with his condition.) About a year or two before he came to me, an Uncle of his (yet living, and with whom I had been long acquainted) bewailing to me the sadness of his condition; and finding, by my discourse thereupon, that I thought he might yet recover the use of Speech, was very desirous that I should undertake him; which, a good while after, was brought to pass. Whether it were be∣fore or after Dr. Holder's attempt on Mr. Popham, that this Uncle did first desire it of me, I do not well remember; but I think it much about the same time, or before. Sure I am, it was a long time before I had ever seen Mr. Popham, or heard him speak.
When Mr. VVhaly had been some while with me, and I began to find the business succeed, I wrote to Mr. Boyl (then at London) that Letter of March 14. 1661. (of which there is now so great a complaint) in Answer to some of his, desiring that account from me; (as appears in the Body of that Letter, though Dr. Holder think fit to dissemble that matter.)
Dr. Holder had, at this time, given over his attempt on Mr. Popham; that Design being then deserted. Whether because Dr. Holder himself was weary of the business, (I cannot tell) or rather (which I take to be the true cause) because Mr. Popham's Friends saw so little of success, and to so little 〈◊〉, that they did not think fit to pursue the design further. 〈◊〉〈◊〉 Dr. Holder's removal to Ely (intimated page 5.) should be the onely cause, seems not likely. For Mr. Popham might as well, at Ely, be taught to speak, as at Blechington, And, that his Friends were willing to have pursued the design, if they had seen a likelihood of any considerable success; we may judge, by their sending him to me in 1662. on the same account.
Page 10The great offence which is now taken, at the Letter which was then writ∣ten, is not, because any thing therein was not True, or not Rationally said; but rather because it was (as he speaks) so subtilly contrived, that there is no∣thing in it for him to cavil at. And therefore he cavils at what is not in it, viz. That amongst the Considerations which induced me to undertake Mr. VVhaly, I said nothing of Dr. Holder and Mr. Popham, p. 2, 13.
The truth is, to the rest of those Considerations, I might have added, Nor am I discouraged from this undertaking by Mr. Holders unsuccessful attempt on Mr. Popham, &c. but I thought it more civil to say nothing of it.
He would now have it thought, p. 8. a mocking of Mr. Boyl (to tell him in that Letter, How far, and upon what Considerations, and by what ways, I thought it Possible, or Fesible) when as I certainly knew it possible, having already given Proof of it on Mr. VVhaly.
'Tis true, I had then given a Proof of it on Mr. VVhaly, (having at that time performed more on Mr. VVhaly, than ever Dr. Holder did on Mr. Popham;) and, in that Letter, I told him of such Proof.
But Mr. Boyle did not think it a mockery to be so used, having in two Letters▪ of Jan. 5. and Febr. 26. desired it of me; and in another of April 5. he thank∣ed me for that excellent Paper.) Nor did those of the Society at Gresham-Colledge, to whom he did impart it, and before whom (in May following) Mr. VVhaly was heard to speak. And nothing is more common, than (of things unusual) to shew, How far, and upon what Considerations, Others should not think strange or incredible, what we certainly know to be True and Fesible.
Yet Mr. Boyl did, in those days, live at Oxford, as well as Dr. Wallis; and▪ within as few miles of Blechington; and, was as well acquainted at VVadham-Colledge. And, if Dr. Holden's performance were so generally known in Ox∣ford, (as p. 5.) and in particular to those eminent Persons with whom Mr. Boyl was so well acquainted: he had the same opportunity, of being made ac∣quainted with it, as I had.
And those at Gresham-Colledge did not want means of being dis-abused, if I had designed to impose them: since those eminent Persons which he speaks of, were of that number, and some of them then present: and (it seems) Dr. Holder himself was there also, and saw this, p. 6.
He might therefore as well, (if things had been as he now represents) have let that Company hear Mr. Popham speak, as I Mr. VVhaly, (and they would as well have been pleased to hear it) especially if Mr. Popham spake so much better than Mr. VVhaly; the one but some words, and with a harsh ill Tone; the other spoke well, with a Good and Graceful Tone, and did pronounce plainly and distinctly, whatever words, &c. p. 5, 6.) 'Twould certainly have been much more to their satisfaction, to have seen Mr. Whaly so much out-done by Mr. Popham. And Dr. Holder, who was so desirous to serve the Ends, and con∣tribute somewhat to the Design, of that worthy Company, (p. 4, 5.) should not have denied them this satisfaction, if he could have shewed it.
But the truth is, he could not shew it; (and that's the grief.) For, when Page 11 Mr. Popham, the same year, (within a few moneths) was brought to me to learn, I saw no foot-steps of those effects, nor that he was able to speak one word or syllable. 'Twas therefore wise in him, not to produce him; as well as civil in me to say nothing of it.
However, If Dr. Holder had caused this of Mr. Popham to be publickly known; to many Persons of all Degrees; at London, at Westminster, at the Ana∣tomy-Lecture; (as well as to those eminent Persons above-named, and generally in Oxford:) and went with him to London and VVestminster, that those, on this occasion, might satisfie themselves, in hearing Mr. Popham, (as p. 5.) Why might not, as well, Mr. VVhaly go with me to Gresham-Colledge and VVhite-hall, that others might be satisfi'd in hearing him, p. 6. without so much clamour of my being greedy to spread my own Fame? especially when himself allows it, p. 10. to be very considerable and worthy to be known. And, if he may tell us, p. 5. that he taught Mr. Popham, by such means as are, since, by him made publick (in 1669) why might not I as well say (in my Let∣ter of 1661.) That I taught Mr. Whaly, by such as I had, before, made publick, (in 1653.)
But the mockery of this Letter, would (I suppose) have been excused, had it not been published in the Transactions, eight years after. (For that's the com∣plaint, These Considerations did not see light till eight years after, p. 3.)
I confess, it might have been Printed sooner, (if I had been as greedy and industrious as he would have it thought, p. 3. to spread my own Fame.) For there is nothing in it why it might not have been Printed the next day. (But not in the Transactions; for Mr. Oldenburg did not begin to write Transacti∣ons, till 1665.) But 'twas not too late in 1670.
However, 'twas written sooner; and Published, (though not in Print.) And 'tis well it was so. For, if Printing an old Letter make so great a clamour; what would have been, if I had at that time written a new Piece (to the same purpose) and published that?
But the great complaint is, that in the Post-script (yes, and in the Letter too) mention is made of my Treatise De Loquela, published in 1653. And that it is there commended, (which troubles him much; and he doth, at least six times, complain of it; p. 8, 9, 10, 13, 14.) That is, It is there said, (but it is so said in the Letter also) that, in this Treatise of Speech, I do very distinct∣ly lay down the manner of Forming all sounds of Letters usual in Speech: And that, in confidence and pursuance of this, (which the Letter also mentions) I did undertake that difficult task. And why might not all this be said? Would he have had me say, that I did (in 1661.) pursue his Elements of Speech, (which were not publish'd till 1669 and which I have never yet seen,) rather than my own, published in 1653?
But (which troubles him yet more) the Writer of that Post-script says also, That he thinks this to be the first Book that was ever published in this kind. (True, and I think so too. 'Tis at least elder than his of 1669. Nor doth Dr. Hol∣der tell us of any precedent than that of mine.) And all this, without deter∣mining that his (of 1669.) is performed with more judgment and accuracy▪ p 8, 10, 13. And this is the great fault.
Page 12He was (it seems) not willing, that it should be at all remembred, that any had written of that Subject before him. At lest, if he were not the First, he would be thought to have done it Best. And he hopes (though I will not determine against my self) that the impartial Reader will so determine, p. 10. Yet Bishop VVilkins, who (as Dr. Holder tells us, p. 7.) in his Universal Cha∣racter, p. 357. mentions the Papers of Dr. Holder; doth not do it with any preference to those of mine. But (having there named a great Many, and some of them Great Men, who had written of the Doctrine of Letters,) he concludes, that amongst all that he had seen published, Dr. VVallis seemed to him, with greatest accurateness and subtilty, to have considered the Philosophy of Articulate Sounds.
Had not this Treatise of mine been remembred, He hoped to have passed for the First Author in that kind. For, that his should be thought earlier than that of Bishop VVilkins, he had provided, by what he tells us (p. 7.) that some Papers of Dr. Holders were communicated to the Bishop, and by him men∣tioned; (which we must suppose to be these;) and that those Papers were lost in the Bishops Study, (together with all his own) in the dreadful Fire of London, 1666. (and, therefore, must at least have been so antient; and none but mine, of 1653. may pretend to precedence.)
