Infomotions, Inc.The claim of Leibnitz to the invention of the differential calculus. Translated from the German with considerable alterations and new addenda by the author. / Sloman, H

Author: Sloman, H
Title: The claim of Leibnitz to the invention of the differential calculus. Translated from the German with considerable alterations and new addenda by the author.
Publisher: Cambridge [Eng.] Macmillan, 1860.
Tag(s): leibniz, gottfried wilhelm, freiherr von, 1646-1716; differential calculus; leibnitz; newton; oldenburg; calculus; wallis; differential; commercium epistolicum; newton's letter; john bernoulli; series; integral calculus
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
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Identifier: claimofleibnitzt00slomrich
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' . ' The present publication is a revised and enlarged edition of an Essay 
which appeared in German in 1858. (Leipsig and Kiel. Schwers'schc Buchhandlung.) 


VH1NI BD )IY n I l:ll > M 1.1 1 I . 




















From about the year 1650, the vigorous mathematical life, in 
which England had never been deficient, is seen to receive there an 
extraordinary impulse, and attain to such a degree of development, 
that that country became the centre of all the mathematical activity 
of the period, while in France, after the death of Descartes, there 
are no important men to name in mathematics.* 

* Perhaps even Descartes was much indebted to the English Harriot. For 
not only does the upright Wallis, who would never knowingly have uttered an 
untruth, affirm this with zealous warmth in many passages of his Tractatus Algebra 
historicus et practicus, but it was also believed by contemporaries, and at the same 
time countrymen of Descartes's, who are spoken of in Baillet's Vita Cartesii, and 
by Roberval, qui s ' entretenant un jour avec Milord Cavendish, lui temoignant etre 
inquiet, d'ou etait venu a Descartes I'idee, d'egaler tons les termes d'une equation 
a zero, Milord Cavendish lui dit, qiCil ri ignorait cela que parcequ'il etait Frangais, 
et lui offrit de lui montrer le livre auquel Descartes devait cette invention. En effet 
il le mena chez lui, et lui montra Vendroit de Harriot, ou Von voit la inane chose; 
sur quoi Roberval, transports de joie, s'ecria, "il Va vu, il Va vu!" et il le publia 
de toute part. We quote this out of Montuclat. II., p. 144. When Colbert in 1666 
was looking about him for men, out of whom to form an Academie des Sciences, he 
found no geometers or astronomers in France, except the following: viz., Auzout, 
Buot, Carcavi, Couplet, Frenicle, Niquet, Picart, Richer, Roberval and De la Voye — 
none of them, with the exception of Roberval, who died soon after, persons of 
any great eminence. It was on them and their immediate successors that Leibnitz 
and Bernouilli, who were both their colleagues, pronounced the following judgment : 
(See Gerhardt's edition of the Math. Works of Leibnitz, p. 814 : the earlier editions 



Two problems occupied at that time the attention of geometers, 
namely the problem of Tangents and that of Quadratures, in which 
Barrow and "Wallis, in England, had achieved the most advanced 

The two problems had as yet no mutual connexion ; for the object 
contemplated was measure in one of them, and direction in the other. 
It will be readily understood, that Barrow's method of tangents cannot 
be left unnoticed in an enquiry like ours; and so indeed a great 
deal is said respecting him, by the most modern writers in France 
and Germany — as Biot in the "Journal des Savants/' and Gerhardt 
in his various writings — who have aroused in the present day a lively 
interest in the question, was Leibnitz the discoverer of the Differential 
Calculus, and to what extent? 

AYe need not on this point speak at much length. Barrow says,* 
Nulla est magnitude*) qua- non innumeris modi's intelligi producta jiossit, 

of the Correspondence do not contain this passage) Verissimum est, quod de nonniillis 
Academicis notas — ct sane qua a se habent plerumque sunt mediocria, ne dicam ridicula — 
et si quid boni cdunt, dubitare non lied, quin ab aliisfurati sint. 

* Compare p. 15 of his principal work, and the one which made the greatest 
noise at that time, entitled, Lectiones Geometrical in quibus prcesertim generalia 
curvarum symptomata declarantur. Of this work the date is not without importance : 
it was puhlished in 1670, (and not in 1674, as Gerhardt says in his tract of 1848, 
p. 15 — nor yet in 1672, as he supposes in his tract of 1855, p. 45). That Leihnitz 
before his discovery of the Differential Calculus either in 1676 or in 1675 or in 
1674, should not have read this work, (as Gerhardt affirms in the place quoted,) 
is inconceivable. Books were not so abundant in those times. Indeed evidences 
to the contrary are contained in the documents, which Gerhardt himself produces. 
In App. 1, to Gerhardt's tract of 1848, p. 32, Leibnitz says expressly, that he had 
seen from Barrow's Lectiones " cum prodirent" — what they contained. This proves 
that Leibnitz possessed Barrow's book not long after its first appearance, 1670. 

unit gives another document, (Tract of 1855, p. 129,) from which the same 
conclusion may be drawn. This document is, as Gerhardt affirms, dated in Leibnitz' 
hand-writing 1 Nov., 167.3, and therein we have again Leibnitz' own words: Plera- 
que theoremata Geometries indivisibilium, qua apud VavdUerium, J'inccntium, Gre- 
gorium, Barrovium, extant, etc. 



per motus locales, per inter sectiones magnitudinum, per quantitate por- 
tioneque determinatas ab assignatis locis distantias, per ductus magni- 
tudinum in magnitudines, per applicationes magnitudinum ad magnitudines, 
per aggregationem magnitudinum ordine certo dispositarum, per appo- 
sitionem magnitudinum ad alias, vel subductionem ab aliis. Horum 
modus primarius, et quern alii omnes quodammodo supponant oportet 
est iste per motum localem. In spite of this idea, which involves his 
peculiar mode of contemplating the subject, Barrow is entirely devoted 
to the more important method of Cavalleri, who considers every figure 
as composed of parts infinitely minute and numerous, and every curve of 
an infinity of straight lines. So he says, for example, at p. 15 : curva 
aliquis, vel e rectis (angulos efficientibus) composita, quae curvae quoque 
nomen merito ferat; Archimedes enim e rectis compositas lineas [uti 
figurarum circuit's inscriptarum perimetros) KafMirvXwv <ypafjt/j,tov nomine 
complectitur, ut et vicissim curvae quaevis lineae censeri possunt e rectis 
innumeris quidem illis indefinite par vis adjacentibus et deinceps secum 
angxdos efficientibus, confectae. So likewise, in Lectio II. §. 21 : curva 
quaedam superficies, circularibus quasi peripheriis constans, [Atomistarum 
enim plirasin facilitatis, perspicuitatis, brevitatis, addere licet et veri- 
siinilitudinis, causa non illibenter usurpo). And modus — dimensiones 
investigandi juxta methodum indivisibilium, omnium expeditissimam, et 
modo rite adhibeatur Jiaud minus certain et infallibilem.*) 

We owe it to Gerhardt that attention has been again directed to 
this side of the Idea of Barrow. 

Now in the 4th Lectio, p. 40, 
Barrow proves a very important pro- 
position for the application and draw- 
ing of tangents to figures according 
to this method. He says: in figura" 
26 tangant rcctae TM, XN, dico curvae 
arcum MN recta NH majorem esse; 

* Compare also p. 21 ad Jin. ; we quote the edition of 1670. 



recta vero ME minorem. For draw the chord MN, and draw NR 
parallel to XT, then NHM shall be an obtuse angle, and therefore 
the chord MN and a fortiori its arc shall be greater than EN. On 
the other hand, because RNE is a right angle, HE shall be greater 
than RN, and therefore ME > MR + RN '; but according to Archimedes, 
Archirnedceis assumptis) MR + RN (the polygon circumscribed about 
a curve,) is already greater than the curve that is inscribed in it ; 
therefore the arc MN will be less than ME. Perutilis, says Barrow, 
est hcec propositio in tangentium demonstrationibus expediendis. Etenim 
hi nc consectatur, si arcus MN indefinite parvus ponatur, ejusce loco 
alterutram tangentis particulam ME vel NH tuto substitui. 

Lectio X. begins with these words : Institutum circa tangentes negotium 
< id hue urgco, and when the theorems which it remained necessary to 
supply on the subject of tangents, have been exhibited in proper geometric 
form, we read on page 80 :* Ita propositi nostri (ptriore, guam innuebamus 
parte) quodammodo defuncti sumus. Cui supplendae, appendiculae instar, 
svbnectemus a nobis usitatam metkodum ex Calculo tangentes reperiendi. 
Quamquam haud scio, post tot eiusmodi pervulgatas atque protritas 
mi tkodoSj an id ex usu sit facere. Facto saltern ex Amici\ consilio ; 
eoque lubentius, quod prae ceteris, quas tractavi, compendiosa videtur, ac 
generalis. In hum procedo modum. 

Sint AP, PM positione datae lineae et MT curvam tangere ponatur, 
recta* PT quantitatem exquiram; curvae arcum MN indefinite parvum 
statuo; nomine MP=y ; PT—t; MR = a; NR = e; ipsas MR, NR 
(et mediantibus illis ipsas MP, PT) per aequationem e Calculo depre- 
hensam inter se comparo ; regidas interim has observans 1, inter com- 
putandum omncs abjicio terminos, in quibus ipsarum a, vel e potestas 

' AVe quote verbatim, except that we call the abscissa and its ordinata x and y, 
and not with Barrow/ and m. 

t Weissenborn in Ids " Beitrag zur Geschichte der Mathematik oder Principien 
der hoheren Analysis," Halle 1856, takes for granted that Newton is the friend 
here intimated. 


habetur vel in quibus ipsae ducuntur in se (etenim isti termini nihil 

2. Post aequationem constitutam omnes abjicio terminos, Uteris con- 
stantes quantitates notas, seu determinatas designantibus ; aut in quibus 
non kabentur a, vel e (etenim illi termini semper ad unam aequationis 
partem adducti, nihilum aequabunt). 

3. Pro a ipsam y (vel IIP) pro e ipsam t (vel PT) substituo. Hinc 
demum ipsius PT quantitas dignoscetur. 

Quod si calculum ingrediatur curvae cujuspiam indefinita particula ; 
substituatur ejus loco tangentis particula rite sumta ; vel ei quaevis (ob 
indefinitam curvae parvitatem) aequipollens recta. 

Haec autem e subnexis Exemplis clarius elucescent. 

Exempt. Sit recta EA positione ac magnitudine data et curva EMO 
proprietate talis, ut ab ea utcunque ductd recta 
MP ad earn perpendiculari summa cuborum ex 
AP et MP aequetur Cubo rectae AE ; x 3 +y 3 =r 3 . 
(Fiant quae praescripta sunt) Nominatis AE—r; 
AP=x; (and as before MP = y; PT = t ; 
MR = a, NE = e); unde 

AQ = x-\-e,etAQcub = x 3 + Sx'e + 3xe 2 + e 8 
(seu rejectis uti monitum est rejiciendis)=x 3 +3x'*e. 

Item NQ cub = cub (y—a)=y 3 — 3y*a 4 By a 3 — a 3 
(hoc est) = y 3 — By z a. 

Quapropter est x 3 + Bx 2 e ■+ y 3 — By 2 a = (AQ 

cub -\-NQ cub = AE cub =) r 3 abjectisque datis est 

x l e — y l a = seu x 2 e = y* a subrogatisque loco a 

. . . , o y 3 

et e tpsts y et t erit xt = y ; seu t = *% . 

That is, the equation of the curve y 3 + x 3 = r 3 gives by this mode 

of calculation — which at first assumes infinitely small increments MP 

and NR, a and e } which afterwards again vanish — the expression 

for the sub-tangent t — ^ . 


This process Barrow illustrates by four further examples, and at 
page 84 he passes on with the words, Hcec sufficere videntur liuic methodo 
fflustirandce, to other geometrical investigations, that is to Lectio XI., 
which begins with the words; Reliquis utcunque paratis, apponemus 
jam quce ad magnitudinem e tangentibus seu e perpendicidaribus ad curvas 
dimensiones eUciendas pertinentia se objecerunt tkeoremata. Then follows 
Barrow's geometrical method of Quadratures, of which we shall not 
speak at present. 

We repeat therefore that Barrow's Method of Tangents of 1670, 
which Leibnitz had read, consisted in applying to the problem of Tan- 
gents the idea of neglecting the higher powers of infinitely small 

When Sluse, some time after Barrow, proposed a more convenient 
rule for the expression of tangents, Newton wrote, that he also had 
a rule for tangents, which was peculiarly suitable for quadratures; this 
rule Newton gives in his well-known letter of the 10th Dec, 1672, 
about which there has been so much controversy, some affirming that 
Leibnitz was acquainted with it, and others that he was not. Ex ammo 
gaudeo (writes Newton to Collins, 10th Dec. 1672) D. Barrovii amici 
nostri Rev. Lectiones matkematicas exteris adeo placuisse, neque parum me 
juvat intelligere eos in eandem mecum incidisse ducendi Tangentes Metho- 
(Jiuii. Qualem earn esse conjiciam ex hoc exemplo percipies. Pone CB 
applicatam ad AB, in quovis angulo dato, termi- 
nari ad quamvis curvam AC, et dicatur AB — x et 
BC=y, habitudoque inter x et y cxprimatur qualibet 
aequatione, puta x 3 —2xxy + bxx — bbx + byy - y 3 = 0, 
qua ipsa determinatur Curva. Regula ducendi 
Tangentem liaec est; multiplica aequationis ter- 
minos per quamlibet progrcssionem arithmeticam juxta dimensiones y, 
puta x 3 — 2xxy + bxx — bbx + byy — y s ; ut et juxta dimensiones x, puta 

1 2 3 

x 3 — 2xxy + bxx — bbx + buy — y 3 . Priiis productum erit Numerator, et 

3 2 2 10 

posterius division per x Denominator Fractionis, quae exp-imet longitu- 


dinem BD, ad cujus extremitatem D ducenda est Tangens CD: est ergo 

lonqitudo BB— ~ XX y ^r ~r . 

J Sxx — kxy + 2ox — bo 

Hoc est unum particulare, vel corollarium potius Methodi generalis, 
quae extendit se, citra molestum ullum calculum, non modo ad ducendum 
Tangentes ad quasvis Curvas, sive Geometricas, sive Mechanicas, vel 
quomodocunque rectas lineas aliasve Curvas respicientes ; veru?n etiam 
ad resolvendum alia abstrusiora Problematum genera de Curvitatibus, 
Areis, Longitudinibus, Centris Gravitatis Curvarum, etc. Neque [quem- 
admodum Suddenii metliodus de Maximis et Minimis) ad solas restrin- 
gitur aequationes illas, quae quantitations stirdis sunt immunes. 

Hanc methodum intertexui alteri isti, qua Aequationum Exegesin 
instituOj reducendo eas ad Series injinitas. Memini me ex occasione 
aliquando narrasse D. Barrovio, edendis Lectionibus suis occupato, in- 
structum me esse huiusmodi methodo Tangentes ducendi: Sed nescio quo 
diverticula ah ea ipsi describenda fuerim avocatus. 

Slusii Methodum Tangentes ducendi brevi publice prodituram con- 
fido : quamprimum advenerit exemplar ejus, ad me transmittere ne grave 

On reading this letter in the present century, we are impelled to 
ask for the demonstration, but in the year 1672 every one knew 
from the mention of the Huddenian Method de Maximis et Minimis, 
(which was based upon and proved by an infinitely small increment 
to the abscissa), and furthermore from the frequent mention of Barrow, 
that the foundation and proof of this Newtonian Method of Tangents 
lay also in that infinitely small increment. 

We see that Newton's letter commends this method as a universal 
one, while Barrow's rule, it is said, did not yet embrace all cases as 
bearing on one another ; at the same time the letter says, that Newton's 
rule is a corollary to his method of Quadratures. 

We shall hereafter return to this letter, but will previously obtain 
a clear insight into the method employed at that period for Quad- 



With the invention of the Differential Calculus Wallis has a more 
direct connexion than even Barrow, and it is not bj mere accident that 
his two contemporaneously published Tractata de conicis sectionibus and 
Aritlimetica infinitorum exhibit the first steps in that direction, for he 
makes express reference to what still remained to be done, and has 
since actually been done by the Differential Calculus.* His labours 
occupy the very same period, in which the discovery took place. We 
take the course of his progress from the preface to the Aritlimetica 
infinitorum and to the treatise de sectionibus conicis, (published at the 
same time, and to which he refers in the aritlimetica infinitorum). Opus 
hoc, he says, plane novum. Exeunte anno 1650 incidi in ToriceUi scripita, 

* His principal work aritlimetica infinitorum is a well-known one; it appeared 
in the year 1G55, and its title in full was, ar. inf. sive nova mcthodus inquirendi in 
curvilineorum quadraturam. Barrow had handled the subject of quadratures and 
tangents in the main geometrically, and had made a mere adjunct of his analytical 
method of calculating, because he had a less warm attachment to arithmetic and 
algebra. Appendicula inslar, (compare p. 4), says he, when he has already handled 
the theory of tangents in a geometrical form, subnectemus a nobis nsitatam methodnni 
ex calculo tancjentes reperiendi, and immediately he goes back again to the forms of 
geometry, in order to investigate the Dimensiones curvarum ex tangentibus sen e 
perpendicularibtu ad curvas. "Wallis on the contrary had a greater partiality and 
respect for calculations, for arithmetic, and in consequence came nearer to the 
Differential Calculus than Barrow. 


ubi Cavalleri Oeotnetriam Indivisibilium exponit. Ipsius meihodus, 
Wallis continues, mihi quidem eo gratior erat, quod nescio quid eius- 
modi ex quo prirnum fere Mathesin salutaverim, ammo observabatur. 

Ubi huiusmodi jam obtinuisse methodum persenseram cogitare apud 
me coepi, num non hinc aliquid de circuit Quadratura, quam summos 
semper viros exercuisse notum est, luminis accedat. Quod spem facere 
videbatur, hoc erat. Infinitorum Coni circulorum, ad totidem Cylindri, 
ratio jam erat cognita, nempe ut 1 ad 3. 

Manifestum etiam erat rectas trianguli esse Arithmetics proportio- 
nales, sive ut I, 2, 3 etc. ergo circulos coni (in diametrorum ratione du- 
plicata) ut I, 4, 9 etc. 

Hoc autem si universali aliqud methodo invenire possem, de Circuit 
Quadraturd satis prospectum esset. Beducto ita problemate Geometrico 
ad pure Arithmeticum. 

Aggressus igitur sum primo (ut a simplicioribus inchoarem) series 
simplices. Adeoque hinc statim Geometriam auctam persensi ; cum enim 
antea ex figuris curvilineis sola fere Parabola quadraturam nacta erat, 
jam Paraboloeidium omnium infinita genera una quidem et generali me- 
thodo unica propositio quadranda doceat. 

Transii deinde ad series auctas (quas voco) et diminutas sive mu- 
tilatas ; quae ex duarum pluriumve serierum vel aggregatis aut diffe- 
rentiis constant. Atque hie etiam successum minime contemnendum reperi. 
Nempe eas omnes ad series aequalium redigere non erat difficile, adeoque 
Conoeidea et Spheroeidea, vel etiam Pyramidoeidea, non modo recta sed 
inclinata, ad Cylindros et Prismata redigere rem nullius esse negotii 

De seriebus autem istis sive auctis sive diminutis non ipsis solum, 
sed et quae in earum ratione duplicatd, triplicatd, aut idterius multipli- 
cata procedunt, eandem inquisitionem eodem successu continuavi, uti ex 
it's quae deinceps sequuntur propositionibus videndum est. Ubi simul nu- 
merorum figuratorum, puta triangidarium, pyramidalium etc., (quorum 
nullus vel exiguus hactenus fuerat tisus et fere ludicrus), usus insignes 
ex insperato deteguntur. 




Verum ubi de seriebus aliis quae sint in istarum auctarum vel di- 
minutarum ratione subduplicatd, et subtriplicatd etc., agendum erat, quod 
Circuli, Ellipseos, et Hyperbolae quadrat tiro m directe quidem et immediate 
spectabat, et quae sola jam superfuit difficultas: videbam illic aquam 
ha rere. He lias therefore, he intimates, proposed a problem on that 
subject to geometricians. 

It was this problem that afterwards gave a more direct occasion to 
the discovery of the Differential Calculus. 

In the treatise itself Wallis says: Siqtpono in limine (juxta Bona- 
venturae Oavallerii Geometriam Indivisibilium) Planum quodlibet quasi 
ex infinitis iineis parallelis constare: Vel potius (quod ego mallem) ex 
infinitis Paralhlogrammis aeque altis ; quorum singulorum altitudo sit 

tot ins altitudinis -- sive aliquota pars infinite parva, adeoque omnium 

simul altitudo aequalis altitudine figurae. Propositio II. Si triangidum 
rectis basi parallelis secetur, erunt ab- 
scissa triangula secto triangulo similia, 
et propterca latera kabebunt propor- 
tionalia (ut notum est). Adeoque — 
rectae cca, /3/3, 77 etc. — propter aequales 
excessus Fa, a/3, fiy etc. erunt arith- 
metice proportionales hoc est ut 1, 2, 3 
etc. — Ideoque si rectae iliac supponan- 
tur numero infinitae, rrit — totum Tri- 
angulum aggregation rectarum numero 
injinitaruin, quarum minima est punc- 
tual, maxima est BS, Basis Trianguli. 

Prop. III. De area Trianguli. Itaque cum Triangulum constet ex 
infinitis sin- Iineis^ sire Parcdlelogrammis, aritJimetice proportionalibuSj 
a puncto inchoatis et ad basin continuatis : Brit Area Trianguli aequalis 
Basi in Altitudinis semissem ductae. 

Est enim notissima apud Aritlnucticos regula: Summeum* Arithme- 
* Here we have the idea of summation. 


ticae progressions, sive omnium quotcunque terminorum aggregatum, 
aequari aggregate) extremorum in semissem numeri terminorum ducto. 
Nam si terminus minimus supponatur (prout hie supponitur) idem erit 
extremorum aggregatum atque ipse terminus maximus. Altitudinem vero 
figurae pro numero terminorum substituo, quoniam cum numerus termi- 
norum supponatur oo erit omnium longitudinum aggregatum — Basis 

[quia Basis jam est extremorum aggregatum). Cum autem cujuslibet 
(lineae vel parallelogrammi inscrip>ti vel adscripti) crassities sive Alti- 

tudo supponatur - - Altitudinis figurae, in illam summa longitudinum 

( — Basis ) ducenda est : adeoque — Alt. in — Bas. erit area. Est 
\ 2 / M co 2 

autem — A x — B= \AB. Adeo ut A [figurae altitude-) non solum 

longitudinum numerum, sed eundem in communem omnium altitudinem 
ductum exhiheat, quae quidem communis altitudo tanto minor supponenda 
est, quanto termini seu longitudines sunt plures. 

The demonstration in Wallis is therefore as we see of the following 

(1) In the progression of the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., the 

sum is - — ] because, as we should now say, in all arithmetical 

series two terms at an equal distance from the beginning and the 

end respectively will always, when added together, produce an equal 

sum ; inasmuch as such a series can be annexed to itself in an inverted 

order, as 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 

6, 6, 6, 6, 6 

(1 + 5) 5 
whence, it is evident, that the sum of the series must be - — — ^— , or 

in general terms - — — — . 




(2) In the triangle, if it be conceived as consisting of lines or 
small parallelograms, which we can 
suppose to be inscribed in or circum- 
scribed about the triangle, these series 
of parallelograms, when compared 
with one another according to their 
relative magnitude, must form an 
arithmetical progression, of which the 
first term will be (?, and the last term 
the base of the triangle. But the 
height of the triangle is the number 
of terms multiplied by the small alti- 
tude (or breadth), which is given to the lines or small parallelograms. 

(3) The triangle being the sum of all these small parallelograms, 
we require only the arithmetical summation of the numerical progression 
from zero up to that term, which measures the fundamental line (or 

Base), and we are enabled to satisfy the formula s = , even when 

the number of terms is infinite, and when we have therefore to all 
appearance, neither t nor n given, (neither the last term nor the number 
of terms) — because for this purpose we pass from the domain of arith- 
metic into that of geometry, and we find that (a = zero) and /, the 
longest of the parallel lines, or the longest of the many small parallelo- 
grams = the Base ; and that thus, since a = zero, a + 1, the first and 
last term together = Base ; which base we now therefore measure — 
and because the altitude of the triangle is equal to the thickness, which 
we assign to each line or parallelogram, multiplied into the supposed 
number of the said lines, therefore however thin and how many soever 

they may be, the altitude of the triangle is always = — altitude x m ; 

that is to say, the seemingly indefinite number of the parallelograms, (the 

altitude whereof is — of the altitude of the triangle) is the altitude of the 


triangle, which therefore takes the place of the factor n. The formula 

of summation s = — — - n is therefore satisfied, when the base is formally 

substituted for the t and the altitude for the n. Geometry and Arith- 
metic are thus reconciled with one another. Arithmetic says that the 

sum of every arithmetical progression = — — n ; and Geometry shows 

that this progression occurs in all triangles, when considered as com- 
posed of lines; besides which Geometry tells me, that the number of 
these terms (of which arithmetically I only know that it is infinite) 
comes to the same as the altitude or some other measurable part of the 
figure that lies before me, because each of the infinitesimal terms is 
an infinitesimal part of the altitude. It is equally manifest that the 
last term of this infinite series is the base of the figure, and the first 
term zero. 

We now give briefly the leading propositions of the application, 
which Wallis proceeds to make of this idea; we must remark however 

that he has another demonstration of the rule s = — — — n which he 

expresses as follows: 

Si sumatur series quantitation Arithmetice proportionalium, continue 
crescentium, a puncto vel inclwatarum et numero quidem vel finitarum 
vel infinitarum {nulla enim. discriminis causa est) erit ilia ad seriem 
totidem maximae aequalium ut 1 ad 2. 

Simplicissimus investigandi modus in hoc et sequentibus aliquot Pro- 
blematis est rem ipsam aliquousque praestare et rationes p>rodeuntes ob- 
servare^ ut inductione tandem universalis propiositio innotescat. 

Est igitur exempjli gratia: 
+ 1 


= t = i 

1 + 1 

0+1 + 2 

2 + 2 + 2 




Et pari modo, quantumlibet progrediamur, prodxbit semper ratio sub- 
dwpla [\ ad 2). 

It is therefore to the inductive method that Wallis gives the pre- 
ference ; and inasmuch as the first term is zero, the expression n 

reduces itself to — ; that is, the sum of the series hears to that of a 


like number of terms, each of which is as great as the greatest term 
of the scries, [or to nt^\ the proportion of 1 to 2, [erit series ad seriem 
totidem maximal cequalium, ut 1 ad 2. 

In like manner Wallis proves the further arithmetical propositions, 
for instance: 

Prop. XIX. Si proponatur series Quant itatum in duplicata ratione 
Arithmetics proportwnalium continue crescentium a puncto vel inclioa- 
tarum {puta ut 0, 1, 4, 9 etc.) propositum sit inquirere, quam liabeat 
ilia rationem ad seriem totidem maximae aequalium? 

Fiat investigatio per modum inductionis [ut in prop. 1) eritque 

0+1 = 1 =s=m 

1 + 1 = 2 ° . a ' * 

0+1+4= 5 t 

4 + 4 + 4=12 * + T * 

0+1+4 + 9 = 14 t 

9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 36 ~3 +T * 

0+ 1+ 4+ 9 + 16=30 

+ A 

16 + 16 + 16 + 16+16 = 80 s" 1 "**' 
Et sic deinceps. Ratio proveniens est ubique major quam subtripla seu ^. 
Excessus autcm perpetuo decrescit prout numerus terminorum augetur. 

Adeoque (Proqws. XXL) si proponatur series infinita, erit ilia ad 
seriem totidem maximae aequalium ut 1 ad 3. 

Wallis had in the meantime remarked, in general terms, how great 
must be the continually decreasing excess, viz., erit (2)osito multitudine 

terminorum m. ct ultimi latere 1) — .Z 2 + — - - — -.I 2 : the last part of which 

3 6m — 6 ' 


expression Z 2 is the excessus, qui perpetub decrescit, prout numerus 

ter minor um augctur. 

Thus Wallis had obtained the two important propositions — first, that 
the arithmetical progression, taken with a finite or infinite number of 
terms, bears to the sum of as many terms, all of the magnitude of the 
last term, the proportion of 1 to 2. 

Secondly, that the infinite number of terms, if the series be com- 
posed of the second powers of an arithmetical progression, bears to 
the corresponding multiple of the last term the proportion of 1 to 3, 
which is here not exactly the case for a finite number of terms, but 
with an excess that is continually decreasing. 

From these Wallis draws a number of corollaries, all which we 
here pass over; then he proves Prop. XXXIX., XL. and XLL, that 
if the series be conceived in triplicatd ratione aritlimetice proportionalium 
continue crescentium, as for instance 0, 1, 8, 27, 64, etc., their sum 
will be somewhat greater than \ that of as many numbers, each 
of which is assumed to be as great as the last term, but exactly \ 
thereof if they are taken in an infinite number. 

Propositions XL1I. and XLIII. next prove, that if a series is com- 
posed of fourth powers, their sum comes out in a similar manner = ^, 
and in the fifth power = |, etc., all which Wallis comprehends in the 
proposition : erit totius seriei ratio ad seriem totidem maximae aequalium y 
ut in hac tabella 

Primanorum \ id est 1 ad 2 
Secundanorum ^ . . 1 ad 3 
Tertiaiiorum \ . . I«i4 
Quartanorum -| . . 1 ad 5. 

Et sic deinceps. Wallis therefore calls the simple arithmetical pro- 
gressions primana, the second powers secundana, and so on. 

From the above follow then, in considering the law for these sums 
of series, the sums of the series of square roots, cube roots, etc., and 
thereafter Theorema LIV: Si intelligitur series infinita quantitation a 



puncto inchoatarum et continue crescentium pro ratione radicum quad- 
raticarum, cubicarum : biquadraticarum etc. numerorum Arithmetice pro- 
portionalium (quam appello seriem Subsecundanorum, Subtertianorum, 
Subquartanorum etc.) erit totius ratio ad seriem totidem maximae aequalium 
ea quae sequitur in hac tabella, nempe: 

Subsecundanorum § id est ut 1 ad 1^ 

Subtertianorum f .... 1 ad lj 

Subquartanorum £ .... \ ad 1\ 

Subquintanorum £ .... \ ad \\. 
Et sic deinceps. 

Without entering here also into the applications, which Wallis 
everywhere appends as corollaries to his theo- a t t t t 

rems, we will here annex the one directly d /-^\0; 

following Corollary. Prop. LV. Wallis says, 
Ergo planum semijKirabolae est vel etiam Para- 
bolae ad Parallelogrammum circumscriptum ut 
2 ad 3. Est enim Planum Scnuparabolae (aid d t— 
etiam Parabolae) series infinita subsecunda- 
norum {per 8 prop. Con. Sect.) ; ParaUeio- 
grammum autem series totidem maximo aequa- 
lium. Ergo illud ad hoc ut 1 ad 1^ vel ut 2 d~ 
ad 3. 

The eighth proposition of the tract De canicis seciionibus, to which 
Wallis here refers us, as he does throughout as treatise, exhibited 
in a purely geometrical form the property of the parabola, that in 
it the Quad rata applicatarwm sunt interceptis Diametris proportionality 
and that therefore the abscissae AD are to one another as the squares 
of the applicatcs [ordinatcs] (DO)*; so that consequently if the applicates 
stand at an equal distance from one another, their squares, when imagined 
in a series, form an arithmetical progression, or the applicates them- 
selves a progression of the roots of such a scries. Therefore Wallis 
just says here briefly, that an infinite series subsecundanorum V#, 
(for instance the series Vo, VI, V2, V3, VI, V5 continued ad infinitum) 


bears to the rectangle (namely, to the infinite series of lines of 
equal magnitude, all as great as the last line of the parabola,) the 
proportion of 2 to 3. 

After the several series of squares, cubes, &c, and also the series 
of square-roots, cube-roots and so on, have been summed, (and when 
thus the quadrature has been effected of all figures whose equations 
are y = ax or g = a"x 1 ) the 58th proposition remarks concisely, that 
from the above follows the rule for the series composed of powers 
and roots; for since, e.g. series subtertianorum (puta Vo, Vl, V2, \/3, Vl, 
etc.) rationem habeant (ad seriem totidem maxima? cequalium) earn quce 
est 3 ad 4, eorum quadrata [quce eadem sunt et radices cubical seriei 
secundanorum, puta Vo, Vl } Vl, V9, Vl6, etc.) rationem habebunt ad totidem 
maximal ozqualia, earn quoz est 3 ad 5. Quia nempe § , f , § sunt arith- 
metice proportionalia. It is now obvious, that all curves, or other 

regular geometric functions, whose equations are y = ax n , are squared 
by this rule ; and this is all comprehended* in Prop. LXIV., to which 
Wallis refers us in his preface, in order to call attention to its im- 

It will be remembered that in the Preface (after reference made 
to this most general proposition) we are told, Deinde transii ad series 
auctas [quas voco,) et mutilatas sive deminutas, quae ex duarum pluriumve 
serierum aggrcgatis constant. 

Of this we will give one example, which will make it readily in- 

Sit verbi gratia (in Prop. CVIII.) terminus aequalium (et prima- 

norum maximus) It ; ejusque pars infinite parva dicatur a = — ; numerus 

* Wallis treats also of the cases with negative exponents, in which occur 

the several series - , -, -, -, etc., — — , -— , — — , -— , etc., and consequently 

12^4 Vl V2 V3 V4 

the fractional equation y = — . 



terminorum omnium [vel jigurae altitudo) A. 


R + Oa 




R + 2a 







si termini continuentur .... 


R + R 

erit (Residuorum) summa.. 


et (Aggregatorum) summa 

\AR + \AR. 

Nempe si termini 

This is repeated in a still more general fonn in Prop. CXI. ? 

E' + Oa* R 3 + 0a 3 

E* + ld> R 3 +la 3 

R 2 + 2a* R 3 + 2a 3 

R 2 + Sa 2 R 3 + 3a 3 

etc. etc. 

etc. etc. 

continuentur usque ad R? + R* R? + R 3 

If + Oa* 
i^ + la 4 
R 4 + 2a i 
R' + Sa* 


R i + R* 


Hoc est residuorum summa 
et Aggregatorum summa 

AR' + ^AR 2 AR 3 + \AR 3 AR i + iAR^ 

It is evident that Wallis had discovered Integration in the easier 
cases. The geometrical idea of Cavalleri and Gregoire de St. Vincent, 
of conceiving a surface as composed of lines, was by Wallis converted 
into an arithmetical one, and the process of summation was thus brought 
into the foreground. Even now a learner, who never readily compre- 
hends what integration as a method of effecting the quadrature of geo- 
metrical surfaces really is, cannot have a more distinct idea of it given 
him than by the plan and teaching of Wallis, who, beginning from 


the simplest case in the triangle, shows that the infinite number of 
small parallelograms, (or if you will, of lines) added together give the 
height of the triangle, and that consequently the formula of summation 

s = - — —-^— , in the case in which the number of terms is infinite, is 

applicable to geometry, and that so are likewise other arithmetical 
formulas of summation in other figures. 




We have seen that Barrow appended an arithmetical method of 
tangents to his geometrical works, and that for geometrical quadratures 
Wallis taught in general the arithmetical process of summation. When 
Mercator had discovered the quadrature of the hyperbola, of which 
Wallis had said hie hceret aqua, and when this created great sensation, 
Barrow wrote back j* A friend of mine brought me the other day some 
papers, wherein he hath set down methods of calculating the Dimensions 
of Magnitudes like that of Mr. Mercator for the Hyperbola, but very 
general ; and a couple of days later, / am glad my Friend' ] s Paper gives 
you so much satisfaction ; his name is Newton, a Fellow of our College, 
and very young, but of an extraordinary Genius and Proficiency in 
these things. 

These papers were headed, De analysi per cequationes numero termi- 
norum infinitas, and begin with the words Methodum generalem, quam 

* Amicus quidam, according to the Latin version in the Commereium Ejristolicum, 
nudius fortius chartas quasdam mihi tradidit, in quibus magnitudinum dimensiones 
supputundi Methodos Mercatoris methodo pro Hyperbola similes, maxime vero gene- 
rales descripsit est Mi nomen Netotonits, juvenis, et qui cximio quo est aenmine 

magnos in hue re progressus fecit. This is the passage that Weissenborn did not 
cite, but Ave suppose had in view when he assumed (what in the meantime is however 
doubtful) that Newton was also that amicus who (just at this time, for Barrow's work 
was published 1670) pressed Barrow, as Barrow said, to append to his geometrical 
work the arithmetical process for calculating tangents (see above, page 4). 



de Curvarum quantitate per infinitam terminorumi Seriem mensuranda 
olim excogitaveram^ in sequentibus breviter expUcatam potius quhm accurate 
demonstratam habes. 

