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Mivers worthy persons, inquisitive into natural philosophy, and other parts of human learning: and particularly of what hath been called the New Philosophy, or Experimental Philosophy. We did, by agreement, divers of us meet weekly in London, on a certain day, to treat and discourse of such affairs. Of such number were, Dr. John Wilkins, afterwards Bishop of Chester; Dr. Jonathan Goddard, Dr. George Ent, Dr. Glisson, Dr. Merret, doctors in physick; Mr. Samuel Foster, then Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College; Mr. Theodore Haak, a German of the Palatinate, and then resident in London (who, I think, gave the first occasion, and first suggested these meetings); and many others. These meetings we held sometimes at Dr. Goddard's lodgings, in Wood-street, or some convenient place near, on occasion of his keeping an operator for grinding glasses for telescopes and microscopes; and sometimes at a convenient place in Cheapside; sometimes at Gresham College, or some place near adjoining. Our business was, precluding matters of theology and state affairs, to discourse and consider of philosophical enquiries, and such as related thereunto, as physick, anatomy, geometry, astronomy, navigation, staticks, magneticks, chemicks, mechanicks, and natural experiments; with the state of these studies, as then cultivated, at home and abroad. About the year 1648, 1649, some of us being removed to Oxford, first Dr. Wilkins, then I, and, soon after, Dr. Goddard, our company divided. Those in London continued to meet there, as before; and we with them, when we had occasion to be there. And those of us at Oxford, with Dr. Ward, since Bishop of Salisbury; Dr. Ralph Bathurst, now President of Trinity College, in Oxford; Dr. Petty, since Sir William Petty ; Dr, Willis, then an eminent physician in Oxford; and

credulity'. Besides this, ----with a seeming

divers others; continued such meetings in Oxford, and brought those studies into fashion there: meeting first at Dr. Pettie's lodgings, in an apothecarie's house, because of the convenience of inspecting drugs, and the like, as there was occasion : and, after his remove to Ireland, tho' not so constantly, at the lodgings of Dr. Wilkins, then Warden of Wadham College; and after his removal to Trinity College in Cambridge, at the lodgings of the honourable Mr. Robert Boyle, then resident for divers. years in. Oxford. Those meetings in London continued: and after the king's return, in 1660, were increased with the accession of divers worthy and honourable persons; and were afterwards in: corporated by the name of the Royal Society, &c. and so continues to this daya.”— The reader will pardon a digression intended to restore the honour of so excellent an institution to its right authors; and to rescue the time of its formation from the foul slanders of barbarism, ignorance, and darkness, so frequently cast on it b...

? He was subject to much weakness and credulity.] Wisdom and folly; understanding and credulity;

2 Wallis's Account of some passages in his life, quoted in the notes of the Life of A. Sidney, p. 44. 4to. Lond. 1763. And Ward's Preface to the Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, p. 10. fol. Lond. 1740. See also Sprats. History, p. 53.

b Wood, speaking of Henry Stubbe, says, while he continued undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxon, it was usual with him to discourse in the public schools very fuently in the Greek tongue; as it was, at the same time, with one John Pettie, of Baliol, afterwards of Queen's College, and others, whose names are forgotten. But since the king's restoration, we have had no such matters; which shews, in some part, that education and discipline were more severe then (as indeed they were) than after, when scholars were given more to liberty and frivolous studies. Athenæ Oxon. vol. II. c. 561.