That some of the Bishops Papers, (that is, so much of the Fair Copy of his Universal Character as was then unprinted,) were lost in the Fire of London, is true: But, not in the Bishops Study, (as is here pretended) but, at the Print∣ing-house, (as the Bishop himself, and Mr. Gillibrand, for whom it was print∣ing, did both tell me) where Dr. Holder's Papers are not pretended to have been. Nor were the Bishop's Own Papers All lost, (as is here affirmed.) But, of what was printed, Two Copies were preserved. And, out of his Foul Papers, (as himself told me) which were preserved also, he did retrieve what of the Fair Copy was lost. Nor is it likely, (the Fire having burnt for some days, before it came thither) that Himself, (if at home) and those about him, should be All so negligent, as that no care was taken of any of his Pa∣pers, but that they should be All lost. (Which, though it do not much con∣cern the present business, yet it shews how apt he is to Trip in matters of Fact.) Whether Dr. Holder's Papers were then lost, or where they were lost, I know not: And I as little know whether, and by whom, Dr. Holder was importuned to renew those Papers, as we are told, p. 7.
However, Those Elements of Speech, with its Appendix, may (for ought I know) be an excellent Piece; (and, for ought I know, it may be the con∣trary.) I never read either the One or the Other. Nor do I know that I ever saw it; at least, not so as to read a Line of it. (It's possible I may have seen the Book lying on a Table, or standing on a Shelf in a Book-seller's Shop, or the like; but without knowing the particular contents of it. Nor do I know (otherwise than as he now tells me) whether any one word therein do concern Me, or Mr. Popham, or the Business in hand. So far was I from being startled (as p. 7.) at the contents of it, or contriving to counterplot it.
Nor do I think my self concern'd, on this occasion, to seek it out. If there Page 13 be any thing in it of like import with what he doth now publish; or which doth otherwise need an Answer: it is unknown to me; and may (I suppose) without more ado, receive its Answer from hence.
The same Post-script says also, (and it says True;) that Mr. VVhaly is not the onely person on whom I have shewed the effect of my skill; But I have since done the like for another, meaning Mr. Popham. And Dr. Holder himself, p. 10, 11. cannot deny it to be all true. But it is not true (he tells us, p. 11.) that either Mr. Oldenburg or Dr. Plot did Know or VVrite any thing of these matters, but what was put into their hands by me. (And he would have the like to be thought of all other Authors by whom I have been commended, p. 3. that they are but large Characters of my own Graving: that so he may at once destroy all the good things that any body hath said of me; or, shall say.)
As to Dr. Plot, I shall speak by and by. Mr. Oldenburg is dead; and can∣not now be asked, What he Knew, or VVrote; nor answer for himself. (I shall therefore do it for him.) The best is, there is nothing there said, which is not True, or which he did not Know, (and a great many more beside him) or which was not Fitting for him to say: Nothing which he did not say Wittingly and Willingly; and nothing (I suppose) which he would Un-say were he now alive. And strange it is that Dr. Holder should perswade us, that Mr. Oldenburg knew nothing of all this. He did Know, that I had taught Mr. Whaly to speak; and that Mr. Whaly was at Gresham-Colledge, and was heard to speak there; and what was thereupon the sense of those present: (For him∣self was one of them, and did See him, and Hear him speak there; and heard what the company did express as their sense of it.) He knew, that this was there Registred: (For himself did it, as being then the Secretary of that So∣ciety.) He knew (from his own Register and Memorials, not from me) that this was on May 21. 1662. As to what is said to have been done at White∣hall and my own house; He knew them from the Notoreity of the Fact, and from the Relation of Persons present, whom he had no reason to disbelieve. He knew then (and many years before) my English Grammar, and my Trea∣tise of Speech (prefixed thereunto,) which (the Title-page tells him) was Printed in the year 1653. He knew also, that of Bishop Wilkins's Universal Character (published in 1668.) and that of Dr. Holder's Elements of Speech, publish'd in 1669. (and gives a particular account of Both: The one, in his Transactions of May, 1668. The other, in that of May, 1669;) and, that Both those, were since mine of 1653. And, if he did not think fit, to deliver an Opinion, Whether theirs or mine were Better; He knew this also. And he could not but know, That the way to Teach a Deaf person, to speak; must be, by teaching How to apply the Instruments of Speech to Form such Sounds; which is the profess'd design of that Treatise of mine. And, That, in teaching Mr. Whaly, I pursu'd that Treatise, and did in that Letter refer to it; he knew also, (for he saw it there.) And all these things, which he did thus Know, if he had not also been willing to say: He would not have there inserted. Nor would he have said, It was a difficult task; or, that it was ingeniously and suc∣cessfullyPage 14Begun; or, that he thought that Treatise of mine to be the first Book that was ever publish'd in that kind; if he had not Thought so. (And he could not but Know, he did thus Think: And Dr. Holder, I suppose, Thinks so too.) Now, if he did Know, and Think all this: Why was it unfit for him to say it? And, with what ingenuity doth Dr. Holder then insinuate, as if Mr. Ol∣denburg know nothing of all these matters; but did merely take it upon trust from me?
He knew also, what he says further (which Dr. Holder seems most dis∣pleased at,) That this was not the onely person, on whom the said Doctor hath shewed the effect of his skill, but he hath since done the like for another; (mean∣ing Mr. Popham:) For this of Mr. Popham, was at that time as Notorious and well Known, as that of Mr. Whaly. And I know not well how he could express it more softly, then by saying, that on him also I had shewed some ef∣fect of my skill. That the thing said, is true; Dr. Holder himself is so kind to me as not to deny; but says freely, (p. 10.) that what I perform'd on those two Gentlemen (Mr. Whaly and Mr. Popham;) he esteems very Considerable; and Worthy to be Known and Valued. And if, by doing the like for him, I mean no more but, that I so taught him to speak as I had done for Mr. VVhaly; he allows that to be true also, p. 11. And, if my Teaching Dumb Persons, be meant but of Two such, meaning these two;) he doth there affirm it. That is, He allows All to be True that is there said of me: And Mr. Oldenburg knew it so to be.
But he excepts, p. 8. That this is added by way of Comment on the Letter; and that Mr. Popham's name is (wisely) omitted.
I confess, some part of it may be called a Comment on that Letter; (for it tells, what is the Name of the Person which the Letter mentions; and, in what Year, the Treatise of Speech, and the English Grammar, there mentioned, were Printed.) But, as to the rest, I should rather have called it a Narrative of what happen'd after the Letter was written. And it was but necessary: For it might be well supposed, that those who should find, in the Letter, What had been undertaken, would be willing to know, with what success. (And, of that, there could not well have been less said than is.) And, my teaching Mr. Popham, being at that time as much known, if not more, that than of Mr. Whaly; it would not have been congruous to Mr. Oldenburg's design in pub∣lishing his Transactions, not to take any notice of him at all.
As for that of not naming Mr. Popham. It is true, his Name is omitted; and (I think) not unwisely. For it is possible, that He, or his Relations, (be∣ing Persons of Quality,) would not care to have that infirmity of his, so publickly exposed by Name. (And, whether they will think it more kindly done of Mr. Oldenburg in sparing to name him; or of Dr. Holder who thus proclaims it, and brings his Name upon the Stage: is for them to judge rather than me.) But, why Dr. Holder should be concerned for not naming Mr. Popham; or what Prejudice to himself he apprehends by it; or, what Plot he fancies in it, I cannot tell.
How far I might be concerned in Penning that Post-script, (which is the Page 15 thing with which Dr. Holder labours so oft to reproach me; twelve times at least, p. 3, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14.) I do not at present so well remember. Some of it, it's like, Mr. Oldenburg had from me, (because it relates to what was done in my Family:) and some of it certainly was his own; which re∣lates to his own Register; (for it is, what I could not have told without him:) and the whole (which is not much) is what he knew, and what he was willing to say: And then, it is not much material who did write it; (Himself, his Clerk, or I:) nor do I think it any fault at all in Him or Me. There is nothing more usual, than for one to Draw that Writing, which an∣other is to Sign; (a Secretary, for his Lord; a Clerk, for his Master; a Lawyer, for his Client; and, one Friend, for another:) and, in men of much Business it must needs be so. And, when it is so, it must be writ in such a Phrase as is proper for him to use (not who Pens it, but) whose Act it is to be; and by whom it is to be allowed and owned before it becomes his Act. And Dr. Holder himself (who would have it thought a crime in me) doth not deny but that his Narrative, p. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. was of his own Penning, (but, as in Mr. Oldenburg's Name,) and was by him put into Mr. Oldenburg's hand, (p. 9.) desiring to have it inserted in the Transactions, (and complains, greatly, that it was not so done.) And I have reason to believe, that what is said of Dr. Holder, and his Elements, and Appendix, in the Transactions of May, 1669; was of his Own Penning also, but in Mr. Oldenburg's name. In the present case, (who ever wrote it,) I do not find any Clause, or Word, therein; which is not proper enough for Me to Write, or Him to say, or what he did not actually approve and own. However, (if that will do him any pleasure) I will give him leave to change the style; and, what is said Of me, in the Third Person, to read as said By me, in the First Person; (leaving out the word Ingenuously, if he do not think it belong to me:) and I will then be answerable for it all: (the rather, because Mr. Oldenburg is not now alive to answer for it.)