The contents of this compendium are, in 
the brief words of Newton, (leaving out all 
the calculations and applications) as follows: 
Basi AB (Curvae aliouius AD) sit applicata 
BD perpendicularis : Et vocetur AB—x^ BD=y 
et sint a, &, c etc. Quantitates datae et m, n } 
Numeri integri. Deinde 



Regula I. Si ax n —y; erit 



7n + n 

(1) fit x* = \x l = y; erit ±x 3 = ABB. 
(4) Si -2 = x~ 2 = y; 

erit = — - x ' = — of 1 = — = aBD. 
— 1 x 

infinite versus a protensae ; quani calculus 
ponit negativam, propterea quod jacet ex 
altera parte lineae BD. 

= Area ABB. 


ReGULA II. St valor ipsius y ex pluribus istiusmodi Terminis 
componitur, Area etiam componetur ex Areis quae a singulis Terminis 

exempla : 

Si x 2 + x* = y; erit |cc 8 + fa 1 = ABB. Et si 3x - 2x 2 + x 3 -5x* = y ; 
Erit §x* - f x 3 + \x* - x h = ABD. 




I,'m;i i. a III. ,SV valor ipeius y ril aliquis <jns Terminus sit prae- 

oedentibus magis compoeitus. in Ternwnoe Simpliciores reducendus est* 

operondo in Uteris ad ev/ndem Modv/rn. quo Arithmetici in nunteris Decir 

malibus dividunt^ Radioes extrahunt, vel affectas aequationes eolvuntj 

1 1 i.i- ml is 'I'ii' hi in IS i/iunsi/mu Ciicrar sii/n rfu ii Wl, /nr />r<u mh nli s Hi - 

aulas deinceps < Itou 


h I 

kxkmi'I.a DIVIDENDO. 

// ; ('iirni niuijii r.ristrnlr 1 1 i/pi rhola I )irisionrm in- 

a* a'x aV <>:.■' 

stitnu it sir rirr liujiis ij proilil // ' | ' - <— etc. 

si nr istn injinilr emit inn/tin J Ailroi/ur (j>rr linjiilam Scat in/mil) Area 

. , /1/l/r . ,r.r aV aV aV 

quaCMta AltlK. ertt . ... I ... - ,, etc. in/iiiifar ilium si in i. 

1 1 2// 80 Ah • ' 

CUIUS fin/nil jiiiiui initiates sunt in nsiim i/iu inn's satis r.racti, si nioila 

./• sit aliguoties minor guam h eto. (nix pages) • 

Et liai r ili arris currant in in r< ::! ii/a/ulis dicta snf/!riant. 

ImO i'iiiii I'rulilrinata omnia ilr ctirrartim Lom/itiulinc i/c i/ttantita/r 

it tuperfiote Solidorum^ deque Oentro Oravitatis. possunt eo tandem re~ 

duOt "t iiiiai ratnr i/iiau/i/as Snji, rjiciri ji/amu lima cttrra terminator, mm 

opus i si quicquam de lis adjumgere. 

In istts utitrm (/tin n/o o/u rar moila ilicttnt hrrrissintc. 


8it ABD citrra i/inuris, cl Al/h'l! nrtaui/n/iim cni'is lattts All rrl 
IU\ est nnitas. Et ci'ijita net, im DBS. nnifar- u 

miter ah All motam ) arras A tin rt AK </,•- 

scriherc ; it i/tuul />7\'(1) sit munirii/nm i/iio 

A K {.r) ,t />'/>(_//) momentum quo ABD gra- 

tlattm aiu/,tur; rt ijiioil r.r monii nta />'/> jnr- 
prlim '/<//<>, possis, jn r />ru, ,/icl, is rc/n/as, arcam 

AlU> ipso desoriptcm investigate^ rive <-nm arm 

Ah {.r) momenta I ilcscrijita confrere. 



Jam qua ratione Superficies A 111) ex momento suo perpetim dato. per 
praecedentes regulas elicitur. eadem quael/ibet aha quantitas ex momento buo 
sic (Into eUcietur. TSxemplo reejiet clarior. 


Hit A1)1jK circuluH en jus cvrcus A I) longitudo est wdoganda. Ducto 
tanijcMc l)lll\ ct com/plcjo indefinite 
pa/rvo recta/ngulo IM1I>K ) et posito 
AE = 1 = 2 AC. Writ ut BK §ive 
(Ull^ momentum Basis AB(x). ad III) 
momentum Arcus A I):: HT: 1)1':: HI) 

2 Vx — XX 

est momentum, Arcus A J). Quod rcductwm fit 


'/' A R II 

{1)11). Adeoque 


2 V./; - XX 


{Jx-xx) :DO(i)i: 1 {BK) : 

2 V:/: - 2x/X 

'2x — 2xx 

\x '■ + \x + fox* I l,x + sU x ' + ,,' ! iV' ; \ <■'<>- 

Qua/re per regulam secundantj longitudo Arcus A I) est 

■'■' I I.-- I fa> I- rw +Tffe fl r + 2^,-'- V etc. 
sive x i in 1 + \x + fi/x* -f , \ 2 x" + , ; / \ ^ + 7 | ^.r', etc, 

Non secuB ponendo OB esse x. et radium OA esse- I, vnvenies Aroum 
LD esse x + \x* + -fox* I , \ ■,■>■' 1 etc. 

Hc,(i notandum est, quod wnitas ista quae pro momenta ponitur. est 
Superficies cum de SoUdds^ et li/nea cum de superficiebus^ et punctum cum 
fir lineis (ut in hoc exemplo) agitu/r. 

Nee vereor loqwi de imitate in punctis. sine Iwieis infinite parvis. si 
quidem proportiones ibi jam contemplantur Oeometrae^ dum utwntur me~ 
t/i odis IndwisthiUum. 

Ex Ids fiat conjectwra de superficiebus et quantitations soUdorum^ an 
de Centris Gravitatum. 

LTnder the headings — re, pruilietorn m eon eersum. 



Inventio Bast's ex Area, data, 
together with 

Inventio Basis ex Longitudine Curva, 

Newton proceeds to give that which is announced under these titles, 
and closes the compendium with the demonstration of the two leading 
propositions. Bespicienti, says he, duo pros reliquis demonstranda oc- 


Sit itaque curvae alicujus ABB Basis AB ' = x, perpendicular iter ap- 
plicata BB = y, et area ABB = z, ut prius. Bern sit 
B(3 = o 1 BK=v, et rectangulum Bj3HK(ov) aequale 
spatio B/3SB. 

Est ergo A (3 = x+o, et A8/3 = z + ov. His prae- 
missisj ex relatione inter x et z ad arbitrium assumpta 
quaero y isto, quern sequentem vides, modo. 

Bro lubitu sumatur §#* = z, sive %x* = zz. Turn x + o (A/3) pro x, 

et z-\-ov(A8/3) pro z suhstitutis, prodibit $ in x' 3 + 3x 2 o + 3xo 2 + o 3 = (ex 

natura Curvae) z 2 + 2zov + d 2 v 2 . Et siddatis (±x 3 et zz) aequalibus, reli- 

quisque per o divisis, restat $ in 3a?' 2 + Sxo + 6 l = 2zv + ov 1 . Si jam sup- 

ponamus B/3 in infinitum diminui et evanescere, sive o esse nihil, erunt 

v et y aequalesj et termini per o multiplicati evanescent, quare restabit 

- ( x\ 

$ x Sxx = 2zv, sive \xx (= zy) = f#;r 2 , sive x- ( = — J =y. Quare e contra 

si x* = y, erit fafy = z.* 

* Newton chooses here a complicated case; but if we take the most simple 
example, which he gives somewhere s = x 3 ; then, (if we suppose again that, in order 
to retain the figure, x = AB; x + o = AB; z = ABB) we have 
(x + o) s = a? + 3ox 2 + 3o 2 x + o 3 = s + ov; 
consequently 302* + 3o*x + o 9 = ov; therefore 3x* + 3ox i o* = v. Now o = zero gives 
3*» = v = y. 



Vel qeneralitef. si x ax " = z : sive. nonendo = c, et 

J m + n ' J m + n ' 


on + n =p 1 si ex" = z sine cx p = z n : turn x + o pro x y et z + &v [sive, 

quod perinde est, z + oy) pro z, substitutis, prodit c n in x p +p>ox p ~ l , 

etc. = z n + noyz' 1 ' 1 ; etc. reliquis nempe terminis, qui tandem evanescerent, 

omissis. Jam sublatis c n x p et z" aequalibus, reliquisque per o divisis, 

. n o-i «-i / nyz n nyc'x p \ . ,. ., 7 „ 

restat c px = nyz \ = — — = — — — ) sive dividendo per c # p , erit 


-i ny P -ir 7 7 na 

px = — ^ sive pcx = mi ; vet restituendo pro c, et m + n 

L £ ± ° m +n r 


pro p, hoc est, m pro p — w, et na pro pc, Jiet ax n = y. Qua,re e contra, 

si ax 1 =?/, erit — - — ax ™ =z. Q. e.d. 
*' m + n 

This is therefore Newton's compendium of the Differential Calculus, 

which in 1669 was sent from Cambridge to the President of the 

Society in London, as likewise to Collins. To this Newton added 

his Tangential Method in the letter which he wrote to Collins on 

the 10th of December, 1672, in which he said, as the reader will 

recollect, that he was glad that Barrow's " Lectiones" had met with 

so much approbation, and that his (Newton's) Method of Tangents 

which was indicated in the letter by an example, belonged to his 

universal method of Quadratures. 

Respecting the sensation which this discovery gave rise to, see 

the letters (printed in the Comm. Epist.) in which it was announced 

in Italy, France, and Holland. When Leibnitz had heard of it, and, 

speaking of some results of it which had come <to his notice, wrote, 

( rem gratam feceris si demonstrationem transmiseris (letter to Oldenburg, 

of 22nd May, 1676), Newton wrote concerning his method and his 

mventipn, not yet published in detail, the letters to Leibnitz, which 

are printed in the Commercium Epistolicum. Newton begins by 




saying, Quamquam Dom. Leibnitii modestia in excerptis quce ex epistola 
^a * ejus (ill me nuper misisti, nostratibus multum tribuit circa Specula- 

Cy^ / tioncia quondam infinitarum serierum de qua jam ccepit esse rumor 

quoniam tamen ea scire pervelit qua ab Anglis htic in re inventa 
sunt, — he is therefore willing to communicate some information. With 
regard to infinite series, the idea, he intimates, through which they 
were at first discovered by him, was that of extracting from algebraical 
expressions, in the same manner as from decimal fractions, the roots which 
could not be otherwise obtained. But inasmuch as all expressions of roots 
and divisions could be regarded as powers with fractional or negative 

u exponents; since, instead of V«, vV, etc., we could write the forms 

J& v i*" i a 11 _i 

\^ a\ a*, and instead of — j , j-= , the forms a 3 , a 4 , and so, in complicated 

* I 

X cases, instead of . the form a 2 (a 3 + bx*) 4 : therefore all the rules 

^ Va 3 + bx l 

^br the extraction of roots, were comprised in the one theorem which 
\ i> jt (he says) he will impart to Leibnitz, viz.* 

(P+PQf =F* +- AQ + 7 ^ BQ + ^^ CQ etc. 
n 2n 4n 

The generality, continued Newton, of his method could be easily 

shown by examples ; since,f for instance, the expression v c 2 + x 1 was by 

this method changed into the series c -f ( — ) # 2 — ( — = ) x* + ( = ) x* — &c. 

\2cJ V8c7 \16cV 

As a further example Newton chooses the expression : ' c 5 + c 4 x — x b . 

* By this means every curve, however complicated might be its equation, pro- 
vided it was not an implicit one, was brought under Wallis's rules of Quad- 
rature (summations) which in the letter were presumed to be known and were 
known to Leibnitz, as to all geometers, since 1659. 

f This refers, as Leibnitz knew, to the expression for the hyperbola, of which 
the quadrature (just given by Mercator) had appeared so difficult, and of which 
Wallis had said hie haeret aqua. Waliis' rule of summation is applicable to the 
series and not to the finite expression Vc" + x*. 



or (c 6 + c*x — x 5 )\ Of fractional expressions also Newton annexes a few 
examples, viz. the cases in which there might come into the equation 

1 1 a 

of the curve terms such as 



a + x {a + xy " y'b 3 + 3b 2 x+Bbx* + x 3 ' 
But if the equation were yet more complicated, that is to say, 
"affected,"* then the roots could be sought by approximation, of 
which Newton gives two examples. 

He then continues, Quomodo ex cequationibus sic ad infinitas series 
reductis arece et longitudines curvarum contenta et superficies solidorum 
vel quorum libet segmentorum figurarum quarumvis eorumque centra 

gravitatis determinentur nimis longum foret describere ; sufficiat 

specimina qucedam talium problematum recensuisse, inque lis brevitatis 
gratia liter as A, B, C etc., pro terminis seriei sicut sub initio nonnunquam 
usurpabo. With this introduction Newton gives, in nine examples, the 
entire results of his Analysis.f 

* This expression refers to what is now called an implicit equation, Thus 
Newton having heretofore brought under the Wallisian theorems, or (as we may say) 
method of Integration and rule of Quadrature, all curves with equations such as 
y = Vc 2 + x 2 ; y = tyc b + &x - x b , etc., or in general y =/(#), turns his attention here 
at last to the implicit functions, f{x,y) = 0, i.e. to expressions such as 

y 3 i axy + x % y - x 3 - a s = 0. 

f The difference between the contents of the Analysis, and that which is here 
communicated to Leibnitz, will be rendered evident by the following example. In 
the Analysis we read, (compare above, page 23) Longitudines curvarum invenire. 
Sit ADLE circulus (where AB = x, there- 
fore since AE= 1, {DBf = x (1 - x), or 
DB = V#(l - x) = V# - x 2 ) cujus arcus AB 
longitudo est indayanda. Ducto tanyente 
DHT et complete indefinite parvo rectangulo 
HGBK, et posito AE=l = 2AC; Erit ut 
BK sive GH, momentum Basis AB (x) ad 1' 
HD momentum Arcus AD 

:: BT: DT= BD {sive v'.r - x") : DC {sive £) = 1 {BK) : 

2 V* - x s 


K 2 


After Leibnitz bad answered tbis letter, and requested further ex- 
planations, Newton says in bis letter of 24th October, 1676, that the way 
in which he had hit upon a part of his method in the commencement 
of his studies was this, that he had endeavoured to interpolate the 
series, the interpolation of which Wallis had declared to be necessary 
for Quadratures that were too difficult for him.* He had written [he 
says] a compendium of his whole method, which had been communicated 
through Barrow to Collins, in quo significaveram Areas et Longitudines 
Gurvarum omniwm et Solidorum Superjicies et Contenta^ ex datis Rectis 
et vice versa ex Ms datis Eectas determinari posse. When he afterwards 
wished to make a treatise out of this, he had added [he states] other 
things, and in particular the method of drawing Tangents, which Sluse 
also had discovered, (but with this difference, that the method of Newton 
was applicable to complicated curves), but this method of Tangents and 
other things he preferred [he says] not to communicate to Leibnitz. 

To this Leibnitz answers in these words, in which it is said is con- 
tained his independent discovery of the Differential Calculus, viz. that 

■ r x 
que , — , site — 3 est momentum arcus AD. Quod reduction Jit 

-111* 2 

Quare per regulam secundum (one of the "Wallisian rules of Quadrature or Summation, 
which Newton makes use of) long Undo arcus AD est 

I .1 4 7 9 

x + qX + 4 a; + Yi 2^" 'ii 62^ etc. 
Instead of these words and the accompanying figure in the Analysis, Newton 
in his letter to Leihnitz gives only the result : Si ex dato sinu vel sinu verso arcus 
desideratur et d diameter ac x sinus versus, erit arcus 

a 4 

11 x* 3r* lis 

= d^x* + — + — (or *' + §** + / z J if d = 1). 

* Newton's words are : Sub initio studioriun tneorum mathematicorum ubi 
incideram in opera JVallisii, considerando Series quorum inter calatione ipse circuit 
Aream etc. This is the place where Wallis, in his preface, had said, hie haeret 



whereas JSluse's method of tangents was not sufficient, he had discovered 
another, and to this he adds, arbitror quce celare voluit Newtonus de 
Tangentibm ducendis ab Ms non abludere. Leibnitz's words are : Claris- 
simi Slusii Meihodwm Tangentium nondum esse absolutam celeberrimo 
Newtono assentior. Et jam a midto tempore rem t 
Tangentium longe generalius tractavi ; scilicet 
per differentias Ordinatarum. Nempe T IB 
[intervallum Tangentis ab Ordinata in Axe 
sumptum) est ad IB lC Ordinatam, ut 1 CD 
[differentia duarum Abscissarum A \B, A 2B) 
ad D 2(7 (differentiam duarum Ordinatarum 
\B 1 0, 2B 2 0). Nee refert quern angidum 
faciunt Ordinatae ad Axem. Unde patet, nihil 
aliud esse invenire Tangentes, quam invenire 
Differentias Ordinatarum, positis differentiis Ab- 
scissarum (seu \B 2B = 1 CD) si placet aequalibus. Dine nominando 
(in posterum) dy differentiam duarum proximarum y (nempe A IB et 
A 2B) ; et dx seu D 2 C differentiam duarum proximarum x (prioris 
lBlC, posterioris 2B2C); patet dy* esse 2ydy ; et dy s esse Sy'dy, 
etc. et ita porro. Nam sint duae proximae sibi (id est, differentiam 
habentes infinite parvam) scilicet A \B = y ; et A 2B = y + dy. Quo- 
niam ponimus dy* esse differentiam quadratorum ab his duabus rectis, 
Aequatio erit dy* = y' 2 + 2ydy -\-dydy — y 2 . Seu omissis y 2 — y l quae se 
destruunt, item omisso quadrato quantitatis infinite parvae (ob rationes ex 
Methodo de Maximis et Minimis notas), erit dy' 2 = 2ydy. Idemqae est de 
caeteris potentiis. Dine etiam haberi possunt differentiae quantitatum ex 
diver sis indefinitis in se invicem ductis factarum : ut dyx erit=ydx+xdy; 
et dy' 2 x = 2xy dy + y l dx. Dine si aequatio 

a + by + cx + dyx + ey 2 +fx 2 + gy 2 x + hyx 2 etc. = / 

statim habetur Tangens Curvae ad quam est ista Aequatio. Nam ponendo 
AB = y, et A2B = y+ dy (scilicet, quia IB 2B seu lCD = dy) ; Itemque 
ponendo \BlC = x, et 2B 2C=x + dx (scilicet, quia2CD = dx), et quia 


eadem aequatio exprimit quoque relationem inter A 2B et 2B2C, quae 
earn exprimebat inter A \B et \B 1 C ; Tunc in aeguatione ilia pro y 
et x substituendo y + dy, et x + dx,Jiet 

a+ by + ex + clyx + ey 2 + fx' + gy 2 x + hyx 2 etc. 

■ uif t i* t ui/u, t ty t jtio t yy < c -r/iyx eic. 
bdy + cdx + dydx + 2eydy + 2fxdx + 2gxydy -\-2hxydx etc. 
+ dxdy + gy 2 dx + hx 2 dyetc. 

= 0. 

+ ddx dy + edy dy -\-fdx dx + gx dy dy + hy dx dx 
d est quantitas communi more. + 2gydydx + 2hxdxdy etc. 

d est nota Differentiae. + g dx dy dy + h dy dx dx 

Ubi, abjectis Wis quae sunt supra primam lineam, quippe nihilo aequa- 
libus per aequationem praecedentem : et abjectis Mis quae sunt infra 
secundum, quia in Mis duae infinite parvae in se invicem ducuntur : 
hinc restabit tantum aequatio haec />dy + cdx + dydx 

+ dxdy etc. = 0, quicquid 
scilicet reperitur inter lineam primam et secundam. Et mutata aequa- 
tione in rationem seu Analogiam, fiet 

dy _ c + dy + 2fx + gy 2 + 2h xy etc. 

dx b + dx-t 2ey + 2gxy ■+ hx 2 etc. ' 
Id est 

. dy -\B2B,seu-\CD T lB\ .c+dyetc. T \B 

qma _ £ seu » = _ ^^ emt 

dx D2G IB 2 C) b+dx etc. lBlC 

Quod coincidit cum Regula Slusiana, ostenditque earn statim occurrere 
hanc Methodum intelligenti. 

Sed Methodus ipsa {priore) nostra longe est amplior. Non tantum 
mini v.rhiberi potest, cum plures sunt lite roe indefcrminatae quam y et x 
[quod saepe jit maximo cum fructu) ; Sed et tunc utilis est cum inter- 
rm in nt irrationaleS) quippe quae earn nullo morantur modo, neque idlo 
modo necesse est irrationcdes tolli, quod in Methodo Slusii necesse est, 
et calculi difficultatem in immensum auget. 

Quod ut appareat, tantum utile erit in irrationalitatibus simplicio- 
ribus rem explanare. Et primum sit in simpUcissimis generaliter. Si 
sit aliqua potentia aut radix x : erit dx' = zx e ~ l dx. 


Si z sit £, seu si x sit \jx, erit d# z , seu hoc loco d \/x = \x * dx 

— r- ; ut notum aut 
2 *Jx ' 

Sit jam Binomium, ut 

seu — 7- : tit notum aut facile demonstrabile 

2sjx' J 

V 3 : a ■+■ by + cy 2 etc. quaeritur d V 3 • a + by + cy* etc. seu da/, 

posito iy = 3, et a -f by + cy 2 etc. = x. Est autem dx — bdy + 2cydy etc. 

Erqo dx" seu — = ^—^- — . Eadem Melhodus adhiberi 

3x 3 3 xa + by + cy 1 etc. \ 
■potest etsi Radices in Radicibus implicentur. Sine si detur aequatio 
valde intricata, ut 

a + bx^y 2 + b^ : 1 +y + hx' 2 y^y* + y Vl -y = o, 

ad aliquam Curvam cuius Abscissa sit y (AB), Ordinata x (BC) 1 tunc 
Aequatio proveniens utilis ad inveniendam Tangentem TC, statim sine 
calculo scribi poterit ; et erit liaec 

bx , bdy 

' OX 

■ y 2 + b\/ 3 : 1 + y + — - - = x 2y dy + 

2 V + b V 3 : 1 + y 3 x 1 + y~f 

+ hx 2 dy + 2hxydx x ^ y l + y*J\—y 

H V X = x 2ydy + dy*Jl-y f~^~ =0 - 

2Vf + y*/l-y 2Vl-y 

SeU) mutando Quotientem hanc inventam in Analogiam^ erit — dy ad 
da?, seu T \B ad \B 1 (7, ?t£ omnes provenientis aequationis termini per 
dx multiplicati, ad omnes ejusdem terminos per dy multiplicatos. 

Ubi sane mirum et maxime commodum evenit, quod dy et dx semper 
extant extra vinculum irrationals. Methodo autem Slusiana omnes ordine 
irrationales tollendas esse nemo non videt. 

Arbitror, quae celare voluit Newtoniis de Tangentibus ducendis, ah 
his non abludere. 

We see here that Leibnitz avoids making any mention of a 



Newtonian method of tangents. We remember Barrow's method of 
tangents in which he had given : 


a figure and a 
process quite si- 
milar to those of 
Leibnitz's letter : 

in which figure, (as may be seen above Chapter I., page 5) Barrow 
took MR = a, NR = e 1 and gave the rules: Inter convputandwm omnes 
nhjicio terminos, in quibus ipsarum <7, vel e, pofr.s/V/.s habetur vel in quibus 
ipsae ducuntur in se, and we remember that Newton, supplementing 
Barrow, said in his letter of 10th December, 1672, that his (Newton's) 
method of Tangents could be apprehended from an example, in which 
he mentions the ride and then says: hoc est union particulare methodi 
generalise quae extendit se non mode ad ducendum tangentes verum etiam 
ad resolvendum alia abstrusiora problemata de curvitatibus. We repeat 
that, if Leibnitz was acquainted with this letter of Newton's, in which 
was contained the Newtonian method, which was Leibnitz's method, 
he ought not to have avoided the mention of this method, and ought 
not therefore to have written, arbitror qua) a lire voluit Newtonus 
de Tangentibus ducendis ah his non abludere, but to have written: 
quo? celare voluisset Newtonus mihi cognita sunt, nam litems ejus 
\Qmi Decembris, 1G72, ins/ ><.<•/'. 

"the invention of the differential calculus. 33 

Nor let it be said, that it was Newton's business to remember in 
1676 that he had in 1672 written that letter on Tangents to Collins, 
and that Collins might perhaps have communicated it to a friend ; or 
that, if Newton, after the lapse of several years, did not remember 
this fact, then Leibnitz too might forget it; for although indeed it 
was four years since Newton had written the letter to Collins, yet it 
was not four years since Leibnitz had been acquainted with the letter, 
and in the next place Leibnitz was the learner, who would pay 
attention to all that came new to him ; whereas Newton was not, like 
a learner, attentive to the extent of what he communicated, and could 
quite forget having made this communication which after all he had 
sent only to Collins and not to Leibnitz. 

That Newton's letter on Tangents had actually been known to 
Leibnitz, has been only rendered evident since 1849 by Gerhardt's 
discovery of the abstract which Collins had got ready for Leibnitz, 
containing the last part of this letter of Newton's upon tangents in 
the words : quod scilicet Dn. Newtonus cum. in Uteris suis 10 Decembris, 
1672, communicaret nobis methodum, ducendi tangentes ad curvas geo- 
metricas ex aequatione exprimente relationem ordinatarum ad Basin, 
subjicit hoc esse unum particulare, vel corollarium potius, methodi gene- 
ralise quae extendit se absque molesto calculo, non modo ad ducendas 
tangentes accommodatas omnibus curvis, sive Geometricas sive Meclianicas, 
vel quomodocunque spectantes lineas rectas, aliisve lineis curvis ; sed 
etiam ad resolvenda alia abstrusiora problematum genera de curvarum 
jlexu, areis, longitudinibus, centris gravitatis etc. Neque (sic pergit) ut 
Huddenii methodus de maximis et minimis, proindeque Slusii nova 
Methodus de tangent ibus, (ut arbitror) restricta est ad aequationes, Sur- 
darum quantitatum immunes. Hanc methodum se intertexuisse, ait 
Neivtonus, alteri illi, quae aequationes expedit reducendo eas ad infinitas 
series; adjicitque, se recordari, aliquando data occasione, se sigirijicasse 
Doctori Barrovio, lectiones suas jam jam, edituro, instructum se esse tali 
methodo ducendi tangentes, sed avocamentis quibusdam se praepeditum, 
quominus earn ipsi describeret. 



In the next place Edleston attests that a copy of the whole letter 
was sent to Tschirnhaus in Collins's paper " about Descartes," and 
Gerhardt confesses that Leibnitz and Tschirnhaus, in 1675, worked 
together, and were so intimately connected that they used the same 
paper and the same ink and pen.* 

Even before these most recent investigations, it was concluded 
from the silence of Leibnitz that the Newtonian letter on tangents 
was known to him ; for this much had been distinctly affirmed in 
the Commercium Epistoliciim, and Leibnitz did not deny it. Prof. 
De Morgan has discovered that in the first edition of the Comm. 
Epist., which appeared in the lifetime of Leibnitz, this distinct affir- 
mation and statement is only found in the judgment pronounced by 
the Committee, nusquam mentionem reperimus Methodi ejus Differ enticdis 

* Edleston's Correspondence, etc., page xlvii, and Gerhardt (I., page 91) and 
Tract II. of 1855, page 68. For superabundance we have Leibnitz's own words to 
prove his intimacy with Tschirnhaus, see Leibnitz's letter to Oldenburg of 28th De- 
cember, 1675: Quod Tschirnhausium ad nos misisti, fecisti pro amico — inventa mini 
ostendit non pauca Analytica et Geometrica. Leibnitz moreover, if Tschirnhaus 
had hesitated to show him what he had, could most easily see the whole letter 
when he was in London, in October, 1676. 

Gerhardt, in his recent volume (Leibnitz Mathem. Schr. Band IV., 1859, page 
420) says: "In May, 1675, Tschirnhaus was not in Paris, but either in London 
"or on his way to London." This remark, instead of assisting Leibnitz, as Gerhardt 
thinks, corroborates on the contrary Edleston's statements. Indeed what was sent 
to Tschirnhaus at that time, being altogether fourteen folio leaves, (Edleston, 
I.e.) it would be difficult to suppose that this was sent to Paris, but not difficult to 
conceive that it was sent to Tschirnhaus, while he was in London. Tschirnhaus 
received them in London and returned with them to Paris. Gerhardt states (ibidem, 
Vol. V., page 421) that Leibnitz's mathematical manuscripts of the year 1675 prove 
the intimacy of Leibnitz and Tschirnhaus : " on the same leaf (says Gerhardt) we find 
" the pen and handwriting of Tschirnhaus, together with the pen and handwriting 
" of Leibnitz." 

Tschirnhaus's answer to Collins's paper is quoted in the Commercium Epistolicum 
as received June 8, 1675. Collins, in the "Extracts from Mr. Gregory's Letters," says, 
that Tschirnhaus Mas "here a quarter of a year in the summer of 1675." (I am in- 
debted to the kindness of Mr. Edleston for this memorandum made by him when he 
examined (lie papers at the Koyal Society.") 


ante litems ejus {Leibnitii) 21 Junii, 1677, hoc est Anno integro post- 
quam D. Newtoni Epistola, 10 Decembris, 1672, scripta Parisios ipsi 
communicanda transmissa fuit, while in another edition which appeared 
after Leibnitz's death the remark was also found in a second more 
conspicuous (?) place in the Commercium Epist. (on the occasion of 
the printing of this letter, Missum fuit apographum hujus Epistola} ad 
Leibnitium mense Junto, 1676). This is an unheard-of thing! exclaims 
De Morgan. 

This Prof. De Morgan could fairly do, as long as it was assumed, 
while he made this great discovery (Philos. Magazine, June, 1848) 
that Leibnitz had not seen the letter of 10th December, 1672 ; for then 
it was felt that Leibnitz's silence proved more against him, if the 
statement of the fact appeared twice in the Commercium Epistolicum 
than if it was only once there. But since 1849, now that we can no 
longer doubt that Leibnitz received the entire letter from Tschirnhaus, 
and the reference to the same from Oldenburg, this discovery of a 
variation in the statement about it, by which Prof. De Morgan has 
become celebrated, obviously loses all that immense importance which 
it may ever have had. 

But instead of now giving up his attempt of proving a case against 
Newton, Prof. De Morgan asseverates yet more strongly (in the 
Companion to the British Almanac of 1852) that it is clear from 
Gerhardt, that it was not the letter of 10th December, 1672, but an 
abstract of the same, that was sent to Leibnitz direct, while the whole 
letter was sent to Tschirnhaus, and that hence the deceitful design 
of Newton and of the Committee was manifest. 

Prof. De Morgan here perverts the case entirely. There is indeed 
an error in the Comm. Epist. There were in fact at the time of 
the Comm. Epist., 1712, on the shelves of the Society, two rolls 
of Collins's bound together, one with the heading, Extracts from 
Mr. Gregory's Letters, to be lent Mr. Leibnitz to peruse, who is desired 
to return the same to you, (in which was contained the whole letter 
of 10th December, 1672), and another in which this letter was found 



only in abstract, as Gerhardt gives it, this also having been inscribed 
by Collins, To Leibnitz, 14 June, 1676, about Mr. Gregory's remains; 
and the Committee, as well as Newton, assumed erroneously that the 
tirst roll had been sent to Leibnitz, instead of the second. But into 
this error Newton fell even in the lifetime of Leibnitz, because already 
in the first edition of the Gomm. JEpist. it was registered that the first 
named collection was to be lent to Leibnitz; the smaller collection, 
which gave this letter only in abstract, was not referred to at all. 
Therefore Leibnitz's death has nothing at all to do with the matter, 
and that which was said before Leibnitz's face may have been mis- 
stated through error, but cannot have been misstated with a deceitful 
intention. " Something can he allowed for harry" says Prof. De 
Morgan himself, "for the Committee was appointed in parcels on March 
" 6th, 20th, 21th, and April llth, and their report was read as early as 
"April 2±th." 

So important is and has always appeared the question, whether 
Leibnitz read the letter of 10th December, 1672, that in order to 
excuse the silence of Leibnitz, Prof. De Morgan only a short time 
before Gerharclt's discovery, and so also Biot in the Journal des 
Savants following strictly De Morgan, made a great stir, because the 
affirmation that Leibnitz had seen the letter, came only once in that 
edition which appeared in Leibnitz's lifetime, and not twice, as in the 
second edition. Moreover we see even now Prof. De Morgan catching 
at a straw, and saying, that it was only an abstract, not the whole, of 
the letter that had been communicated to Leibnitz. 

But now that since the year 1849, through the investigations of 
Gerhardt and Edleston, this whole matter is seen in a pretty clear 
light — Leibnitz having been so intimate with Tschirnhaus, that they 
worked on the same paper, and the whole letter having been sent to 
Tschirnhaus, and an abstract to Leibnitz, Leibnitz's advocates turn 
round, and say, after all the strife they themselves raised upon the 
subject before L849, that it is of no consequence whether Leibnitz did 
read this letter of Newton's on tangents — u a sheet of blank paper, after 


" what Shise had published, would have done just as well as the abridgment 
" or the ichole" says Prof. De Morgan at the end of his essay of 1852. 

The reader will smile at here seeing, that the same Prof. De Morgan 
would first have us consider the fact as so important, that an increase 
of reputation might be gained by it, and secondly so unimportant ! 
11 Only one [document) is undated, and this is that on which the whole 
"turns" said Prof. De Morgan in 1848; and in 1852 he exclaims, 
" a sheet of blank paper would have done as well." It is impossible to 
contradict one's self more glaringly. 

But let us quit Prof. De Morgan, and cast a look backwards. It 
cannot have escaped observation, that we have hitherto not employed 
the word fluxions. It will be asked why. The answer is because 
Newton in his Compendium on the Calculus in 1669 has not once 
used this word. Also those supporters of Leibnitz are therefore mis- 
taken, who sometimes introduce him as the discoverer of the Differential 
Calculus, and Newton as the discoverer of something else which they 
prefer to call " FluxionaV calculation; (as in Gerhardt's Tracts we 
find two separate chapters under the headings, Discovery of the 
" Fluxional 1 ' calculus by Newton, and discovery of the higher analysis 
by Leibnitz). The thing which the second comer did or did not 
discover, is not different from that which the first comer discovered. 
Newton gives (see above pages 21, 24) in his Compendium 1669 the 
rules of the calculation : Regula 1 ; Si 

v, . cm ^ 

ax = ii ; erit x = area ; 

* ' m+n ■ 

he works this out in all examples, and says (under the heading : 
Applicatio praedictorum ad reliqua hujusmodi problemata) : Jam qua 
ratione superficies ex momento suo perpetim dato per praecedentes regulas 
elicitur, eadem quaelibet alia quantitas ex momento suo sic dato elicietur. 
Exemplo res fiet clarior. Then follow the examples under the head- 
ing, Longitudines curvarum invenire, among which we have the small 
(afterwards so called, Differential) triangle (see the figure above, page 22), 


then we have in general the title, Invenire prcedictorum conversum. The 

— (XYl =£— 

first proposition, Si ax = y ; erit x " = area =z, is at last proved (at 

the end of the whole Treatise), where we read, Si ax n = area = z. m7 

(we have Newton's proof, the same as is now given, effected by giving the 

increment o to x and then putting o = zero), erit ax n = y. Then Newton 

sa) r s, quare e contra si ax n = y, erit ax " = z. In this Newtonian 

discovery of the Differential Calculus, which is contained in the Com- 
pendium, the word fluere does not occur. 

It is in 167G that Newton, in his letter of the 24th October to Leibnitz, 
in the passage which was not legible for the latter, data ozquatione quot- 
cunque fluentes quantitates involvente fluxiones invenire et vice versa, first 
uses the word fluere, in order to indicate succinctly the whole method 
of calculation employed in the Compendium. 




