Page:Newton's Principia (1846).djvu/108
102 [Book I.
the mathematical principles
And if DB be made successively as AD²; AD3/2, AD4/3, AD5/4, AD6/5, AD7/6, &c., we shall have another infinite series of angles of contact, the first of which is of the same sort with those of circles, the second infinitely greater, and every succeeding one infinitely greater than the preceding. But between any two of these angles another series of intermediate angles of contact may be interposed, proceeding both ways in infinitum, wherein every succeeding angle shall be infinitely greater or infinitely less than the preceding. As if between the terms AD² and AD² there were interposed the series AD13/6, AD11/5, AD9/4, AD7/3, AD5/2, AD8/3, AD11/4, AD14/5, AD17/6 &c. And again, between any two angles of this series, a new series of intermediate angles may be interposed, differing from one another by infinite intervals. Nor is nature confined to any bounds.
Those things which have been demonstrated of curve lines, and the superfices which they comprehend, may be easily applied to the curve superfices and contents of solids. These Lemmas are premised to avoid the tediousness of deducing perplexed demonstrations ad absurdum, according to the method of the ancient geometers. For demonstrations are more contracted by the method of indivisibles: but because the hypothesis of indivisibles seems somewhat harsh, and therefore that method is reckoned less geometrical, I chose rather to reduce the demonstrations of the following propositions to the first and last sums and ratios of nascent and evanescent quantities, that is, to the limits of those sums and ratios; and so to premise, as short as I could, the demonstrations of those limits. For hereby the same thing is performed as by the method of indivisibles; and now those principles being demonstrated, we may use them with more safety. Therefore if hereafter I should happen to consider quantities as made up of particles, or should use little curve lines for right ones, I would not be understood to mean indivisibles, but evanescent divisible quantities: not the sums and ratios of determinate parts, but always the limits of sums and ratios; and that the force of such demonstrations always depends on the method laid down in the foregoing Lemmas.
Perhaps it may be objected, that there is no ultimate proportion, of evanescent quantities; because the proportion, before the quantities have vanished, is not the ultimate, and when they are vanished, is none. But by the same argument, it may be alledged, that a body arriving at a certain place, and there stopping, has no ultimate velocity: because the velocity, before the body comes to the place, is not its ultimate velocity; when it has arrived, is none. But the answer is easy; for by the ultimate velocity is meant that with which the body is moved, neither before it arrives at its last place and the motion ceases, nor after, but at the very instant it arrives; that is, that velocity with which the body arrives at its last place, and with which the motion ceases. And in like manner, by the ultimate ratio of evanescent quantities is to be understood the ratio of the quantities