A Method Proposed, Whereby He Who is Born Deaf, May Learn to Speak.
By the Studious Invention and Industry of John Conrade Amman, an Helvetian of Shashuis, Dr. of Physick.
Imprinted at Amsterdam, by Henry Westein, 1692. And now done out of Latin into English, by D.F.M.D. 1693.
London, Printed for Tho. Hawkins, in George-yard, Lumbard street, 1694.
Price bound One Shilling.
To his most Approved Good Friend Mr. PETER KOLARD, the Author, with all Submission, Dedicateth this his Treatise of the Talking Deaf Man.
My much honoured Friend,
This little endeavour, how small soever it be, is upon many Accounts due to you; For besides that, the Truth of the matter here exposed, is to no one, (except my Self) more apparent, you did heap on me so many Favours, whilst I abode in your House, upon account of teaching your Daughter, and rendred me to be so much Yours, as no less could be sufficient, than to erect a publick, and as much as in me lay, an eternal Monument of Gratitude to you. How great the Incredulity of this Age is, no Man almost knows better than your self; there have been, and still are, such as boldly deny, that it is possible to bring the Deaf to speak; others, though they should be admitted to be Eye-Witnesses, yet would not stick to doubt still of the matter: Wherefore, what-ever it was that I performed to your Daughter, and to some others, and by what Artifice I did it, I now ingenuously expose to the Eyes of all the World. I heartily wish that they may so make use of this my labour, as that for the future, no more Dumb Persons may be found.
In the number of these doubting Persons, you have confessed to me, that you your self had formerly been, until you had heard a certain Maiden, who before had been Dumb, talking with me at Amsterdam; perhaps I should have been so my self, if, when I was ignorant in the thing, I had received narratively only, that some such thing was performed by another; wherefore I resolved rather to convince the Incredulity of Men (which now is accounted Prudence amongst most Men) of an Error, than to reprove them for their Rashness.
It is now three Years since I first thought to make this my Method publick; but had I then done it, I should now have repented it, because in this Interval I have much more polished it; and rendered it more easie by far; and as to what belongs to the practise thereof, more certain, yea, and all to that degree, as I dare confidently assert, that henceforth there shall be no Deaf Person, (provided he be of a sound Mind, and be not Tongue-tied, nor of an immature Age) who by my Instruction shall not in the space of two Months speak readily enough. Perhaps also I shall hereafter repent, that I have published this small Treatise, as yet too immature; yet I had rather confess an Error, if I shall any where commit one, or in any future Edition augment it, than wholly to pass it over in Silence; for if I should be snatcht away by a hasty Death, (even as a tender state of Health doth threaten me) I should not know how to render to God an Account of the Talent committed to me, as he may require it of me.