M. Biot, as is well known, has expressed himself very specifically 
on these questions in the Journal des Savants, and 1856, in the new 
edition published by him and Lefort of the Commercium epistolicum. 
We are sorry to find that M. Biot everywhere quite echoes the words 
of Prof. De Morgan, which can only be explained by supposing, either 
that M. Biot purposely refuses to see how the thing stands, or that 
holding fast by the customary differential form and style of writing 
of the present day, he is unable to throw himself back into the past. 
It is an extraordinary thing, that Wallis is not mentioned in that part 
of the Commercium Epistolicum in which M. Biot and M. Lefort give 
the names of those, " whose labours paved the way for the discovery 
" of the infinitesimal Analysis [" dont les travaux ont prepare Vinvention 
" de V analyse infinitesiniale 1 ^. 

" On s'etonnera pent etre, says M. Biot or his co-labourer M. Lefort, 
" page 254, de ne rencontrer ni Wallis ni Huygliens. Cependant 
" Wallis et Huygliens ne me paraissent avoir aucun droit direct de paternite 
" sur les nouveaux calculs, quHls ont tous deux meconnus, le premier plus 
" encore peut etre que le second. [The reader will perhaps be astonished, 
" says M. Lefort, or M. Biot, page 254, at not meeting with either 
"Wallis or Huygliens. But Wallis and Huygliens do not appear to 
"me to have any direct paternal right in the new calculations, which 

40 mot's judgment on the discovert 

" thev have, both of them, misappreciated, the first perhaps even more 
" so than the second."] 

Thus we see that Wallis is made of so little consequence, that 
while persons remotely interested in the matter are named, such as 
Fermat, Cavalleri, Hudde, Sluse, and while these and even Descartes 
and Ricci are quoted from, in order to give specimens from those 
whose travaux ont prepare V invention au dix-septihne siecle, Wallis 
is not even admitted. 

We on our side affirm that it is, above all, the works and the 
labours of Wallis, that the whole Commercium Epistolicum and Newton's 
letters to Leibnitz, as well as Leibnitz's letters, always presuppose and 
refer to. This Messrs. Biot and Lefort ought not to have overlooked, 
were it only for the Becensio. Therein Newton says : Per infinitas 
aequationes intelJiguntur illae, quae involvunt Seriem terminorum con- 
vergentiuni et ad veritatem propius propiusque accedentium in infinitum ; 
ita ut postremo a veritate distent minus xdla data quantitate ; et, si in 
infinitum continuentur, nullam omnino difi'erentiam relinquant. 

Wallisius in Opere suo Arithmetico, piihUcato A.D. 1657, Cap. 33. 

Prop. 68. reduxit fr -actionem - y. per perpetuam Divisionem in seriem 

A + AR + AB 2 + AS* 4 AM* + etc. 

Vicecomes Brounker quadravit Hyperbolam per hanc seriem 


+ o 7 + ~r — ~, + ; — 7, + etc. 

1x2 3x4 5x6 7x8 

hoc est per hanc 1 — ^ + ^ — 4 + 5 — <j + 7 — »+ etc - conjungendo singulos 
binos Terminos in unum. Et haec Quadratura publicata est in Actis 
Regiae Societatis, mense Aprili 1668. 

Paulo post Dominus Mercator evulgavit Demonstrationvm J/i/jus Quad- 
rntttrae per Divisionem Domini Wallisii ; et deinceps I/and multo p>ost 
Jacobus Gregorius Geometricam ejusdem Demonstrationem in lucem edidit. 
And further [ibidem): [Xcu-foni compendium 1669] — continet praedictam 
generalem Methodum Analyseos, monstrant&m qaomodo resolvendae sunt 
finitae Aequationes in infinitas ; utque per Methodwm Momentorum wppli- 


candae sunt Aequationes tarn finitae quam infinitae ad omnium proble- 
matum solutionem. Incipit vero, ubi finem fecit Wallisius. et methodum 
Quadraturarum super tres Regulas struit. 

Wallisius Anno 1655, Arithmeticam suam Infinitorum in lucetn dedit ; 
per cujus libri Propositionem LIX. si Abscissa cujusvis Curvilinearis 
figurae vocetur X, et n atque m sint Numeri, et Ordinatae ad rectos 


angulos erectae sint X " ; Area figurae erit X " . Atque hoc 

assumitur a D. Newtono, tanquam prima Regula, super quam fundat 
suam curvarum Quadraturam. Wallisius autem propositionem hanc de- 
monstravit gradatim, per multas particidares propositiones / tandemque 
omnes in unam collegit per Tabulam Casuum. Newtonus vero omnes 
casus in unum reduxit^ per Dignitatem cum indefinite Indice : et sub 
extremo Compendii, semel simulque demonstravit per Methodum suam 
Momentorum ; primusque indefinitos dignitatum Indices in Operationes 
Analyseos introduxit, 

Ceterum per 108 Propositionem Arithmeticae Infinitorum Wattisii, 
perque plures alias propositiones quae sequuntur ; Si ordinata com- 
posita fuerit ex duabus vet pluribus ordinatis cum signis suis + et — 
acceptis ; Area composita erit ex duabus vel pluribus areis cum signis 
suis + et — acceptis respective. Atque hoc a D. Newtono assumitur, 
tamquam Regula secunda, super quam instituit suam Quadraturarum 

Hence we see that it is not by mere accident, like almost all 
those whom Biot and Lefort mention as being important, but much 
more directly, that Wallis comes into the question, if we look back 
at the position of this branch of knowledge immediately before the 
discovery, as Messrs. Biot and Lefort wish to do, at least as they 
tell us. 

In the next place it becomes very clear from the commencement 
of Leibnitz's letter to Newton of the 27th August, 1676, that the 
Wallisian simple beginnings of quadratures, (Wallis's method, we might 
say, of integration) are the foundation of the correspondence between 


42 biot's judgment on the discovery 

Leibnitz and Newton. For after the exposition of Leibnitz's method 
of transmutation, which then appeared to him a correct one, Leibnitz 
says, Unde ad quadraturas absolutas, vel hypothetical Gcometricas, vel 
serie infinitd expressas Arithmetics jamjam multis modi's potest perveniri. 
"What other are these methods of quadrature, which are nowhere de- 
scribed, and which are therefore assumed as known, but those of Wallis ? 
Indeed Leibnitz immediately after says downright . positd fi infinite par vd % 
an expression and an idea which Wallis has, and if any one will not 
admit that Leibnitz took this out of Wallis, it would be for that very 
reason more necessary for him to mention at least that Wallis has 
also this expi'ession. 

In the second letter to Leibnitz, Newton again says expressly that 
it was through the interpolation problem, which Wallis had instituted, 
that he himself had been led to his new invented method. Here Newton 
continues speaking to Leibnitz of these opera of Wallis's for many 
pages together, and takes it for granted that they are known to Leibnitz, 
and speaks of them as the foundation of the process for effecting the 
quadrature. Finally Leibnitz, to name him too once more, begins 
hi* letter to Newton of the 21st June, 1677, with the words, Egregie 
placet, quod descripsit qua via in nonnulla sua elegantia Theoremata in- 
cident (Newtonus), et qua' <!<■ Wallisianis interpolationibus habet, vel ideb 
placent, quia hac rations dbtinetur harum interpolationum demonstration 
cum res ea antea (quod sciam) sola inductione niteretur. It is obvious 
that the inductions and the quadratures of Wallis are everywhere pre- 
supposed by Newton as well as by Leibnitz as a foundation. 

Messrs. Biot and Lefort, who name and quote from Format, Cavalleri, 
Iliulde, Sluse, and even from Ricci and Descartes, as auteurs qui ont 
prepari Vinvention au dix-septihne siecle make thus no mention of 
Wallis, and the grounds on which they justify themselves are, that 
" Wallis et Huyghens^ ont le premier plus encore que le second, meconnu 
" ces nouveaux calculs [Wallis and Huyghens have misappreciated, 
" the first even more than (he second, the new calculations].'''' This is 
doubly incorrect. Even if it is substantiated, that Huyghens, after the 


discovery had been made, did not immediately understand it, or that 
he did not acknowledge it, yet he ought not on account of this ex post 
facto behaviour of his after the discovery of the Differential Calculus 
to be excluded, but for another reason, namely, because he had not 
before taught anything that in the main or somewhat nearly resembled 
the Differential Calculus. Descartes and Fermat also misappreciated 
the Differential Calculus, that is, they did not understand it at all, 
because they were not at all acquainted with it, and yet these writers 
are quoted from. The question, does not turn upon what an author 
said after the discovery, but upon what he said beforehand that was 
like it. But further, though it be true of Huyghens, that he was 
not favorably disposed to the Differential Calculus, (though this is not 
the ground on which he should be excluded,) yet the fact does not 
stand thus with Wallis, because it was he himself in 1693, who in 
his treatise de Algebra highly extolled the calculus invented by Newton, 
and published it before Newton himself. 

The justice of Wallis's title is, we hope, distinctly clear to the 
reader, because we have given in Chap. II. Wallis's quadratures by 
integrations and summations in the simple cases which he could 
master (of the others he said honestly hie haeret aqua, thereby ex- 
citing and forcing Newton). 

We can admit that Biot, amidst his present multifarious occu- 
pations, is not answerable for the book which appeared in 1856 under 
his name and the name of the real author M. Lefort, this Biot tells 
us in the Preface: U V execution appartient tout entiere a Mr. Lefort; 
" et il s'est acquitte de. cette tdche — avec une puissance de travail, que 
u je suis keureux de reconnoitre, mats quHl m'aurait ete imptossible d y y 
" apporter. [The execution belongs entirely to M. Lefort, and he has 
" acquitted himself of this task with a diligence, which I am thankful 
" to acknowledge, but which it would have been impossible for me to 
"have exercised."] 

But M. Biot himself in the Journal des Savants for 1832, forgets 
the claims of Wallis; his words are (page 267, line 2): " la premiere 

G 2 

44 biot's judgment on the discovery 

" lettre de Newton a Leibnitz contient les resultats de Newton sur les 
" series, notamment la formule du binome, le tout sans aucune demon- 
" stmt ion ni indication de methode quelconqne, disant settlement, quHl 
u in possede une a Vaide de laquelle ces series etant donnees, il pent 
" obtenir les quadratures des courbes dont elles derivent. [The first 
" letter of Newton to Leibnitz contains the results arrived at by 
" Newton in reference to series, particularly to the binomial theorem, 
" the whole without any demonstration or indication of a method, 
" saying only that he is in possession of one by which these series 
" being given, he can obtain the quadratures of the curves from which 
" they ore derived."] This is not correct. The parts of Newton's 
method there in question are not only, I. the reduction of complicated 
equations to series of the powers of x which he openly commu- 
nicated, and II. a method which he concealed of effecting the Quadra- 
ture of these series, for the Quadrature of equations reduced to simple 
powers was a thing understood of itself, and that could not be kept 
back, because Wallis had long ago given this in his works, which 
were well known to everybody. 

So it happens that Biot, because the method of tangents of Bar- 
row and Newton does also not seem important to him, inasmuch as 
Descartes and Fermat, had had another, comes to this perverse con- 
clusion in reference to the whole matter, that we must assume " trots 
" phases de V invention Men marquees: 1° emploi des evanouissans comme 
" methode aux fonctions rotionelles, ceci appartient specialement a Fermat ; 
" 2° extension aux fonctions irrationnelles par le developperneM en serie, 
" surtout au moyen du theoreme du binome, voila la part speciale de 
" Newton ; 3° reduction de cet artifice particulier en methode generale 
" de calculj c<>il<t Leibnitz, [three well-marked phases of the inven- 
tion, 1. the employment of vanishing quantities as a method for 
" rational functions, this belonging especially to Fermat ; 2. the ex- 
" tension of this to irrational functions by development in the form 
" of a series, especially by means of the binomial theorem ; this being 
"the special part of Newton; 3. the reduction of this particular 


" artifice to a general method of calculation, in which lies Leibnitz's 
" invention."] 

Thus Newton is made to have discovered only une part specielle 
and un artifice particulier, [a special part and a particular artifice], 
but Leibnitz une methode qenerale, a general method ; in other words, 
Biot will allow Newton only the developpement en serie, and not the 
general calculation data aiqiiatione^ quotcunque Jluentes quantitates in- 
volvente, jluxiones invenire et vice versa. We see that Newton is 
taken into high company and must content himself, according to the 
judgment of M. Biot, with only that modest place which Fermat and 
Leibnitz just leave between them. 

This judgment of Biot's however is quite unsound, because Fermat 
hardly deserves to be named at all, and secondly, because Newton's 
Compendium, the Analysis of 1669, contains not only the developpe- 
ment en serie but also the methode generate^ which consequently is 
not in any way left for Leibnitz, if we leave out of consideration 
that he was perhaps not acquainted with Newton's discovery. 

Indeed, if Biot had said only that Newton's discovery of a general 
method was not to be taken into consideration, because Leibnitz had 
not seen it, then the question would turn upon this, whether the 
communication of the method of tangents, and whatever else Newton 
communicated to Leibnitz, was or was not sufficient to deprive Leibnitz 
of the honour of the discovery. But M. Biot not only says that nothing 
whatever but the method of series was communicated to Leibnitz, but 
he says that Newton had also discovered nothing else, which is tan- 
tamount to saying, that Newton in his letter to Leibnitz concealed 
nothing, and did not write his anagram, data aequatione, etc. 

The ground of the exclusion of Wallis and of the higher eulo- 
gium of Leibnitz, lies evidently in the design of making Fermat a 
co-discoverer of the Differential Calculus. It is necessary to throw 
dust in people's eyes, in order to make this long ridiculed crotchet 
of the French wear again for a moment a serious appearance. It has 
been ridiculed, I repeat it, not only in England, but also always 

46 biot's judgment on the discovery 

in Germany ! But evidently this was Biot's design ; with this 
view he pronounces an unfair judgment against Newton, and with 
this view he and Lefort publish a comic edition of the Commercium 
Epist. with a French sauce ; M. Biot sees that the strife between Eng- 
land and Germany is being renewed ; " therefore we in France must 
" put in our word", said M. Lefort to M. Biot, or said M. Biot to 
M. Lefort, and so they got up an edition with clever addeuda, in order 
to thrust in Format in an unsuspicious manner. Biot gave the capital 
of his reputation, and Lefort the capital of his labour for this joint-stock 
concern, in which the little various readings of the first and second 
editions of the Commerc. Epist. are taken advantage of, in order to have 
an excuse to set aside Wallis* and to push in Descartes and Fermat. 

* The excuse on s'etonnera peut etre de ne voir ni Wallis ni Hvyghens, qui 
out tons deux meconnu las nouveaux calculs is characteristic of the whole book. 
The idea, which this phrase is designed to convey, is that Huyghens (who was 
certainly not a Frenchman, but who -having lived in Paris and having been received 
into the Academie des Sciences at the time of its foundation — in order that it might 
not be composed of only minor celebrities— has been ever since looked upon by 
the French as a fellow-countryman,) might appear in the same degree as Wallis, 
an Englishman, to have prepared the way for the discovery which was then im- 
pending, and that the omission of the one in Biot and Lefort's book balances that 
of the other. Even connoisseurs, if they do not keep a strict watch over their 
memories, arc liable to be lulled asleep by these smooth phrases, especially because 
Huyghens was so very celebrated on other accounts. If the reader does not 
allow the phrase to domineer over his consciousness, then he thinks that the less 
important Huyghens was left out in order to justify the omission of Wallis. At 
the third stage of reflection one gets hold of the idea, that Huyghens never came 
under consideration, not even in Biot and Lefort's idea, and that he is only empha- 
tically named here ; so then one perceives that to be the best interpretation which 
credits the author of these lines with the greatest share of French ingenuity; for 
although Fermat and Descartes are thrust in, yet because the date of their dis- 
coveries is so very remote, it might annoy a Frenchman to find all more modern 
countrymen of theirs, (Members (!) of the Parisian "Academie des Sciences", which 
had been in existence since 1666,) not even mentioned by name in Messrs. Biot 
and Lefort's Book;— on this account they here at least introduce Huyghens, who 
was celebrated on other accounts, and who lived in Paris. Thus we kill two birds 
with one stone ; we get rid of Wallis and have mentioned Huyghens. 


Biot's conclusion is therefore false, and the case remains thus, that 
Newton's invention and Leibnitz's are the same, and that Newton 
made the invention earlier than Leibnitz. The celebrated Frenchman 
Montucla, who weighs more in the scale of historical mathematics than 
any Frenchman, says, after having discussed all the facts in detail, 
(page 109, vol. 1), " il est temps de nous resumer, et d'abord on ne peut 
u douter, que Newton ne soit le premier inventeur des calculs dont il 
u s^agit ^ les preuves en sont plus claires que le jour." ["It is time we 
" should sum up, and in the first place it cannot be doubted that Newton 
" was the first discoverer of the Calculus in question ; the proofs of 
" this are clearer than daylight".] Why does not M. Biot cite this 
French writer? 

We believe, however, that we have proved, not only that Newton 
was the first discoverer, but also that Leibnitz, inasmuch as Newton's 
method of tangents was known to him, had no right in his letter of 
1677, to write arbitror quce celare voluit Newtonus de Tangentibus 
ducendis a meis non abludere, but that he ought to have written, quce 
celare voluit Newtonus mini nota sicnt, nam literas ejus lOmi Decembris 
1672 inspexi. This is the verdict which those who in 1712 edited the 
Commercium Epistolicum annexed to their edition, a verdict which 
at the time when it was given was doubtful, because it was new, and 
because Leibnitz was in possession of the honour of the invention, 
which grew still more doubtful, as the notation of Leibnitz [dx and 
fdx) became general, whereby the difficulty of understanding the ques- 
tion was increased, but which now since the fact of Leibnitz's having 
read with Newton's open communications, also Newton's letter upon 
Tangents, has been recently since 1849 established, has become in 
the eye of impartial readers a safe verdict. 



We have shewn that Leibnitz's merits, owing to his having seen 
Newton's letter of 1672, which he professed to be ignorant of, were 
smaller than he claimed, inasmuch as Newton's method of tangents 
together with his and Barrow's demonstration of the same, make up 
that which is called the "independent" discovery of Leibnitz. But we 
regret to say, that the matter perhaps does not end here. For we are 
alarmed at hearing Gerhardt naively tell us, that he has upon his table 
a manuscript, which he got out of the Hanoverian library, in Leibnitz's 
handwriting, without date, and headed, Excerpta ex tractatu Newtoni 
Manuscripto de analysi per cequationes numero terminorum injinitas. 
What are we to think of this ? And still worse, Gerhardt adds hereto 
that in his opinion Leibnitz cannot have seen these extracts from 
Newton's compendium between 1672 and 1674. So he forgets alto- 
gether that Leibnitz ought never to have seen this paper at all, if 
a tittle of his reputation is to remain with him. 

If we do not deceive ourselves this is Gerhardt's meaning,* that 
because in Leibnitz's extract we find the sign [/y], as the now so 
well-known mark of integration, while however the differential sign 
[dy] is not found, (for of the latter Gerhardt makes no mention,) 

' We give Gerhardt's words as the first Addendum. 


therefore Leibnitz may or must have made these extracts certainly 
not before 1674, but before 1677 (in 1675-76). 

The French also, with their usual acuteness, have so understood 
the matter. For Biot and Lefort say at the end of their edition of 
the Commercium Epistolicum, (page 290) " II est possible que ces extraits 
" (de Leibnitz) aient etS pris sur le manuscript de Collins, pendant le 
" sejour [de Leibnitz) dhine semaine a Londres en Octobre 1676 ; mats 
" leur contexture ne permet pas de douter qu'au moment de+la trans- 
u cription Leibnitz ne fUt en possession des elements du calcul integral. 
" [Possibly these extracts of Leibnitz were taken from the manuscript 
" of Collins, during the week's stay that he (Leibnitz) made in London 
"in October, 1676; but their context does not leave us room to 
" doubt, that at the moment he transcribed them, Lebnitz Was in 
" possession of the elements of the integral calculus."] 

Mark that the word integral calculus, and not the word differen- 
tial calculus, is used here. 

In this very delicate question a word is of consequence, and 
M. Lefort knew right well that the most natural word was differen- 
tial calculus; as Gerhardt knew, that if by the side of the sign [/?/], 
he could have found the sign dy, this ought also to have been mentioned 
with the other. We may therefore venture to say that Gerhardt and 
the French editors intimate, that Leibnitz indeed made these ex- 
tracts, after his discovery of the Integral Calculus* but yet before his 
discovery of the Differential Calculus. 

* They imagine that Leibnitz discovered the integral calculus, when they find 
him put down the sign Ji/. In truth expressions, such as in Gerhardt (page 58, 
tract of 1855,) omne l—omn. omn. I., and the substituted S pro omni, are nothing 
more than those we meet with in Wallis and De St. Vincent, ductus plant in planum 
(quod appellat ille Vincentius) plant in planum ductum in meo ( Wallis) tractatu 
dicitur ductus rectarum omnium unius plani in alterius rectus. (Preface to the 
Arith. infinit.) The idea that a surface = omn. y is indeed the entire import of 
the "Wallisian summations, in order thereby to measure the surface. Hence Wallis or 
even Cavalleri is the discoverer of the integral calculus, as far as this can he recognized 
without the accompaniment of a Differential Calculus. In his Mathesis, or Arithm. 


How is this possible? 

We must here say something of the relations of Leibnitz to Collins, 
or more correctly speaking, to Oldenburg. The Royal Society in Lon- 
don had committed the oversight of employing as their secretary, not 
an Englishman, but a German named Heinrich Oldenburg. This im- 
prudence could not but soon have its consequence, and this consequence 
in particular, that when once the right man came, the interest of Eng- 
land was more or less sacrificed to a German friendship. We say here 
nothing against Oldenburg, for he knew not what he did, and Leibnitz 
did but take advantage of this situation. There soon arises a friend- 
ship between them. We lack the first letters directed to Oldenburg. 
Leibnitz, supported by his patron, the Baron of Boineburg, whom 
Oldenburg had long been acquainted with, must have known how to 
hit the proper tone ; for so early as 5th August, 1671, Oldenburg writes 
to him,* while committing letters for Germany to a noble friend of 
his : dimittere harum gerulum nobilisshnum non potui, quin Te salu- 
tarem. simul et Jidem facerem, me reliqua quae de me exspectas, quam 
primum fieri id poterit, confecturum. Caeterum cum eximius Hehnon- 
tius, affectu mihi conjunctissimus, propediem ad nos sit reversurus, poteris 
si placet, ipsi tuto committere, quaecunque forsan mihi scribenda vel 
communicanda occurrtrint. What are these reliqua qua de me exspectas ? 
and what could Leibnitz have to say to Oldenburg, for which it ap- 

universalis of 1657, Wallis puts down for such additions of progressions term in or urn 
gumma vel aggregatum = S. See Opera, edition of 1699, Tom. I. page 140. Leibnitz 
may now and then have believed that he had made a discovery by speaking of 
omn. omnl. and S pro omni, but he must soon have perceived the contrary, be- 
cause he does not again speak of his sign S pro omni, that is, of his and other 
people's idea of summing series either in one of his letters to Newton of these 
dates or anywhere else. To add to Wallis's ideas of summation the differen- 
tial calculus, that Mas the discovery. The sign [Jy] therefore means nothing if 
the sign \_dy~\ and the idea which can be laid into this latter sign, and in others of 
its kind, is not found. 

* We of course quote everywhere from Gerhardt's Edition of the Letters. 


peared expedient to name Helmontius as his friend, to whom anything 
could be communicated by word of mouth or by letter so securely. 
Leibnitz, like many young men of his age, was over-desirous of acquiring 
a great reputation, and the Secretary being a German was to assist 
him. This was the bargain that was soon and perhaps almost naively ^> 
struck between them. Thus at once in the letter of the 12th June, 
1671, we see the Secretary so interested in the "circulation" of a 
Leibnitzian paper, that he has it printed. Cceterum, vir amplissime, 
movent gessi desiderio tuo, et pro commodiore distributions scriptum tuum 
hie recudendum tradidi. (Gerh. page 22.) 

That Oldenburg in 1671 did not yet believe that Leibnitz was 
already a great man is proved by his words in the letter of December, 
1670. (Gerh. page 16) : Finem hie facerem nisi ad Epistolae tuae calcem 
de Motus perpetui procurandi ratione perquam facili, a Te inventa, non- 

mdla innueres Ais Te rei demonstrationem expedivisse — Facile, puto, 

credes, me in Anglia peregrinum, sine palpo et assentatione de Anglis 
pronuntiaturum. Sunt inter eos viri complures, subacto in rebus Mathe- 
maticis et Mechanicis judicio praepollentes, quorum de invento isto tuo 
sententiam ut exquiras, prius quam id evidges, ejusve Actorem te scri- 
bas, omnino et amice suaserim. Si consilium allubescat, meque hac in 
re parario opus fuerit, provinciam non detrecto, omnemque quae virum 
bonum decet candorem spondeo. How delicately Oldenburg here labours 
to avert the danger of his friend falling into ridicule, and offers him- 
self as a pararius, or agent, whom, as not being an Englishman, 
Leibnitz can trust. But Oldenburg was appointed by the English, 
in order that he might protect the honour of the English, and 
not that he might be the agent of a foreigner, and give him clan- 
destine support. 

Leibnitz followed the advice of Oldenburg, and escaped the ridicule 
of introducing himself as the discoverer of the impossible perpetuum 
mobile; but when he came to London in 1672 he had the lighter 
misfortune of twice giving out as his own invention what was already 
to be seen in print. We refer to the well known anecdote, that Leibnitz 



in a party at the house of Boyle, ventured to say that he had dis- 
covered a certain method for employing the subtractions of square 
roots, whereupon Dr. Pell cited to him Mouton, in whose works this 
was to be read. Oldenburg contrived a defence for Leibnitz, in which the 
latter at last added, (Gerhardt, page 31) that he had something else, 
namely, a method (methodum Jiabeo) of summing fractional series [sum- 
mam inveniendi seriei fractionum in infinitum decrescent ium 1 quorum 
numerator unitas, nominatores vero numeri triangulares aut •pyramidales 
aid triangulo-triangulares). We cannot help saying that the next 
passage in the correspondence, excites a suspicion that Leibnitz here 
commits a plagiarism, in the close of that very representation, by 
which he defends himself from the suspicion of another plagiarism. 
For it can scarcely be supposed that Leibnitz was not acquainted 
with the book of Mengolus, published in Germany, (and at Bonn,) 
in which these summations are given ; the fame of which work had 
penetrated as far as England ; and Leibnitz's words, when he was 
taunted with this plagiarism: cum nondum mihi inquirendi in Mengo- 
lum otium fuerit, (page 46) et cum Mengoli liber non sit ad manus, 
page 48, do not even contain a downright affirmation, that he was 
not acquainted with it. Oldenburg here again contrives his defence, 
and as Leibnitz had now quite become his pet and favourite, he exerted 
himself for his fame more than for his own, (very naturally, for Oldenburg 
himself could certainly not pretend to be a great mathematician, it 
was difficult enough to get his countryman and friend into reputation) 
and so we see with astonishment the endeavours of the two friends quickly 
crowned in the access of the young man to the honour of becoming a 
member of the Royal Society. The unusual request, which Leibnitz 
had addressed to the Royal Society, was couched in the terms that 
had been agreed upon between him and Oldenburg, (voti coram Te 
expositi, page 33) ; and so this weighty transaction was concluded 
just as they had wished, and Oldenburg was further to promise, by 
word of mouth, that Leibnitz would make every exertion in order 
that the Society might never repent of having complied with his request. 


So it was by Oldenburg's exertions that Leibnitz had been received 
into the Society, without, at the time of his reception, having been 
preeminently qualified by his merit. This Leibnitz himself allows and 
admits when he says (see Gerhardt's Tract of 1848, pages 29 and 

30, line 2; cum Parisios appidissem anno Christi 1672 erani 

in superbd pene dixerini Mathescos ignorantia, and in Desmaiseaux, 
(Recueil II., pages 5, 114) " au premier voyage en Angleterre, je n y avois 
" pas encore la moindre connaissance de la Geometrie avancee ; [on my 
u first journey to England I did not yet know anything of advanced 
" Geometry."] 

We see that it was not in the few months that he stayed in Paris, 
before his first journey to London, 1672, but afterwards, that Leibnitz 
learned what was necessary. In order, nevertheless, that he might 
continue to play the part of a great man which he had begun to play in 
1672, we see him in London and after his return from London come 
always upon the stage as a discoverer. Even Guhrauer, the professed 
biographer of Leibnitz, is not fascinated with this trait in his hero's 
character, and says in one case (Vol. 1, page 329), "one cannot help 
" placing the universal Characteristic, or the Philosophical Calculus, 
" which Leibnitz was in search of and attempted to discover, on a 
"level with the finding of the philosopher's stone, and the manu- 
" facture of gold. And with regard, so continues Guhrauer, to another 
" but purely mathematical project of Leibnitz's, the ANALYSIS SITUS, 
" Kant, whom no reputation (Guhrauer throws this in) could dazzle, 
" leaves it an open question, whether the cause of its non-completion, 
"was that Leibnitz thought his attempts as yet too imperfect, or that 
" the case was with him as ic has been, according to Boerhaave, with 
" several great chemists, who gave themselves out to be possessed of 
" secrets, when they had really nothing but a persuasion and a con- 
" viction of their capacity for acquiring such ; and thought that they 
"could not possibly fail in the execution, if they would once choose 
" and attempt it ; at all events it appears as if the mathematical 
" discipline, to which Leibnitz gave by anticipation the title of Ana- 


" lysis situs, and of which Buffon has bewailed the loss, had never 
" been anything but a chimera." Man kann nicht nmhin, " die allge- 
u meine Characteristic, oder den philosophischen Calcul, (den Leibnitz 
" suchte und ertinden wollte), nait dem Steine der Weisen und der 
" Goldbereitung auf eine Linie zu stellen; bei einem andren, aber rein 
11 mathematischen Entwurfe Leibnitzen's der analysis situs, lasst Kant, 
" welchen kein Name blendete, [sagt GuhrauerJ, ' es dahingestellt, ob 
" ' die Ursache der Nichterflillung dahin zu setzen, dass dem Leibnitz 
" ' seine Versuche noch zu unvollendet schienen, oder ob es ihm ge- 
" ' gangen sei, wie Boerhave von grossen Chemisten vermuthet : dass 
11 c sie ofters Kunststticke vorgaben, in deren Besitze sie wiiren, da sie 
" ' eigentlich nur in der Ueberredung und dem Zutrauen zu ihrer 
" ' Geschicklichkeit standen : dass ihnen die Ausfuhrung derselben nicht 
" ' misslingen konnte, wenn sie einmal dieselbe iibeniehmen wollten j 
" ' wenigstens habe es den Anschein, dass jene mathematische Disciplin, 
" ' welche Leibnitz im voraus Analysiti situs betitelt, und deren Yerlust 
" ' unter Andern BufFon bedauert hat, wohl niemals etwas mehr als 
" ' ein Gedankending gewesen sei.' " 

This is Kant's verdict. With a character of this kind — " a burn- 
" ing desire for fame [einer brennenden Begierde nach Ruhm"], as 
Gerhardt terrns it (Vol. 1, page 3), it may be eas) T for a man to think 
himself the discoverer of something which has already been discovered, 
and one knows not where this rage for discovery will be arrested. 
In England Leibnitz, as we know, had already twice been unlucky 
with his inventions, (hence perhaps a certain spite against the country) ; 
we refer to the discovery with which he came out in the Soiree at 
Boyle's, and to the other with Mengolus. But Oldenburg had de- 
fended him, and he had retui'ned to Paris. 

The first communication from Paris of any importance is contained 
in Leibnitz's letter of the 26th October, 1674, in which he writes to 
Oldenburg, just after mentioning some general investigations which 
appeared to him of not much value : majoris ad usum vitae momenti est 
Prqfectus Geometriae ; et inprimis Dimensio Curvilinearum : wide saepe 


praeclara Problemata Meckanica pendent. In ea Geometriae parte rem 
memorabilem miki evenisse nimcio. Scis B. Vicecomitem Brounkerum, 
et CI. virum Nic. Mercatorem exkibuisse Infinitani Seriem numerorum 
rationalium^ spatio Hyperbolae aequalem. Sed hoc in Circulo efficere 
kactenus potuit nemo. Etsi enim III. Brounkerus et Wallisius dederint 
numeros rationales magis magisque apjpropinquantes ; nemo tamen dedit 
progressionem numerorum rationalium 1 cujus in infinitum continuatae 
summa sit exacte aequalis Circxdo. Id vero mihi tandem feliciter suc- 
cessit: invent enim seriem Numerorum valde simplicem^ cujus summa 
exacte aequatur Circumferentiae Circidi ; posito Biametrum esse Uni- 
tatem. Et kabet ea series id quoque peculiare^ quod miras quasdam 
Circidi et Hyperbolae exkibet harmonias. Itaque Tetragonismi Circu- 
laris Problema, jam a Geometria traductum est ad Arithmeticam Brfi- 
nitorum, quod kactenus frustra quaerebatur. Restat ergo tantum, ut 
Boctrina de Serierum seu Brogressionum numericarum summis perficiatur. 
Quicunque kactenus Quadraturam Circidi exactam quaesivere, ne viam 
quidem aperuere per quam eo pervenire posse spes sit, quod nunc 
primum a me factum dicer e ausim. Ratio Biametri ad Circumferen- 
tiam, exacte a me exkiberi potest per Rationem, non quidem Numeri 
ad Numerum [id enim foret absolute invenisse) ; sed per rationem Nu- 
meri ad totam quandam Seriem. 

Oldenburg answers Leibnitz (who, as we perceive, stated himself 
to have discovered a special quadrature of the circle by approxima- 
tion) saying that the English had not only this, but also a general 
method, by which to discover the same, and much else that was 
therewith connected. Oldenburg says : ignorare te nolim, Curvarum 
dimetiendarum rationem et metkodum a Gregorio nee non ab Isaaco 
Newtono ad curvas quaslibet, turn Meckanicas, turn Geometricas, quin 
et eircidum, se extendere ; ita scilicet ut si in aliqua curva ordinatam 
dederis, istius metkodi benejicio possis lineae curvae longitudinem jigurae 
aream et alia invenire. 

Now the full extent of this general method is no other than that 
which was afterwards termed the Differential Calculus; and no one 


denies that if Leibnitz knew the Compendium on that subject of 
1669, which Collins and Oldenburg possessed, this would be sufficient 

to convict him of plagiarism And so indeed Leibnitz's curiosity 
was in the highest degree excited by the notion of the existence of 
this general method in the reach of his friend Oldenburg. 

That Leibnitz himself had no sort of general method, of which 
his single quadrature was a special application, is evident from his 
letter, Besides which Huyghens writes just at this time to Leibnitz, 
Cerhardt II. S. 16 : wms . M si . '■' . - - hant 

la Quad - - 

lit - - stratum. Chas Leib- 

had no method of d - ig . f demonstrating quadrat. - 

but Oldenbmg s : bis cori - : and described to him almost the 
■ paper which Newton . and of which not only Collins but also 

Oldenburg had copies in their desk, we mean the - 

' ~ which the whole method 
and the Differential Calculus is found. Also in other letters of Olden- 
bur g's - the year 1669, Oldenl _ tes not onb sJ - with 
lysis, No. XJJLL] Wo see 
tha: Newton exception to tl fas - tempera: - 
of publishing only V salts, he gave away his whole method in 
this compendium. 

What now could I do. when he bee.. this immense 

wealth of the English? He might either beg thai this 
thod be communicated to him. or he might answer. u I will not 
"have your methods." But a man like I . who is "bnrnn _ 

with the les to g fame, does not act in such a simple manner: 
he d - not to learn these methods at whatever price, but . - 

he did not stand in need of them : he accordingly 
: i Oldenburg in the letter which Oldenburg could show | 
Newton Gerhardt, N XXIII. ' - •• N< fomtw he 

.\luin ex) . rrarum s 

eiermm et S .'forum Dimmsi ltrvrum 


Grravitatis inventiones, per ap>propinquat ioncs scilicet, ita enim interpretor. 
Quae Methodus si est universalis et commoda, meretur acstimari ; nee 
dubito fore ingeniosissimo auctorc dignain. Addis tale quid Orcgorio 
innotuisse ; but on the same date he wrote the subsequent No. 24, 
Mittara T1BI inventwm meum, satis certe mcmorabile, quod magnitudincm 
Circuli per seriem numerorum rational ium infinitum mire simplicem 
expriniit : si mihi vicissim duo vestratiuni inventa Geometrica pollicearis, 
unv/m Collinii, de quo aliquando mentionem fecisti, de summis serierum 
numericarum Jinitarum, quorum termini sint primanorum, secundanorum, 
tertianorum etc. reciproci; alterum G r eg orii circa methodum appropin- 
quandi ad veram Circuli et Hyperbolae magnitudinem per series con- 
vergenteS) cujus in Exercitationibus Geometricis exempla dedit. Et vero 
si Collinianum mihi consensu Clarissimi autoris, cui plurimam salutem 
a me dicas rogo, mis&ris quamprimum (nam etiani editum prostaf : nisi 
fallor in libro quodam Anglico) statim transmittam meum et Gregorian inn 
praestolabor, dum TIBI commoditas oblata fiterit obtinendi db autore ; 
neque enim credo Londini agit. 

