Quotations by Colin Maclaurin


[writing to Stirling in 1740]
... an unlucky accident happened to some of the French mathematicians in Peru. It seems that they were shewing French gallantry to the natives' wives, who have murdered their servants destroyed their instruments and burnt their papers, the Gentlemen escaping narrowly themselves. What an ugly article this will make in a journal.
Quoted in C Tweedie, James Stirling (Oxford 1922)

[We wish to] deduce those Elements [of the theory of Fluxions] after the Manner of the Ancients from a few unexceptional Principles by Demonstrations of the strictest Form.

The supposition of an infinitely little magnitude [is] too bold a Postulate for such a Science as Geometry.
Treatise on Fluxions


JOC/EFR February 2006

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