That which Dr. Holder is troubled at herein, is but an Omission. Not, that any thing of this is Untrue, or Unfit: (he is rather troubled, that nothing is so:) But, that somewhat else is not said. Somewhat he had a mind should be said, which I could not say; (and, I am afraid, no body else:) That Dr. Holder had taught Mr. Popham to Speak Well; to Pronounce Plainly and Distinctly, with a Good and Graceful Tone, whatsoever VVords, &c. which he doth not there find.
Hinc illae lachrymae! Mr. Oldenburg in his Transactions of July 1670. tells, what was done by Me; without saying (at the same time) What was done by Dr. Holder: like as, in those of May, 1669. he had said, What was done by Dr. Holder; without saying, what (of that kind) had been done by Me. And he doth, in the one place, Commend my Treatise of Speech, (published in 1653.) without commending his Elements of Speech, (published in 1669.) like as, in the other place, he had commended His, without taking notice of Mine, (which had been publish'd 16 years before.)
As for me, (so far as I may be concern'd in it;) I knew that, to touch upon this, was, to touch him in a sore place. I could not speak to his Satis∣faction; Page 16 and I was not desirous to Disoblige him: and therefore (as he phraseth it) silently passed it over; and left it for them to say who knew it. I do not know, that I have ever been heard to say, That he did, or, That he did not. The first I could not say (knowingly;) the other I was loth to say.
The case is this. In the year 1653. I published (together with my English Grammar) a Treatise of Speech: shewing therein, with what Organs, in what Positions, and by what Motions, all Sounds used in Speech are Formed: and that, upon such Positions and Motions, such Sounds will certainly follow, (whether he that Speaks, do Hear himself or not.) This (my Letter says, as well as the Postscript) I think to be the first attempt in that kind.
And there, to the commonly received Organs of Speech,
I add, one more, (and, I think, I am the first that do so) that is, the Nostrils; on the Closure and different Appertures, of which, (by help of the Uvula) the sole Difference in the Articulation of divers Letters depends: as of P, B, M; and of T, D, N; and divers others. Which (I think) no body, before me, had taken notice of. But I am since followed by others.
Some years after; Mr. George Dalgarno, at Oxford, appli'd himself to write a Treatise concerning an Universal Character; (which he published in the year 1660, intituled, Ars Signorum:) concerning which he consulted Me, (as he did also Dr. Wilkins, Dr. Ward, and others.)
I told him my sense of it, (as I did also to Dr. Wilkins) That the thing was certainly fesible in Nature, (upon such Considerations as that Letter of March 14. 1661, mentions:) But that I did not think it likely to obtain in Practice. Because this Universal Character, must be in the nature of a New Language. (Which he was so apprehensive to be true, that, having once contrived his Universal Character, he did, upon this suggestion, accommodate thereunto his Universal Language, to make his Character Effable: as is there seen.) So that, For all Persons, to Learn his Character, and to have all Books, Written in it; is the same thing as to Translate all Books into One Language, and to have this Language learned by All. Which if it cannot be hoped, of any of the Languages now in being, (which have the advantage of being already understood, by more than ever are like to learn that other:) much less is it to be hoped for, of a New Language, now to be contrived. And, in case men should be willing, to change the way of Writing, from Vocal to Real Characters: there would soon arise a like Variety of Real Characters, (each fansying his own way the best,) as now there is of Vocal Languages. Nor is it to be expected, That a general Law should be made, to confine All to the same Characters; any more than (amongst our selves) All Writers of Short-hand be confined to the same way and method of Brachy-graphy, or Short-writing: (which we find to multiply, according to the variety of Teachers.) And Specious Arithmetick, (which, as to so Page 17 much, is a kind of Real Character,) hath not, in all Writers, the same Cha∣racters: but very different, as different Writers.
This Enterprise of Mr. Dolgarro, gave occasion to Dr. Wilkins (the late Bishop of Chester) to pursue the same Design (as himself intimates in his Epistle;) both as to a Real Character, as he calls it, (or Characters of Things instead of Words;) and the expressing those Characters by Vocal Sounds; (which he calls his Philosophical Language;) in his Essay of a Real Character and Philosophical Language, published in the year 1668. which is the Result of his Thoughts on that Subject, for divers years before; with the con∣currence of Dr. Seth Ward (now Bishop of Salisbury,) and Dr. William Lloyd, (now Dean of Bangor,) and others; (as himself mentions;) with whom he had frequent conference about that Affair. And it would have been publish'd somewhat sooner, if not interrupted by the Fire of London, in the year 1666. Not that he did expect, this Real Character of his, and his Philosophical Language, should universally obtain; and all Books be translated into it: But, to shew the thing to be fesible; and divers Advantages which might arise thence, if it could so obtain. And, to demonstrate the thing it self to be Practicable; He was pleased (when his Book was newly made pub∣lick) to write a Letter to me, in his Real Character; to which I return'd an Answer in his Philosophical Language: And we did perfectly understand one another, as if written in our own Language.
In order to this Design; he found it expedient (for reasons by him ex∣pressed) to consider, the Formation of Sounds in Speech; and to engraft (in his Essay) a particular Discourse thereof (in Chap. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. of his Third Part.) And, (because I had particularly considered that Subject, and published a Treatise of it,) he was pleased more particularly to discourse that part with me: which we did at divers Meetings on that occasion. (There being scarce any part, in all that Discourse, wherein I was not advised with.)
In some things; he was pleased, on those Discourses, to alter his former Thoughts for reasons which I suggested. As for instance. Some Vowels he judged to be of their own nature Long, and could not be pronounced Short, (as ô in Boat, oo in Food, ū in Lute, &c.) Others, in their own nature Short, and not capable of being produced; (as the French e Feminine, in je, ne, &c. and the English ū, in cut, but, &c. Contrary to which, I suggested, that, in good, goode; wood, woo'd; full, fool; pull, pool; wooll, wool; hood, hoo'd; &c. there is a manifest distinction of the same sound (of the Vowel) pronounced Long, and Short. And in recubo, tetubo, &c. we in England pronounce Short, the same sound of ú, which in cubo, tubo, &c. we pronounce Long. So in gula, régula, &c. And the like of ô, in potent, impotent; dolent, indolent, ré∣dolent; solens, insolens; vola, évola, benévola: &c. And that, in Musick, the words cut, put, may be sung as a Brief, or Sembrief, as well as a Crotchet or Quaver, (which depends onely upon the Short or Long sounding of that Vowel; those Consonants c, b, t, not being capable of production, but the Vowel onely:) and the like of the French e Feminine. And, contrariwise, tô, too, tú, may be a Crotchet or Quaver, as well as a Brief or Sembrief.Page 18 Whereupon he agreed with me; that all Vowels (and some Consonants) are capable of Production and Contraction; but that some Vowels are, for the most part, produced in common Speech; others, mostly Contracted.
So the English Vowel î, in Bite, Smile, &c. he first took to be a Simple sound (not compounded,) But afterwards agreed with me, that it was a Compound, of the Feminine è, with the Subjunctive i or y: as in the Greek Dipthong ei, and the English word ey; (which differs not in sound from I.)
And these are some of those things, about which (he tells us, p. 365.) he had, upon new Considerations and Suggestions, changed his former thoughts.
In some others; he continued to differ from me, as in the French feminine è and the English short ū. Which Letters he accounts to be the same: but I take to be different, (that of ū being a broader sound than the other;) dif∣fering as e and u in our English pronunciation of fer, fur; iter, itur; terris, turris; ter ter, turtur; p•rperam, purpuram; &c.
He takes also the sound of the Consonants y, and w, to be the same with that of the Vowels ee, and oo rapidly pronounced: (and the words yee, woo, in page 371. he writes u, ▪▪.) And, consequently, the Latin i, u, Vowels; would not differ at all from j, v, Consonants. For the Latin i, j; u, v; had the same sounds with our ee, y; oo, w. Which I take to be different Letters; Because, in pronouncing the words, yee, woo, there is a manifest motion of the mouth in passing from the sound of y to ee; and of w to oo; (which is yet more manifest, if the words be several times repeated, yee yee, woo woo. This would not be, were there not a different Position required, to form those Sounds. Yet he chose to retain his opinion; and I, mine.