Intelligo autem non inventa tantum, sed et demonstrationes mitti 
debere. Meum exactissime demon stratum, sed et numeris comprobatum 
habeo, et visum est ita memorabile insignibus quibusdam Geometris, ut 
invenforum Cgclometricorxim hactenus cognitorum apicem appellare non 

This matches very well for Leibnitz who had now already learnt 
that series like his own were already printed in Gregory, (only without 
the method,) and could not therefore hope to shine by the side of 
Newton with his one poor quadrature, however he might dress it up ; 
before the secretary however it was still feasible to glorify this in- 
vention ; and it was this accordingly that he wanted to exchange 
with Oldenburg for the general method, about which Oldenburg- 
was to enquire, not from Newton, but from Gregory, [cui innotuit Juec 
methodus,) that is, he was to get oral information, for which reason 
the business was to be adjourned awhile, viz. till Gregory came to 
London. Thus it was most cleverly pre-arranged that Oldenburg was 



not to write upon the subject, but to serve Leibnitz by oral enquiries. 
It agrees perfectly with the diplomatic address of the Advocatus and 
Staatsrath Leibnitz, in writing to his friend Oldenburg, who himself 
had been a consular agent, that he does not bluntly say, " you know 
"on what terms we are with one another; my invention is a small 
•' thing ; get me secretly the greater one that your people have ;" 
Leibnitz was not writing to a spy, whom he had bribed with money, 
but to a friend, of whom he only required, that he should do a small 
service to a fellow-countryman, without knowing how great was that 
service. But the import is not the less unfair ; and we must ask 
whether after that No. 23, which Oldenburg deposited in the archives 
of the Society, Gerhardt's No. 24 could be anything but a private 
letter of the same date; for in No. 23 and in No. 24, the same 
subject is brought forward, though indeed in different ways. Compare 
the expressions in the two letters. At no other time was the position 
of things in regard to this single quadrature on the one side, and the 
Method of Quadratures on the other, such as is pre-supposed in this 
letter, which Gerhardt has therefore inserted in its present place, and 
could not have inserted elsewhere. 

We will now at once remark, that any one, who would serve 
Leibnitz better than Gerhardt serves him, may here say, Gerhardt 
does not understand these things; he gives us documents, which are 
not that for which he passes them. No. 24 cannot be, as Gerhardt 
makes out, a letter supposed to be despatched, but only a draft, 
which never went to England. But with all the partiality that this 
view implies, it makes the case for Leibnitz not better than before ; 
for it shows that Leibnitz had the design to get himself syste- 
matically informed about this method, i.e. the Differential Calculus, 
by means of oral enquiries, (according to the draft letter No. 24) ; 
while instead of it he sent off No. 23, by which he concealed that 
desire ; perhaps because he did not feel quite sure that Oldenburg, to 
whom he could not yet speak by word of mouth, would serve him. 
The curiosity and the unallowable disavowal of this curiosity, and 


the wish of obtaining through Oldenburg a secret information, remain 
proved, though our interpretation has tried to assist Leibnitz better 
than Gerhardt. 

On the 20th of May, 1675, Leibnitz writes: Cum nunc praeter 
ordinarias curas Meclianicis inprimis negotiis distrahar, non potui exam- 
mare series quas misisti ac cum meis comparare, which would again 
be a falsehood, meant to conceal Leibnitz's desire to get informed 
about the English method, if it be (as we think it is) true, what is 
proved by Gerhardt's documents, (Tract of 1848, p. 23, note **,) that 
Leibnitz, at this very time, was not at all occupied with mechanical 

* In order not to break the thread of our investigations we will here just 
cursorily introduce an example of Leibnitz's anticipated discoveries out of the 
Correspondence, which confirms Kant's severe verdict respecting him, and shows 
at the same time that Leibnitz wanted to exchange that which he had not got 
hold of for something more substantial. He writes 12th June, 1675. Ego rem 
molior, et satis credo in numerato habeo, qua nescio an ad usum major possit 
sperari in Algebra, methodum scilicet, per quam omnium Aequationum radices 
instrumento qnodam, sine ullo calculo (j)ost Aequationum praeparationem non diffi- 
cilem) in numeris pro instrumenti magnitudine quantumlibet veritati propinquis, 
haberi possint. Si Collinius ant Parius inventum supradictum communicare voluerint, 
ego meum inventum, nemini hactenus a me monstratum, vicissim ipsis patefaciam. 
Oldenburg answers and gives in six long numbers, all of what Collins had supplied 
him with, and this : Dn. Newtonus (ut hoc ex occasione literarum suarum, meaning 
Collins, addam) lenejicio Logarithmoricm graduatorum in scalis TrapaWnXoo? locandis 
ad distantius aequales, vel Circulorum Concentricorum eo modo graduatorum admi- 
niculo, invenit aequationum radices. Tres JRegulae rem conficiunt pro Cubicis ; 
quatuor, pro Biquadraticis : In harum dispositions, respectivae coejficientes omnes 
jacent in eadem linea recta, a cujus puncto, tarn remoto a regula prima, ac graduatae 
scalae sunt ab invicem, linea recta Us super extenditur, una cum iiraescr^it'is con- 
sentaneis genio aequatlonis, qua in regularum una potestas pura datur radicis quaesitae. 
Lubenter equidem cognosccremus, num Tu, Vir Doctissime, et Newtonus noster in 
artificium idem incideritis. But now that Leibnitz has got all he wants out of the 
English, and can profit nothing further by them, he breaks off the subject with 
the words, Methodum Celeberrimi Newtoni, radices Aequationum inveniendi per 
Instrumentum, credo differre a mea. Neque enim video in mea quid aut Logarithm! 
aut Circuli Concentrici conferant. Quoniam tamen rem vobis non ingratam video ; 



In the letter of 12th May, 1676, Leibnitz had once more an oppor- 
tunity of enquiring, quite without offence, just cursorily, what the 
English method might be ; and when Newton had thereupon written 
to him his first letter, he could say to Oldenburg, whom he thereupon 
visited in London ; " you see Newton himself has written to me ; so 
"now you can tell me all and just a little more about it;" and then 
Oldenburg may have given him, and has given him, as Biot and Lefort 
tell us, the Analysis of Newton, but only to make extracts. 

We have been obliged to elucidate this transaction, it however 
may have taken place in many other ways ; in any case it lies before 
us fearfully as a naively told fact, that Leibnitz has secretly read the 
Analysis of Newton, for he made extracts from it. 

Every one must immediately feel that he can only have made 
those extracts in London, that is, when he for the second time, we 
do not know for what reason, went there, being bound to Hanover; 
even the date is of no primary consequence ; all that matters is the 
secrecy with which Leibnitz held possession of these extracts, for as 
that Analysis of Newton's was to be had printed as early as 1711 in 
Jones's edition, and 1712 in the Comm. Epist., Leibnitz's extracts of 
it as of a Newtonian " manuscript" must certainly bear date at least 
before 1711; and now let us ask if in Leibnitz's confidential corre- 
spondence with Bernoulli, which lasts to 1712, Leibnitz had not on 
every page occasion to say that he had made extracts form Newton's 
important paper, which furnished the key to all Newton's publications, 
to the Pnncipia, the Memoirs upon Light, the Linece Tert. Ord., and the 
Quadratures. But Leibnitz did not so act ; he concealed these 
Newtonian extracts from Bernoulli and from all his other friends, 
from Tschirnhaus and from all the world, — and from Newton — 
and yet he had here everything; for if he excerpted the analysis, 

abconabor solvere, ac tibi cummunicare, quamprimum otii sat erit. Just like the 
Chemists, of whom Kant and Boerhaave speak, who boast of discoveries which 
they are not yet possessed of! And what sort of a discovery was this? It is 
one which Leibnitz never again recurs to. 


he surely did not neglect that which was best therein, even if he did 
not copy it, but only kept it in his memory, and extracted figures. 

But as all our readers will not possess the correspondence of Ber- 
noulli and Leibnitz in the edition of 1745, of which the index is here 
conclusive, we will, in order to give some conception of the frequent 
occasion that Leibnitz had to mention the fact to Bernoulli, if he had 
not been all too conscious of the necessity he was under to conceal it, 
copy verbatim from the index to this extensive and highly confiden- 
tial correspondence (which lasted from 1694 to Leibnitz's death), the 
rubrics Newtonus et Calculus infinitesimal is promotus : 

Newtonus, ejus Opuscula quaedam in Wallisii Operibus inserta 1. 185 

— ejus Calculus Fluxionum in quo differat a differentiali . .191 
an sit primus illius inventor, . II. 111. 283. 297. 308. 309. 

313. 364. 375 

— — unde ilium desumsisse suspicatur BEENOULLIUS I. 191. 195 

— ejus errores ab HuGENlO notati, . . . 208. 211 

— opus aliquod vult in lucem emittere, . . . 241 

— ex eo expectatur Problema Celerrimi descensus, . 247. 253 
illud solvit ..... 262. 266. 269 

— quid ei tribuatur circa Corporum Attractionem . . 390 

— gravitatem Corporum, extra Terram, esse reciproce in dupli- 
cata ratione distantiarum a Centro, sed, intra Terram, directe 

in simplici distantiarum ratione statuit, . .411, 415, 420. 424 

— — et litem cum Fatio habuisse dicitur, . . I. 475. 483 
qua de causa secundum Leibnitii conjecturas, . . 480 

— quaedam ad eum spectantia, II. 31. 55. 86. 106. 111. 137. 154. 247 

290. 302. 357. 361 

— an ei tribuenda Serierum Methodus, ... 97 

— ejus Lunae Theoria, .... 106. 124. 153 

— ejus Optica : Enumeratio Linearum tertii ordinis : Quadratura 
Curvarum Geometricarum publicae fiunt, . . 123. 124. 180 

— ejus Optica Anglice scripta, Latine vertitur, . . 159. 347 


Newtonus, ejus Arithmetica Universalis in publicum Cantabrigiae 

emissa, ..... 182. 185. 189 
de ea Leibnitii judicium, .... 182 

— ejus excerptuin quiddam Nicolao BERNOULLIO Nic. fil. mittitur 210 

— colorum experiuienta quaedam a Mariotto facta Newtoni 
tentatis non eongruunt, .... 213. 216. 234. 235 

— secunda ejus Principiorum Philos. Editio, 223. 226. 229. 291. 299 

— in ejus Principiorum Phil, loca quaedam Bernoullianae adni- 
madversiones, . . . 240. 241. 253. 294. 299 

— Regiae Societati Bernoullium proposuit, . . 299 

— commcrcium Litterarium cum BERNOULLIO habuit, . . 302 

— differentia inter ejus Philosophiam et Leibnitianam, . 364 

— inter eum, (vel potius Clarckium) et Leibnitium Philoso- 
phica controversia, . . . 381. 382. 384. 390. 396 

Plura vide in Calculi injinitesimalis historia. 
Calculus infinitesimalis, 7. 9. 14. 15. 26. 28. 35. 40. 41. 46. 53. 55. 57. 62. 
65. 67. 75. 76. 81. 84. 91. 104. 127. 129. 179. 201. 202. 
217. 218. 223. 226. 227. 231. 298. 306. 319. 321. 331. 332. 

334. 367. 401. 461. 

— propagatus, ..... 12. 28. 30 

— in eum difficultas proposita, . . . . .377 
soluta, ....... 382 

— idem est ac Methodus Fluxionum, . . . .190 

— illius adversarii, II. 23. 25. 39. 40. 69. 71. 78. 148. 150. 153. 170. 

172. 177. 178. 211. 

— ejus historia 151. 154. 155. 161. 283. 286. 291. 299. 300. 302. 308. 

313. 315. 320. 323. 325. 327. 330. 334. 337. 340. 
343. 351. 358. 361. 364. 367. 375. 377. 378. 

Not in one of all the above passages in this correspondence, (which 
lasted from 1694 later than 1712) is it stated that Leibnitz possessed 
anything from Newton, which the. public in general did not possess. 
We shall not be expected to prove, that Leibnitz must have commu- 


nicated with Bernoulli about these extracts of this Newtonian pamphlet, 
if he did not feel himself obliged to keep it secret. 

We should be glad, if we had deceived ourselves in this last 
chapter, and if Leibnitz's extracts from the Analysis could be other- 
wise explained; but then the other four chapters of this Enquiry- 
would still require no alteration. 

Even if we are right in our last chapter, it need not absolutely 
follow that Leibnitz is a plagiarist in the worst sense ; but perhaps 
Oldenburg did not allow him time enough; or he did not extract 
everything, or he saw the analysis only through Collins, and might 
subsequently believe that he himself was the discoverer, and that he 
had no need to mention what he had seen. But beyond these grounds 
of excuse nothing can be alleged for him. 

We have been urged to this investigation by the unworthy attacks 
that have been made on Newton, whom we were accustomed to 
revere as one of our nation ; and we are ready to apologize to Leibnitz, 
if, in the last chapter, but it is only the last we refer to, we have 
spoken too immoderately against him or against Oldenburg. 





" I have found in the collection 
of Leibnitz's manuscripts in the 
library in Hannover a manuscript 
with the heading : Excerpta ex 
tractatu Newtoni Msco. de Ana- 
lysi per aequationes numero ter- 
minorum infmitas, without, as I 
am sorry to say, the date at which 
Leibnitz wrote the same. The 
first line of this manuscript reads 
as follows : AB n x ; BD n y ; 
a, i, c, quantitates datae ; w, n 

numeri integri. Si ax n y, erit 

x " n [fy] areae*. Further 

" Wir haben in der Sammlung 
" der Handschriften Leibnitz its auf 
" der Koniglichen Bibliothek zu Han- 
" nover ein Manuscript gefunden i/iit 
" der Aufschrift: Excerpta ex trac- 
11 tatu Neutoni Msco. de Analyst per 
" aequationes numero terminorum in- 
u Jlnitas J aufdem leider der VermerJi 
u der Zeit fehlt, in welclier Leibnitz 
" es schrieb. Die erste Zeile dieses 
" Manuscripts lautet: AB n x; 
11 BD n y ; t?, J, c quantitates datae ; 


" m, n numeri int/gri. Siax n n y ; 

m + n 

erit - — x 
m + n 




* "In his Excerpta it was Leibnitz's *" In seinen Excerpten pflegte Leibnitz 

"fashion to include his remarks as here " die eigenen Bemerkungen durch Klam- 
" in parentheses. — Gerh." " mern einzuschliessen — Gerh." 



" Leibnitz has only noted down the " Folgenden hat nich Leibnitz nut das 

"example —, = 3/, and the develop- 

" ment of- — — ; , in a series, and the 

" Newtonian Extraction of Roots ; 
" but the chapter De Resolutione 
" aequationum affectarum, in which 
" Leibnitz seems to have interested 
" himself particularly, is almost com- 
" pletely written out." 

" Beispiel — = ?/, ferner die Ent- 

" wickelunq von -, in eine Reihe 

11 unddie Wurzelausziehung Newton's 
" angemerkt ; dagegen ist fast voll- 
" standig der Abschnitt : De Reso- 
" lutione aequationum affectarum, 
" ausgeschrieben ,fiir welchen Leibn itz 
" sich besonders interessirt zu haben 
" scheint."'' 


It is easy to prove that the attacks of Biot on Newton's character 
are unfounded. With regard to the vehement controversy between 
Leibnitz and Newton, Biot forgets that it did not originate with 
Newton. For if we were even to assume with M. Biot, that Leibnitz 
had more right to the discovery than he really has, still it is at all 
events he that had got something from Newton, and not Newton from 
him ; for which reason Leibnitz in publishing ought to have said, that 
it was known to him that Newton had the very same thing which 
he (Leibnitz) published in 1684. Newton did not take offence at 
Leibnitz's thus ignoring his equal claim to the discovery ; but only in 
his next publication, in the Principia, of which the printing was 
completed in 1687, added the well known Scholiam: In Uteris quae 
mihi cum Oeometra peritissimo G. G. Leibnitio annis abhinc decern 
inter 'cedebant, cum signijicarem me compotem esse methodi determinandi 
maxima et minima, ducendi Tangentes, et similia peragendi, quae in 
terminis surdis aeque ac in rationalibus procederet, et Uteris transpositis 
hanc sententiam involventibus eamdem celarem ; Rescripsit Vir Clarissimus 
se quoque in ejusmodi methodum incidisse, et methodum suam communi- 
cavit a mea vix abludentem / praeterquam in verborum et notarum formulis. 
Utriusque fundamentum continetur in hoc Lemmate. M. Biot justly 
remarks in the Journal des Savants (1855, p. 603) that Newton hereby 
"recognises the independence of the rights of Leibnitz," " reconnait 
" V independance des droits de Leibnitz" whence indeed twenty years later, 
in 1711, when Newton was no longer amicably disposed to Leibnitz, he 
found it inconvenient that there should exist a scholium so favourable to 
the latter, and implying such a recognition of his claims ; " en 1711 lorsque 
"Newton etait exasperS" says M. Biot, u Ce scholie devenait pour lui 
" une piece a decharge fort embarrassante .*" "in 1711, when Newton 



" was exasperated, this Scholium was for him a very embarrassing 
" piece." 

But how did Leibnitz act? He ought, as we see, to have named 
Newton in his publication of 1684, and the latter might have taken 
amiss this ignoring of his claim ; still Newton mentioned in his first 
publication, by the side of his own, the contemporaneous right of 
Leibnitz. Ought not Leibnitz now at least to have confirmed this, 
or at all events done something rather than commence an attack upon 
Newton? But in truth he just now with a premeditated design injured 
Newton, by inserting just after Newton's Principia had been published 
a memoir in the Acta Enid. 1689, in which he, under the pretence of 
being as yet unacquainted with Newton's Principia of 1687, gave the 
most important propositions thereof on his own part. We will not 
dwell upon this affair; let it suffice that Biot strongly and sharply 
censures Leibnitz for it ; and that even in their extraordinary edition 
of the Commercium EpistoliGum, (1856), Messrs. Biot and Lefort repeat 
the censure, saying at p. 209, Cette publication , (dans les Actes de Leipsig i 
Mens. Web. 1689) est a mes yeux le seul tort que Leibnitz ait en envers 
Newton, jusqu 1 <tu moment de In deplorable controverse qui a empoisonne 
I, urs derhiers jours. So this, according to our good French friends, 
is (le tort) the wrong of Leibnitz ! but herewith the affair began, for 
though they would gladly mystify us by using the politic phrase, 
c 'est a mes yeux h seul tort que Leibnitz ait en envers Newton jusqu'av 
&c, yet no one will be so far misled by this as to forget the dates, 
which prove that in this only wrong Leibnitz committed also the first 
wrong, for before 1689 all that had been said or printed by Newton, 
or the hitter's friends, was in no way calculated to irritate Leibnitz, 
but on the contrary purely amicable. 

How must it have wounded Newton, that after the gigantic work 
of the Principia, on which he had laboured so much, and which he 
published in 1687, Leibnitz with French levity took the credit of the 
whole work to himself, publishing the interesting theorems of it on 
his part in 1689, as if he had at that time not seen the Principia? 


It is justly said in the Epistola ad Amicum that if Leibnitz had really 
not seen the Principia two years after its publication, yet nevertheless 
he had seen the Epitome of the Principia which was published in 
the Acta Erurt. of 1688. Qua beta, says Newton, in the Epistola ad 
Amicum, Ds. Leibnitzius sch diasmata sua de motimm coelestium causis 
— compositit et in Actis Lipsicis ineunte anno 1689 imprimi cura- 
vttf quasi Ipse quoque praceipuus Newtoni de his rebus Propositiones 
vmetdsmt idque mcthodo diversa, et librum Newtoni nondum vidisset. 
Qua licentia concessa Authores qitilibet inventis suis facile privari possunt. 
Quam prmtum Liber Newtoni hocem vidit exemplar ejus D. Nicolao 
Fatio datum est ut ad Leibnitium mitteretur (1687). Viderat Leibnitius 
(1688) Epitomen ejus in Actis Lipsicis. Per commercium epistolicum 
quod cum viris doctis passim habebat, cognoscere potuit Propositiones 
principalis in libra iUo contentas into et librum iptsum procurare. Sin 
Librum ipsum non vidisset, videre tamen debuisst t antequam sua de iisdem 
rebus cogitata publicaret, idque ne festinando erraret in subjecto novo 
ac difficili et Newtono injurius esset auferendo inventa ejus, et Lectori 
molestus repetendo quae Newtonus antea dixerat. 

We repeat that it is Biot, who most severely censures Leibnitz's 
conduct ; for he says (Article on Leibnitz in the Biographic uni- 
versale and Biot's Com. Epist. Colliusii, p. 209.) Ainsi Vimmortel 
ouvrage des Principes avait paru depuis deux ans et Leibnitz ne 
V avait pas regarde: il ne V avait pas regarde meme apres que lies 
decouvertes monies qu?il off rait pour la premiere fois au mondc, avoir ut 
ete annoncees dans les Actes auxquels Leibnitz renvoie ; et il assure u'en 
avoir jamais eu connaissance que par cet extra/it. Sans doute il faut le 
croire, car il serait trop desesperant pour Vhonneur de Vesprit humain de 
supposer un si grand genie capable de la plus vile imposture* : mat's 

* In the Journal des Savants of 1852, p. 136, IJiot adds: "qttviqtte d'apres V ordre 
des prohlemes que Leibnitz attaque et d'apres V usage qu'il fait des lot's de Kepler 
pour etablir ses deductions il est a peine croyable qu il n'ait pas daigne se renseigner 
plus surement." Thus he (Biot) does not believe from internal evidence (a peint) 
that Leibnitz had not also read the Principia. 


alors il faut bldmer un dedain si aveugle ou une si condamnable 

When then for ever so long a time not a word about Newton's 
contemporaneous discovery of the Differential Calculus was to be 
wrung from the mouth of Leibnitz, and he was gradually acquiring the 
reputation of being the only discoverer, Newton's friends began to 
vindicate his right ; and when Leibnitz not only went on, without 
Newton's having spoken, to state the case for himself, but also in the 
Act. Erud. of 1705, referring to Newton's publication of 1704, de 
quad rut urn curvarum et de lineis tert. ord., came out in quite an 
irritating manner against Newton with the celebrated words semper 
adhibuit, for which Leibnitz was never able to justify himself, and 
with the comparison of Newton to Honoratus Fabrius, and of himself to 
Cavalleri, by which he got up the semblance of a charge of plagiarism 
against Newton — then the cup was filled, and Newton, who, not having 
as yet in the publication of 1704 said a word against Leibnitz, now 
finding himself with insidious phrases set down as a plagiarist, was at 
length — no man could have commanded himself longer — provoked to 
publish the documents disputing the latter's claim to the exclusive 

We will give the leading passage out of this politic memoir of 
Leibnitz's. Leibnitz says : Ingeniosissimus demde Autor anteguam ad 
Quadraturas curvarum vel potius Curvilinearum veniat, praemittit brevem 
Isagoqen. Quae ut melius intclligatur, sciendum est cum magnitude 

/aliqua continue crescit, veluti Lima {exempli gratia) crescit fiuxu Puncti 
quod earn describit, incrementa ilia momentanea appellari difterenttaSj 
nempe inter magnitudinem quae antea erat, et quae per mutationem 
momentaneam est producta; atque kinc natum esse Calculum Diffi r< nt'udem, 
eique reciprocum Summatorium ; cujus elementa ab inventore D. Godefrido 
Guilielmo Leibnitio in his Actis sunt tradita, variique usus turn ab 
■ipso, turn a D. D. Fratribus Bernoulliis, turn et D. March ione Hospitalio, 
[cujus nuper extincti immaturam mortem omnes magnopere dolere debent, 
qui profundioris doctrinae profectum amant) sunt ostensi. Pro differentiis 


igitur Leibnitianis D. Newtonus adhibet, semper que adhibuit, Fluxiones, 
quae sunt quam proxime ut Fluentium augmenta aequalibus temporis 
particidis quam minimis genita, ; usque turn in suis Principiis Naturae 
Mathematicis, turn in aliis postea editis eleganter est usus, quemadmodum 
et Honoratus Fabrius in sua Synopsi Geometrical motuum progressus 
Cavallerianae metlwdo substituit. 

We see that Leibnitz had not really the courage to say openly, 
that he was the first, and Newton the second discoverer, but that he 
only gave a glimpse of this intimation by the concluding word substituit, 
and through the word adhibet, to which he mysteriously appended the 
words semperque adhibuit ; moreover Leibnitz had not even the courage 
to sign his name to the article, but denied stubbornly, even till his 
death, that he had written this Review ; which however every one 
looked upon as having proceeded from him, and which, as is now 
proved, he had really written. 

How long then, in order to satisfy M. Biot, ought Newton and his 
friends to have been silent ? So far was the Gommercium Epistolicum 
from being an act of aggression, that we have much rather reason to 
say, that it would have been no longer fair to fight a disguised battle, 
and with politic phrases to cover the case thinly over, while the 
documents could be brought forward. 

Thus it cannot be maintained that Newton was the irreconcileable 
strife-loving party ; Newton was mild and loved tranquillity ; he even 
abstained from editing Kinkhuysen's Algebra, ne quietem suam perderet, 
(Com. Ep. No. 23, and 57), and he wrote to Leibnitz even in 1693, 
Spero me nihil scripsisse, quod tibi non placeat, aut si quid sit, ut Uteris id 
mihi significes, quoniam amicos pluris facio quam inventa mathematica. 

The individual small attacks of Biot on Newton have as little 
foundation. II ne faut pas, says Biot in 1832, (Jour, des Sav. p. 271), 
vouloir Justifier Newton d" 1 avoir supprime dans la troisieme Edition des 
Principes le celebre sckolie quHl avait insere dans les premieres et qui 
reconnaissait les droits de Leibnitz. That is, M. Biot wants Newton, 
after he has engaged in a dispute with Leibnitz, to acknowledge once 


more that which he now denied ; a singular demand indeed ! It is 
here again to be remarked in Newton's favour, that he simply withdrew 
the scholium favourable to Leibnitz, without replacing it by a hostile 
one. Enjin, continues M. Biot, il ne faut pas trouver beau, ni juste 
ni honorable, h Newton d'avoir encore poursuwi son rival dans la tombs, 
par une nouvelle edition du Oommercium Epistolicum augmentee de deux 
nouvelles httres de Leibnitz, qiC il s'etatt procurSes, et quHl accompaffna 
./'/>,/■ refutation tres amere. The Coram. Ep. was made public during 
the lifetime of Leibnitz, and the lettres que Newton s' eta it procurers 
are bv no means private letters, but one of them is the charta volans 
mathematica 7 JuMi 1713, which Newton had certainly no need to 
get, as Biot's words would lead us to imagine, by any unallowable 
means, because Leibnitz liimself had everywhere circulated it, in order 
thereby to assail Newton ; and the other is the reply of Newton's 
friends thereunto, (the " refutation" being the Ad leetorein of this 
edition : for the Recensio reprinted there, had appeared in the Phi- 
losophical Transactions one year and eight months, and in the Journal 
Literaire, in French, one year and seven months before the death of 

M. Biot further makes mention of an account-book of the year 1659, 
kept by Newton (who was at that time sixteen years old) which has 
been brought to light, of which Sir David Brewster (Biot's authority) 
thus speaks : 

u At the end of tin booh there is a list <>f his expenses, entitled Impensa 
u propria, meupyimg fourteen pages. On the ith page the expenses are 
ie summed up thus: — 

* Even Newton's " Remarks" on the last Leibnitian pleadings before Conti 
(of 9th April. 1710) w< re written before Leibnitz's death, that is, before the 14th Nov., 
171<>. It i-. not Dcs Maizeaux's collection of 1720, in which (see pages 78, 98) 
those Remarks dated 18th May, 1716, were first printed, but the History of 
Fluxious by Raphson, of which book pages 97' — 123 are as it were a second 


Totum .... £3 5 6 

Habui .... 400 

Habeo .... 14 6 

" On the 5th page there are fourteen loans of money, extended thus : 

Lent Agatha . . £0 11 1 

Lent Oooch ..100 

" and he then adds at the bottom of the page, lent out 13 shillings more 

u than £4. 

" Among the entries are Chessemen and dial . £0 1 4 
Effigies amoris ... 010 

Do 10 

" and on the last page are entered seven loans, amounting to £3. 2s. Gd. 
" There is likewise an entry of l Income from a glasse and other things to 
tl ' my chamber-fellow, £0 9.' Another page is entitled 
Otiose et frustra expensa. 


Sherbet and reaskes. 

China ale. 






Bottled beer. 





Cheese.' 1 '' 

M. Biot is very facetious on the subject of such details being 
offered to the public in England, but he might be facetious against 
himself for he adds still more detail, saying : Ne voulant pas imiter le 
singe de la fable qui prenait le Piree pour un nom d'homme, fai eu 
recours a V obligeance de M. le professeur De Morgan, le priant de vouloir 
bien m" 1 interpreter les mots dont le sens me semblait douteux, ou qui 
ni 1 etaient tout a fait inintelligibles. Grace a hit. je vais ici me prevaloir 
de son erudition archeologique dans la langue de Cambridge, en faveur 
des lecteurs frangais, peut-etre meme anglais qui voudraient connaitre an, 
juste, en quoi consistaient les exces de Newton. 

Marmelot equivaut evidemment au mot actuel marmalade, en frangais 



marmelade ; Reaskes, maintenant Rushes, designe une sorte de biscuits 

China ale, litteralement Vale de Chine. Tout le rnonde sait que 
Vale est une sorte de Mere legere de couleur jaune pale. Mais qu 1 est-ce 
que V ale de Chine? M. de Morgan a ingenieusemsnt devinS que ce devait 
Ure la une locution employee alors parmi les etudiants de Cambridge 
pour designer le the. We see that M. Blot and M. de Morgan 
have made some exertions In order to be able to impart those details 
to the public with still more precision than they were given with 
before them. 

We quote from the same article of Biot's, in 1855, the following 
passage about Newton's character: Aux occasions rares ou il lui arrivait 
[Newton) d\issister a des banquets publics dans la sallc commune du 
college, si V on n" 1 avait pas la precaution de Vy /aire penser, il arrivait en 
desordre, les souliers abattus sur les talons, les bas non attaches, les cheveux 
non peignes, et un surplis sur le tout. D' ] autres fois il sortait le long d'une 
rue sans songer qu : il n'etait pas convenablement habille ; puis s' en aper- 
cevant il regagnait bien vite son logis tout honteux. D' auditeurs il n'en 
avait que trls-peu ou pas du tout, et il faisait le plus souvent ses lecons 
devant les murailles. On ne le voyait jamais non plus prendre aucun 
amusement, aucun exercice, se meler a aucun jeu. U se delassait a" une 
Hude par une autre, toujours pensant, toujours meditant. H etait rare 
qii'il se couchdt avant deux heures du matin, pour se lever vers cinq 
ou six ; dormant au plus quatre ou cinq heures. Quant a son caracte're 
moral dans le peu de commerce qu'il avait avec le reste des homines, on 
le represente doux, pose, inoffensif, ne se mettant jamais en colere ; de 
plus charitable et genSreux dans V occasion. Ces derniers penchants, 
on sait qu -1 il les garda toujours, et V accroissement de sa fortune ne jit 
que lui donner les moyens de s'y abandonner plus librement. 

That M. Biot cannot understand such a character we perfectly 
comprehend, yet this is not the fault of Newton, but of Biot himself. 

Altogether Newton as inventor is in his right, even by the estab- 
lished conventions of the literary world, according to which an act of 
publication is necessary to establish one's title in a discovery, because 
mere thoughts may have been by the thinker himself considered 
valueless. For Newton in 1669 sent his Differential Calculus to the 
President of the Royal Society in London ; he had given it previously 
to Barrow, the Secretary of the Society Oldenburg and Collins 
had also copies. Newton had not forbidden these persons to speak 
of it, and Collins as well as Oldenburg made this discovery everywhere 
known as early as the year 1669, as is evinced by letters in the 
Comm. Epist., from Oldenburg, 14th September, 1669, to Sluse in 
Leyden ; from Collins, 25th November, 1669, to James Gregory ; from 
Collins, December, 1671, to Borelli in London; from the same, 26th 
December, 1671, to Vernon; from Oldenburg in several communica- 
tions to Leibnitz before 1675; but Collins and Oldenburg of course 
did not come forward with the detail, because it was proper that 
this should proceed from Newton, who meant to publish it in 
Kinkhuysen's Algebra, but was prevented by the controversies which 
arose from the publication on his Theory of Colours, and the labours 
which he bestowed upon the Principia. Newton thus made an 
exception to the practice of the Geometers of his time, because he 
did not keep to himself the method that he had discovered, but had 
written it down completely, and without reserve, and at once put 
it in circulation amongst his friends. 

It is commonly thought, that Newton eagerly concealed that which 
he had discovered, while Leibnitz, more magnanimous than Newton, 
communicated to the world all he knew, but Leibnitz cannot even 
claim the honour of this communicativeness ; for his publication in 



the Acta Eruditorum in 1684 was not made to be understood, but to 
be not understood. The publication was even not understood by 
mathematicians, such as Bernoulli — and James Bernoulli requested 
Leibnitz to expound to him that which was unintelligible therein. And 
Leibnitz did not answer. 

In the Memoires de VAcademie of 1705 we read : Mr. Jac. Bernoulli 
pSnetroit deja dans la Geometrie la plus abstruse, et la perfectionnoit par 
ses dScouvertes, a mesure quHl Vetudioit, lorsqu 'en 1684 la face de la 
Giometrie changea presque tout a coup, li 1 illustre M. Leibnits donna 
dans les Actes de Leipsic quelques essais de son nouveau Calcul differentiel, 
ou des Infiniment petits, dont il cachoit V art et la methode. Aussi-tot 
Mrs. Bernoulli, car M. Bernoulli Vun de ses freres, et son cadet, fameux 
GSometre, a la mime part a cette gloire, sentirent par le peu quails 
voyoient de ce calcul quelle en devoit itre Vetendue et la beaute, ils s'ap- 
pliquerent opiniatrement a en chercher le secret, et Venlever a Vinventeur, 
ils y reussirent, et perfectiomi&rent cette Methode au point que M. Leibnits 
par une sincerite digne oVun grand liomme a declare quelle leur ap- 
partenoit autant qxCa lui. 

Gerhardt endorses the above assertion, and we do so with him. 
He namely tells us, Leib. Math. Works, III, p. 5, 1855. "In the 
" Acta Enid., in 1684, Leibnitz had made known his new method; 
"James Bernoulli could readily imagine of what importance it was; 
" vet he was unable to raise the veil which, as it appeared, concealed 
" almost impenetrably the very concisely enunciated principle. At 
"last in the year 1687 au opportunity presented itself to James 
" Bernoulli to enter upon a correspondence with Leibnitz, the author 
" of the new method, and request him to furnish explanations and 
" directions by which to understand it. This letter of Bernoulli's was 

" delivered, while Leibnitz was absent upon a long journey ; and 

" so it happened that Leibnitz did not furnish James Bernoulli with 
" an answer to it, till after his return in the year 1690, when however 
" he had no longer any need to instruct Bernoulli in the principle of 
•• this higher analysis. For Bernoulli had, proprio Marte, and by a 


" persevering study, penetrated the mystery, and had already manifested 
"the proficiency he had acquired by the solution of the isochronous- 
" curve-problem, which Leibnitz had proposed to the Cartesians." 
"In den Actis erud. hatte Leibnitz 1684 seine neue Methode bekannt 
" gemacht ; Jac. Bernoulli mochte wohl ahnen, von welcher Wichtigkeit 
" sie sein kbnnte ; dennoch vermochte er den Schleier nicht zu liiften, 
" der das in grosster Kurze dargestellte Princip derselben, wie es schien, 
"fast undurchdringlich verhitllte. Endlich im Jahre 1687 bot sich Jac. 
" Bernoulli eine Gelegenheit dar, mit Leibnitz selbst, dem Verf. jener 
" neuen Methode, eine Correspondenz anzuknixpfen und ihn um die 
" Aufklarung und Anleitung zum Verstandniss zu bitten. Dieses Sch- 

" reiben von Bernoulli traf indess ein, als Leibnitz auf einer grossen 

" Reise begrifFen . So geschah es, dass Leibnitz erst nach seiner 

" Riickkehr im Jahre 1690 eine Antwort darauf an Jac. Bernoulli 
" iibersandte, in der er jedoch letzteren nicht mehr liber das Princip der 
"hbhern Analysis zu belehren nbthig hatte. Demi derselbe war durch 
" eigne Kraft und durch ein beharrliches Studium in das Mysterium 
" eingedrungen und hatte bereits seine erlangte Meisterschaft durch die 
" Lbsung des von Leibnitz den Cartesianern vorgelegten Problems der 
" isochronischen Curve bekundet." 