openness and frankness of heart, which

though opposites and contraries, very frequently reside in one and the same man: and nothing is, more como mon, than to see those of superior capacities fall into weaknesses and follies, which men of plain sense hold in contempt and very deservedly ridicule.---Witches, the stars, charms, oracles, ghosts, and every phantom which weakness or wickedness, in various, ages and different countries have imagined or feigned, have, some or other of them, been embraced, as truths, by men most respectable on account of their knowledge, virtue and integrity. I need not quotę proofs for this : such as are desirous of them may read Plutarch, among the ancients; and recollect, that the names of Sir Thomas Brown, Sir Matthew Hale, Mr. Boyle, and many others, among the moderns; are in the number of the believers of the intercourse of the devil with the most wretched and despicable of the daughters of Eve. To which may be added that the profession of a conjurer was so very common amongst the catholics, that ay question is put by the Jesuit Sanchez, “whether. ą conjurer is obliged to return the gain which he makes by conjuration? Which he thus resolves : ' If the conjurer has not taken the care and pains to know, by the devil's means, what could not be known otherwise; he is obliged to restitution : but if he has taken all: due care, he is not obligeda.” No wonder, therefore, is it to find a prince of Charles's character, who was unused to enquiry, and accustomed to assent to those about him, liable to weakness, and exposed to credulity, Burnet tells us, “the king had ordered Mountague, his ambassador at Paris, in the year 1678, to find out

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a Paschal's Letters, vol. I. p. 183. 8vo. Lond. 1744.

credulity'. Besides this, ---with a seeming

divers others; continued such meetings in Oxford, and brought those studies into fashion there: meeting first at Dr. Pettie's lodgings, in an apothecarie's house, because of the convenience of inspecting drugs, and the like, as there was occasion : and, after his remove to Ireland, tho' not so constantly, at the lodgings of Dr. Wilkins, then Warden of Wadham College; and after his removal to Trinity College in Cambridge, at the lodgings of the honourable Mr. Robert Boyle, then resident for divers. years in Oxford. Those meetings in London continued: and after the king's return, in 1660, were increased with the accession of divers worthy and honourable persons; and were afterwards incorporated by the name of the Royal Society, &c. and so continues to this daya.”— The reader will pardon a digression intended to restore the honour of so excellent an institution, to its right authors; and to rescue the time of its formation from the foul slanders of barbarism, ignorance, and darkness, so frequently cast on it b...

? He was subject to much weakness and credulity.] Wisdom and folly; understanding and credulity;

a Wallis's Account of some passages in bis life, quoted in the notes of the Life of A. Sidney, p. 44. 4to. Lond. 1763. And Ward's Preface to the Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, p. 10. fol: Lond. 1740. See also Sprat's. History, p. 53.

6 Wood, speaking of Henry Stubbe, says, while he continued undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxon, it was usual with him to discourse in the public schools very fuently in the Greek tongue; as it was, at the same time, with one John Pettie, of Baliol, afterwards of Queen's College, and others, whose names are forgotten. But since the king's restoration, we have had no such matters; which shews, in some part, that education and discipline were more severe then (as indeed they were) than after, when scholars were given more to liberty and frivolous studies. Athenæ Oxon. yol. II. c. 561.

openness and frankness of heart, which

though opposites and contraries, very frequently, reside in one and the same man; and nothing is more como mon, than to see those of superior capacities fall into weaknesses and follies, which men of plain sense hold in contempt and very deservedly ridicule.--Witches, the stars, charms, oracles, ghosts, and every phantom which weakness or wickedness, in various ages and different countries have imagined or feigned, have, some or other of them, been embraced, as truths, by men most respectable on account of their knowledge, virtue and integrity. I need not quote proofs for this : such as are desirous of them may read Plutarch, among the ancients; and recollect, that the names of Sir Thomas Brown, Sir Matthew Hale, Mr. Boyle, and many others, among the moderns; are in the number of the believers of the intercourse of the devil with the most wretched and despicable of the daughters of Eve. To which may be added that the profession of a conjurer was so very common amongst the catholics, that a question is put by the Jesuit Sanchez, "whether. a conjurer is obliged to return the gain which he makes by conjuration? Which he thus resolves : ' If the conjurer has not taken the care and pains to know, by the devil's, means, what could not be known otherwise; he is obliged to restitution : but if he has taken all due care, he is not obligeda." No wonder, therefore, is it to fịnd a prince of Charles's character, who was unused to enquiry, and accustomed to, assent to those about him, liable to weakness, and exposed to credulity, Burnet tells us, “ the king had ordered. Mountague, his ambassador, at Paris, in the year 1678, to find out

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a Paschal's Letters, vol. I. p. 183, 8vo. Lond. 1744.

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