He makes also some Letters whispered, to be distinct from the same spoken∣out: calling the one Sonorous, the other Mute. Thus M, N, L, R, &c. as commonly spoken, he calls Sonorous; but if onely whispered, he calls them Mute, and writes them hM, hN, hL, hR, &c. Whereas I take this not to make a New Letter, (because not a new Articulation,) but refer it to the common Affections, which respect the whole Tenor of Speech, not the For∣mation of particular Letters: of which there be divers. Thus the word And may, with the same Articulation, be sung in Gam-ut, or in E-la, (Base or Treble;) though with a different Tone: And may be a Sembrief or Crotchet; though with a different Time: And may be spoken Softly or Aloud, with a different Strength: So it may, with the same Articulation, though with a different Noise, be Spoken-out or Whispered; (in the former of which, there is a Roughness of the Sound from the concussion of the Larynx; whereas in whispering, though pretty Loud, there is a Smoothness for want of that con∣cussion. Thus in these words, [The roving Winds may blaze] every Letter hath a different Noise when Whispered, from what it hath when Spoken-out: but, the same Articulation. And therefore we do not reckon the word And when whispered, to be spelled with other Letters than when it is spoken-out.
Much less is this (as he makes it) the difference between V, F, or D, T, or B, P, &c. that the one is (in this sense) Sonorous, the other Mute. For we may Whisper the words Ved, Bed, without saying Fet, Pet.
Page 19Nor do I think the difference between V and F, to lie in this; that F is formed by the two Lips; but the Consonant V is formed between either Lip and the opposite Teeth, p. 360. (he should rather have said, between the Neather Lip and the opposite Teeth;) for each of those Letters may be formed in either place: the difference of those Sounds, lying (not in the Lips, nor in the Larynx, but) in the Nostrils.
And, in the Formation of divers Letters, he gives several particular di∣rections, which I choose rather to omit, as being but accidental, and not Es∣sential to those Letters, (with, or without which, those Letters may be formed:) And it is our custom in Mathematicks, so to form our Definitions, as to contain just so much as is necessary to determine the Subject, and no more.
And these (I suppose) are some of those things, wherein (he tells us, p. 362, 365, 383.) he dares not be over-peremptory, or dogmatical, (but onely, that he doth thus judge at present,) having formerly, upon new considerations and suggestions, so often changed his thoughts in this inquiry.
But, in most things, we agree, without any considerable difference of opinion in him, from what I had before publish'd: And, in what we do differ, (which is not much) I might modestly enough (notwithstanding Dr. Holder's rebuke, p. 8, 10, 13.) leave it to the Reader to judge, without determining against my self: having not yet seen cause to vary therein, from what was my former opinion. Nor do I mean to concern my self (upon this challenge of Dr. Holder) to write against Bishop Wilkins.
It seems: Dr. Wilkins had conference with Dr. Holder also (as well as others) on that Subject: and (in the year 1668.) had seen some Papers of his written on that occasion. But those Papers of his, it is not pretended that I ever saw: nor have I yet read those which are since Printed in 1669. (And therefore, as to those, I have no reason yet to determine against my self.) Nor doth he pretend, that I learned from thence, what I had before pub∣lished in 1653.
It is more likely; That, what I had before written on that subject, gave occasion to Dr. Wilkins next, and after him to Dr. Holder, to consider the formation of Sounds, and teaching of Deaf persons to do it: And, that Dr. Holder was not the first that thought of it.
However; that which I know of his business, is this; That in the year 1659/60, Dr. Holder did attempt teaching Mr. Popham to Speak; but, soon after, gave it over: (for what reasons, he knows best.) As to teaching him to understand a Language, I do not find him pretending to it; (so that, as to this, he will allow the work to be mine.) Nor doth he pretend to any thing as to Mr. Whaly; (so far therefore the Coast is clear.) What he pretends to, is, that he taught Mr. Popham to pronounce some words, (which, by somewhat of Rhetorical Amplification, is now called, Speaking Well, and Pronouncing Plainly and Distinctly, and with a Good and Graceful Tone, Whatever Words were Represented to him, as he had Occasion to ask for.) In order to this, I have been told) he did direct Mr. Popham to those Painful Positions and Motions Page 20 of the Mouth and Face, which used to make him sweat so as to Drop: (a Method which I have never had occasion to make use of with those I have taught; putting them to no more of bodily pain, than we put our selves to in speaking:) But, whatwas the effect of that Pain and Sweat, I do not know. This, whatsoever it were, was in the year 1662, quite forgot. And Mr. Popham (after I had ingood measure taught Mr. VVhaly) was brought to me to Learn.
Whether any thing of Disgust were in it, (that I should Venture upon what he had Given over,) I cannot tell. But, because such things oft happen, I was the less willing to undertake it; and did, on that account, at first decline it, as not willing to take anothers Work out of his hand; (which Dr. Bathurst, I presume, may still remember, who did once and a second time recommend that business to me from the Lady VVharton:) till Dr. Bathurst did assure me, that no more was to be expected from Dr. Holder, nor intended by him; and that no offence should be taken on that account.
When Mr. Popham (by that Lady his Mother) was brought to me; I found no appearance of those fine things which are now said to have been done by Dr. Holder. (And the stories, of My having Seen and Heard him, before, at Blechington, &c. but Fansies.) I thought it best, therefore, to say nothing of it; rather than to say, That, VVhat Dr. Holder had Attempted, but Given over; I had undertaken with Success: (Which would have look'd like Insultation in me, and a Reproaching of him.) If any other who knew more than I did, could say of him all that which he now says of himself; it was free for him, or them, to have said it if they so pleased. But from me, who knew it not (nor do yet,) it could not, in reason, be expected.
And, for the same Reason, I said nothing of the Constable of Castil's Son. What Pablo Bonnet says of him, I know not, (having never seen the Book:) nor what is said of him by Sir Kenelm Digby, (as not having read that.) I have heard, it is said of him; That, Onely by Seeing another Speak, (himself being Deaf,) though Distant from him the Breadth of a large Room; he was able to repeat perfectly what ever was said, though in VVelsh, or Irish, or any other Lan∣guage of which he had no knowledge at all, and which had never been spoken to him. Which seems to me, very Unlikely, if not Impossible, Concerning which thing, I have also delivered my opinion in that Letter of March 14. (that I might not be thought to pretend to Impossibilities:) But, without naming any persons; in pursuance of the old Rules, Parcere nominibus, &c.
I know very well, (for I have seen it in those that I have taught,) That Words of such unknown Languages may, by a Deaf man, be pronounc'd. But he must then be otherwise directed, what Sound, or Letters, he is to Form: He cannot do it barely by Seeing another speak.
I know also, (for the same reason,) That a Deaf person, by Seeing another Speak, may sometimes Guess shrewdly at what is said. But it must be in such Words and Sentences as he hath been acquainted with: not in a strange Language, of which he knows neither the Sense nor the Words.
For certain it is, that the Formation of divers Sounds in Speech, is per∣form'd Page 21 so inwardly in the Mouth, Throat, and Nostrils; and, the distinction of Sounds therein so very Nice; that it is not possible to be discerned by the Eye of a By-stander. But, in known Words, by Seeing the Formation of some Letters, (especially the Labials,) he may Guess at the rest (as we do, when, in a Word, we find a Letter or two mis-written, or left-out; but, from the rest, may easily know what it should be.) And, in known Sen∣tences, having thus discerned some Words, he may, by them, Guess at the rest of the Sentence, or at least at the Sense of it.
And, when this very particular was, at Gresham-Colledge, discoursed, up∣on the occasion of Mr. Whaly's being there, it was then affirmed, by a Gen∣tleman there present, That himself (beyond-Sea) had seen this Constable of Castil's Son; and (having heard of these reports before) did the more curi∣ously observe him; and found those about him to discourse with him by Signs and Gestures, in the same manner as is usual with other Deaf persons. Which (as he well observed) would not have been, if he, by seeing them speak, could tell what they said, and could himself, by speaking, give them an answer. So that there must needs be something of Amplification in that Story.
Since therefore I could add nothing (from my own knowledge) to what by others had been said of him: and (though I did suspect somewhat of Hyper∣bole in the case) would not concern my self to contradict it: I thought best to say nothing of it, (but leave the Report as I found it, upon the credit of the Reporters.) without going about to extenuate anothers performance.
And if any one else had, of his own Knowledge, affirmed as much of Dr. Holder's performance (without bespattering another;) it's like (what∣soever were my own sentiments of it) I should have as little concerned my self to contradict that, as I did the other. But should choose rather (if I might be permitted so to do) to say nothing of either.