Thus far Gerhardt, the warm friend of Leibnitz. It is therefore 
entirely incorrect to say, that Leibnitz openly published the Differential 
Calculus. The contrary is manifest. Bernoulli had to find it out 
by his own ability; in doing which he was certainly assisted by 
Leibnitz's notice of 1684 and 1686, but perhaps not less by the 
publication of Newton's Principia in 1687. Such is the case of 
the "publication." And it is Gerhardt himself who cannot help 
admitting this against Leibnitz. 

It is well known that the Marquis de l'Hdpital was nominally 
the publisher of the detail of the Leibnitzian Differential Calculus, 
and it is a matter of course that he over and over again names Leibnitz 
as the discoverer of this method. It is however this very man's 
statement which makes against Leibnitz ; Newton has remarked this 
at the end of the Recensio in the words : Nondum, inguit Hospitalius, 
tarn simplex erat (Tangentium methodus) quam a Barrovio reddita est, 
naturam Polygonorum propius consider ando, quod sponte menti objicit 
parvulum Triangulum, compositum ex particula Curvae inter duas 
ordinatas sibi infinite propinquas jacentis, et ex differentia duarum istarwm 
Ordinatarum, duarumque itidem correspondentium Abscissarum. Atque 
hoc Triangulum illi simile est, quod ex Tangente et Ordinata et Sub- 
tang ente fieri debet: adeo ut per tmam simplicem Analogiam omnis jam 
Calculatio evitetur, quae et in Cartesiana et in hac ipsa prius Methodo 
necessaria erat. Quo tamen vel haec vel Cartesiana revocari ad usics 
ftosset, necessario tollendae erant Fractiones et Radicales. Ob huius itaque 
Calculi imperfectionem, introductus est ille alter Celeberrimi Leibnitii, 
qui insignis Oeometra inde est exorsus, ubi Barrovius aliique desierant. 
Porro hie ejus Calculus in Regiones hactenus ignotas aditum fecit : atque 
ibi tot et tanta patefecit, quae vel doctissimos totius Europae Mathematicos 
in admirationem conjecerunt, etc. 

Hactenus Hospitalius. Non viderat nimirum Newtoni Analysing neque 
Epistolas ejus 10 Dec. 1672, 13 Jun. 1676 et 23 Oct. 1676 datas : quarum 
nulla ante annum 1699 typis publicata est: nescius itaque Newtonum 
haec omnia effecisse atque indicasse Leibnitio, Leibnitium ipsum arbitrates 
eat inde incepisse ubi desierat Barrovius. 

Instead of naming the Marquis de l'H6pital as the author of the 
Analyse de* infiniment petits, published in 1696, it is at last time that 


we should attribute this important book to its true author John 
Bernoulli, though 1' Hopital represents himself to be its author: In 
Bernoulli's opera IV. p. 387 — 558, we read : Johannis Bernoullii Lectiones 
mathematicae de methodo integralium aliisque conscriptae in usum Illi 
March. Hospitalii cum auctor Parisiis ageret Annis 1691 et 1692 Lectio 
prima : De natura et Calculo integralium. Vidimus in praecedentibus 
[Lntelligit, says the note, Lectiones in calculum differentialem quae 
praecesserunt, quasque supprimendas duxit, siquidem omnia quae in 
lectionibus istis continentur ab Hospitalio relata fuerunt in librum suum 
quern inscripsit Analyse des infiniment petits). 

Upon this same subject John Bernoulli himself writes to Leibnitz, 
(compare the edition of Gerhardt, p. 480; for all the other editions 
do not contain this passage ;) De suo aliud nihil addidit [Hospitalius) 
nisi quod tres quatuorve paginas repleat. Sed nolim quicquam ip>si 
de hisce referas, alias qui jam amicissimus mihi est, eum haud dubie 
infensissimum haberem. It was thus that Bernoulli published the 
Differential Calculus, and allowed a rich French Marquis to designate 
himself as the author of the publication, 1696. 

The conclusion that the Recensio is the work of Newton, is one 
that De Morgan was not the first to arrive at, as M. Biot makes out 
in compliment to his fellow-labourer Mr. De Morgan, who simply 
repeated this from a positive statement of Wilson's and only added 
some " internal evidence," saying : u throughout the whole [of the Recensio) 
" there is not one compliment to Newton [except in quotations introduced 
" in proof of assertions) not one word expressive of admiration, and not 
" one reference to any thing he had done which he might not in perfect good 
" taste have been the author of. Who could have written thus about 
" Newton, except Newton himself." 

It was not then uncommon to write anonymously as Newton has 
done in the Recensio ; the practice was not merely innocuous, but so 
far useful, as the matter of the work was thus left to speak for itself. 
Also Leibnitz often wrote anonymously in the Acta Erud. and other 
places. His biographer Guhrauer says somewhere, Observations on page 
186, V. II : " Dass diese Schrift aus Leibnitzens eigner Feder geflossen, 
" lehrt Inhalt and Schreibart : das Leibnitz darin beigelegte Lob bildet 
"keinen Einvvand; er war in solchen Dingen ganz objectiv." "That 
" this piece came directly from the pen of Leibnitz, is told by the 
" style alike and the import ; the praise therein bestowed upon 
"Leibnitz constitutes no objection to this view; he was in such things 
" altogether objective." We see that Newton in writing anonymously 
was habitually more modest and subjective, in the opinion not of his 
biographer, but of his eager opponent. 

The new edition of the Commercium Epist., which appeared in 
France, cannot be said to possess much value. Of the variations 
of the first from the second edition, there was but one, to which 
Professor De Morgan himself, who has discovered their existence, 
could attribute the smallest consequence, (and since 1848 now that 
the question about the letter of the 10th December 1672 depends 
no more upon the silence of Leibnitz, even this variation is no longer 
worth any attention) ; all the others have never been of the slightest 
importance. What are we then to understand, when the French 
edition makes these petty variations the pretence for its publication? 
Why do not Messrs. Biot and Lefort tell us, that which was remarked 
here by that very Professor De Morgan to whom they and we are 
indebted for these various readings? " Those who are acquainted with 
" the bibliographical habits of the beginning of the last century will not 
" impute wilful unfairness even to such additions and suppressions as 
" some of those I shall have to describe." These are De Morgan's own 
words, and it is readily comprehended that the very number of the 
additions makes them so easy of detection, and therefore a disingenuous 
intention about them quite impossible. The French edition complains 
naively, that all these additions are not favourable to Leibnitz. Messrs. 
Biot and Lefort should not have found this surprising, for indeed the whole 
Commercium Epistolicum is unfavourable to Leibnitz; but there is an 
inexactness even in their statement which has been already previously 
acknowledged by Professor De Morgan, who has remarked that the 
non-mention in the first edition of the year of Collins's death was 
more serviceable for an attack upon Leibnitz than the citation of this 
date in the second edition. The French editors of the Comm. Ep. in 
1856, Messrs. Biot and Lefort, misunderstand moreover what is 



written in the German language and so give for instance as a post- 
script to Bernoulli, what was never a postscript, (Gerh. Works of 
Leibnitz, Pt. 3, p. 66 to 73, and Biot and Lefort, loc. cit., p. 266) which 
has a very comic effect, for in Biot and Lefort's edition the letter 
now runs : Ceterum an earn mihi animi parvitatem tribuis, ut tibi vel 
fratri tuo succenseam, si quos in Barrovio usus perspexistis quos mihi 1 
inventionum contemporaneo, ah eo pc-tere necesse non fuit; and the 
Postscript runs: P. P. An earn in me animi parvitatem pittas, ut vel tibi, 
vel D. fratri tuo, succenseam, si vos in Barrovio usus perspexistis, quos 
mihi, inventionum contemporamo, ab eo petere necesse non fuit. M. Lefort 
accordingly believes that Leibnitz repeated his letter in his postscript. 
We know whence this proceeds. M. Lefort did not understand the two 
German lines, which Gerhardt introduced at p. 71. This new edition 
would have been somewhat useful, if it had furnished the correspon- 
dence of Leibnitz with Newton after the first edition of the Commer- 
cium after 1712, but though this is promised in the Table of Contents, 
the text gives, in lieu thereof, merely little politic abstracts of these 
later letters, and there is nothing about Gerhardt's Tracts, because 
unfortunately the French editors do not read anything which is German.* 

* It may be also presumed that the principal editor, M. Lefort, does not 
understand English, for otherwise M. Biot would not have signed the single citation 
at p. 45 with the initials J. B. B., while all such other citations are signed Lefort. 
M. Lefort says, in a particular observation at page 248 : Je ne me crois pas oblige 
de suivre V orthographe de Vouvrage de sir D. Brewster. Q.uand on voit ecrit, pur 
exemple tome II. p. 429 cog nitam pour cognatam et p. 435 tres-semble pour tres-humble, 
on pent craindre que les epreuves n' client pas ete revues par une personne assezfamiliere, 
avec les langttes latine et francaise. M. Lefort as we see piques himself upon his 
knowledge of his native French language. But if he is so strict with the orthography 
of the two languages, Latin and French, of which the latter may in some degree 
be known to him, we remark that the person to whom he entrusted the correction 
of the only five German words that appear in his edition, should, in the word 
Schriften, p. 287, have made the first letter a capital, because we have here a noun- 
substantive, like the others, in which this person has employed a capital letter, and 
that M. Biot might have instructed M. Lefort, that though Sir David Brewster is 
here reprimanded for an orthographical error, yet through this whole reprimand it 
would orthographically have been correct to have written Sir, with a capital S. 


We repeat that people in German) 7 will know better how to defend 
Leibnitz, which also is not the object of Messrs. Biot and Lefort. 
Ferraat's name must positively not be forgotten; it is on this account 
that the French will have their say in this controversy ; on this 
account clear water must be muddled; on this account they put 
themselves on the weaker side, because it would look too extraordinary, 
if France were to designate Newton as the sole inventor, and slip in 
Fermat. At this people would smile still more, as also now they 
smile ; for whatever is done, no one relishes that Fermat sauce. 
The controversy about the discovery of the Differential Calculus is a 
question between England and Germany, from which the French must 
keep their finger away ; let them come in honourably, if they like it, 
as judges ; but if they want to make an independent party in the 
contest, we must shut them out, and fight by ourselves ; the weaker 
party even disdains such equivocal succours. What Leibnitz did 
for the Differential Calculus, even if he did not discover it, is at 
any rate infinitely more than Fermat has done, as, indeed, no French- 
man before the middle of the succeeding century, achieved anything 
at all therein; for all that L'Hopital, the rich and influential, 
appropriated to himself, he had in reality taken from Bernoulli, who 
was silent because his Lectiones were splendidly paid for by the 
Marquis. As L'Hdpital and Bernoulli, 1696, did not know what 
the Coram. Epistolicum communicated to them, so in 1712, the Comm. 
Epist. and Newton himself were ignorant of what Gerhardt has com- 
municated to us, viz. that Leibnitz had perused Newton's Analysis. 
Where would this question now be, if Newton had been able to 
lay before the public the clandestine Leibnitzian excerpta without 
date out of his Newton's Analysis? Then would Bernoulli, the honest 
Bernoulli, whom Leibnitz betrayed, have been unable to strive in his 
behalf, and Leibnitz himself would have been obliged to couch his lance. 
And while this is the question, Messrs. Biot and Lefort go collecting 
little various readings of a book, which being but too moderate did 
not once intimate what Newton scarcely suspected. This edition of 

M 2 


.Messrs. Biot and Lefort's is indeed everywhere a singular one: for 
instance at p. 196, M. Lefort has revealed to us that Leibnitz had 
found the exact quadrature of the circle. Every one who reads what 
is there quoted, will understand us. On page 199 M. Lefort says : 
En retablissant encore (/) id tin paragraplie omis ou tronque, fat voulu 
montrtr V esprit qui a preside aux extraits du Commercium Episto- 
licum (de 1712) et rSduire a sa juste valeur le certijicat d ) invpartialite 
delivre par V AbbS Conti aux editeurs. Here that which is evident 
is only the malice of M. Lefort. He himself, or anybody else would 
have left out what is here missing, because it speaks irrelevantly 
about the solutions of equations, as irrelevantly as if it had spoken 
about M. Lefort. At page 204 Biot and Lefort say that Newton's 
second letter of 24th October was nine months in reaching Leibnitz, 
"par suite de ses nombreux voyages" "in consequence of his nume- 
rous travels." Leibnitz merely travelled from London passing through 
Holland to Hanover, in not quite two months, for he arrived 
(Gerhardt I. p. 27) at his destination (Hannover) in December. The 
words of Oldenburg (in Gerhardt's Math. Works of Leibnitz, I. 
p. 151,) dites done, s^il vous plait, si je dots bailler la grande hJtrede 
Newton, and the suspicious word Hodie (Gerh. ibidem, p. 154, cf. Comm. 
Ep. of 1712, No. LXVI.) even gives us reason to apprehend that 
Leibnitz had already read the letter of 24th October in London, and 
that it was but officially that afterwards, nine months after it was 
written and five months after his arrival in Hanover, he had it sent 
to him once more. 

At p. 285, M. Lefort says: Si la publication du Commercium 
Epistolicum en 1712 fut une oeuvre de parti, que dire de sa rSimpression 
en 1722, six ans apres la mort de Leibnitz? Dans cette pretendue 
i- ('impression, le nouvel editeur corrige, ajoute, retranche, interpole, com- 
mente; et la passion Vaveugle au point qiCil ecrit, sans Vy voir, sa 
propre condamnation dans VStonnante piece de polemique qui resume le 
livre auquel elle sert de preface. 

So says M. Lefort without further additions. We leave to the reader 


the satisfaction of discovering for himself, what piece htonnante this is, 
in which Newton has done so much towards his own prejudice, for 
M. Lefort has clearly enough designated the pidce, but the incredibility 
of his verdict forces one to be a long time in search of what he 
has meant. 

M. Gerhardt is completely thrown out of his saddle, by his supposition 
that when in a paper Leibnitz's writes S pro omne he thereby invents 
the " Integral" calculus, and that this had preceded the later 
invention of his Differential Calculus. Thus M. Gerhardt gets quite 
into an ill-humour with John Bernoulli, and says of him, " that he 
" has all his veins filled with unmeasured and extravagant pride and 
pretensions" " er strotzt durch und durch von ungemessenem Stolz 
" und hochster Anmassung" (Leib. Works, III p. 113), adding at 
p. 115, " in general John Bernoulli is considered as the discoverer 
" of the Integral Calculus," and that Leibnitz discovered the Integral 
and afterwards the Differential Calculus, " But for the reason, that 
" as regards the Differential Calculus, he was able to exhibit general 
" propositions, he therefore made this publicly known and kept back 
" the Integral Calculus, in which he was unable to exhibit any general 
" method." " Allgemein halt man Joh. Bernoulli fur den Entdecker 
" der Integralrechnung," Leibnitz habe die Integral-Rechnung und 
spiiter erst die Differenzial-Rechnung entdeckt. " Aber aus dem Grunde 
" wahrschcinlich, dass er fur die Differenzial-Rechnung allgemeine 
" Lehrsatze aufstellen konnte — aus diesem Grunde machte er allein die 
" Differenzial-Rechnung bekannt und hielt die Integral-Rechnung, fur 
" welche er solche allgemeine Methoden nicht aufstellen konnte, zuruck." 
We have sufficiently remarked that the first discovery of the Literal 
Calculus, as summation, did not wait for Leibnitz, inasmuch as Wallis 
had written a book upon the same as early as 1657. On the other 
hand the invention of the Integral Calculus, in the higher sense, as 
is commonly and justly supposed, was not only not first achieved by 
Leibnitz, but in this sense was only achieved by John Bernoulli. 
Gerhardt falls into a glaring contradiction after this violent attack upon 


Bernoulli: for at p. 114, loc. cit., Gerhardt says, that the first letter 
(from Bernoulli) to Leibnitz is full " of the most adulatory praises of 
" the latter ; " and hence " because Leibnitz was at no time inaccessible 
" to such offerings," (voll " der schmeichelhaftesten Lobeserhebungen des 
" letztern," und daher " weil Leibnitz fiir dergleichen durchaus nicht 
" unempfanglich") this correspondence between these two became, says 
Gerhardt, the most voluminous of all. How does this agree with 
Gerhardt's just now quoted statement about Bernoulli, that " his veins 
"were filled with unmeasured pride and extravagant pretensions?" 
The fact is, that Bernoulli does not manifest either of these extremes 
in his character, and that Gerhardt is merely disconcerted, without 
exactly knowing why, but in the feeling that his Theory, of Leibnitz 
having first invented the Integral Calculus, and then the Differential, 
will in what he here has to say about Bernoulli not suit at all — an 
idea, according to which one should cease to designate Leibnitz as 
the inventor of the Differential Calculus, and since even the word 
Integral is an invention of Bernoulli, one would have to make Leibnitz 
the inventor of Wallis's summatory idea, which new view though it 
would at first have astounded Leibnitz, might perhaps on closer 
reflection have suited him just as well as it now suits Gerhardt. The 
only thing wanting is that M. Gerhardt should get out of temper, not 
with John Bernoulli alone, towards whom he is quite ill-disposed, but 
also against Leibnitz, because the latter supposed that he had invented 
something else, which does not suit M. Gerhardt. Again John Bernoulli 
at last, (Works of Leibnitz, III., p. 132,) is praised by Gerhardt even 
more than there is reason. " After his (Leibnitz's) death," we read, 
"the controversy" (about the discovery of the Differential Calculus; 
cf. p. 131, from the words nicht ojfentlicJi,) " was openly taken up by 
" John Bernoulli, and maintained triumphantly to the signal discomfiture 
" of the English." " Nach seinem (Leibnitzens) Tode wurde der Kampf 
" (iiber die Erfindung der Differenzial-Rechnung cf. S. 131. die Worte 
" ' nicht offentlich') von Seiten Joh. Bernoulli's offen aufgenommen und 
" siegreich mit grosser Demiithigung der Englimder gefiihrt." Now 


this again is incorrect. On the contrary John Bernoulli, after Leibnitz's 
death, apologized to Newton, as appears from the letter of his to Newton 
which is so well known and quoted also by Lefort (page 250.) In 
this and all his last letters (cf. Brewster, II. 504, Edleston, page 169, 
note) John Bernoulli courts the friendship of Newton, assuring him, 
that it was not true, as Leibnitz treacherously said, that he (Bernoulli) 
had ever written anonymously on the question against Newton, though 
this was true. Where have we here a controversy with the at last 
discomfited Newton ? No ! No ! Newton's claims are too firmly 
established. " All controversy about the discovery is at an end," cries 
Gerhardt in behalf of Leibnitz. Gerhardt begins triumphing too soon, 
and this is our excuse for speaking too strongly perhaps against Leibnitz, 
whom clever Frenchmen extol so high, and for Newton whom Gerhardt 
courageously defending a German great man, could and dared not 

lu order to show how clear, one might almost say how over- 
clear, if this were possible, a question can be made in France, when 
there is no deliberate intention of perplexing it, let us quote at full 
length Montucla's judgment (in his History of Mathematics, III. p. 109). 

II est temps, says Montucla, de nous resumer, et cV abord on ne jpeut 
douter, que Neuton ne soit le premier inventeur des calculs dont il s 'agit. 
Les preuves en sont phis claires que le jour ; mats Leibnitz est-il cou- 
pable d' avoir piddle comme sienne une decouverte qu 1 il auroit puisee 
dans les ecrits mhne de Neuton f c' est ce que nous ne pensons pas. Dans 
les deux lettres de Neuton, comniuniquees a Leibnitz, on ne voit que des 
resultats de la rniihode ou des deux metliodes employees par Neuton ; 
mats non leur explication. Un homme doue d'une sagacite transcendante 
tel qii 1 etoit Leibnitz, n? a-t-il pas pu etre excite par la a rcchercher les 
moyens employes par Neuton et y reussir ; d 'autant que Ferrnat, Barrow 
et Wallis avoient ouvert la voie. En effet si Von considere combien peu 
il y avoit a /aire pour passer de leurs metliodes au calcul differ entiel ; 
il paroitra, ce semble, superjlu de rechercher ailleurs V origine de ce dernier : 
car ce que Barrow designoit par e et a n" 1 etoit que Irs incrimens on de- 
cremens simultanes de V abscisse et de VordonnSe, hrsqu'ils etoient devenus 
assez petits pour pouvoir retrancJier du calcul leurs puissances supSrieures 
a la premiere : or en supposant, par exempjle, cette equation x 3 = by 2 , le 
calcul de Barrow donnoit 3x*e — 2bya ; de merne V equation .//* = bSy donnoit 
4x 3 e = 3ba. U analog ie conduisoit done a remarquer que si Von avoit 
x" =y on devoit avoir nx~ l e = a, quelque fut le nombre n, entier ou 
fractionaire, posit if ou nigatif, et consequemnunt V incriment, par exemple, 

de \x ou x^ devoit se trouver -x^~ l e : ou au lieu de e, mettant une carac- 


teristique qui donne a reconnoitre son origine, comme dx (vest celle qu 1 a 



choisie Leibnitz) voila VScueil des irrationaliUs decline et le passage du 
calcul de Fermat, Barrow et Walk's au calcul differentiel de Leibnitz, 
et de cette seule observation dependent toutes les operations de ce calcul. 
Ajoutons, quant au calcul inverse, que Wallis avoit deja designe les 
eUmens des aires des courbes par le rectangle fait de Vordonnee et dhme 
portion infiniment petite de V abscisse qu'il nommoit A, de sorte que 
VeUment de Vaire du cercle etoit, par exemple, A Naa — xx. II avoit 
aussi reduit a de semblables expressions les elSmens des longueurs des 
courbes, et ineme par une analogie fondee sur la ressemblance du petit 
triangle caracteristique avec celui de la soutangente, de la tangente et de 
/' ordonnee. 

It is clear MontucLa does not do the same thing with Biot, (whom 
however, since he has united on his head the three crowns of the 
Academy, an honor that falls to the lot of few mortals, one must 
look upon as the greatest man in France) — for he counts Wallis 
among those qui ont prepare" V invention au dixseptieme siecle, and we 
may therefore choose to let it pass that Fermat is here also named 
in too good company perhaps rather conspicuously. 

Dutens's edition of Leibnitz's Mathematical works, (Pt. 3 of the 
Opera), published after Leibnitz's death 1768, is prefaced, as is but 
reasonable, with an eulogium upon Leibnitz by Joucourt ; we never- 
theless in this very shrine of Leibnitz's highest glories read not that 
which none would have ventured to say except the Journal des Savants, 
viz. that Newton had not as yet discovered all ; but Joucourt, the 
geometer, the biographer and panegyrist of Leibnitz, says here in 
Leibnitz's works, Preface p. xxxix. at the end of his history of 
the invention — Neivtonum fateor, pro med cestimatione, primum inventorem 
fuisse calculi differ -entialis ; and thus these Opera Leibnitii of Dutens 
or Joucourt, which is as much as saying Leibnitz himself, do not go 
so far in the praise of Leibnitz as Biot, but only so far as Montucla 


The first letter which Leibnitz wrote to G alloys, one of those 
inferior geometers in Paris, at the time when he himself was there, 
is significative for the illustration of his doings in mathematical affairs 
in general. We give this letter (see Gerhardt's Edition, I., p. 177) : 

I m' indisposition m 'a empeclie de faire ma cour cette semaine comme 

je me Vestois propose. C est pourquoy je Vous supplie de suppleer par 

vostre bonte au defaut de ma presence, si V occasion se presente de parler 

utilement de V affaire qui vous est renvoyee, est f espere que vos fareurs 

seront bientost suivies d?un succes favorable. 

Je rf ay pas ose ecrire a Mons. Je Due de Cheureuse, de peur d? abuser 
de la grace qu'il me fait de ne me pas rebuter entierement, lorsque je 
viens quclquesfois buy faire la reverence. Mais je scay que Vos recom- 
mandations serviront bien mieux a me conserver Vhonneur de la protection 
que tout ce que je pourrois ecrire. 

Comme je ne veux pas abuser de vostre temps, qui est du au public. 
et a des personnes pour lesquelles le public s'interesse; je ne veux adjouter 
que le recit dhine petite conqueste que je viens de faire sur V Hyperbole. 
Tout le monde sgait qii 1 Archimede a donne la dimension de la Courbe 
du Cercle en supposant la quadrature de la figure. Messieurs Hugens, 
Wallis et Heuraets out fait voir que la Courbe de la Parabole depend de 
la Quad rat are de V Hyperbole. Mais personne a don>a : encor la dimension 
de la Courbe de V Hyperbole par la Quadrature de son espace ; non pas 
mvme de celle de V Hyperbole principale, qui a les asymptotes a angle 
dmit et les costez rectum et transversum egaux, et qui est entre les 
Hyperboles ce que le Cercle, est entre les Ellipses. J" 1 en suis venu a bout 
a la fin par un effort d? esprit sur ce que Mons. Oldenbourg m'avoit icrit 
depuis peu que Messieurs les Anglais C avoicnt clicrchee, et la cherchoient 
encor sans succes. Cela m'anima a faire une petite tentative, d'autant 


plus que je sgavois que Mons. Gregory [qui est grand Geometre sans doute) 
y avoit renonce en quelque fagon publiquement dans sa Geometric des 
Courvilignes. Mais je vous en parleray plus amplement, quand J auray 
Vhonneur de vous saltier , cependant je me dis etc. 

This letter is dated Paris, 2nd November, 1675. Oldenburg's letter 
[que M. Oldcnbourg m'avait ecrit depuis pea,) which Galloys indeed 
was not acquainted with, is known to us ; it had just come fresh from 
England, and is dated 30th September, 1675; it runs as follows: 

Oldenburg to Leibnitz : — scire cupis, an dare Nostrates Geometrice 
possint dimensionem Ciirvae Ellip>seos aid Hyperbolae ex data Circuit aut 
Hyperbolae quadratura. Respondet Collinius, illos id praestare non posse 
Geometrica praecisione, sed dare eos posse ejusmodi approximationes 1 quae 
quacunque quantitate data minus a scopo aberrabunt. Et speciatim quod 
attinet alicujus arcus Circuit rectificationem, impertiri Tibi poterit laudatus 
Tschirnhausius methodum a Gregorio nostro itiventam, quarn^ cum ille 
apud nos esset, Collinius ipsi communicavit. Thus it is not true, that 
Oldenburg had written : " que Messieurs les Anglais le cherchaient sans 
" succ 'es /" for Leibnitz himself had not sent to Galloys that quadrature 
or rectification of the circle or hyperbola, which now remains and for 
ever will remain an impossibility, but only an approximation to it ; 
but that very thing which Leibnitz pretends to have discovered, 
sneering at the English for not having done so, he obtained through 
the English, and rediscovered it after them. Even here the excuse 
remains, that what Leibnitz sent to Galloys, was perhaps not the 
same thing as he got from Tschirnhaus ; but he concealed the 
fact that he had got something from that quarter. This was his system. 
" Messieurs les Anglais" says Leibnitz, while on the contrary (see 
Gerhardt, I. p. 55,) he calls his French geometers nostros geometras 
characterizing himself as a Frenchman, as indeed he was. From 
Messieurs les Anglais Leibnitz gets his wisdom, petitioning them for 
that which as yet they had only in an imprinted form, and then he 
writes, Je ri? ai pas pu vousfaire la cour, and je viens de faire wie petite 
conquete sur V hyperbole. In this Messieurs les Anglais the whole matter 


is comprehended. Let it not be said that Tschirnhaus, to whose 
English mathematical documents Leibnitz was referred, perhaps kept 
these back — so that Leibnitz could not in this way make his conquete 
of what the English had conquered ; for of the intimacy between 
Tschirnhaus and Leibnitz we now first learn from Gerhardt that it 
was as close as possible (see page 34, where this intimacy is already 
mentioned). Thus Leibnitz writes, petitioning favours and returning 
thanks to England ; but when he has to do with his friends on the 
Continent he assumes the pretension of having no need of the English, 
calls himself the pupil of Huyghens only, and sneers at Messieurs les 
Anglais, while he is paying court to such people as Galloys. 

If people will not admit the correctness of Boerliaave's expression 
as applied by Kant to Leibnitz's character, then they must aver, that 
Leibnitz was the most fortunate man in literary matters that the 
world has ever seen. For, although he corresponded with the original 
discoverer of the Differential Calculus, he invented it independently 
after it had been discovered, being in no way influenced or assisted 
by the fact that his bosom friend had a tract on it in his desk. Again, 
at a later period, when Leibnitz, at once desirous of concealing his 
discovery in reality, and of appearing to disclose it to the world, was 
requested by James Bernoulli to explain what he had or had not 
invented, this letter of Bernoulli's did not come into his hands till 
three years (!) afterwards, when Bernoulli had discovered by his 
own diligence that which Leibnitz chose not to tell him: and in 1689 
Leibnitz wrote in the Acta Eruditorum de motu corporwm coehstium 1 
without noticing Newton's Principia, in which this matter was treated 
of; the work having existed for the rest of the world since 1687, but 
for Leibnitz not till after he had given its contents, as discoveries of 
his own, in his Memoir. Thus Leibnitz must have made himself, if 
not purposely yet de facto Lord of Time, and if a fact took place too 
early for him he let it lie, and did not take it up until such time 
as suited him. Newton's letter of 24th October, 1676, was especially 
submissive and obedient to the fortune of Leibnitz, for not only did 
this letter not reach him, until after he had committed the Differential 
Calculus to paper as his own discovery, but in the interval (of nine 
months !) between the date of this letter and its delivery, Leibnitz 
was expressly asked whether it was his pleasure that it should come : 
dites done, si je dots vous baffler la grande lettre de Newton ; the 
person to whom it was entrusted, considering even a copy of this 


letter so precious, that it could not be confided to the post, although 
the original was on every account to remain in London. Thus Leibnitz 
gained a considerable space of time, and had it in his power, when his own 
invention was quite ready to come out, to answer Newton in a grandiose 
style on the very day of the arrival of that nine-inonths'-old letter; 
Accept \Jiodie (!)] literas ttias sane pulcherrumas / e vesttgto remitto in- 
ventum meum, quod a tuo, quod celdsti, non abludit. How much less 
considerable would have been the glory, if the letter, instead of thus 
doing homage to the fortune of Leibnitz, had not enquired when it 
might be allowed to come. Now there are in the life of Leibnitz 
many such lucky incidents. Of a last quite trifling piece of good 
fortune, — that Leibnitz was able to make extracts from Newton's 
manuscripts, without Newton's knowing it, and that this, after the 
lapse of a century, can be so innocently narrated, and should not at 
all look as if it could not readily be explained as one of the miracles 
of the fortune of Leibnitz, — of this we need not speak. M. Gerhardt 
says that Leibnitz, without being obnoxious to any blame, could make 
extracts from his competitor's manuscripts. 


I will add in this English Edition a short remark on Oldenburg's 
position of the 28th October, 1676, — in reference principally to two 
letters of Newton, which are given by the Rev. Mr. Edleston, (p. 257, 
seq. Com. Ep. with Cotes,) and which are therefore here copied from 
Edleston's book : 

S 1 ' Octob 26. 1676. 

Two days since, I sent you an answer to M. Leibnitz's excellent 
Letter. After it was gone, running my eyes over a transcript 
that I had made to be taken of it, I found some things w ch I 
could wish altered, & since I cannot now do it my self, I desire 
you would do it for me, before you send it away. 5 

In pag : 3. Sect : Pudet dicere.] for a D. Barroio tunc Matheseos 
Professore write only per amicum, 

Pag: 5. Sect: At quando.] After quibuscum potest comparari ; 
write ad quod sitfficit etiam hoc ipsum unicum jam descriptum 
Theorema si debite concinnetur. Pro Trinomiis etiam et aliis qui- 10 
busdam Regulas quasdem concinnavi &c. 

Pag : 6. Sect : Quamvis multa.] Where you find y c words 
Gregorianis ad Circidum et Hyperbolam editis persimiles, for per- 
similes write affines, 

Pag : 9 or 10. Sect : Theorema de.l for error erit h — - — + &c. 1 5 

90 140 

. v 3 v 4 p 

write error erit 1 1- &c. 

90 194 

Pag: 6 vel 7. Sect: Quamvis multa.] about ye end of y e section 

turn plenariam into plenam or rather blot y e word quite out. 


Pag: ult. vel penult. Sect: Ubi dixi]. write soluhilia for solutUia. 
20 And if you observe any other such scapes pray do me y e favour 
to mend them. So in pag 5 or 6. Sect. Quamvis multa.] It may 
be perhaps moi'e intellig{ib}le to write evdvvaei for euthunsi. 

Pag 8 or 9. Sect : Per seriem.] After y e words product ad 

mullets figur as : you may if you please add these words, ut et ponendo 

25 summam trmmorum 1 — f + i — tV + tt ~ aV + ¥5 — 3V + 3*3 <& c esse 

ad totam seriem 1 — \ + \ — \ + ^ — j\ + &c tit 1 + V 2 ad 2. Sed 

optimus ejus usus &c. 

I feare I have been something too severe in taking notice of 
some oversights in M. Leibnitz letter considering y e goodnes & 
30 ingenuity of y e Author & y 1 it might have been my own fate in 
writing hastily to have committed y e like oversights. But yet they 
being I think real oversights I suppose he cannot be offended at 
it. If you think any thing be exprest too severely pray give me 
notice & I'le endeavour to mollify it, unless you will do it w tL a 
35 word or two of your own. I believe M. Leibnitz will not dislike 
y e Theorem towards y e beginning of my letter pag. 4 for squaring 
Curve lines Geometrically. Sometime when I have more leisure 
it's possible I may send him a fuller account of it : explaining 
how it is to be ordered for comparing curvilinear figures w th one 
40 another, & how y e simplest figure is to be found w th w eh a pro- 
pounded Curve may be compared. 

S r I am 
Yo r humble Servant 

Is. Newton. 

45 Pray let none of my mathematical papers be printed w th out 

my special licence. 

Some other things in M. Leibnitz letter I once thought to 
have touched upon, as y e resolution of affected ^equations, & y e 
impossibility of a geometric Quadrature of y e Circle in w ch M. 

:><> Gregory seems to have tripped. But I shall add one thing here. 


That y e series of sequations for y e sections of an angle by whole 
numbers, w ch M. Tschurnhause saith he can derive by an easy 
method one from an other, is conteined in y* one ^equation w ch 
I put in y e 3 d section of y e Problems in my former letter for 
cutting an angle in a given ratio, and in another gequation like 55 
that. Also y e coefficients of those ^equations may be all obteined 
by this progression 

n — Oxn—1 n—2xn—3 n— 4 x w — 5 n — 6 X n -=■ 7 „ 

1 x — — — — - x — — x — — - x — — x &c. 

lxn-l 2xn — 2 3xn — 3 4xw-4 

The first coefficient being 1 . y e 2 d 

n—Oxn—1 „ „ n—Oxn—l n—2xn—3 D 

1 x — — . y e 3d 1 x — — x — — . &c. 60 

Ixn— 1 J lxn—l 2xn—2 

& n being y e number by w ch y e angle is to be cut. as if « be 5. 

i '..,5x4 3x2 1x0 , . « „ « o 

then y e series is 1 x - — - x - — - x - — - that is 1x5x1x0 & 
J 1x4 2x3 3x2 

consequently y e coefficients 1.5.5. So if n be 6 y e series is 

6x5 4x3 2x1 „ ,, , , , „ „ _ n . 

1 x x - — - x - — - x that islx6x|x|x0& consequently 

1x52x43x3 * y l J 

y e coefficients This scrible is not fit to be seen by any 65 

body nor scarce my other letter in y* blotted form I sent it, 

unless it be by a friend. 

