|Galilei, Galileo Dialogues on two world systems 1661, tr. Salusbury, Thomas|
spread amongst the vulgar; and this with a discretion and subtlety
resembling that of the prudent young man, that to be freed
from the importunity of his inquisitive Mother or Wife, I know
not whether, who pressed him to impart the secrets of the Senate,
contrived that story, which afterwards brought her and many o
ther women to be derided and laught at by the same Senate.
Plato held that
of divinity, because
it understood num
The Mystery of
De Papyrio præ
textato, Gellius I:
SIMPL. I will not be of the number of those who are over curi
ous about the Pythagorick mysteries; but adhering to the point
in hand; I reply, that the reasons produced by Aristotle to prove
the dimensions to be no more than three, seem to me conclu
dent, and I believe, That had there been any more evident demon
strations thereof, Aristotle would not have omitted them.
SAGR. Put in at least, if he had known, or remembred any more.
But you Salviatus would do me a great pleasure to alledge unto
me some arguments that may be evident, and clear enough for me
SALV. I will; and they shall be such as are not onely to be ap
prehended by you, but even by Simplicius himself: nor onely
to be comprehended, but are also already known, although hap
ly unobserved; and for the more easie understanding thereof,
we will take this Pen and Ink, which I see already prepared for
such occasions, and describe a few figures. And first we will note
[Fig. 1. at the end of this Dialog.] these two points AB, and draw
from the one to the other the curved lines, ACB, and ADB, and the
right line A B, I demand of you which of them, in your mind, is
that which determines the distance between the terms AB, & why?
A Geometrical de
monstration of the
SAGR. I should say the right line, and not the crooked, as well
because the right is shorter, as because it is one, sole, and deter
minate, whereas the others are infinit, unequal, and longer; and my
determination is grounded upon that, That it is one, and certain.
SALV. We have then the right line to determine the length be
tween the two terms; let us add another right line and parallel to
AB, which let be CD, [Fig. 2.] so that there is put between them a
superficies, of which I desire you to assign me the breadth, therefore
departing from the point A, tell me how, and which way you will
go, to end in the line C D, and so to point me out the breadth com
prehended between those lines; let me know whether you will
terminate it according to the quantity of the curved line A E, or
the right line A F, or any other.
SIMPL. According to the right A F, and not according to the
crooked, that being already excluded from such an use.
SAGR. But I would take neither of them, seeing the right line
A F runs obliquely; But would draw a line, perpendicular to C
D, for this should seem to me the shortest, and the properest of
infinite that are greater, and unequal to one another, which may be