Another great complaint there is, concerning a Book of Dr. Plott. (It seems, he is very much concerned for every one that speaks favourably of me, p. 3, 4, 9, 11, 14.) All that was past, might (it seems) have been pardoned, (as p. 4, 7, 9.) had it not been for this fresh occasion. The fault is this, That Dr. Plott, in his Natural History of Oxfordshire, hath said (it seems) somewhat of my teaching Dumb persons to speak, and of my Treatise De Loquela; as p. 9, 11.
Yet Dr. Plott he can Forgive (in hopes of a Reformation, p. 11.) But Dr. VVallis must be doubly charged. 'Twas I (he says) gave this fresh occasion, p. 4. 'Twas my subtil contrivance, p. 2. I practis'd it; I caus'd it to be pub∣lish'd; 'tis I that penned, and spread my own fame in several Authors works, (and in this amongst the rest) they be large Characters engraven by my self, p. 3. 'Twas I (he says) thrust my self into Dr. Plott's work; I imposed upon that worthy person; that I therein renew the challenge; that I passed it into the Book; that those three whole Paragraphs (or the greatest part of them) were Certainly of my Penning; and that it may be justly thought, All the rest was so too; that I imposed upon the good Doctor, and penned it my self, p. 9. that I Page 22put upon him that great abuse, p. 10. that he hath indeed put it upon Record, but did not Know or VVrite any of those matters, but what was put into his hands by me; that I imposed upon him, and prevail'd him to say it as from himself, p. 11. that I do there explain my self, p. 13. with much more to that purpose.
Not, that Dr. Holder knows this to be True: But because it is fit matter for a Chancery-Bill.
That Dr. Plott did sometimes advise with me, while that Book was Writing and Printing; is very true: And that I was free to give him my Opinion and Advise when he desired it: and he as free to take it or leave it, as he saw cause. (Nor was it a fault in either of us, so to do.) But I did not use to Pen whole Paragraphs for him; or thrust him upon saying what he had not a mind to say himself.
What is in those three Paragraphs; I cannot tell, (nor is the Book at hand to look,) and therefore cannot say, whether I am or am not concerned there∣in. But, if any thing be there (or any where else in that whole Book) which concerns the business in hand: sure I am that I penned it not. Nor did I so much as know that he had therein said any one word of that whole Affair; till he told me (after the Book was published) that, Dr. Holder was offended at it. (Nor do I yet know, what it is he hath said of it. But have reason to think, there is nothing therein said, but what was fit enough for him to say.) So that, if Dr. Holder could find in his heart to pass by all the rest (as he in∣timates, p. 4, 9.) as to this last, I may plead Innocence.
And so I may, as to that his great Aggravation, p. 9. That I knew this affair then to lie before the Royal Society. For this I knew not: (nor, perhaps, was he desirous I should.)
I know indeed, That (he and I with Mr. Oldenburg coming together one night from Arundel-house,) he made great complaint of us both, (but with∣out any just cause in either;) Threatning, that in case Mr. Oldenburg did not Retract that in the Transactions; he would himself publish somewhat against us. And, to the same purpose, when at another time he and I with Sir Chri∣stopher Wren came together from Sir William Petty's house. And said, That he did forbear coming to the Royal Society, till he should in this be vindicated. (So great a crime it was, to have it said, That Mr. Whaly was not the onely Person on whom I had shewed the effect of my skill, but I had done the like for another; meaning Mr. Popham.)
My Answer was, The thing said was Truth; That neither of us in so say∣ing had done him wrong, or given him any just cause of complaint; That if himself had a mind to publish what concern'd himself without wronging others, 'twas free for him so to do; If he did it with any unhandsome Re∣flections on me, I should (when I found it abroad) either Answer it, or Ne∣glect it, as I should see cause; That, as to Mr. Oldenburg's publishing any thing to satisfie his clamour, I would advise nothing one way or other (as being a person concerned) but leave Mr. Oldenburg to his discretion. (And I then told him, as now I do, that his story of my resorting to Blechington, &c. Page 23 was a mistake.) Nor do I remember that (from that day to this) any word hath since passed between Mr. Oldenburg and me touching that affair, or that I have ever concern'd my self about it.
I now find, from what Dr. Holder tells us, p. 9, 10. (which before I did not know,) That a Paper of his own penning, but in Mr. Oldenburg's name, Dr. Holder desired to have Licensed by the Counsel of the Royal Society; but, that they refused to do it. (And, I think, with good reason; if it were what he now tells us. By whose License it is since come out, I do not know.) This he means when he says, That affair did then lie before the Royal Society, p. 9, 10.
Of this therefore, though there were enough to be said in Justification, if it had been True: Yet (because I must answer punctually to his Chancery-Bill) I must plead Not-guilty. I know not that any such thing did lie before the Royal Society; (And can but Thank them, for doing me that Justice, without giving me the trouble to make a Defence.) Nor did I Pen, or Croud-in, what of this matter is said by Dr. Plott. And Dr. Plott (who yet survives, and to whom Dr. Holder applies himself, p. 11.) will, I doubt not, be my Compur∣gator in this point.
But Mr. Popham also is yet surviving; (and of Age, able to answer for himself: (And knows as well as any, Who it was that Taught him. If he be ask'd, Whether Dr. Holder taught him to speak? He will answer, No. If, Whether Dr. Wallis? He will answer, I. For I have been present, when he hath been asked Both Qustions, and given Those Answers: (without being prompted so to do.)
The Bottom of the Business seems to be this. Dr. Holder having Attem∣pted, what he soon Gave-over, concerning Mr. Popham (in 1660;) was a little concern'd that I should (the next year) undertake Mr. Whaly with bet∣ter success. (Had I then proceeded with Mr. Popham, it would have been but to Go-on where he Left; and he might have been pretended to have done the Hardest part of the work: But, on Mr. Whaly, it could not be de∣nied but to be all my own.)
And he could not then, (though he saw this, and was troubled at it, p. 6.) shew the like effect of his skill on Mr. Popham▪ (Because he had either Not-Learned, or had Forgot it.)
And he was yet more concerned; when, upon this Success on Mr. Whaly, Mr. Popham also (whom he had quitted) was brought to me.
And, seeing me to have a like Success on Mr. Popham, as before on Mr. Whaly; He would now (play an After-game, and) have it thought, That it was He, not I, that taught Mr. Popham to speak: and that, what he now hath, was learned from Dr. Holder; without allowing, that Dr. Wallis had any share in it. And cannot be content to say, He had taught Mr. Popham somewhat, and leave it to some of his Friends who knew it (for I do not) to say How much: But makes it a crime to say, That I havePage 24since shewed any effect of my skill on Mr. Popham. (For this is all he hath to cavil at. And yet he allows it to be true, p. 10.)
And then imagins Plots, and Practises, Designs, and Subtil Contrivances, And a great many more Fansies of his own Brain; which never came into my Thoughts. (With which I am charged above twenty times at least, p. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14.)
He first imagins, that I had a long aking Tooth, to joyn to my other Tro∣phies, what was performed by Dr. Holder. (He should rather have said, To have the credit of Performing, what Dr. Holder did Attempt, but gave-over without performing, and so it came to nothing.)
Then; That, in order to this, I had recourse to a long train of subtil Con∣trivances. First, to meet with Mr. VVhaly, who being Deaf (from a Child) was consequently Dumb. ('Tis well I am not charged, to have contrived, twenty years before, that he should be Deaf, and consequently Dumb: but, that this should be unknown to me for twenty years; that I might then meet with him in an happy hour; and teach him to speak, two years after Dr. Holder had quitted his attempt on Mr. Popham.
Next; That I should Contrive, to have this known at Court, at Gresham-Colledge: (as he had before contrived to have his Attempt on Mr. Popham to be publickly taken notice of, and known generally in Oxford, at London, West∣minster, the Anatomy-Lecture, to Persons of all Degrees, &c. p. 5.)
Then; That I Contrived to have this Entred into the Iournal of the Royal Society, and there Registred: (as though they had not used to Register what there passed, without my Contrivance:) and there reaped great Praise for this Atchievment.
That then I contrived, (for this is the main part of the Plot,) That the Fame of this should bring Mr. Popham to me; who was now gone home to his Friends, and had forgot what he had been taught, p. 2, 3, 5.) He should rather have said, for that would have been the more subtil contrivance, That I had Contrived, that Dr. Holder should in vain Attempt, and then Quit this at∣tempt, on Mr. Popham; and Mr. Popham should either Not-Learn, or loose what he had been taught by Dr. Holder; as Mr. VVhaly had lost what he had been taught by his Nurse, p. 11. that, when what Dr. Holder pretends to have done, was come to nothing, I might equally begin upon a new score with Both.)