For Henry Oldenburg Esq: at his house 
about y e middle of y e old Pal-mall in 
Westminster London. 


S r 
I am desired to write to you about procuring a recom- 
mendation of us to M r Austin y e Oxonian planter. We 
hope yo r correspondent will be pleased to do us y* favour 
as as{sic} to recommend us to him, y* we may be furnished 
w th y-e jjggf sor t s f Cider-fruit-trees. We desire only about 



30 or 40 Graffs for y e first essay, & if those prove for o r 
purpose they will be desired in greater numbers. We desire 
graffs rather than sprags that we may y e sooner see what 
they will prove. They are not for M r Blackley but some 

X. other persons about Cambridge. But M 1 ' Austin need only 

direct his letters to me or to M r Baiiibrigg fellow of o r 
College. In y e mean time we return o 1 ' thanks to you & 
your friend for y e good will you have already shewn us. 

M r Lucas letter I have received, & hope to send you 

\ V . an answer y e next Tuesday Post. I thank you for your 

care to prevent their prejudicing me in y e Society, as also 

for giving me notice of y e things miswritten in my late 

letter. In pag 3 y e words you cite should run thus. Cujus 

triplo adde Log. 0. 8, siquidem sit —tt^ — *" = 10. But in 

X X . pag 8 y c signes of y e series 1 + ^ — £ — | + ^ + &c are rightly 

put two + & two — after one another, it being a different 
series from y l of M. Leibnitz. But in y e next two or 3 
lines, to prevent future mistake you may if you think fit, 
after y e words res tardius obtineretur per tangentem 45^, add 
XX V. these y?ov&sjuxta seriem nobis communicatam. 

Seing y e letter is still in yo r hands, you will do me y e 
favour to make these further amendments 

Pag. 3 Sect [Pudet dicere] cum D. Collinsio for ad D. 
XXX. pag. 5. Excmpl. 4 after y c words vel quibus Tibet dig- 

nitatibus binomii cujuscunq: add licet non directe ubi index 
dignitatis est Humerus integer. 

pag 6 or 7 in y e end of y e section quamvis multa I desire 
you would cross out y e words adeo ut in potestate habeam 
XXXV. descriptionem omnium curvarum istius ordinis quce per 8 data 
puncta deter minantur. And in y e 2 d sentence of y e next 
section I could wish these words also numero infinite multas 
were put out. 


pag 9. Sect [Prceterea qucei] for mihi quidern haud ita clara 
sunt put nondum percvpw. And after a line or two where XL. 

you see y e words et eerie minor est labor, put out certe. 

By these alterations S 1 ' you will oblige 

Yo r humble Servant 
{Tuesday} Nov. 14 167G. Is. Newton. 

From these two letters, and particularly the first, it becomes very 
probable, that on the 28th October, 1676, when Newton's letter of 
the 26th arrived, Leibnitz was actually in London. We know that 
Leibnitz was in London for " one week in October /" (Collins writes: 
" Aderat Me Dom. Leibnitius per unam septimanam in mense Octobris ; 
" in reditu suo ad Ducem Hannoverce" see Collin's letter to Newton, 
dated 5th March, 1677, given in the Commercium £Jp. : No. LXV ;) 
and the word send in line 6 of Newton's first above cited letter of 
the 26th October, shows I think, that Newton at that time had no idea 
of Leibnitz's intention of visiting London, and no knowledge of Leibnitz's 
presence in London at that time. Now it is but fair to suppose that 
Oldenburg would have mentioned to Newton the personal appearance 
of Leibnitz in London, if not immediately, at least a few days after 
the fact. 

Newton's not being aware of Leibnitz's presence on the 26th 
October, agrees well therefore with the supposition, that Leibnitz had 
not yet arrived in London, or had only just arrived at that date : the 
week of October spent by Leibnitz in London is hereby consequently 
proved to have been the last week of that month. 

On the contrary, Newton's letter (of the 26th October) does not well 
agree with the supposition that Leibnitz's week in London could have 
fallen in an earlier part of October; for Newton would not, while he 
knew that Leibnitz was bound for a further journey, have spoken of 
sending the letter at once away ; and would not, in his letter of the 14th 
November, line 26, have used the words " seeing" &c, if already, 
when he wrote his former letter, such knowledge had been in his 


We may therefore say that "Leibnitz's week falls at the very end 
of October, which also agrees with Leibnitz's presence in Amsterdam 
on the 18th or 28th November, 1676, (his letter from Amsterdam bears 
that date — see Com. Ep., loco cit.) and (agrees) with Guhrauer's words, 
"In October, 1676, Leibnitz quitted Paris, where it was not his fate 
" to return." (See Guhrauer's Life of Leibnitz, I. p. 170.) 

Now, under this supposition, we think that Oldenburg may be 
excused for showing, nay, was almost obliged to show to Leibnitz 
Newton's above mentioned letter of the 26th October, and consequently 
also Newton's letter of the 24th October, intended for Leibnitz. That 
friendly disposition of Newton's, which Oldenburg is desired or permitted 
to testify to Leibnitz in the 34th line of the letter of the 26th October, 
could not have been better expressed to Leibnitz, than by Oldenburg's 
confidentially giving to him this letter ; moreover in the 55th line Newton 
adds something intent ively for Leibnitz. 

Let any one reflect on Oldenburg's position, I do not say as a 
friend of Leibnitz, but as a friend of Newton, and I think it will 
appear to have been very natural, nay, only right perhaps, on the 
part of Oldenburg, to have shown to Leibnitz Newton's letter of the 
26th October. 

For Oldenburg was not a great Mathematician, and he had no 
reason to suppose that there could be any slight difference between 
what Leibnitz might be able to derive from Newton's letter to Leibnitz 
of the 24th, and what Leibnitz could get out of Newton's letter 
of the 26th October, nor is there perhaps any difference between the 

But Leibnitz by reading the letter of the 24th and of the 26th 
October, was enabled to take a strong position for the purpose of pressing 
Oldenburg to show him Newton's manuscript De Analyst. For Leibnitz 
could with literal truth say, that the blotted condition of Newton's 
letter to him (see the last line of Newton's letter of the 26th) had 
prevented his reading it, and Leibnitz might infer from the 37th line 
of Newton's letter of the 26th, that it was only want of "leisure" that 


had prevented Newton from giving other details (contained in the 

Here then the false position in which Oldenburg had put himself 
by showing the letter of the 26th brought him into a disagreeable 
dilemma, namely between refusing Leibnitz's request (to see the Analysis) 
bluntly, and without those excuses, which Newton had used in his 
letter to Leibnitz of the 24th : (" quoniam jam non possum explica- 
" tionem ejus pi'osequi,") and, on the other hand, complying with 
his request. 

The excuse Newton pleaded was not an untruth in that higher 
sense of the excuse, in which Leibnitz (but not Oldenburg) was 
competent to view it ; for Newton also, when speaking confi- 
dentially (to Oldenburg) in his letter of the 24th October, had 
said : " I hope that this will satisfy M. Leibnitz, for, having 
" other things in my head, it proves an unwelcome interruption to 
" me to be at this time put upon considering these things." [See 
Edleston, p. LIL] But Oldenburg did not comprehend in what sense 
this excuse was meant, and must have half supposed that he was only 
requested by Leibnitz to do what Newton, if he had had the time, would 
have done himself. In this dilemma between having to say to Leibnitz 
more bluntly than Newton might wish, that something essential was 
kept back from Leibnitz, or else of overstraining the powers granted 
to him by Newton, Oldenburg erred, we think, by choosing the latter 
alternative, namely, of showing to Leibnitz Newton's manuscript De 

It may here be remarked that Leibnitz's so called invention of the 
new calculus, in his letter to Oldenburg of the 21st June, 1677, need 
not have appeared to Oldenburg (the word " hodie" being omitted) 
an act of piracy in regard to Newton, on account, I mean of Oldenburg's 
friendly act in showing him Newton's manuscript De Analyst; for 
Leibnitz had chosen for his invention the tangential side of the problem, 
which to Oldenburg must have appeared unconnected with his 
(Oldenburg's) friendly action. 


We have already said in a former note, that the nombreux voyages 
of Leibnitz, which Messrs. Biot and Lefort mention, as explaining why 
Oldenburg did not sooner send Newton's letter of the 24th October 
to Leibnitz, are one of those French fictions, which those gentlemen 
introduce into the case ; for Leibnitz arrived in Hanover in the latter 
part of December, [see Guhrauer, I. p. 188,] and it is with a bad 
grace that Oldenburg tells us, that the mere copy (!) of Newton's 
letter, (the original was to remain in London) could not have been 
sent before May, (four month's after Leibnitz's arrival in Hanover,) 
because the mere copy was in Oldenburg's eyes so valuable, that it 
(the copy !) could not go by post (!) though Newton's first letter had 
gone by post, and though Leibnitz, if he had not already secretly 
received a copy of the same in London, would, we suppose, have been 
in some small degree desirous to receive it soon, and might have 
friendly blamed Oldenburg, when he answered him, for keeping a 
copy of it so long out of his sight. 

Oldenburg's position to Leibnitz indeed was not such, that Oldenburg 
should have hesitated to risk the very small trouble of having to get 
a second copy made, (which was the sole misfortune that could have 
ensued,) if by the will of God the first copy given to the post had 
been destroyed or lost. 

Indeed we cannot believe this, nor need we believe it, for Oldenburg's 
little intrigue here in his own opinion was innocent. 

All that we have said agrees well with Oldenburg's French postscript, 
in which he says, after having kept back the letter several months, 
" dites done si je dots vous baffler la grande lettre de Newton" (and 
with Leibnitz's over hasty word " hodie" in his first draft of the letter, 
when at last he did answer). 

It is interesting to add here some curious words of Leibnitz's 
answer to the Commercium EpistoUcum^ 1714, and some eager words of 
Newton, drawing consequences from Leibnitz's answer. We cite from 
des Maizeaux's Recueil II. page 5, seq., and Raphson's History of 
Fluxions, page 97, seq. 


Leibnitz sa) T s, 1714 : " Je fis connaissance avec Mr. Collins dans raon 

"second Voyage d'Angleterre a mon second Voyage Mr. Collins me 

"fit voir une Partie de son Commerce; j'y remarquai que Mr. Newton 
" avoua aussi son ignorance sur plusieurs choses, et dit entre autres, 
"qu'il n'avait rieh trouve sur la Dimension des Curvilignes celebres, 
" que la Dimension de la Cissoide." 

Newton answers : 

" Mr. Leibnitz instances in a Paragraph concerning my ignorance, 
" thinking that the editors of the Gommercium Epistolicum omitted it, 
" and yet you will find it in the Gommercium Epistolicum, page 74, 
"line 10, 11, and I am not ashamed of it. He saith, That he saw 
" this Paragraph in the hands of Mr. Collins when he was in London 
" the second time ; that is, in October 1676. It is in my Letter of the 
"24th of October, 1676, and therefore he then saw that Letter." 

What now does Leibnitz say ? He is so far from denying that he had 
seen in London, in October, Newton's letter of the 24th October, 1676, that 
he actually asserts that he has seen at that time something more : " Comme 
"je n'ai pas," he says, answering Newton's words, " daigne" lire le 
" Commereium Epistolicum avec beaucoup d'attention, je me suis trompe' 
"dans l'Exemple que j'ai cite, n'ayant pas pris garde, ou ayant oublie 
"qu'il s'y trouvoit ; mais j'en citerai nn autre: M. N. avouoit dans 
" un des ses Lettres a M. Collins, qu'il ne pouvoit point venir a bout 
" des Sections secondes (ou Segments seconds) de Spheroi'des ou corps 
"semblables: mais on n'a point insere ce Passage ou cette Lettre dans 
"le Gommercium Epistolicum ; il auroit ete plus sincere par rapport a 
" la Dispute, & plus utile au public, de donner le Commerce litteraire de 
" M. Collins tout entier, la ou il contenoit quelque chose qui meritoit 
"d'etre lu; & particulierement de ne pas tronquer lcs Lettres, car il y 
"en a peu parmi mes Papiers, ou dont il me reste des Minutes." 

Leibnitz died soon after writing this rather confused answer, but 
Newton was so much astonished at reading it, that he said in his 
"observations" upon the preceding epistle (Raphson, page 111, des 
MaizeauXj page 75 ; : 



" Mr. Leibnitz acknowledges, that when he was in London the second 
" time, he saw some of my Letters in the hands of M. Collins, especi- 
" ally those relating to Series ; and he has named two of them which he 
"then saw, viz. that dated the 24th of October, 1676, and that in which 
" he pretends that I confessed my Ignorance of second Segments. And 
" no doubt he would principally desire to see the Letter which contained 
" the chief of my Series, and particularly that which contained those 
" two for finding the Arc by the Sine, and the Sine by the Arc, with the 
" Demonstration thereof, which a few months before he had desired 
"Mr. Oldenburg to procure from Mr. Collins; that is, the Analysis per 
" cequationes numero terminorum infinites . But he tells us, etc." 

Here we see that Newton, from the curious admissions of Leibnitz, 
began at last half to suspect that Leibnitz might have " made extracts" 
from his " Analysis." Gerhardt and Biot and Lefort now tell us 
that this half suspicion of Newton is well founded. 

I take the liberty of copying here Edleston's Synoptical view of 
Newton's Life: — 

1642 Dec. 25. Isaac Newton born at Woolsthorpe, near Grantham, 

1664 Feb. 19. Observations on two halos about the Moon. 

1665 May 20. Paper on fluxions,* in which the notation of point 

is used. 
Nov. 13. " Discourse" on fluxions and their applications to 
tangents and curvature of curves.f 

1666 May 16. Another paper on fluxions. 

Octob. Small tract on fluxions and fluents with their applica- 
tions to a variety of problems on tangents, curvature, areas, 
lengths, and centres of gravity of curves.^ 
Nov. Small tract similar to the preceding, but apparently more (Notation by points in first and second 
fluxions. Basis of his larger tract of 1671). 

1669 July 31. His De Analysi sent by Barrow to Collins. 

Dec. Writes notes upon Kinkhuysen's Algebra sent by 

1671 July 20. Letter to Collins. (Prevented by a sudden fit of sick- 

* Shewing how to take the fluxion of (or to differentiate) an equation connecting 
any number of variables. It is referred to in a paper which seems to be part of a 
draft of his observations on Leibnitz's letter of Apr. 9, 1716. (Rigaud's Appendix, 
p. 23, compared with Raphson's History of Fluxions, p. 116). 

f Rigaud and Raphson, u. s. 

\ In this tract his previous method of taking fluxions is extended to surds. The 
area of a curve, whose ordinate is y, is denoted by [] y. (Rigaud's Append, p. 23). 

|| Raphson, p. 116. Wilson's Appendix to Robins' Tracts (II. 351 — 356). 



ness from visiting him at the Duke of Buckingham's installa- 
tion as Chancellor. Will not, he fears, have time to return 
to Discourse of infinite series before winter). 
1672 May 25. Letter to Collins (does not intend to publish his 
Dec. 10. Letter to Collins, containing an account, requested 
by Collins in a letter received two days before, of his Method 
of Tangents.f 

* " Finding already, by that little use I have made of the press, that I shall not 
enjoy my former serene liberty till I have done with it, which I hope will be so soon as 
I have made good what is already extant on my account." He adds that he may possi- 
bly complete his method of infinite series, " the better half of which was written last 
Christmas." Mace. Corr. II. 322. 

t This part of the letter is cited in the 3rd edition of the Principia, p. 246, instead 
of the letters to Leibnitz referred to in the two first editions. Its contents were sent to 
Leibnitz July 26, 1676, along with Newton's letter of June 13 of that year. There is a 
copy of it at the Royal Society (Miscell. MSS. LXXXI.) written in a tremulous hand, 
a consequence probably of the endeavour of the copyist to imitate Newton's writing. 
It has an address in Newton's hand, '• These to his ever honoured ffriend M r . John 
Collins...," and bears the post-mark of May 27 (probably 1676). This transcript may 
be conjectured to have been made at Collins's request for the purpose of accompanying 
the other papers which he was preparing to send through Oldenburg to Leibnitz. See 
Commerc. Eplst. p. 47. (128, 2nd ed.) Doubts have been expressed whether these 
papers were actually sent to Leibnitz. We have however Collins's own testimony that 
they were sent as had been desired (Comm. .Epist. p. 48, or 129, 2nd ed ), besides 
Leibnitz's and Tschirnhausen's acknowledgements of the receipt of them. (lb. pp. 58, 66, 
or 129, 142). It may also be observed that the papers actually sent (in a letter dated 
July 26, 1676) to Leibnitz by Oldenburg have been recently printed from the originals 
in the Royal Library at Hanover (Leib. Math. Schrift. Berlin, 1849), and that in them, 
as in Collins's draft, which is preserved at the Royal Society ("To Leibnitz the 
14th of June 1676 About Mr. Gregorie's remains" MSS. LXXXI.), we find the contents 
of Newton's letter of Dec. 10, 1672, except that instead of the example of drawing a 
tangent to a curve, there is merely allusion made to the method. Collins's larger 
paper (called " Collectio" and " Historiola" in the Commerciiim Epistolicum), of which 
the paper just quoted " About Mr Gregories remains" is an abridgement, and which 
con tains Newton's letter of Dec. 10 without curtailment, is stated in the second edition 
of the Cotmnercium to have been sent to Leibnitz, but whether that was the case may 
be fairly questioned. This paper was intended by Collins to be deposited in the 


1676 June 13. Letter to Oldenburg, containing a general answer to 
Lucas with a promise of a particular one, and also " some 
communications of an algebraical nature for M. Leibnitz, who 
by an express letter to Mr. Oldenburg had desired them." 
(read to the Soc. June 15 : the part for Leibnitz* was sent 
to him at Paris, July 26). 
Sep. 5. Letter to Collins. (Infinite Series of no great use in 
the numerical solution of equations. The University press 
cannot print Kinkhuysen's Algebra : the book is in the hands 
of a Cambridge bookseller with a view to its being printed : 
shall add nothing to it. Will alter an expression or two in 
his paper about infinite series, if Collins thinks it should be 

1676 Oct. 24. Latin letter to Oldenburgf for Leibnitz, who desired 

archives of the Royal Society, where it is still preserved, with the title " Extracts from 
Mr Gregorie's Letter" (MSS. Lxxxi.), consisting of thirteen sheets. A copy of 
Newton's letter was sent to Tschirnhausen in May, 1675, in Collins's paper " About 
Descartes" (14 folio leaves, Roy. Soc. MSS. lxxxi). 

* It was afterwards printed in Wallis's Opp. in. 622—629. (Oxf. 1699), and, 
from that work, in the Commercium Epistoliciim, where the typographical error of 26 
Junii for Julii, which is corrected in "Wallis's errata, is also copied in the heading of 
the letter. 

t The original letter extending over 14 folio pages is in the British Museum 
(MSS. Birch 4294). It was accompanied by a note to Oldenburg (Mace. Corr. II. 
400; in a postscript to which he observes: "I hope that this will so far satisfy M. 
Leibnitz that it will not be necessary for me to write any more about this subject; for 
having other things in my head, it proves an unwelcome interruption to me to be at 
this time put upon considering these things." Newton sent some corrections by the 
next post (Appendix, p. 257). A copy of the Letter so corrected was not despatched 
to Leibnitz until May 2 of the following year, the delay arising from Oldenburg's 
anxiety to send this " Thesaurus Newtonianus" by a safe hand. Leib. Mathem. 
Schrift. I 1. 151 (Berlin, 1849). 

On Nov. 14 he desired Oldenburg to make some further corrections, (Appendix, 
No. XVII.) which, however, were not introduced into the copy sent to Leibnitz, which 
was made ten days before. 

This letter, like its predecessor of June 13, was printed in the 3rd Volume of 


explanation with reference to some points in the letter of 
June 13. 
Oct. 26. Letter to Oldenburg, with corrections for his letter of 

Oct. 24, &c* 
Nov. 8. Letter to Collins, thanking him for copies of the letters 
of Leibnitz and Tschirnhaus, with remarks shewing that Leib- 
nitz's method is not more general or easy than his own.f 

14. Letter to Oldenburg (cider-fruit-trees : Lucas's 2nd 

letter: further alterations of his letter of Oct. 24)4 
We have omitted in this copy of Edleston's Synoptical view all 
those other valuable notes and dates which are irrelevant to our special 
subject. Messrs. Biot and Lefort can learn from what we give, how 
much an honest and elegant investigation in difficult matters differs 
from their sophistical and untrue pleadings. 

Wallis's Opera, from which it was copied into the Commercium Epistolicum. Wallis 
says that he obtained his copies of the two letters from Oldenburg. 

Leibnitz wrote two letters in answer (June 21, July 12, 1677); in the former of 
which he gives examples in differentiation. Oldenburg acknowledged the receipt of 
these Aug. 9, observing, "Non est quod dicti Newtoni vel etiam Collinii nostri 
responsum tam cito ad eas expectes, cum et urbe absint, et variis aliis negotiis 
distineantur." (Leibn. Math. Schrift. I. i. 167, Berlin, 1849). Oldenburg died the 
following month, but there is no reason to think that, if that event had not taken 
place, Newton would have departed from his intention of not continuing the corre- 
spondence. Leibnitz's answers will be found in Wallis's 3rd volume, the Commercium 
Epistolicum and his Works. 

* Appendix, No. XVI. 

t Mace. Corr. II. 403. 

\ Appendix, No. XVII. 

In his papers on the early history of the Differential Calculus, 
particularly on Newton and Craig in the London, Edinburgh, and 
Dublin Philosophical Magazine of 1852, p. 321, Professor De Morgan 
makes the following statements : (the usual signs " " will denote that 
I use Professor De Morgan's words, while my own will be included 
in parentheses.) 

" My present object [says Professor De Morgan] is the early 
" history of the principle of the Differential Calculus in England : 
" I mean the principle of infinitely small quantities, as distinguished 
" from that of ultimate ratios or limits." 

Up to 1704 Newton always " used infinitely small quantities." 
The method of fluxions translated by Colson from Newton's latin, 
written in the period 1671 — 1676, is "strictly infinitesimal," and so 
also in the first edition of the Principia, 1687, the description of the 
fluxion " ' is founded on infinitesimals.' " This will be seen in the 
following extract from the first edition of Newton : 

" Cave tamen intellexeris particulas finitas. Momenta quam pri- 
" mum finite sunt magnitudinis, desinunt esse momenta. Finiri autem 
" repugnat aliquatenus perpetub eorum incremento vel decremento. 
" Intelligenda sunt principia jamjam nascentia finitarum magnitu- 
" dinum." 

[We cannot, I think, agree with Professor De Morgan, who tells 
us, that these words of Newton are " strictly infinitesimal." On the 
contrary we see how Newton protests against these ideas]. 

" The treatise De quadratura was written by Newton long before 
"1704; — it appeared in its essential features in Wallis's Algebra of 
" 1693 — and here we now see the subsequent abandonment of uncloaked 
" infinitesimals." For Newton wrote, 


1639 in Wallis: and 1704 in his De quadrat ura \: 

" Quantitas infinite parva ... Et " Quantitas admodiim parva... 
"ha? quantitates proximo temporis " Et si quantitates fluentes jam sunt 
" momento per accessum incremen- " z. y, et a?, hse post momentum tem- 
" torum momentaneorum, evadent " poris incrementis suis oz, oy^ ox, 
" z + <?.».. .terminos multiplicatos per " auctae evadent z + oz ... Minuatur 
" tanquam infinite parvos dele, et " quantitas o in infinitum, et neglec- 
" manebit Eequatio..." "tis terminis evanescentibus..." 

[Here Professor De Morgan thinks we see Newton's "subsequent 
"(1704) abandonment of uncloaked (1693) infinitesimals." But why 
has Professor De Morgan cut the phrases of Newton, and thereby 
prevented us from seeing that the word " fluentes," which he gives us (1704) 
occurs also in Newton's phrases (1693) in Wallis? With this word in 
1693 we see much less of the cloak thrown over infinitesimals in 1704; 
the other little differences of expression are indeed inessential ; at all 
event3 Newton did not throw (1704) a new borrowed cloak over his idea, 
but only perhaps somewhat more clearly than 1693 repeated his oldest 
idea of 1687 : " principia (nascentia et) evanescentia."] 

Professor De Morgan then speaks of Craig's book, and of Newton's 
behaviour in this respect; of Craig's and Newton's supposed clandestine 
measures and intentions, by which they wish to lead the public 
away from truth. 

Craig, he intimates, wrote three separate tracts with almost the 
same title; the first was edited in 1685, the second in 1693, the last 
in 1718. "In the preface of 1718 Craig informs us, that in 1685 he 
" was a resident at Cambridge, and that Newton at his request read 
" his work. Here however we have reason to think, that he spoke 
" of the wrong tract ; [why should, we ask Professor De Morgan, 
Craig, speaking on his own tracts, speak of the wrong one?] "After 
" some exemplifications of Barrow and Sluse, not referring to Newton 
" as having any method of quadratures, but only to the Binomial 
" Theorem, Craig proceeds to say, that nothing is wanting to extend 
" his method to all but transcendental curves, except only the removal 


" of two difficulties. The first difficulty is the extraction of roots, 

" which he gets over by a Series of Newton's, which he hears that 

" Dr. Wallis has sent to press, [the first edition of Wallis is dated 

" 1685] which Newton has had the goodness to communicate in manu- 

" script ." 

The second of Craig's Tracts is of 1693. " That this was the tract," 

[though Craig in the Preface of 1718 says, that it was the Tract of 

1685] "which Newton examined before it was printed, I infer as 

" follows. In the Preface of 1718, Craig states that Newton proposed 

" two curves, of which he gives the equations [these equations mentioned 

in the Preface of 1718 by Craig are : m-y* = x* + aV, and my 1 = x 6 + ax*] 

" as examples in corroboration of Craig's objections against Tschirn- 

" hausen." [Professor De Morgan withholds from us the knowledge, 

that in Craig's Tract of 1685 the first of these examples appears at page 

[ill 1 + x 2 ) X X* 
42 in the form Z 2 = J- 


" Now the attack upon D. T. (Tschirnhausen) is at the end of the 

" second tract of 1693, and the curves specified are the first two examples 
" at the beginning." [Professor De Morgan withholds from us the 
knowledge that Tschirnhausen is also attacked in the first edition of 
Craig of 1685, and not only attacked as in the second tract, but this 
with one of these very two equations, which Craig must consequently 
have received in 1685]. "Moreover in the first tract Craig was no 
" deeper in the Differential Calculus than to imagine, that Pdy = Qdx 
" always gives Py = Qx, which we may undertake to say Newton could 
"not have passed over without detection." [Craig's book was not 
written on the Differential Calculus, but treated of quadratures as found 
by Craig's particular method 5 Newton had therefore no reason to speak 
to Craig of this method]. "It is also to be noticed, that in the second 
" tract the name of Newton does not occur once, though it is full of 
" the Differential Calculus, and though Leibnitz, Sluse, Barrow, Gregory, 
" are frequently mentioned. This, under all circumstances, Ave may 
" suspect was Newton's own doing." [Here Professor De Morgan 



kills his enemy : Newton is not mentioned in the book ; that must 
under all circumstances be Newton's doing ! Newton is detected, as 
Professor De Morgan always detects him, playing a foul game. Newton 
had cleverly " cloaked over" with the cloak of fluxions and ultimate 
ratios Leibnitz's infinitesimals, and so Newton here again, as Professor 
De Morgan tells us, has hidden and cloaked himself over, for he must, 
as Professor De Morgan makes out, be in this book in which he is not 
mentioned. The lie is given to every witness before us, the truth 
being the contrary of what we read]. "And I am strongly inclined 
" to think that it was this very tract of Craig's, which immediately 
" suggested to Newton the progress which the views of Leibnitz were 
" making, and induced him to forward to Wallis the extracts from his 
" De quadratura Curvarum." [There is in the date no difficulty]. 
" I conclude therefore that Newton, seeing the progress the Differential 
" Calculus was likely to make in England, procured the entire suppression 
" of his name in Craig's tract, and made up his mind to insert a part 
" of his treatise in the forthcoming work of Wallis." 

So far we have principally cited Professor De Morgan ; we shall 
now, in two words, give the fact as it actually stands. Craig did not 
as yet in 1685 understand either Leibnitz's Differential Calculus, of 
which only a little had transpired, or Newton's fluxional form, of 
which nothing till then was known, but he showed Newton something 
about another method of quadratures, and Newton for the sake of 
assisting Craig in an attack against Tschirnhausen, suggested to Craig two 
equations ; one of which is still in our own days to be read in Craig's 
book printed 1685, although Professor De Morgan says that these 
examples were given 1693. In 1603 Craig had got hold, as he thought, 
of the whole theory of the Differential Calculus, and he here speaks 
a good deal of Leibnitz, but not of Newton ; Newton indeed had in 
L693 not yet published on the subject. But in 1718 when he wrote 
his third tract, Craig was fully acquainted with the discoveries of Newton 
and of Leibnitz, and he there says in his preface, that what he wrote 
in 1685, was for so early a date a good tract on quadratures, and he 


was proud of saying that Newton saw this his first tract before it was 
printed in 1685. Every witness in the matter is here correct, with 
the exception of Professor De Morgan, who gives them all the lie. 
But they do not lie. Firstly Craig, speaking of his own tracts, says 
that it was his tract of 1685 that Newton saw. The tract itself, 
printed in 1685 (!) says that Newton gave the author a manuscript (see 
page 27 ! !). Professor De Morgan says no ! it was your second tract 
in which Newton has assisted you. Now it happens that in this second 
tract Newton is not mentioned. For this very reason, says Professor 
De Morgan, it is this tract which Newton saw. 

We ask, is it not absurd to treat history in this manner? 

Professor De Morgan " infers''' 1 and " supp>oses" and " is much inclined 
u to think 1 '' that of all facts which are before us, the contrary is true, 
for Newton's honour is at stake. Now may we not "infer" and " suppose" 
and be " inclined to think' 1 '' that Professor De Morgan is the last 
person whom we can trust in matters concerning Newton. This is 
very serious, for Professor De Morgan carries things at this moment 
in England with a high hand respecting Newton and respecting the 
history of fluxions, and clever Frenchmen eagerly avail themselves of 
his remarks. 

We will add here the whole short preface of Craig's book of 1718, 
which says : 

Prsefatio ad Lectorem. 

Hahes hie B. L. quce multos ante annos de Calculo jluentium sum 
meditatus, & cvjus prima Elementa, cum Juvem's essem, circa Annum 1685 
excogitavi : Quo tempore Cantabrigian commoratus D, Newtonum rogavi, 
ut eadem, priusquam prailo committer entur, perlegere dignaretur : Quodq ; 
Ille pro summa sua humanitate fecit : Nec-non ut Objectiones in Schedulis 
meis contra D. D. T. allatas corroboraret, duarum Figurarum Quadra- 
turns sponte mihi obtulit ; erant autem harum Curvarum JEquationes 
m' 2 y 2 = x 4 + a 2 x 2 & my* = x 3 + ax 2 ; Meque interim certiorem fecit se posse 
hujusmodi innumeras exhibere per Seriem Infinitam, quce in datis con- 
ditionibus abrumpens Figuroz propositce Quadraturam Geometricam deter- 



minar, t. In Patriam postea redeunti magna mihi infsrcedebat familiaritas 
mm Eruditissvmo Medici) D. Pitcairnio & D. D. Gregorio ; quibus 
significavi qualm pro Quadraturis Seriem haberet D. Newtonus, quam 
penithd ipsis ignotam wterq ; fatebatur. Post aliquot tferb imnses narrabat 
mihi D. Pitcairnius D. Gregorium Seriem similiter abrumpentem invenisse. 
Ego nullus dubitans, quin tandem ex duabus prcedictis Quadraturis ipsi a 
me communicatis deduxerit, per Litems D. Newtonum rogavi, ut Seriern 
sua m mihi transmittere vellet, ut an eadem esset cum Gregoriana pers- 
. ' rem : Rogatui meo an unit Vir illustrissimus per Literas 19 Sept. 1688 
datas : Nee mirum si parva esset inter utramq ; Seriem discrepant ia, 
cum Gregorius, ex duobus Mis Exemplis & indicatd . a me Seriei 
Newtonianae indole, suam facile deducere potuisset ; quamq ; statim in 
Tractatu D. Pitcairnii De Inventoribus publicandam curavit. Hanc 
kistoriolam Lectoribus impertire cequum videbatur, ut soli Newtono Sen 
Mam tribuendam esse cognoscerent. Satius quidem multo fuisset, si 
ipse [dum vivus esset) Gregorius eandem Orbi Mathematico communicasset, 
quodq ; se facturum promisit per Literas dat. Londiui 10, Oct. 1691. 
Me interim in iis hortatus est, ut, si quid haberem ad Mt murium ejus in 
hoc negotio jnvandam, id ego quam citissime ad Mum transmits rem / quod 
sine mora a me rem onxnem fideliter ab initio narranh factum erat. Opus 
enim erat mihi facillimum, utpote qui omnes ejus cU Pitcairnii Literas 
hanc rnuti riam spectantes turn apud me hetbuerim, & adhuc habeo. 

Ego interim (ob plures rationes non jam enumi randas) nihil per quam 
generate in Quadraturis per hujusmodi Series expectandum jure ratus, 
ad propria i n Meihodum promovendam Studia mea convertebam : Nee 
irritos jirursus f'nisse conatus colligere potes ex Tractatu Ann. 1603 edito, 
& Sped mine in Actis Philosophicis Anni 1697 de Spatiorum Transcen- 
dent inm Quadraturis, quo? in Geometria omnino tum noveeerant. Ejusdem 
Anno 17<i-_>, longe ultra omnium a/iarum Umites promotee, Theoremata 
aliquot generalia in Act. Phil. Anni 1703 erant publicata. Et magnopere 
mihi pJaeuisse fateor, cum perciperem, quod proedicta Series Newtoniana 
Casum tantum simplicem Theorematis nostri primi comprehenderet. 
Integram jam Methodum cum aliis huic ajflinibus in sequenti libro 


explicatam B. Lector inveniet. Et si qaidpiam in his ad Geome- 
triam promovendam sibi occur rat, turn me finem in his edendis proposition 
obtinuisse sciat. 

This is Craig's preface of 1718. 

We will also give the first lines of Craig's second book of 1693, 
which are as follows: 

"In actis philosophicis specimen exhibui methodi generalis 

" determinandi Figuraruni Quadraturas ; cuuique postea plus otii nactus 
" fueram, credebam me non posse illud melius, quam in eadem materia 
" ulterius perficienda, collocare ; plurima enim turn deerant, quseque me 
"jam feliciter obtinuisse spero. Ne antem nimium mihi adscribere, vel 
" aliis detrahere viclear, libenter agnosco Leibnitzii Calculum differentialem 
" tanta mihi in his inveniendis suppeditasse auxilia, ut sine illo vix 
" assequi potuissem " 

We add a remark, which we certainly cannot introduce without 
saying that it is a pity that Professor De Morgan has not found 
it out, for he would have made another use of it than we do. 

It is supposed that Newton's " De Analyst" such as it was printed 
in the Commercium Wpistolicum^ and consequently such as it is now 
before us, was sent in 1669. But this perhaps is not the case. 

The best witness in this matter is Oldenburg, especially if we attend 
to what he said in this respect in 1669, the very year in which Newton's 
treatise was written or sent to London. 

Oldenburg's letter of 14th September, 1669, ad Franciscum Slusium, 
though inserted as No. XIII. in the Commercium EpistoUcum, has not 
yet been read with attention respecting this question. 

Oldenburg says at that date, that Newton's Analysis ("universalis 
"methodus Analytica") has been sent [to himself, to Lord Brounker, 
or to Collins] ; Oldenburg then adds : 

" Auctor sic incipit. 

u De Analyst per jffiquationes numero terminorum infinitas. 

" Methodum gencralem, quam de Curvarum quantitate per Infinitam 
" terminorum seriem mensuranda olim excogitaveram, etc." 

" Et ad calcem sic ait : 

" Nee quicquam hujusmodi scio ad quod haec Methodus, idque variis 
" modis, sese non extendat. Imo Tangentes ad Curvas mechanicas (si 
"quando id non alias fiat) hujus ope ducuntur. Et quicquid vulgaris 
" Analysis per requationes ex finito terminorum numero constantes 
" (quando id sit possibile) perficit, hsec per iEquationes infinitas semper 
" perficiat. 

