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An Advertisement to the English Reader.
About 26 Years since, the Honourable, Learned, and Pious F.M. Baron of Helmont caused to be published in Latin a small Treatise; wholly and fully to the same purpose, with what is here published: Which said Treatise, entituled, The Alphabet of Nature, is now in Hand to be Translated, and Publish’d in English; of which it was thought fit here to give thee this Notice.
Thou art also (kind Reader) to be advertised, that there is very lately Translated into the English a very learned Tract, entituled, The Divine Being, and its Attributes; demonstrated from the Holy Scriptures, and Original Nature of things, according to the Principles of the aforesaid F.M. Baron of Helmont. Written in Low-Dutch, by Paulus Buchius, Dr. of Physick, &c. and Licensed according to Order, and are to be sold by T. Howkins, Bookseller, in George-yard, Lumbard-Street.
An Inquiry into the Nature of a Voice, and in what respect it differs from the Breath.
Let no Man presume, that he shall ever attain to this noble Art, if he remain Ignorant in what it is that the nature of the Letters, as well in general, as special, doth consist; for it was this very thing which gave occasion to the composing of this small Treatise: Wherefore, before I treat of the manner of instructing Deaf Persons, I shall bring into examination, First, the material part of the Letters, viz. Voice and Breath; Secondly, the Letters themselves, and their Differences: Thirdly, and Lastly, I will teach the Practise of the Art.
I have oftentimes heard from some Persons, that it was little beneath a Miracle, that God should give Men, to express the Thoughts of the Mind, rather by Motions, which are effected by the Lips, the Tongue, the Teeth, &c. than otherwise, and that so universally, that there is no Nation so Barbarous, no not excepting the Hottentots, which cannot speak in a Language. But let (I pray) these Men consider, what it is that Men rightly Instituted would have, whilst they mutually talk one with another; for they desire to open the most inward Recesses of the Heart, yea, and to transfuse their own proper Life into others, which thing cannot be more commodiously done, than by Speaking; for there is nothing which floweth forth from us, which carrieth with it a more vivid Character of the Life, than our Voice doth; yea, in the Voice is the Breath of Life, part of which passeth into the Voice; for indeed the Voice is the Child of the Heart, which is the Seat of the Affections, and of Desire. Hence it is, that sometimes we are not able to keep back the impetuous Motions of