He should here have added another Contrivance, (as subtil as some of the rest,) That I Contriv'd, not to begin first with Mr. Popham, (lest I might be thought onely to go on, where Dr. Holder left;) But, first to begin with Mr. VVhaly (to whom Dr. Holder could not pretend,) Contriving always to have it believed, that I could teach a Dumb Person, without the help of Dr. Holder.
He fansies next, That I contrived and practised with so much industry and effect, to have Dr. Holder's attempt, (which was, before, so publickly taken notice of, and generally known, as he tells us, p. 5.) to be so quite Forgotten, that Few (or none) do now so much as Know or Think, that Dr. Holder had done those fine Feats he now talks of.
Page 25Then; That I contrived, a subtil Letter to Mr. Boyl, of March 14. 1661, (before I had ever seen or known Mr. Popham; and before Dr. Holder's Elements of Speech were written; lest it might be thought to be written on that occasion;) giving Mr. Boyl an account, of what I had undertaken, and upon what Considerations, concerning Mr. VVhaly.
But, that I contrived further, though this Letter were then communicated to those of the Royal Society; yet, not to have it published in the Transactions, till a great while after. (He should rather have said, That I contrived, that Mr. Oldenburg should not begin to write Transactions before the year 1665; that my Letter of 1661 might not presently be there inserted. For this Con∣trivance is as true as the rest.)
Then; That I compassed to have my small Treatise of Speech, in a subtil Post∣script, to be commended and magnified by Mr. Oldenburg first, and then by Dr. Plot. (He should rather have said, That I contrived to publish an English Grammar, to which I subtilly prefixed my Treatise of Speech, in 1653, thereby to Undermine by Anticipation, p. 10. Dr. Holder's Elements, which were af∣terwards to be published in 1669: and then contrived to have it printed again and again, at Oxford, and Hamburg, a second, third, and fourth time, that it might not be forgotten: and compassed to have it commended, by Bishop VVilkins in his Universal Character 1668, when Dr. Holder's Elements were not yet extant: and, after that, by Mr. Oldenburg, &c.)
Then; That I was startled at his Elements of Speech with its Appendix, pub∣lished in 1669. A Book which I never yet saw; nor did I know (otherwise than as he now tells me) that I was at all concerned therein. But do now guess, there is something in it, which he thinks I ought to take amiss. Other∣wise, he would not have been thus jealous for nothing.
I would advise him, on the next occasion, (since he finds some of his Con∣jectures to be Mis-adventures,) unto these Contrivances, to add two or three more. That I subtilly contrived, Not to be made acquainted beforehand, with Dr. Holder's undertaking. And then, Not to resort to Blechington (as is pre∣tended;) lest I should there have seen and heard Mr. Popham. And, Not to be much at Oxford all that year; lest it might be thought I had so Resorted. And, Not to be in company with Dr. Holder, all the while Mr. Popham was with him; lest I might be thought to have had Discourses with him on that occasion. And, that Dr. VVilkins should, before that time, have left Oxford; lest we might happen to meet at his Lodgings. And, Not to have seen his Ele∣ments of Speech to this day; that I might not be startled at them. And, Never to enquire, VVhat Applications Dr. Holder made to the Royal Society; that I might not know of any such matter lying before them. And, That I never con∣cerned my self to oppose him in it; that I might be charged to have con∣trived, that they should refuse to License his Paper. And, That I subtilly con∣trived, That Dr. Plot should say what he did say concerning this business, without consulting me at all therein, or letting me know that he said any thing of it; lest I might be thought (as is pretended) to have penned it my self, and crouded it into his Book. For all this is as proper matter for a Chancery-Bill,Page 26 as what he suggests. And the matter of it is true; without this, that the said Doctor did contrive, &c.
Now, if I had a mind to Recriminate, or put in a Cross Bill; It were easy thus to do it in his own Form and Language.
In the years 1651, 1652, (as p. 1, 4,) and some years before and after; Divers ingenious persons in Oxford, used to meet at the lodgings of Dr. Petty, (now Sr. William Petty;) Where they diligently conferred about Researches and Experi∣ments in Nature. Which Meetings were some Ground and Foundation of the Royal Society. (Not indeed the First Ground and Foundation; But earlier than those latter Meetings at Wadham Colledge.)
In that time, viz. In the year 1652. John Wallis, then Professer of Geometry in Oxford, near Blechington; Having. (as p. 4, 7.) Communicated to the then Provost of Queens Colledge, some Papers, wherein he did describe and discover, How all sounds used in speech are formed, and may be produced, (whether, the Person so forming them, do hear himself speak or not;) Was desired and In∣couraged (I should have said Importuned, as p. 7.) By that excellent person, and zealous Promoter of Learning Dr. Gerard Langbain, late Provost of Queens Colledg in Oxford; the Learned and Industrious Mr. Patrick Young, then in Oxford; approved also by the Incomparable Dr. James Usher, then Arch-Bishop of Armagh, and Lord Primate of Ireland; with whom he had the ho∣nour, soon after, to be conversant in the lodgings of the said Provost in Queens Colledg; and by divers other Persons, members of that Worthy company before menti∣oned, to Print those Papers. (Not perhaps by any set Meeting of that Com∣pany: Nor was Dr. Holder, by any such Meeting of the Royal Society, Im∣portuned to Review his Papers, p. 7. nor by any such Meeting at Wadham-Col∣ledg, had the business of Mr. Popham, commended to him, p. 4.)
He thereupon (as p. 7.) in the year 1653; Desirous (as p. 5.) to serve the ends, and contribute something to the design, of that worthy company, (viz. The Improvement of Natural Knowledg, and Publick Benefit;) Published his English Grammar, with his Treatise of speech prefixed.
This (as p. 5.) was publickly taken Notice of, and Known (not only to those eminent Persons above mentioned, but) Generally in Oxford. Where very many Students, on purpose to satisfy their Curiosity, and have a Particular Knowledg of what they had received by Report; Bought the Book, and Read it.
Dr. William Holder (as p. 2, 5.) then lived at Blechington; saw and per∣fectly Knew this; was Conversant with Dr. Wallis; was one of those who Bought (or borrowed) that Book▪ did see and Read it; and had discourse with Dr. Wallis on that occasion divers times when they happened to meet at Oxford.
Now Dr. Holder having a long aking tooth (as p. 2.) to do something to be talked of, and get himself a Trophy; had recourse to subtle Contrivances. Having learned therefore from Pablo Bonnet (as p. 6.) that the Constable of Castile's Son, when Deaf, had been taught to speak: And having learned, from Dr. Wallis's Treatise of speech, How every sound in speech is formed: He thought it might prove (and there was reason so to think, if well managed,) a suc∣cesseful way of teaching Deaf and Dumb persons to speak, by teaching them so to Page 27Form sounds as Dr. Wallis had directed. Not doubting (as p. 5.) but that a Dumb person, Dumb only in Consequence of being Deaf, might be capable of be∣ing instructed so to apply (as is there taught) the motions of his Tongue and other Instruments of speech; And knowing it (as another might have done) to be both Possible and Fesible, from an Example in that kind seen and heard by his late Majesty in Spain.
And he meets in a happy hour, with a young Gentleman (as p. 2, 4) Mr. Alexander Popham; deprived of Hearing, and consequently of Speaking. Resolv∣ing therefore to assume to himself this experiment; On him he would make the first Attempt (whatever be the Success,) that is remembred to have been made in England, (whatever had been done elsewhere.) And (as p. 3. Having got a hint (for which he alwaies lay in wait) of a new Invention so considerable, (from a small Treatise of Dr. Wallis on that subject;) would (by putting himself into the Practise, of what Dr. Wallis had taught,) Intitle himself to the experi∣ment.
All possible Noise is presently made of it; It is showed (as p. •, 5.) at London at Westminster; to Persons of all Degrees; published at the Anatomy Lecture; an express Relation made of it, nameing also the Persons concerned in this experi∣ment, so far as served his turn, (but not a word of Dr. Wallis in the cause:) And (if we may believe him (p. 1. 5.) a multitude of Students Resort from Ox∣ford to Bletchington to See and Hear it. (Magnis tamen excidit ausis.)
I confess, I was out of the Noise; and heard very little of it, (save what I have from his Paper; in which I find very great Mis-takes:) And was far from Oxford, the greatest part of that time.
But the Cry did not last long. This (he tells us p. 1. 5.) was in March 1659/60; and (within a few Months after) the Summer following, he quitted that undertaking: Mr. Popham went home to his friends; the labour lost; and the Cry ceased. So that there are at this day very few in Oxford (if any) who Know or think, that Dr. Holder taught Mr. Popham to speak. p. 3.