" Et hsec de Areis Curvarum investigandis dictas ufficiant. Imo cum 
" Problemata de Curvarum Longitudine, de quantitate & Superficie 


" Solidorum, deque Centre Gravitatis, possunt eo tandem reduci ut 
" qugeratur quantitas Superficiei plana? linea curva terminatae, non opus 
" est quicquam de iis adjungere." 

Here we have the beginning and the closing words of Newton's De 
Analysis such as Oldenburg had it before his eyes, 14th September, 1669. 

Consequently what Oldenburg possessed cannot be that which has 
been given in the Commercium Epistolicum, for the latter only begins 
as Oldenburg says, but it does not end so. 

We may suggest, that Newton's Analysis from page 83, line 18 in the 
Commercium Epistolicum, edition of 1722 [in Biot's edition page 67, 
line 15] was read some time in the year 1669 as follows: 

Denique si index potestatis ipsius x vel y sit fractio, reduco ipsum ad 

1 4 II 

integrum : ut in hoc exemplo y* — xy" + x 3 = o. Positio y = ?>, & x 3 = «, 
resultabit v 6 — z 3 v + z 4, = o, cujus radix est v = z 4- z 3 , &c. sive (restituendo 

i I 2 4 

valores) y 1 = x 3 + x, &c. & quadrando y=x 3 -\- 2x 3 . 

Et haec de Curvis Geometricis dicta sufficiant. Quinetiam curva, 
etiamsi Mechanica sit, methodum tamen nostrum nequaquam respuit. 

"Exemplo sit Trochoides ADFG, cujus (etc. :" those 45 lines which 
are now read page 88, 89 — in Biot page 71 [from line 10] 72 [to line 
11] — up to the words " determinabilis est," with Oldenburg's finishing 
sentence as follows) : 

Determinabilis est. Nee quicquam hujusmodi scio, ad quod haec 
Methodus idque variis modis, sese non extendat (etc. : thirteen further 
lines just mentioned, page 118, as the end in Oldenburg's letter of 14th 

We consequently believe, that page 84, 85, 86, (?) 87, and (?) page 
90, 91, 92,9 3, (in Biot page 67, [from line 23] 68, 69, 70, [to line 8] 
72, [to line 17] 73, 74, 75,) were introduced into the manuscript in or 
about the year 1672. 

Newton, in fact, writing to Leibnitz 1676, 24th October, calls his 
treatise a " compendium" and says of it : " Eo ipso tempore quo (Mer- 
" catoris Logorithmotechnia) prodiit, (1669) communicatum est ad I). 



" Collinsium (raeum) Compendium quoddam methodi harum serierum, in 
" quo significaveram Areas et Longitudines Curvarum omnium, et 
" Solidorum superficies et Contenta, ex datis Rectis ; et vice versa, ex 

" his datis Rectas determinari posse deinceps Collinsius non destitit 

" suggerere ut baec publici juris facerem : Et ante annos quinque cum 
" suadentibus amicis consilium ceperam edendi Tractatum de Refraetione 
" Lucis et Coloribus, quem tunc in promptu babebam ; coepi de his 
" Seriebus iterum cogitare ; et Tractatum de iis etiam conscripsi ut 
" utrumque simul cderem. Sed " 

Newton here speaks of that Treatise (Tractatus) which is not in the 
Commercium Epist. but which was published by Colson 1736, and we see 
that "ante annos quinque" (that is 1672) he meditated on these matters. 

We know that Newton was, after 1673 till 1683, engaged in labours 
of a different kind, and a copy of what we now read as Newton's Analysis 
has existed in Collins' handwriting, who died 1682. Therefore Newton's 
additions to what he first sent 1669 and what Oldenburg possessed 1669 
were made at once in 1669 for Collins, or between 1669 and 1673, and 
this is what Collins possessed. 

It is a pity, we repeat, that Professor De Morgan has not found out 
this fact ; perhaps he will still think it not beneath his honour to make 
use of it in his fashion, and to draw from it with Anti-Newtonian 
instinct a good conclusion. 


In a scholium at the end of the Tractatus de Quadrature:, Newton 
says : " Quantitatura fluentium fluxiones esse primas secundas tertias 
" quartas, aliasque dixinius supra. Hae fluxiones sunt ut termini serierum 
"infinitarum convergentium. Ut si x sit quantitas fluens, et fluendo 
" evadat [x + o) n deinde resolvatur in seriem convergentem 

„ „_, nn — n „_„ n 3 — Snn + 2n ., „_.. 

x + nox -i oox H ox -\- etc. 

2 6 

" terminus primus hujus seriei x n erit quantitas ilia fluens, secundus 
" nox n ~ x erit ejus incrementum primum, seu differentia prima, cui 

" nascenti proportionalis est ejus Fluxio prima ; tertius — -— oox n * erit 

" ejus incrementum secundum, seu differerentia secunda cui nascenti 

,, • i- . „, , , n 3 — Snn + 2n „ „_„ 
" proportionalis est ejus t luxio secunda ; quartus o x erit 

" ejus incrementum tertium seu differentia tertia, cui nascenti Fluxio 
"tertia proportionalis est; et sic deinceps in infinitum." 

John Bernoulli caught hold of this, and wrote to Leibnitz (7th June 

1713) : " vides hanc regulam (Newtoni) falsam esse. Nam excepto 

" primo et secundo termino, reliqui omnes alludunt a differentialibus 

" superioribus potestatis x n et hoc est, quod in nupero meo Schedi- 

" asmate Actis Lipsiensibus inserto jam notavi. Animadverti New- 

u tonum in suo errore perseverasse usque ad annum 1711 cum libellus 

" ejus fuit recusus. Sed in exemplari quod mihi dono misit per 

" Agnatum meum, ibi" (meaning that scholium) " calamo adscripsit 




" altera vice voculani ut — ubi habebantur haec verba ' tertius (terminus) 
— - — c?x n ~ 2 erit ejus inereinentuin secundum, et quartus 

nn — Snn + 2n „ „_. 


" ' erit ejus inerementuni tertium 
" ' erit ut ejus 1 etc." 

interseruit c ut,' scribendo nunc. 

In the Acta Eruditorum of Leipsig, Bernoulli made a great noise 
about this error of Newton. Montucla (in his Histoire des Mathematiques 
III. p. 105) speaking of the matter, says: "Bernoulli insera dans les 
" actes de Leipsick, sous un nom deguise une lettre fort amere, ou 
'•'Newton e'taitpeu manage; il y pretendait que Newton n'avait jamais 
" connu les regies de la seconde differenciation, ou celle de prendre la 
" fluxion d'une fluxion, et il se fondait sur ce que Newton dans son traite" 
" de quadratura curvarum, dit, que les fluxions des differents degres 
" sont representees par les termes de son binome 

m (m — 1) x 1 ' 

x + \_rnx J x + 


x' + 

"or cela n'est vrai qu'en supprimant les de'nominateurs numeriques. 
"Car si l'on prend la fluxion, ou la diflfe'rentielle, de ma;"* -1 , on aura pour 
"seconde diffdrentielle seulement [m (m — l)a?" 1-2 ] a; 2 . Mais il est eVi- 
" dent, que c'^tait une pure inadvertence de Newton, seduit un instant 
" par une analogie qui regne entre sa formule et les fluxions successives. 
" Cette piece (in the Acta of Leipzig) etait si aigre, que Bernoulli a ^te 
" long temps sans l'avouer, mais il etait facile de l'y reconnaitre."* 

Now this famous Newtonian error, which almost Newton himself 
took for an error, writing the word " ut" with his pen in the copy of the 
second edition, when he presented the same to Bernoulli, (for Bernoulli 

* Montucla quotes the formula as as™*, etc. Bernoulli as z"\ etc. To make our 
remark clear, we have also in our quotation of Bernoulli written the letter x. 


at the time and before he made his anonymous attack in the Acta of 
Leipsig, had through his nephew Nicholas Bernoulli, who made a journey 
to London, sent a friendly message on this matter to Newton), now 
we believe this famous Newtonian error is in truth no error. 
The series 

(x + 6) n = x n -f nx n ~ x o + etc. 

is, as is well known, Taylor's theorem in one of its cases. What we 
wish to say will therefore at first be in reference to this theorem. 

The Differential or Fluxional Calculus has to solve the following 
problem and question : how great, if any (simple or complex) algebraic 
expression be augmented in only one of its constituent parts, is the 
augmentation of the whole expression, compared to the augmentation 
of the part. If, for instance, the algebraic expression (function) is 
(a;" 1 ), and it is the part x, to which we give an augmentation, and 
if we here again take the simpler case, by supposing the function (or 
algebraic expression) to be (a? 2 ), then the question or problem is: how 
great is the augmentation of (as*) if x receives a certain augmentation, 
which we will call dx? 

It is false to suppose, that in a general manner the augmentation 
accruing to the whole by an augmentation of one part, can be indicated 
by one of the seven algebraic operations (addition, subtraction, mul- 
tiplication, division, elevation into powers, extraction of roots, and 
logarithms.) On the contrary, the comparing of the augmentation of 
a whole function (or algebraic expression) to the augmentation given 
to a part of it, is such a complicated thing, that all the seven operations, 
and all their possible combinations are not able to make this comparison, 
and consequently not able to give us the answer. 

This is the difficulty in which we are placed by the question. 
The Fluxional or Differential Calculus overcomes the difficulty, by in- 
troducing an eighth mode of algebraic operation, namely, by introducing 
to us first, the idea of a multiplication, such as (a x J), to which secondly, 
we have to add this new idea, that, namely, the one of the two 



factors or coefficients does not remain unchanged during the operation 
of the multiplication, but changes : is variable. 

We ask : how is this possible ? how can we multiply with a 
certain and clear result a by b, if one coefficient (let us say a) does 
not hold its value during the operation, being what is called a variable? 

The Fluxional or Differential Calculus overcomes this new dif- 
ficulty, which it has itself created, by telling us not only abstractly 
that the one coefficient (let us say a) is variable, but by telling us 
also which kind of variation there is in a. 

In the above case, for instance, the algebraic expression or function 
being (aj a ), and our question being: how great is the augmentation of 
(x 2 ) if x receives a certain augmentation, which we will call dx? — 
the answer given by the Fluxional or Differential Calculus tells us firstly, 
that the augmentation is a multiple of dx (of the augmentation given 
to the part of the function), namely, that it is 2x x dx, but with 
this understanding, that the one of the two factors or coefficients 
of this multiplication, namely, the expression 2x, does not hold its 
value, but is variable, adding that the nature and kind of its variation 
is enunciated and indicated by the second differential, namely, that 
it is again a multiplication (2 x dx) dx, which has to be considered 
as laying in the first. 

In other words : since it is not possible to say by any common 
combination of the seven algebraic operations in a general manner 
(for a single case is not in question) what augmentation accrues to 
(x' t ) when x (the one part of that function) is augmented by dx, 
therefore a new mode of operation is introduced, which is a multi- 
plication in which the one coefficient holds in itself a second multi- 

We repeat, the rule is : multiply dx with 2x, which 2x flows during 
the multiplication, its fluxion being the augmentation of 2x when 
x is augmented. 

This (eighth) mode of algebraic operation is, as we see, so complicated, 
that it cannot be expressed in one rule, but that two rules (or two 


differentiations) are necessary, the first rule saying that the augmentation 
of (x 2 ) is dx multiplied with a thing, which is itself augmented, [2x] 
and the second rule (or differentiation) saying, how this 2x is 

If the function, or algebraic expression is simpler, namely, if it is 
addition or multiplication, for instance, if it is mx, then the Differential 
or Fluxional Calculus can say by one rule with one of the old seven 
operations what augmentation mx receives if one part of it (say x) 
is augmented by dx. Namely, the augmentation of mx is m x dx. 
But if the function be (sc a ), two rules are necessary, first and second 
differentials. The second rule is the correction of the first rule. The 
first rule speaks of the function, the second rule speaks of the first 
rule, and thereby indirectly of the function. 

Sometimes the number of rules is infinite. For instance, the number 
of the rules for finding the augmentation of the function [x*) or \'x is 
infinite, for after saying that that augmentation is dx multiplied with 

£(»"*) (or with — —J wherein a; is a variable, and after the second 

V 2 \jxl 

rule telling us, that the variability in that first rule is —£(#"*), or 
( - ] , we still find this variable x in our answer, we must therefore 

give a third rule (third differential) respecting the variability of the 
second, which rule will again give us that variable x, and so on, 
without end. 

In the case of (x 2 ) there is that end. Its first differential is 2x x dx 
and the differential of this differential is 2dx x dx, where all coefficients 
and factorials are constants, for dx is (what few people seem to admit) 
a constant, whereas x is variable. 

If we have till now before us the seemingly difficult idea of a 
multiplication regulated by a new multiplication, Taylor in his theorem 
brings new light into these ideas. 

It is as if Taylor said: you may theoretically and in the abstract 


speak of one rule (the first differential) and of its modification by a 
second rule (the second differential), and in your fancy you may think 
that one multiplication is hidden or lies in the other, but if you leave 
with me the world of abstraction and theory, and enter into nature 
and into reality, letting dx actually be something, a foot, or an inch, 
or some other reality according to the actual problem, then those abstract 
rules will require one very slight modification. 

It is easy to show what this modification is. 

We suppose there will be no possible objection if we say, that 

the series 

1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36... 

is one case of the variable function (a? a ), namely, that case, In which 

the varied and variable part of the function [x) has been supposed 

to be in one instance 1, and in which the variability of x, or the 

augmentation dx given to x, is supposed to be also 1. 

For in this supposition we have 

x= 1, 

x + dx = 2, 

x + dx + dx = 2 + dx = 3, 

x + dx + dx + dx = 3 + dx = 4, 


Consequently in this case all the values which (x' 2 ) can have, and 

therefore (x*) itself (in the full extent of its variability) is contained 

in the series 

...1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36,... 

3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 
2, 2, 2, 2. 
We have put under the principal series of all these numbers their 

Thereby we see that it is not sufficient to give to x one augmentation 
dx, but that two such augmentations must be given and calculated 
before a difference of the first differences can appear. Between two 


numbers of the series there is but one difference. Three numbers 
have two differences, and now (not when we have but two numbers) 
we can speak of a difference of the differences. 

For instance, in our series the numbers 4, 9, 16 have the two 
differences 5 and 7, and now we can speak of the difference of these 

It is in this sense that Taylor, as it were, says : theoretically and 
abstractedly your rules can tell me that the difference of the function x 2 from 
its next augmented expression (x + dx) 2 is of a flowing nature, (not every- 
where the same) and you can theoretically and abstractedly at once, in 
addition thereto, tell me, what the flowing nature (or fluxion) of that 
first difference is, but in reality we cannot find a second difference in 
one first difference, we can only find it in two first differences. 

Therefore, Taylor wishing really to do in this function (x"), or rather 
in all functions, what theory tells us, could not content himself with 
calculating one difference [(x + hf — x 2 ] or [{x + dx) 2 — x 2 ], but finds him- 
self obliged to calculate two successive differences [(x + h + Kf — (x + /?)*] 
together with [{x + h) 2 — x 2 ], before a difference of these differences (or 
the second differential) appears, and wishing nevertheless to give his 
formula only for one difference [only for : f(x + h) —f(x)]j he consequently 
has to divide that member, which contains the second differential by 2. 

We see that he consequently in his formula has to divide the 
member containing the third differential by 2x3, the following member 
by 2x3x4, etc. Taylor's series contains therefore in truth, so as 
Newton said, the subsequent differentials : in other words, Taylor's 
or Newton's series is the Differential or Fluxional Calculus, and nothing 
else, and Taylor's series needs not to be proved, but proves the new 
Calculus, and is thereby proved itself. 

Newton knew this, and in his constant practical applications and 
calculations from his youth till 1711, he had been so used to consider 
the terms of such series as the subsequent differentials, or fluxions 
practically, that also theoretically and abstractedly in the scholium which 
we have copied, he very properly said that they were both the same. 


In 1711, when Newton was seventy years of age, he was (we may 
say this with the greatest veneration for Newton) not sufficiently intent 
on abstract mathematics to wish to dispute about the greater or smaller 
coincidence of the terms of those series with the subsequent fluxions; 
he therefore left the question open by adding the word ",«#" to the 
scholium, which thereby is not essentially altered, not so much as it 
may appear altered by the word " very" in the third section of Newton's 
letter of 20th April, 1714 (in Edleston's Corresp,., page 173). 

In a German treatise inscribed Versuch die Different ialreehnilng auf 
andre als die bis herige Weise zii begrunden, I have explained this more 
at length. 

Leibnitz, on his entrance into society, having jnst taken his degree 
at the University, became attached to the interests of Boineburg, who 
was on a small scale, we may say a Metternich of those ages, in the 
service of the Elector of Maintz. This Boineburg asserted from the 
time of the last election to the German Empire, a claim for money 
due to him from the King of France. The Elector permitted Leibnitz, 
who was in the Elector's service, to go to Paris, 1671, for the purpose 
of secretly and privately inducing the King of France to conquer 
Egypt, Leibnitz supposing that this scheme would avert the danger 
of the King's threatening position and preponderance in Europe. But 
the Elector did not pay for Leibnitz's stay in Paris, it being ingeniously 
arranged by Boineburg that this expense was charged to the King 
of France, whom Leibnitz had to advise and to persuade. Boineburg's 
own object was to realise through Leibnitz's presence in Paris his 
pecuniary claim. A strange errand (Leibnitz's moral " character" would 
necessarily be thereby affected ; namely, " strengthened" and " advanced" 
Guhrauer says). Compare Guhrauer's Biography of Leibnitz (1846) I., 
page 49, line 10, et seqq.; page 52, line 12; page 55, line 1; page 56, 
line 17; page 59, line 12; (page 62, line 9, conf. page 82, line 6); 
page 95, line 3; page 98, line 26; page 105, line 27 (" entretenu") ; 
page 125, line 12, etc. 

No biographer or other author, I believe, has enquired : for what 
purpose did Leibnitz go to England towards the end of October, 1676 ? 
We presume that there were frequently in Havre or in Calais ships 
going via London to Amsterdam, and that the direct intercourse 
between France and Amsterdam was not common. 

Perhaps some persons know of other reasons; to suppose him 
actuated by a desire to learn what mathematical secrets the English 
were yet withholding from the rest of the world, would suit this inquiry, 
but I have no grounds for believing it. 

That Leibnitz was not in possession of the Differential Calculus 
on the 27th August, 1676, shortly before his second journey to London, 
is proved by his letter of that date, because in that letter he operates 
with the infinitely small quantity, called /3, vulgari more, using the 
method of Transmutations, in the same kind of manner as not only 
Leibnitz, but everybody did at Leibnitz's time and before him. 

Some passages of that interesting letter of the 27th August, 1676, 
are explained by a first draft of the same, which (imitating Gerhardt, 
who has edited first drafts of Leibnitz's several writings), we will 
give in extenso (the original is found in the bookcases, containing 
Leibnitz's manuscripts at Hanover) : 

(By using parentheses, such as [ ], we have indicated that Leibnitz 



after finishing the letter struck out, what these parentheses contain, 
writing over the line what then follows) : 

This letter of the 27th August, 1676, which Leibnitz sent to England, 
is an answer to two letters, to one coming from Newton, and to another 
coming from Collins. His first draft has reference only to that part 
in which he answers Newton. We therefore, in what here follows 
on the left side of the page, have given verbotenus the first half 
of Leibnitz's letter, such as it went to England, and opposite to it 
on the right side, Leibnitz's sometimes longer, sometimes shorter first 
draft : 

27 Aug. 1676. 

Literae tuae, die 26 Julii datae, 
plura ac memorabiliora circa rem 
Analyticam continent, quani multa 
volumina spissa de his rebus edita. 
Quare Tibi pariter ac Clarissimis 
Viris, Newtono ac Collinio, gratias 
ago, qui nos participes tot medita- 
tionum egregiarum esse voluistis. 

Inventa Newtoni ejus ingenio 
digna sunt, quod ex Opticis Ex- 
perimentis et Tubo Catadioptrico 
abunde eluxit. 

Ejusque methodus inveniendi 
Radices iEquationum & Areas Fi- 
gurarum, per Series Infinitas, pror- 
sus differt a mea : Ut mirari libeat 
diversitatem itinerum per quae eodem 
pertingere licet. 

Literae tuae novissimae, Pellii 
Newtonii Gregorii Collinsii inventis 
et meditatis plenae plura ac me- 
morabilia circa rem Analyticam 
continent, quam multa volumina 
ingentia impressa ; vellem explicata 
essent, sed quomodo poterit id fieri 
in literarum angustia. Newtono et 
Collinsio multas a me gratias agas 
rogo ; Newtono quod Methodi suae 
circa series specimina mihi com- 
municare voluit, plurimum me illi 
obligatum profiteor. Digna sunt 
omnia ingenio ejus, quod ex opticis 
experimentis et libro catoptrico 
abunde eluxit. 

Mirari vero subit in varietatem 
itinerum per quas perveniri potest 
ad interiora rerum ; mea enim me- 
thodus longe a Newtoniana diversa 
est ; in nonnullis ad eadem per- 
venimus; in pluribus alias plane 



scries 1 exhibco. Universalitatera ex 
ipsa Methodi descriptione existima- 
bitis, quam vobis exhibeo. 
Meroator Figuras Rationales, Equidem fateor 2 Mercatori me 

1 Newton's words " Method of Series" are here also used by Leihnitz, who 
calls not only one, hut all his manifold methods, the method of "Series;" very 
properly, for quadratures etc. are, generally speaking, always given in infinite series, 
and are only exceptionally found in finite algebraic expressions. 

2 Leibnitz here says, that the invention which Newton's letter communicated 
to him (Newton's generalization of Mercator's divisions) had already before he received 
the letter been invented by himself, this being quite an easy matter. 

This assertion of Leibnitz is not true, nor did he on second consideration venture 
to tell Newton this untruth, which we see in embryo only in this draft of the letter. 

Leibnitz had just finished his work De Quadrature! ("'jam anno 167<j compositum 
habebam opusculum Quadraturae Arithmeticae, ab amicis ab illo tempore lectum," 
says Leibnitz, in Act. Erudit., April, 1691, page 178). This he had completed 
in at least forty propositions in a beautiful manuscript ready for the p: ess, which 
remains to this day in the Leibnitz shelves of the King's library in Hanover. 

But in the same, written with a later hand, namely, not in Leibnitz's beautiful 
handwriting, in which the first part of this magnificent work is written, but in 
Leibnitz's hurried and quick handwriting, and squeezed in a narrow margin, we 
read the following : 

" Scholium ad propositionem 29 quod ope progressions Geometricae demon- 

" stravimus, poteramus et demonstrare per [aequationes] divisiones [pulcherrimas] 

"in infinitum continuatas pulcherrimas N.J. Mercatoris, Holsati, e societate Regia 

" Britannica (quae) coincidunt cum prop. 26 si ponamus prorsus etiam 

" exprcssiones (?) ac demonstrationes (?) propos. 28; deberet autem scribi istas esse 

" decrescentes. Simile quiddam ad radicum purarum vel affectarum extractiones 

" accommodari potest in numeris literisve, nam et in illis divisio quaedam locum habet, 

" quod jam dudum exemplis quibusdam expertus sum (ohe eos qui ex mea Circuli 

" expreBsione sequi putabant Circulum esse quadrato diametri commensurabilem) 

" etiam quant itates irrationales, e.g. diagonalem in quadrato per infinitam seriem 

" rationalium numerorum efferri posse. Sed hoc Clarissimum Virum Isaacum 

"Newtonum ingeniose ac feliciter prosecutum nuper acccpi, a quo praeclara multa 

"theoremala expectari possunt. Porro si contra ponatur c acq. AB* et b aeq. BF S 

D7W » . a BF* , AB* AB' , , 

" manente a aeq. hi' net - — aeq. — — - — =, aeq 1 - — — - + — — etc., quemadmodum 

of c ^ BI'iAB l BI* BF* 


"ante aeq. -j™ - ~Tn\ + "T/js etc -> slve ponendo AB constantem sive permanentem. 


sen in quibus Ordinatarum valor ex [primam occasionem] partem deberi 
datis Abscissis rationaliter expriml inventionum [Nam] circa series in> 

FC t 2 

"aeq. 1, et BF vel BC aeq. t, tunc priore modo supra posito sive , fiet 

2 1 + t 

FG i . 

"aeq. t* - t* + t a etc., secundum propositionem 28 et summa omnium sive area 

t 3 t b f . FO 

" dimidii spatii BFGfS erit - - - + - , et ad summam omnium — - seu aream spatii 
o 5 7 ^ 

'•dimidii BFGfi mutatis mutandis evadit series - - — 4 t-j etc., ut probari potest ex 

1 It oi 

" corollario 2. ad prop. 25. ex quibus expressionibus per series cum t minor est 

" quam 1 prodierit series cum major est, et omnimodo sufficit prior sola, quoniam 

"si arcus BF3I sit major quadr. 2 tunc sufficit comparari excessum EM." 

So Leibnitz's great work De Quadratura, of which he speaks so often, was nipped 
in the bud by the first letter of Newton. For though in a short epitome of this 
Leibnitzian work, which Gerhardt has ventured to publish, the prop. 24 and 25, 
as Gerhardt admits, as well as the prop. 46, 47, 48, are of a later period, (see 
Gerhardt. Leibn. Math. Schr. V. Band 1858, page 86, line 27, and the note at page 105) 
still this later epitome could not efface all the weak points of this interesting 
work, and in particular not its twice repeated phrase : " oportet autem AB non esse 
minorem BF and oportet autem arcum BOD non esse quadrante majorem," (Gerh. 
1. c. page 107). So then Leibnitz finds, when Newton's letter arrives, that with 
Newton's invented general rules like those of Mercator, " poteramus" as he says, 
" demonstrare propositiones" 28, 29, etc., and that then these propositions would have 
been general, namely valid also, " si arcus major quadrante." On the whole, we 
see by that scholium that the work De Quadratura was disturbed and changed by 
what Leibnitz could take from Newton's letter " quam nuper accepi." 

Consequently it is not true, that Newton's invention (the generalization of 
Mercator's divisions, etc.) was known and familiar to Leibnitz before Newton's 
letter; and not true, though Leibnitz uses the word " fateor," that he had taken 
" primam occasionem inventorum suorum" from this generalization of Mercator's idea. 

Luckily only what Leibnitz wished to answer, not his actual answer, contained 
that untruth. 

We beg Leibnitz's pardon for using such harsh language, for it is quite possible 
that Leibnitz was naive, and cheated himself, believing in his having invented 
what Newton's letter contained, for some people (and Leibnitz may have been of these) 
having rather lively imaginations, find no distinction between what they learn and 
what they invent, but take some old idea of their own, which bears on the subject, 
for the mother of the new things which they learn, and then cheating themselves, say : 
" these are my children." 



potest, (ut scilicet indeterminata 
Quantitas in vinculum non ingre- 
diatur,) quadravit ; & ad Infinitas 
Series reducere docuit, per Divi- 
siones. Newtonus autem, per lladi- 
cuni Extractiones. 

finitas. Nam cum is Hyperbolain 
per infinitam seriem more suo [ex- 
tricasset] quadrasset utique facile 
erat judicatu, posse quamlibet figu- 
ram rationalem eodem modo per 
infinitam seriem quadrari. (Another 
sentence appears to be written over 
this sentence above its lines, but very- 
small, and to me unreadable and un- 
intelligible.) Figura rationalis enim 
naturali aequatione explicari potest 

sIt y aeq - r+v fiet 

x s — x 5 -f x 1 — x° + x 11 etc., 
• et sum ma omnium y seu area 
figurae erit 

4 6 

Vel etiam methodo 3 a Mercatoris 
diversa, nam si aliter dividas ex 

x 2 

x" x"- 

To + 12 etc - 

fln _i 1 1 
1+x 2 x* + x* x G 


s We are saturated through and through with the word " method" in Leibnitz's 
several writings, which occurs in this draft thirteen or eighteen times. Even this 
trifling remark on Mercator's divisions Leibnitz calls his method, and thinks that 
it differs from that of Mercator. Newton says in the Recensio (page 14 of the second 
edition of the Com. Up. Collinsii, and page 17 in Biot and Lefort's edition) on a similar 
occasion : " Commercium cum Oldenburgio renovavit Leibnitius scribens se mirificum 
habere Theorema, quod daret Circuli vel ejus Sectoris cujuscunque Aream accurate 
in serie numerorum rationalium ; Octobri autcm insequente scripsit se invenisse 
Circumferentiam Circuli in serie simplicissimorum numerorum. Eadem Methodo, 
sic enim Theorema illud nominat :" Newton also then, as we see, was struck with 
Leibnitz's " methodo-mania" and with his desire of inventions, which made him always 
speak of " methods" when the thing itself was much more humble than what the 
word " methodus" would suggest. 


et summa omnium ex cognitis Hy- 
perboloeidium quadraturis habebi- 
tur. Sed quoniam pluriraae figurae 
non sunt rationales, ut Circulus, 
Ellipsis, aliaeque innumerabiles, ideo 
opus erat methodo nova, qua de- 
monstretur (?) figuras rationales 
inventas, esse aequales vel propor- 
tionates portionibus vel pendentibus 
figurae non rationalis quaesitae. 

Mea methodus 4 Corollarium est 

4 The note of the editors of the Com. Ep. here says : " Leibnitius hanc Methodum 
vulgari more prolixius hie exponit, quam Analysis ejus nova paucis exhibere potuisset, 
ideoque Analysin illam novam nondum invenerat." 

" Hie modus transmutandi figuras Curvilineas in alias ipsis aequales, ejusdem est 
generis cum Transmutationibus Barrovianis & Gregorianis. Et Conica? Sectiones hac 
Methodo semper ad Series Infinitas reduci possunt per divisiones. Generalis tamen 
non est : Nam si Curva sit secundi generis, incidetur in a?quationem quadraticam : 
si tertii generis, in cubicam, si quarti, in quadrato-quadxaticam, si quinti, in quadrato- 
cubicam, &c. prseterquam in casibus quibusdam valde particularibus. Per extractiones 
vero Radicum Problemata facilius solvuntur absque Transmutationibus." 

It should be remarked, that Leibnitz, in speaking of this invented method, here 
praises it, as reducing any high equations to equations " ubi dimensio ordinatae non 
ascendat ultra Cubum aut Quadratum aut etiam Simplicem dignitatem." 

It is untrue that Leibnitz possessed such a method, and that he could reduce 
the higher equations into Cubic and Quadratic equations. The note of the Com. Ep. 
Collinsii, which we have just cited, remarks very quietly that the conic sections or 
equations of the second degree can be reduced thereby to a form applicable to 
Mercator's division, but that with this method " De Transformationibus" neither 
Leibnitz nor any one else could arrive at any result in the third nor in any higher degree, 
" praeterquam in casibus quibusdam valde particularibus." (It is in our days well 
known to mathematicians that sometimes a few particular cases of a higher order 
can be solved by the simplest " methods," to use Leibnitz's favourite word). 

The note adds, with modesty : " per extractiones Radicum Problemata ' facilius' 
solvuntur absque Transmutationibus," which does not say, that all equations 
even of the highest degree could be squared and reduced by these Newtonian 
" extractiones radicum." Newton never pretended, either that his generalization of 
Mercator's divisions was his only method, or that it was already general by itself. 


tantum doctrinae generalis de Trans- 
fbrmationibus ; cujus ope Figura 
proposita quaelibet, quacunque 
/Equatione explicabilis, transmit-* 
tatur in aliam analyticam aequipol- 
lentem; talcm lit, in ejus JEquatione, 
ordinatse dimensio non ascendat 
ultra Cubum aut Quadratum, aut 
etiam Simplicem Dignitatem, seu 
Infimum gradum. Ita fiet ut quae- 
libet Figura, vcl per Extractionem 
radicis Cubieaj vel Quadraticse, 
Newtoni more ; vel etiam, methodo 
MercatoriS) per simplicem Divi- 
slonem ; ad Series Infinitas reduci 

On the contrary, he says to Leibnitz in his first letter : " Quomodo ex Aequationibus 

sic ad infinitas series reductis cetera determinantur, et quomodo etiam Curvae 

omnes Mechanicae ad ejusmodi Aequationes infinitarum serierum reduci possunt 

longum foret describere : and : Non tamen omnino universalis evadit nisi per ulteriores 
quasdam methodos;" for this was what he did not wish to communicate in the letter, 
this being that part of the invention which is the Differential Calculus. 

1 1 is generalization of Mereator's divisions, together with his Differential Calculus, 
Newton, Wallis. Leibnitz and everybody would at that time call the method of Series. 

Moreover, in his second letter to Leibnitz, Newton gave (in enigmate) that 
part of his method which is the Differential Calculus, and there, in his second letter 
flinging out of his abundance a great number of theorems in 6 lines, (page 157. 
173; Ed. of Biot, page 133) he modestly, but with some confidence says: "aliqua 
de his evadunt compositissima adeo ut vix per Transmutationem figurarum, quibus 
Jacobus Gregorius et alii usi sunt, absque ulteriori fundamento inveniri posse putem." 

It is almost repugnant to us to read after these words again the second untruth 
of Leibnitz's letter, pretending that he could reduce all higher equations to cubic 
or quadratic or simple equations. 

Indeed, if that was feasible, nobody needed to invent the Differential Calculus. 


Ego vero, ex his Transmuta- 
tionibus, Simplicissimam ad rem 
praesentem delegi. Per quam sci- 
licet unaqiueque Figura transfor- 
matur in aliani aequipollcnteni ra- 
tionalem ; in cujus sequatione, Or- 
dinata in nullam prorsus ascendit 
Potestatem : Ac proinde sola Mer- 
catoris Divisione per Infinitam 
Seriem exprimi potest. 

Ipsa porro generalis Transmu- 
tation nm methodus, milii inter po- 
tissima Analyseos censenda videtur. 
Neque enim tantnm ad Series In- 
finitas, & ad Approximations ; sed 
& ad solutiones Geometricas, aliaque 
innumera vix alioqui tractabilia in- 
servit. Ejus vero Fundamentum 
vobis candide libereque scribo ; per- 
suasus qure apud vos habentur pra> 
clara mihi quoque non denegatum 

Transformationis fundamentum 
hoc est : Ut figura proposita' rectis 
innumeris utcunque,modo secundum 
aliquam regulam sive legem ductis, 
resolvatur in partes ; quae partes, 
autalise ipsis aequales, alio situ, aliave 

5 This sentence is very curious. Newton indeed must have smiled to see Leibnitz 
cull " meam methodum"' Avhat he here describes, and what was extremely common, 
not only at that time but at any time, namely, to turn one figure into another 
figure by " sotne means or other" or, as Leibnitz has it, " ufcunque (!) secundum 
" aliquam regulam sire legem." 


forma reconjunctae, aliam componant 
figuram prion aequipollenteni, sen 
ejusdem areae ; etsi alia longe figura 
constantem. Unde ad Quadraturas 
absolutas, vel hypotheticas Geome- 
tricas, vel serie infinita expressas 
Arithmeticas, jainjam inultis modis 
perveniri potest. 

Ut intelligatur ; Sit Figura 
AQCDA. Ea, ductis rectis BD 
parallelis, resolvi potest in Trapezia 
X B J), J5 S D, &c. Sed ? ductis rectis 
convergentibus ED, resolvi potest 
in Triangula E X D J), E J) 3 Z>, &c. 

Si jam alia sit Curva A X F jF 
3 F, cujus Trapezia % B JF, JB S F 
sint Triangulis E X D 2 Z>, E J) 3 D 
ordine respondentibus sequalia, tota 
figura AE J) J) J) A, toti figura? 
A X F Z F S F J3A erit aequalis. 

Quinetiam Trapezia, Trapeziis 
conferendo, fieri potest ut t N 2 P, 
vel quod eodem redit, Eectangulum 
.N a P : sit asquale Trapezio respon- 
dent X B 2 P/, sive Eectangulo X B J) ; 
tametsi recta X N X P non sit aequalis 
rectae X B x D, modo sit t N fl ad X B 
,5 ut X B X D ad X N jP; quod infinitis 
modis fieri potest. 

Quae omnia talia sunt ut cuivis 
statim ordine progredienti, ipsa na- 
tura duce, in mentem veniant ; con- 
tineantque Indivisibilium Mcthodum 



generalissime conceptam, nee (quod 
sciam) hactenus satis universaliter 
explicatam. Non tantura enim Pa- 
rallels & Convergentes, sed & alias 
quaecunque certa lege ductal, rectae 
vel curves, adhiberi possunt ad Re- 
solutionem. Quanta autera & quam 
abstrusa hinc duci possint, judicabit 
qui methodi universalitatem animo 
erit complexus. Cert urn enim est 
omnes Quadratures hactenus notas, 
absolutas vel hypotheticas, nonnisi 
exigua ejus specimina esse. 