The year following (notwithstanding this mis-adventure of Dr. Holder;) Dr. Wallis (thereunto induced by the Considerations mentioned in his Letter of March 14, 1661/2; and in confidence of his Treatise De Loquela therein mentio∣ned; as p. 2, 8, 12, 13,) undertook another Person concerning whom Dr. Holder cannot pretend to any thing) Mr. Daniel Whaly; who having lost his Hearing while a child, was consequently Dumb, p. 2, (and had so continued for Twenty years more.) Him he taught (without any help or direction from Dr. Holder) not only to pronounce some words (which Dr. Holder had Attempted on Mr. Popham;) but, in good measure, to understand a Language also; (which Dr. Holder doth not pretend to; and, without which, to speak, is but like a Parrot.) of which, in a Letter of Decem. 24. 1661, he gave a short Ac∣count to Mr. Boyle, and (in answer to two of his, of January 4, and Feb. 26. desiring it) a Fuller Account in that of March 14. 1661; Which Mr. Boyle imparted to divers of the Society; (I do not say, to the Royal Society; because I doubt whether the Patent which makes them such, were then actually sea∣led; Page 28 though, I think, it bears Date a little before that time.) And (upon a further solicitation from him and them, by letters of Apr. 5, and May 8, to satisfy their Curiosity, and have a particular Knowledg of what they had re∣ceived by Report, as Dr. Holder Speaks p. 5.) In May 1662, Mr. Whaly came up to London with Dr. Wallis; was Seen, and Heard at Court, and by the Royal Society at Grasham College, 'twas entred into the Iournal of the Royal Society, and there registred; Dr. Wallis reaped great praise for this Atchievement, as Dr. Holder speakes, p. 1, 2, 5, 6.
Yet did not the Doctor Impose upon the Society; or Confidently shew and Boast it, (as p. 12.) as the First assay that had ever been in this kind. For they Knew well, (and did at that time discourse,) what had been said of the Con∣stable of Castiles Son, and his being heard by the late King; And had then a par∣ticular Relation from one of themselves, who had seen the Person. And some of Dr. Holder's particular Friends were then present, who might (if they had thought it considerable) have acquainted the rest, what they knew of Dr. Holder's Attempt on Mr. Popham. And Dr. Holder himself, who (it seems) was a witness of all this, and saw it, (as he tells us p. 6) had the opportu∣nity, if there were occasion, to assert his own right; And might have had it registred with the rest; if the company had thought it had deserved it.
Dr. Holder, who saw this, p. 6, was concerned at it. As to Mr. Whaly, he could pretend nothing. Mr. Popham had lost what he is said to have learned. The Stories of Dr. Wallis's Resorting to Bletchington, and discourses with Dr. Holder on that occasion, were mistakes; and that whole scene ill laid. And should he have then pretended to have done the like for Mr. Popham; (hic Rhodus, hic saltus:) the company would have been glad to have seen that too (which was not to be done.)
But he was more concerned, when (as he tells as p. 2.) the Fame of Mr. Whaly had brought (to Dr. Wallis) Mr. Popham also; and that on him (whom Dr. Holder had given over,) he had (as p. 10) performed somewhat very con∣siderable; that is (as p. 13.) had done the like for him, as before for Mr. Whaly.
He had, however, a Design, (by playing an after-game) to make the world believe in time; what he could not do, while things were fresh in memory and knowledg, in and about Oxford. And therefore (that we may still follow his own language (he had recourse to subtle contrivances, and subtle practises (as p. 1, 2.) Practising, from thence-forth to assume Mr. Popham's speaking wholly to himself (p. 3.) and not allow Dr. Wallis so much as to have shewed any effect of his skill on Mr. Popham, p. 13.
To this end, (that Dr. Holder might not be thought to have learned any of his skill from Dr. Wallis's Treatise concerning the Formation of sounds in) speech; he contrives to write some Papers of his own (as he tells us) about that subject, p. 7. These Papers, he compasseth to have mentioned (p. 8, 9, in the Bishop of Chester's Book, of the Universal Character, pag. 357. In the year 1668. But he tells us further, that in the year 1666, they were lost in the Bishops study, together with all his own, in the dreadful Fire of London, (that Page 29 we may at least think them to be so old.) These Papers, (the Bishop tells us,) did concern the Doctrine of Letters: Dr. Holder tells us, they were to describe and discover the Method he had used in bringing Mr. Pop∣ham to speak, p. 7. (This, it seems, was what He aimed at: All the rest served but to hedg this in.)
So considerable he would have us think these Papers were, that he was Importuned to renew them (like another Phaenix out of its own Ashes:) And a little Importunity (we may think,) served the turn. He then con∣trives further, to have the new Phaenix, His Elements of speech (which we must now suppose to be those Papers) presented to the Royal Society, 1669; and to get their order to print it; and (as he speakes p. 6.) had it Registred, to perpetuat the Memory of his Atchievement.
But Dr. Holder had a farther Design in it. For these elements were to Usher-in a subtle Appendix, concerning Persons Deaf and Dumb: and, in a few subtle lines, (which was his chief Design,) to hedge-in what concerned Mr. Popham; describing but (wisely) not nameing him: Assuming Mr. Popham's speaking solely to himself. To which the other were only subservient; to make a noise, while this slipt-in. Having therein made mention of his suc∣cess upon a Deaf and Dumb Person, in tending Mr. Popham: As he tells us p. 7.
These Elements (as p. 8, 9, 10,) he Contrives and Compasses to have Commended and Magnified, (as in Mr. Oldenburg's name, but, I suppose, of his own Penning, in the Philosophical Transactions, of May 1669 as a Well-considered and Useful Tract: Concluding, with Magnifying its Usefulness, for instructing Persons Deaf and Dumb; as being by this Author, Excellently applied thereunto: (Modestly said of himself!) Avouching therein His own Practise. Without taking the least notice of any thing Written by Dr. Wallis, and others (about the Formation of Sounds;) or the Practise (of Teaching Dumb Persons) by any other.
And here (as p. 9.) he is secure to gain this Point; That in a Book which swill come into the hands of all curious Persons, Dr. Holder's fame is spread orth to all; and Few (he hopes) will ever happen to know, that Dr. Wallis (in his Treatise of speech 1653) had shewed him the way; (that being a Small Treatise; and written in Latine; and a great while since; and but annexed to another Book, intended principally for Forraigners desiring to learn English:) or, that Dr. Wallis had done any thing of that nature, either to Mr. Popham, or to Mr. Whaly; (there being nothing at that time said thereof any-where in Print; so little was the Industry, or rather so great was the Negligence, of Wallis, in spreading his own Fame, p. 3.)
And all this he doth, under Countenance of an Order of the Royal So∣ciety by him procured for the Printing of it, p. 7. as if they had been privy to this Design.) Which would have been yet more advanced, if he could have gotten their License for this his New Paper penned by himself, in Mr. Oldenburg's name) put by him into Mr. Oldenburg's hand to be published in the Transactions, (as himself tells us p. 9. making Page 30the Transactions, his market (as p. 3.) and a Fair for this Merchant of Glo∣ry; if he could have found way and leave to croud himself in.
For who should now believe (when every body else is silent) that ever any one thought of a Treatise of Speech, or the Formation of Sounds, be∣fore Dr. Holder made this Essay, in his Elements of Speech? (For, that they must be thought elder than that of Dr. Wilkins, he had subtly con∣trived already, by getting him to mention some Papers of Dr. Holder, which might now be thought to be these Elements: and the small Treatise of Dr. Wallis, 'tis hoped will be forgotten, or known to few.) And who can believe, that any one but Dr. Holder, did Teach, or attempt to Teach, a Deaf man to speak; or ever thought of such a Thing, (so long as Dr. Wal∣lis is silent;) there being no body then, in Print, pretending to it?
And thus he hopes to bear it out (as p. 9, 11.) with subtilty of contrivance; speaking like Truth so artificially, that the Reader is to believe more than is True: and it serves him to impose on those (Mr. Oldenburg, and the Royal Society) whose name and credit he borrows to commend him, who innocently suffer a demur Truth of his own penning, unwittingly to pass into the Trans∣actions, suffering themselves (as p. 3.) to be imposed upon, to publish the Fame and Praise of Dr. Holder, in large Characters engraven by himself. (For that of p. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. is certainly of his own Penning, though in Mr. Oldenburg's name: And if, as p. 9. we may, by that guess at the rest: and for some o∣ther reasons: it may be justly thought, That in the Transactions of May 1669. is so; at least of his superviding) Desiring and Designing (as p. 11.) the World would be so kind as to be cajoled into such a belief, when he pre∣vailed with Mr. Oldenburg so say as from himself, what Dr. Holder imposed upon him. (•nd very much concerned he is, that this subtle contrivance takes no better.)
Dr. Wallis was so ignorant of this Contrivance, and so unsuspicious of a Design upon him, and so unconcerned for what is said in those Elements and Appendix; that he never yet read the One or the Other.
But so it happened the year following, that this Mine was sprung una∣wares, and, play'd otherwise than was intended. Mr. Oldenburg in the Transactions of July 1670, published a Letter of Dr. Wallis to Mr. Boyle, of March 14. 1661. And, as he had, the year before given a large ac∣count of Dr. Holders Elements of Speech (published in 1669.) and how this was by him applyed to the Instruction of Dumb persons; Without ta∣king notice of what Dr. Wallis had Writ or Done: So now, (without saying the same again of Dr. Holder) he gives a Brief account of Dr. Wal∣lis's Treatise of Speech (published in 1653.) and what, in pursuance of this, was done by him.
Dr. Holder (who thought he had put himself in sole possession of the Repute of this Experiment,) was startled, as p. 7. (or rather Nettled) for he doth Winch and Fling like Hudibras's Horse in such a condition, without any apparent cause▪) as appears by his printed Paper. He falls foul up∣on Page 31 Dr. Wallis, Mr. Oldenburg, the Royal Society, Dr. Plot: and Dreams of Subtleties, Practices, Contrivances, Designs, &c.; no body can see why; (who doth not see the Nettle, or know of the sore Place.)
That Dr. Wallis had, in the year 1653. published a Treatise, De Loquela; and, that he had, in pursuance of what is there delivered, taught Mr. Wha∣ly to speak, and, had since done the like for Mr. Popham, are things True, and Known, and Notorious; nor doth he deny it. And why might not all this be said, without making such a Clutter?
Dr. Holder, it seems, (for so his Paper tells us, p. 7.) had, in his E∣lements of Speech, made mention of his success upon a Deaf and Dumb per∣son, intending Mr. Popham, (which yet Dr. Wallis knew not of, till he saw it in this Paper, as having never read that Book, nor doth yet know what is there said; nor, how truly:) and Mr. Oldenburg had given a large ac∣count of that Book and the Contents of it, in the Transactions of May, 1669. (without saying any thing of Dr. Wallis:) and no offence was taken. But when, in July 1670. he gave a short account of Dr. VVallis, and his Treatise; without speaking (there) of Dr. Holder and his Elements, (as having done it a year before:) a great Out-cry is made, of VVrongs and Injuries, of Plots, Designs, Contrivances, and subtle Practises, and a great deal more of such Rif-Raf: As if every Body were bound every-where, and at all times, to magnifie his Elements of Speech, &c.
But it seems, (as p. 10, 11.) he could not help what was in his Nature, or else Habitual to him; and could not conceal his Particular Emulation. He Desired, and had Designed it, that the world would be so kind as to be cajoled into such a Belief, that he was the First that had consider'd the Formation of Sounds; and, the onely Person, who attempted to teach Dumb Persons to Speak. (For, if he designed any thing less than this, there was nothing there said to contradict him.)
Yet he himself knew full well (as p. 14) Dr. VVallis's Treatise of Speech; and what he had done for Mr. VVhaly, and Mr. Popham: But, the Reader must not know of that. The disclosing of this marred his Market.
He knew full well, That Dr. Wallis had taught Dumb Persons: (and he says it expresly, p. 11. So he did, for Two were his Scholars, Mr. Popham, and Mr. Whaly.) And, (if we admit what he there says; That they had, formerly Owed somewhat, the one to his Nurse, and the other to Dr. Hold∣er: Yet, if they had equally Forgotten, (which is the case) the one and the other (whatever it were;) and, what now they have, they have from Dr. VVallis, (which, though True, Dr. Holder would not have Known;) and Mr. Pepham, one no more to Dr. Holder, than Mr. VVha∣ly to his Nurse: It might very well be said without offence, (that Mr. Whaly is not the only Person on whom Dr. Wallis hath shewed the effect of his skill; but he hath since done the like for another; meaning Mr. Popham) were there not some Nettle that stings, but is not seen; or some sore Place wringed, which doth not Appear, but must not be Touched.
Page 32'Twas nothing therefore, but being disappointed in this his great De∣sign, which made him thus outragious. And (persons faulty being mostly jealous) he being conscious to himself of such petty contrivances; made him fancy, that others were imployed in like Plots. And Knowing, it seems, (though I knew it not,) that he had done what I had no rea∣son to take kindly; he fancied me to be studying Revenge, of what I never knew.
Now all this (as p. 1.) if being but nakedly exposed to light, in such a Nar∣rative, do seem severe, it must be imputed to the Matter it self. And, if the Language seem hard, he must not quarrel at it, (like the Black-smith who threw away the Looking-Glass, because it shewed him an Ugly face;) since it is his own.
But I shall forbear thus to charge him, (though there be much more of truth therein, than in what he fancies of me; and the Language is his own.) Yet 'tis not amiss, to let him judge, by hearing it; how well it doth become him to use such language.
As to what he Complains of; the sum of what I say, is this.
That it was as lawful for me, to Write and Publish, a Treatise concer∣ning the Formation of Sounds, in 1653; as for him to do the like, in 1669.
That it was as lawful for me, to Teach Mr. Whaly, to speak a Lan∣guage, and understand it, as for him to Attempt, some what of this, (on Mr. Popham,) without Success.
That it was as lawfull for me to say, that what I did was in pursuance of what I had, Before made publick (in 1653;) as for him to say, What he did, was in pursuance of what he hath, was Since made publick, (in 1669.)
That it was lawfull also, (when he had, two years before, given-over Mr. Popham, and all that he did Attempt or Perform on him was come to nothing;) for me to do the like for Mr. Popham, as I had before done for Mr. Whaly.
That it was as lawful for Mr. Oldenburg, to say, What he Knew of me and my Book, in the Transactions of July 1670, (without repeating, there, what he had before said of Dr. Holder;) as in that of May 1669, to say, what he Thought of Dr. Holder, and his Book, (without saying any thing of me.)
That it was lawful for Dr. Plot, to say, that he so found it said, in the place by him cited. (Especially when himself knew the Substance of it to be true; and had not cause to dis-believe the Circumstances.)
That when I could not say my Own Thoughts; without derogating somewhat from what others had said of the Constable of Castiles Son; and what Dr. Holder says of himself: it was neither Uncivil, nor Dis-ingenu∣ous in me, to be Silent in it; and let it rest upon the credit of those who do, or can say it.
Page 33And, consequently, that Dr. Holder hath no cause to Complain of all, or any of this; much less to Write, Print, or Suggest a Paper, full of so many Great Mis-takes in matter of Fact; and so many groundless Sur∣mises of Designs.
And lastly, that the Counsel of the Royal Society acted with very good reason; when they Refused to License that Paper.
I have now done with this unpleasing Task (For I take no pleasure in quarrels, or blemishing another mans Reputation.)
I had thoughts at first, to have neglected his Paper without making any Reply, (because any indifferent Reader would easily discern, that there is, in it, much more of Passion, than of Reason.) But I find others of opinion, that it was fit somewhat should be said to it; because so many are con∣cerned in it as well as my self. I find, he doth mis-remember many mat∣ters of fact; and mis-times divers others; and fancies things of meer ac∣cident, to be matters of Design (a thing very incident to persons that are a little uneasie.)
He had attempted (I know) the Teaching Mr. Popham to speak. But (for what reasons he knows best) quickly gave it over; and Mr. Popham forgot all. What success he had in the mean time, I cannot tell. I saw nothing of it. (And therefore he made an ill choice, in calling me to be his Voucher.) If any who knew more of it than I did, have said any thing of him advantagiously; I have never concerned my self to contra∣dict it. That I did teach Mr. VVhaly, with better success, and without his Assistance; he knows very well. And, that I taught Mr. Popham too; he knows also: And that I did not seek the Imployment, or take Mr. Popham out of his hands; but, two years after he had given over the at∣tempt when Mr. Popham (whatever it was he had learned) had forgot all. This though perhaps it might cause somewhat of regret; that ano∣ther should succeed in what he had given over;) yet is no just cause of complaint. Nor do I find any thing in the Transactions of Iuly 1670, which can administer just occasion to find fault with it; but if he will needs be angry, because I cannot Affirm, what I do not Know: Or, will needs go about to perswade me, and tell all the World, that I did See and Hear those things which I did neither see nor Hear: I cannot help it.
If, in giving your Lordship this trouble; I have already been too te∣dious: I shall now add no more to it, but subscribe my self,
Your Lordships very humble Servant, John Wallis.