Sed nunc quidem suffecerit ap- 
plicationem ostendere ad id de quo 
agitur; Series scilicet Infinitas, et 
modum Transforraandi figuram da- 
tam in aliam aequipollentem ratio- 
nalem, Mercatoris metliodo trac- 

AQCA sit Quadrans Circuli, 

Radius AQ = r, Abscissa A l B = x, 

Ordinata 1 B l D = y, Aequatio pro 

Circulo 2rx — x 2 = y 2 . Ducatur recta 

AJ)\ producaturque donee ipsi QG 

etiam productae occurrat in l N: Et 

Q jiV vocetur z. Et erit A t B seu 

2r 3 . 2zr 2 
x = —, 5 , et ,B ,1) sive y = -= 3 . 

Eodeni modo, ducta A J) 2 A 7 ; si 
Q. 2 N=z-@ (posita scilicet x JV 2 iV 
2r 3 

= /9) erit A 2 B. 

r 2 + z 2 -2z/3 + /3 2 

Id vero hac methodo sum con- 
secutus. Sit quadrans circuli ABCD, 
AD aequalis a ; AE aeq. a;, EB = y 

erit aequatio pro circulo 2ax — x 2 
aeq. y 2 . Haec aequatio in numeris 
resolvatur indefinite [methodo Dio- 
phantea] ut si ponatur : y aeq. 


— fiet aequatio 2a 3 x — a i x 2 aeq. 
z 2 x 2 sive 2a !i — a 2 x aeq. z 2 x vel 
x aeq. — z j aeq. AIL et y aeq. 

a -f- z 




et A 2 B— A ,P sive recta ,/>' ,5, erit 

2r 3 2/- s . 

r* + a" - 2zB + yS 2 r 2 4- is 2 
sita /3 infinite parva, (post destruc- 
tions et divisiones) erit X B ^B 
' \J_\r* + z*' 
Habita ergo recta X B X D, et recta 
, B n B 1 habebitur valor Rectanguli 
X D X B 2 Z>, multiplicatis eorum valo- 
ribus in se invieem ; habebitur in- 

quain - — — , pro valore Rect- 

&ngu\i J) X B ,B. 

Sit jam Curvae X P 2 P 3 P etc. 
natura pro arbitrio assumpta talis, 
ut Ordinata ejus^AJ^P (ex data abs- 

cissa U ,JS sive z\ sit 

Wr l -\z 2 

Ideo, quoniam X X 2 X= 8, erit rect- 

7, *T AT • 8/-V/3 

angulum,/ A A^itiam — . 

MJ /- + a 2 

Ac proinde aequale Rectangulo 

J> x Bf et S patmm t P x N a N a P,P 

,P aequale spatio Cireulari respon- 
dent! J) Jiji B D 2 D ] Z>. Est autcm 
quaelibet Ordinata XP rationalis, 
ex data abscissa QX; quia, posita 
QN=e i Ordinata .VPest 
8>V ' 

~~- — jj aeq. Eli. Sed quoniam ad 

aream Cireuli habendam opus est 
summa omnium reetangulorum 
quale est BE{E) et vero rationa- 
liter inveniinus ipsam y vel EB 
superest ut inveniamus ipsam E 
(E) quod fiet subtrahendo AE ab 

^.4 (is) est autem AE aeq. -g r 2 

2« 3 

^ ideo ponendo 

etA(E)a, q . (iV+{z) 

ipsas s indefinitas, pro arbitrio assum- 
tas, esse progressionis arithmeticae, 
et differentiam omnium constantem, 
seu imam infinitesimam ipsius a 
esse, tunc sequens (z) erit z — 8 ita 
ut differentia inter z et , s — 8 sit /?, 

ergo A[E) erit -s 5 — -—3 — , 

et: -^E4-^(#) erit: 


\J_\ r* + z 2 ' 


r" + 3rV + 3rV + 


a' + z ■ a 2 '+ z i -2zB+B i1 

aeq. E (E) sive reductis omnibus 

ad unum denominatorem rcjectisque 

illis, quae ccterorum comparatione 

. n . „ 4c/3a 3 

sunt infinite parva, net y-z =r« 

v [a* + z*y 

aeq. E (E) quam quantitatem du- 

, . „_ 2za* 8z*a b B 

cendo in Eh aeq. ., „ .... 
1 a 2 + z 2 a 2 4-z) s 

area rectanguli BE[E). Cumque 
eadcm sit ratio de ceteris id genus 



ipsa per infinitam Seriem integro- 
rum exprimi potest, dividendo. Et 
Spatium talibus Ordinatis compre- 
hensum, aequipollens Circulari, in- 
tinita Serie numerorum Rationa- 
lium, Methodo Meroatoris quadrari 
potest. Quod cum facillimum sit 
facere, hie omitto. Neque enim 
elegantiae suae, sed Methodi Gene- 
ralis explicanda? causa, hoc exem- 
plum assumpsi. 

Ita siquis loco Circuli mihi de- 
disset Curvam, in qua Ordiuata 
ascendisset ad gradum Cubicum, 
potuissem earn reducere ad Curvam, 
in qua Ordinata non assurrexisset 
ultra Quadratum, vol etiam ne 
quidem ad Quadratum. 

reetangulis exiguis omnibus, patet 
summam infinitarum quantitatum 
(differentias infinite parvas haben- 

tium) quarum una est 

[a' + z 


turam esse aream circuli, quare 
posito y3 esse ut diximus infinitesi- 
mam ipsius «, et ipsas z esse arith- 
metice proportionates, seu differen- 
tiam habentes constantem /3, patet 
figuram curvilineam cujus abscissae 


sint z ordinatae vero ?— « „-,, futu- 

+ z 2 ) 3 

ram esse circulo aequipollentem 
quoniam ordinatae ejus in yS (diffe- 
rentiam ipsarum z) ductae reetan- 
gulis 6 circuli clementaribus BE (E) 
aequantur, ergo summa earum or- 
dinatarum 7 in constantem /3 ducta- 
rum, seu area figurae curvilineae 
novae summae omnium eoruni rect- 
angulorum, seu areae portioni circu- 
lari respondenti aequabitur. Sufficit 
ergo invenire summam omnium 

{<? + *', 

seu omnium 


a 6 + 3aV + 3aV + z" ' 
quam fractionem Methodo Merca- 
toris in infmitorum paraboloeidum 

6 & ' All these are not Leibnitian rules, but the well-known Theorems of Quadra- 
tures of Wallis and Cavalleri. 


ordinatas resolvendo, earumque 
gummas ipsis subjiciendo, habebitur 
series rationalis infinita exprimens 
magnitudinem semisegmenti seu 
portionis circularis ut AEB. Sit 
a aeq. 1, 8s 2 aeq. b ) 3s 2 + 3s 4 + s* 
aeq. c, fiet 

8a" b 


1+ 3z 2 + 3z 4 + z« ' 1 + c ' 
aeq. b — bc + be 1 — 5c 3 etc. ; et si 
tribus prirais terminis contenti simus 
ipsasque b et c rursus explicemus 

fiet h aeq. 8s 2 - 24s 4 -24s 6 - 8z 8 

l+c l 

+ 12s G + 18s 8 + 158s 10 + 48s 12 + 8s 14 

8z 2 
etc. et ordmando 

1 + 3s 2 4 3s 4 + s 6 

erit aeq. 8s 2 - 24s 4 + 48s 6 + 10s 8 

+ 158s 10 + 48s 12 + 8s 14 , etc. et sum- 

8s 2 

ma omnium 7> 7 -, erit 

1 + 3s 2 + 3s 4 + s 6 

8s 3 24s 5 

aeq. — — etc. quae (si conti- 

o o 

nuetur series modo praescripto) erit 

area spatii circularis ABBA posito 

. „ 2a 3 , „_ 2s« 2 
Ah aeq. ., — ^ et BB aeq. —. r, . 

H a' + z 2 l a' + z' 

Atque baec est methodus generalis, 
quae omnibus omnino curvis analy- 
ticis, et suo modo etiam transcen- 
dentibus applicari potest, utcunque 
aequationes earum sint implicatae 
aut affectae, re ad puram analysin 



Itaque semper, sive Extractioni- 
bus Radicum Neivtonianis (gracilis 
cujuslibet dati) vel Divisionibus Jfer- 
catortS) poterit cujuslibet Figurse 
spatiura inveniri, interveutu alterius 
fequipollentls. Multum autem ad 
Simplicitatem interest quid eligas. 

Omnium vero possibilium Cir- 
euli, & Sectoris Conici Centrum 
habentis cujuslibet, per Series In- 
finitas quadraturarum, simplicissi- 
mam hanc esse dicere ausim quam 
nunc subjicio. 

Sit QA Jf' [Vid. Fig. prece- 
dent.] Sector, duabus reetis in cen- 
tre Q concurrentibus & Curva 
Conica A X F, ad Verticem A sive 
Axis extremum perveniente, com- 
prchensus. Tangenti Verticis AT 
occurrat Tangens X FT. Ipsum AT 
vocemus t) & Reetangulum sub 
Semi-latere Recto in Semi-latus 
Transversum sit Unitas. Erit Sec- 
tor Hyperbola?, Circuli vel Ellipseos, 

rcducta: tantum enim opus est 
inveniri modum, quo aequalitas 
curvae naturam explicans rationa- 
liter atque indefinite diophantes 
more solvatur ; quod vero hie sem- 
per fieri potest secus ac in proble- 
matibus numericis, quoniam hie 
possunt irrationales etiam caleulum 
ingredi modo ipsae indefinitae y et 
x in vinculis non comprehendantur. 
Ista methodus generalis varios 
habet casus compendiaque innu- 
mera quae circulum examinanti 
sese obtulerunt, quorum ununi, 
velut non inelegans ascribam, ip- 
sius Harmoniae causa quam in ea 
deprehendo : 

series h 

i i 1 i i i i i i i 



TSo etc. 

— i 

— 3 

tjo etc, 



.. 1 cuius quad- 
circuh I J \ 
, , , ratum in- 


Jscriptum = ^ 

quod mutatis mutandis ad quasli- 
bet etiam circuli portiones applicari 
potest. Quemadmodum etiam gene- 
ralem habco seriem pro area sec- 
tionis conicae centrum habentis 
cujuslibet, id est Circuli. Hyper- 
bolae et Ellipseos per expressionem 
omnium ni fallor possibilium sim- 



per Semi-latus Transversum divisus, 

t t 3 £ f 
= _4.__f._+_ & c . Signo ambiguo 

• valente + in Hyperbola, — in Cir- 
culo vel Ellipsi. Undo, posito Qua- 
drato Circnmscripto 1, erit Circulus 
| — i + 4 — f , etc Quae expressio, 
jam Triennio abhinc & ultra a me 
eommunicata amicis, hand dubie 
omnium possibilium simplicissima 
est maximeque afficiens mentem. 

Undo duco Iiarmoniam sequen- 
tem ; 


111 1 1 11 I 1 _T p+p _ 

3 8 rS 24 35 48 63 gO 90 120 CL *-" — 

II II 1 pf P _ 2 

etc. = ] 


g 25 4S 80 TI>0 

5 s i 9 ete. lExprimit 
! etc. ( aream 

eujus quadratum 
inscriptum est \. 

S 48 120 

f circuit ABGD 


I CBEFi : 

Numeri 3, 8, 15, 24, etc. sunt 
Quadrati Qnitate minuti. 

Vicissim, ex Seriebus llegres- 
suum pro Hyperbola banc inveni. 
Si sit nuinerus aliquis Unitate minor 
1 - ///.ejusquc Logarithmus ITyper- 
bolicus 1, erit 

l 3 r 

Eadem certis artibus ad eurvas 
non analyticas sive transcendentes 
possunt applicari : [sed in] [ubi 
vero] : et methodum habeo propo- 
siti! longe generaliorem, de qua 
infra, per quam arbitror quantitatem 
incognitam possibilem determina- 
tam quamcunque per seriem ratio- 
nalem infinitam cxprimi posse [quo- 
niam] quamvis tarn nominator quam 
numerator sit compositus. 

_1 V 
m_ l~lx2 + lx2x3 _ 1x2x3x4 


Si numerus sit major Unitate, ut 
1 + n, tunc pro eo inveniendo niihi 

Compendia autem reperi pecu- 
liaria pro regrcssu [ex arcu ad 
sinum aut sinum complcmcnti, et 
pro regressu a logarithmo ad nu- 
merum] primum autem inveni re- 
gressum ex logarithmo ad nume- 
rum, ut indc etiam ab arcu ad 
sinum eomplementi. Easdem plane 
series inveni, quas in Uteris suis 



etiain prodiit Regula, quae in New- 
toni Epistola expressa est ; scilicet 

l 3 l 4 

1 1* 

n—- H H 

1 1x2 1x2x3 



Prior tamen celerius appropinquate 
Ideoque officio ut ea possim uti, 
etiam cum major est Unitate Hu- 
merus 1 -f- n. Nam idem est Lo- 
garithmus pro I ■+ n et pro — - . 
Unde, si ] +n major Unitate, erit 
minor Unitate. Fiat ergo 

1 + n 

\ — m — - — ac inventa m, habe- 
1 + n ' 

bitur et 1 + «, Humerus quaesitus. 

Quod regressum ex Arcubus at- 

tinet, incideram ego directe in Re- 

gulam quae ex dato Arcu, Sinum 

Complementi exhibet. Nempe, 

Sinus Complementi 

a a 

~ 1 x 2 + 1x2x3x4 


ISed postea quoque deprehendi, ex 

ea illam nobis communicatam pro 

inveniendo Sinu Recto, qui est 

a a a 

I ~ fx2 x~3 + 1x2x3x4x5 

etc. posse demonstrari. Quod tribus 
Verbis sic fit. Summa Sinuum 
Complementi ad Arcum, seu ora- 

exbibet Newtonuspro regressu ex lo- 
garithmo ad amussim et pro regressu 
ab arcu ad sinum supplemcnti vel si- 
num versum, cujus differentia a radio 
est sinus complementi. Cujus [me- 
tliodi vobis] compendii inventi de- 
monstrationcm tibi scribam,ut videas 
quam diversis rationibus ad eaudem 
seriem venerimus : si sit' numerus 
1 + n et logarithmus I erit n aeq. 

I + 172 + 1,2, 3 etC ' qime Serl0S 
est in epistola gratissima Newtoni- 
ana, sed ego alia uti malo ejusdem 
originis, quae procedit per + et - 
alternative ac proinde celerius ap- 
propinquat. Nimirum quia idem 
est logarithmus pro numero 1 + n 

1 u- ! 

ut pro numero ; nine ponendo 

r l+n 

1 f fc 
aeq. 1 — m net m aeq. 

1 r ? 

- h y- etc. 

1 ^ 1, 2 ^ I, 2, 3 

unde facile ex invento m babebitui 
1 + n seu numerus Regressu utor 
ex arcu ad sinum complementi," nam 
posito arcu a radio 1 erit sinus 
complementi aeq. 


J a 

I~M + 1,2,3,4 

1,2,3, 4,5, G 
etc. vel ut cum Newtono loquar 




Ilium 1 — 



1x2 1x2x3x4 


a a a 

est 4- 

1 1x2x31x2x3x4x5 

etc. Porro, Summa Sinuum Com- 
plementi ad Arcum (seu Arcui in 
locis debitis insistentium) aequatur 
Sinui Recto, ducto in Radium ; ut 
notum est Geometris. Id est, aequa- 
tur ipsi Sinui Recto, quia Radius 
hie est Unitas. Ergo Sinus Rectus 

3 5 

n, a ft 


1 1x2x3 1x2x3x4x5 
&c. Hinc etiam, ex dato Arcu & 
Radio, sine ulla prorsus aliorum 
notitia, haberi potest Area Seg- 
menti Circularis duplicati : quae est 

a 3 a 5 

1x2x3 1x2x3x4x5 




Unde optime Segmentorum Tabula 
ad Gradus & Minuta &c. calcula- 

Pro Trigonometricis autcm ope- 
rationibus, percommoda mihi vide- 
tur hrec expressio : Ut Sinus Com- 
plement c ponatur 

g 8 a 4 _ 

~1x2 + 1x2x3x4' 
quoniam sola, memoria retenta, 

(nam res eodem redit) sinus versus 
a 2 a" a* 




1,2,3,4 1,2,3,4,5,6 
Ex qua serie pro sinubus compk- 
nienti facile demonstrari potest al- 
tera pro sinubus rectis a Colliusio 
nobis per Mohrium transmissa, ut 
postea animadverti, quoniam summa 
sinuum complementi ad arcum dat 
sinum rectum (ut facile demonstrari 
potest, et facile 8 ab illis depreben- 
ditur, qui in his versati sunt) et 
summa omnium sinuum comple- 
menti ad arcum, seu omnium 



1, 2, 3, 4 


est a — 


1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 


ergo arcu posito a et radio 1 sinus- 
rectus est 



1 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 
quamquam idem etiam recta consr 
qui liceat, [quod initio 11011 animad- 
verteram.] Fundamentum autem 
demonstrationis talium omnium 
quae advidi simplicissimuin est : 
exempli causa pro inventione nu- 
meri ex logarithino 

i r r 

n aeq. j + — + -_ 


8 These series of which Leibnitz here speaks with so much prolixity in 16TH 
are as Newton shortly remarks in the Recensio (page 15, ed. of Biot and Lefort, 
page 18) the same which Leibnitz had received 1675 through Oldenburg. 



omnibus casibus & operationibus, 

directis scilicet siraul & reciprocis, 

sufficit; Quod ideo sit, quoniam 

»n „ a 2 « 4 , 

^quatio c = 1 — — H est plana. 

2 24 l 

Unde si vicissim quseras Arcum ex 

Sinu Complementi, radix extrahi 

potest ; adeoque fiet Arcus 

a — V 6 — v 24c + 12 exacte satis ad 
usura eorum qui in itineribus Tabu- 
larum commoditate carent ; quia 

a 6 

error sequationis non est 


Innumera alia possunt dici, quae 
his fortasse elegantia et exactitu- 
dine non cederent. Sed ego ita 
sum comparatus ut plerumque, Me- 
thodis Generalibus detectis, rem in 
potestate habere contentus, reliqua 
libenteraliisrelinquam. Neque enim 
ista omnia magnopere aestimanda 
sunt, nisi quod artem inveniendi 
perficiunt, mentemque excolunt. Si 
quae obscuriora videbuntur, ea li- 
benter elucidabo : Et illud quoque 
explicabo, quomodo hac methodo 
Aequationum quoque, utcunque 
affectarum, Radices per Infinitam 
Seriem dari possint, sine ulla Ex- 
tractione ; quod mirum fortasse vi- 

Sed desideraverim ut Clarissi- 
mus Newtonus nonnulla quoque 



1, 2 1 

summa omnium n est aeq^ 
r I 4 




1, 2, 3, 4 

ergo n — summ. n aeq. I quaeritur 
ergo curva, in qua si ab n ordinata 
novissima assumta in unitatem seu 
parametrum constantem ducta, au- 
feras summ. n seu aream figurae, 

residuum aequetur abscissae I in 
eandem a unitatem ductae, quam 
curvam certa analysi deprendetur 
solam ex omnibus possibilibus cur- 
vis esse Logarithmicam, ejusque 
constmctione deprehendetur 1 + n 
esse numerum posito 1 logarithmo ; 
simili methodo sinus complementi 
vel recti inventio ex dato arcu de- 
monstrabitur nimirum in locum sum- 
marum substituendo summas sum- 
marum. Quae Methodus a New- 
toniana ita longe lateque differt, ut 
mirer quomodo itinera usu adeo 
diversa eodem ducere potuerint vel 
uno in casu. Porro quoque cujus- 
libet aequationis sive finitae sive 
infinitae radicem methodo mea 
extrahere possum, finitae quidem, 
transformando problema Geome- 
triae communis in problema tetra- 
gonisticum, cujus incognita semper 
infinita serie haberi potest ; infi- 
nitae autem et finitae simul per 
quandam methodum non quidem 



amplius explicet : Ut, Originein 
Theorematisquod initio ponit : Item, 
Modum quo quantitates p, q 1 r, in 
suis Operationibus invenit : Ac 
denique, Quomodo in Methodo Re- 
gressuum se gerat ; ut, cum ex 
Logarithmo quaerit numerum. Ne- 
que enim explicat quomodo id ex 
Methodo sua derivetur. 

Nondum mihi licuit ejus Literas 
qua merentur diligentia legere : 
Quoniam tibi e vestigio respondere 
volui. Unde non satis nunc quidem 
affirmare ausim, an nonnulla eorum 
quae suppressit, ex sola earum lec- 
tione consequi possum. Sed optan- 
dum tamen foret, ipsum ea potius 
supplere Newtonum : Quia credibile 
est, non posse eum scribere, quin 
aliquid semper praeclari nos doceat 
Vir (ut apparet) egregiarum medi- 
tationum plcnus. 

Ad alia tuarum litcrarum venio, 
quae Doctissimus Collinius commu- 
nicare gravatus non est. 

omnium simpUcissimam,sed omnkim 
generalissimam, quae hoc funda- 
mento 9 nititur, quod datis duabus 
aequationibus finitis vel infinitis 
eandem incognitam continentibus, 
semper aequatio alia nnita vel in- 
finita reperiri potest in qua omnes 
dictae incognitae potestates sunt 
ablatae ; quae methodus eo in casu 
servire potest, quo ceterae omnes 

Habes origines eorum omnium 
quae a me in hoc argumento de- 
prehensa sunt, candide prorsus et 
quantum sufficit illis qui nihil in 
his versati sunt expositas. 

Saepe [Newtoni met.] porro 
saepe Xewtoni methodus ad elegan- 
tiores ducet expressiones, saepe 
etiam mea ut res docet. 

Mult as alias habebam in ea ista 
meditationes et mittam (?) eas (?) 
quam primum Newtonus scire (?) 
poscit (?) nam etiam radicum ex- 
tractiones per infinitas series coepe- 
ram et in affectis methodum Vietae 

9 This is Descartes' invention, his method of assuming an equation with unde- 
termined coefficients, (see Schooten, the Geometria of Descartes, page 49, princ. 247, 
262, and Gerhardt. Leibn. Math. Schrift. III. Band, page 727.) Leibnitz of course 
calls it his method (" mea methodus" hoc loco) because, he just made use of it, and 
applied it (as Newton had done before him) to the newly-invented infinite series, 
(see Newton's letter of 24th October, 1676, [in Uteris transpositis] "altera tantum 
" in assumptione," etc.) 


decimalem reddere nitebar genera- 
lissimam, idque me credebam om- 
nium primum instituisse, sed aliud 
ex Newtoni Uteris didici non in- 

Praecipitatam 10 vides epistolam 
turn quia responsum postulas, turn 
ne qua iniqua suspicione teneamini, 
quasi occasione [Newtoni] vestrarum 
literarum [adjutus fuerim] in hac re 
adjutus beneticium dissimulare vo- 
luerim ; itaque gratas hodie, die 
lunae, in Germano pharmacopae 
redux domum forte praeteriens ac- 
cipiens literas, nam lator earum, 
Regius, quern nominas, nondum 
domum meam invenerat, illis primo 
tabellione, ipso die mercurii, res- 
pondere volui. 

10 Leibnitz we see likes to appear very prompt in replying when a letter from 
Newton arrives, "ne injusta suspicione teneamini quasi occasione Newtoni literarum 
adjutus fuerim." 

He appeared so prompt in the most critical moment, namely when he answered 
Newton's second letter (" Hodie" accepi, as Gerhardt reads, Leibn. Math. Schr. I. 
Band, p. 154.) 

It is quite true, as Newton says, that summations of infinitely 
small quantities having already been made by Wallis, and tangents 
drawn by Slusius in all those cases, where there was not any irrationality 
in the equation (in all hyperboloids and paraboloids) — the whole in- 
vention in fact depended upon carrying on one of the tangential 
methods through those cases where irrationalities occur. 

Newton does this by taking in his work De Analyst *Jx in the 

i 1 

form of x 1 and - = x x and saying, elegantly and most clearly, Regula I. si 

ax n = y\ erit -x " =Area. Quod exemplo patebit; si x l -f x 1 = y ; 

erit ±x 3 -f fa?* = Area, etc. 1 Again, in his letter of 10th Dec, 1672, 
he says : " mea methodus tangentium etc. non (quemadmodum Huddenii 
" methodus de maximis) ad solas restringitur aequationes illas, quae 
" quantitatibus surdis sunt immunes." 

This was the invention, and Leibnitz did not make it, but he took 
it out of Newton's manuscript; for, supposing that all Gerhardt's 
documents are true, not one of them, in which d vx occurs, is dated 
before Leibnitz's second journey to England. 

The proof that Newton and not Leibnitz is the inventor, is therefore 
given by these documents, which may also serve to show us Leibnitz's 

The first of the two Leibnitzian documents, namely, in which d ^x is 

1 He thereby substituted a general calculation, in the place of isolated 


mentioned, is dated November, 1676, and given by Gerhardt (Append. 
IV. to his tract of 1855). In this Leibnitz commits the fault of writing 

d Vaj = -7= • On the whole Leibnitz is in this first document somewhat 


embarrassed with the new idea. But rejoiced at having mastered that 
form V x he writes to Tschirnhaus some words, (which we have not) 
meaning that in Tamesis ostio, just after his second visit at Oldenburg's, 
he had got hold of a paradoxical idea. 

We say Leibnitz wrote this because Tschirnhaus in a letter first 
published by Gerhardt, (Mathem. Schr. Leibn. IV. Band p. 431) begs 
Leibnitz to tell him what that idea might be, and at the same time, 
what the expected second letter of Newton might contain. The words 
in Tschirnhaus' letter, dated Rome 1677, are "quas series nescio mini 
" per Methodum Gregorii possint terminari, et posses Dno Newtono 

" proponere saltern series hasce terminandas methodum quoque, 

" qua haec inveniuntur, si desideras, sequentibus communicabo, nee 
" credo, qua es facilitate, sententias tuas paradoxas admodum, quas 
" eruisti in Tamesis ostio, nee non quaecunque se tibi memorabilia 
" offerunt celaturum. P. S. Endlich ersuche, so was wiirdiges in Mons. 
" Newton briefen mir zu communiciren" (" lastly, I beg that if in 
" letters of Mr. Newton there be anything remarkable, you will com- 
" municate the contents"). 

We have to notice, that although Tschirnhaus begged Leibnitz to 
tell him what the paradoxical idea might be, and at the same time 
what Newton's letters might contain, still not before 1679 did Leibnitz 
communicate to Tschirnhaus that he could master the form v 'x (Gerh. 
ibidem, page 479 : " sine sublatione fractionum et irrationalium — itaque 
"nunc opinor," compared with the end of page 470). Nor did Leibnitz 
ever communicate to Tschirnhaus Newton's second letter intended half 
for Tschirnhaus, nor his second answer to Newton, (Gerh. loco cit. 
p. 505, where Leibnitz makes reference only to his first letter to Newton). 
So then " in Tamesis ostio" in the moment of departing from London, 
the paradoxical idea, the Differential Calculus, the pushing of the 


rules for tangents through irrationalities, came to Leibnitz just attc- 
his second visit to Oldenburg as an extraneously learnt matter, namely 

with a mistake, Leibnitz writing d\j^ c — -jz-. This is what the first 

v x 

document of Gerhardt contains, and Leibnitz at once spoke of this as 
of his own invention. 

This is almost excusable here. For in Newton's Analysis, supposing 
that Leibnitz had inspected the same, there is no rule of tangents, or 
let us rather say tangents and their rules are in the Analysis everywhere, 
but still they are nowhere ; they are in the paragraph " Longitudines 
" curvarum invenire," they are in the next following paragraph " In- 
" venire praedictorum conversum ;" they are in the paragraph " Appli- 
" catio praedictorum ad Curvas Mechanicas," and in the words " Hinc in 
" transitu," etc. after the Demonstratio ; but because they are every- 
where and still have no particular place in the Analysis, therefore 
Newton added them to his Analysis in the letter of 10th December, 
1672, in which he says " my method of tangents goes through irra- 
" tionalities," adding " hoc est unum particulare vel potius corollarium 
" gcncralis methodi quae extendit se ad omnia." 

Now Leibnitz reading Newton's Analysis, saw how the letter of 
10th December, 1672, which he had also read, was to be understood. 

Leibnitz was puzzled with this for a little while, and at first fell 
into an error, but ho afterwards succeeded. Something in the matter 
therefore is his own work. For the Analysis did not contain tangents, 
and the letter which did contain tangents, did not say how they evaded 
irrationality. Leibnitz therefore reading the Analysis had to deduct' 
from it the tangential rule. 

Now people may call this inventing, T call it the proof of a 
non-invention. For if in my letter which you clandestinely read, it is 
said I have the thing which is the great difficulty, namely to get over 
irrationalities, adding it is " una particnla Methodi meae quae extendit 
" sc ad omnia;" and if then you make extracts out of my Analysis in 
which my method is so extended "ad omnia," you are not the inventor 


of my method, although you have just a little difficulty in adjusting 
my tangents 2 to my Analysis, to do which the geometers Oldenburg 
and Collins were not clever enough. 

You may therefore, in some degree, think that you are the in- 
ventor, but you will have a certain disagreeable feeling within you, 
and will wish to avoid speaking of what you have seen. 

Thus did Leibnitz avoid acknowledging that he had read Newton's 
letter of 10th December, 1672. Taxed with it, in the first edition of 
the Commercium Epistolicum, in the most conspicuous place of the 
Corn. Ep., namely in the last document, in the judgment of the 
Committee of the Royal Society, Leibnitz did not choose to answer ; 
and his friends, including Professor de Morgan, deny that he had 
seen it till they are pushed into a corner by Edleston's new state- 

Also Gerhardt avoids speaking out clearly, for only hesitatingly 
does he tell us, that Leibnitz saw Newton's manuscript Treatise dp 

2 Gerhardt is quite mistaken, if he thinks the signs to he of consequeuce. On 
the contrary I will admit, that in scraps of Leibnitz's hand, dated before his second 
voyage to London, the signs Sdx and dx occur, as abbreviations, not as inventions- 
If we had Huyghens's or Wallis's scraps (as we have through Gerhardt those of 
Leibnitz) we might also in their calculations see, that in trying to find new quadratures, 
the calculator (we mean Huyghens or Wallis) would sometimes write down an abbre- 
viation, perhaps dy or Sx*, if at that state of the calculation it suited him, not to 
calculate what the sum or the difference (according to the nature of the formulae) might 
be. But therewith no progress was made. Leibnitz and Wallis could not differentiate 
a single irrational form, not the form Var, and Wallis confessed, " hie haeret aqua.'' 
Irrationality occurs, unfortunately for Leibnitz and for Wallis, in all not quite 
elementary formulas, and that irrationality alone was to Wallis, as to all Geometers, 
the obstacle in their calculations. The signs S and d are therefore mere abbrevia- 
tions if the theory had made no progress, and here it is proved by Gerhardt, that, 
Leibnitz only just after his second voyage to London, and not before the same, learnt 
with difficulty to master this obstacle. He took Newton's general calculations out 
of Newton's Analysis, and therewith filled up (see the words " itaque nunc opinoi" on 
p. 470, loco citato) those signs which were before but empty. 




Almost, in the same manner, Leibnitz avoids Newton's name in the 
second document containing d*>Jx, which Gerhard t gives us. In this 
second manuscript, namely, dated some months later, it is not the name 
of Hudde which is struck out, but that of Newton. 

Compare Gerhardt's edition of this Leibnitian manuscript and 
Gerhardt's note to it, (both of which I give at the foot of this page 3 ) 
and Daguerreotype Copies of its first lines, (which I have had 
taken in Hanover, and have deposited for inspection in Cambridge 
at the office of the Editor of this work, and in London, at Messrs. 
Macmillan and Co., Henrietta Street, Covent Garden.) 

3 The document is given in Gerhardt's Tract of 1855, page 143, in Appendix V., 
as being entirely in Leibnitz's hand-writing, and reads as follows : 

11. Julii 1677. 

Methode genet-ale pour mener les touchantes des Lignes Courbes sans cahul, et sans 
reduction des quantites irrationelles et rompues. 

Monsieur Slusius a publie la methode pour trouver sans calcul les touchantes 
des lignes courbes, dont 1' equation est purgee des quantites irrationelles ou rom- 
pues. Par exemple une courbe DC estant donnee, dont 1' equation exprime la 
relation de BC ou AS que nous appellerons y, a AB ou SC, appellee x, soit 

a + bx + cy + dxy + ex* + fy* + gx*y -+ hxy % + kx* + ly* etc. = 
on n'a qu'a ecrire 

= bl + cv + dxv + 2exi + 2fyv + gx*v 4 %*£ + 3/br*£ + Zhfv 
+ dy£ 4 2gxy£ + 2hxyv 


It is thereby evident that Leibnitz knew that he had taken the Diffe- 
rential Calculus out of Newton's Analysis, and out of Newton's tangential 
letter; for, wishing to publish what he had so taken, in this second 
document of Gerhardt's, he struck out the name of Newton, and 

4 mx 2 y 2 4 mx 3 y + pxy 3 4 qx* 4 ry* 
4 2mx 2 yv + nx 3 v 4 pffi f 4qx 3 B 4 4ry 3 v 
4 2imfZ 4 3nx 2 y^ 4 Zptfxv. 
c'est a dire changeant 1' equation en analogie : 

£ _ c + dx 4 2fy + gx 2 4 Ikxy 4 3/y 8 4 2mx~y 

v b 4 dy + 2ex 4 2gxy 4 Ay 4 3/cx 2 etc. 

r r VT> C*Z 

et supposant que - exprime la raison -=-?- — ou — ^-^- , l'on aura TB, ou SO, en 
1 v BC, x oG 

supposant BCet SC donnees. Lorsque la valeur des grandeurs determinees b, c. 

d, e, etc. avec leur signes, fait de la valeur - une grandeur negative, la touchante 

ne sera pas CT, qui va vers A commencement de l'abscisse AB, mais C(jT)qui 
s'en eloigne. Voila tout ce qu'on en a publie jusqu'icy, aise a entendre a celuy 
qui est verse en ces matieres. Mais lors qu'il y a des grandeurs irrationelles ou 
rompues, qui enferment x, ou y, ou toutes deux, en ne peut se servir de cette 
methode, que par reduction de l'equation donnee a, une autre delivree de ces gran- 
deurs. Mais cela grossit horriblement le calcul quelques ibis, et nous oblige de 
monter h des dimensions tres hautes, et a des equations, dont la depression souvent 
est tres difficile. Je ne doute pas que ces Messieurs*) que je viens de nommer 
ne sachent le remede, qu'il y faut apporter, mais comme il n'est pas encor 
publie, et que je croy qu'il est connu de peu de personnes, outre qu'il donne 
la derniere perfection au probleme que M. des Cartes disoit avoir le plus cherche 
de tous les autres de la Geometrie, a cause de son utilite, j'ay juge a propos de 
le publier. 

Soit une formule ou grandeur ou equation, comme par exemple celle que 
dessus a 4 bx + cy + dxy + ex 2 4 fy 2 etc. appellons la par abrege w et ce qui proviendra 
lors qu'elle sera traite comme ci-dessus : scavoir b% + cv 4 dxv 4 dyg etc. sera appelle 
dw, de merae si la formule seroit X ou /u, le provenu serait d\ ou d/u et ainsi 
dans toutes les autres. Soit maintenant la formule ou equation ou grandeur to 

* Leibnitz hatte zU Anfang : Iludde, Slusius, et autres, geschrieben ; spater hat er das Uebrige, 
ausser Slusius, durchgestrichen. ("Leibnitz having at first written: Hudde, Slusius et autres, struck 
this out, and left Slusius." Gerhardt's note, page 154, line 16). 




while he said "je ne doute pas que ces Messieurs Hudde et Slusius" 
(of whom he knew that they could not get over irrationalities) "ne 
"sachent le remede, quand il y a des grandeurs irrationelles et rom- 
" pues," he had in his mind Newton, whose name he struck out, of 

egale & - , je dis que dtv sera egale a ~ 2 M . Cela suffit pour manier les fractions 

Enfin soit w egale a Vw, je dis que dw sera Sgale a — ce qui suffit pour 

traiter comme il faut les grandeurs irrationelles. z \j w 

Algorithm de V analyse nouvelle de maximis et minimis, ou des touchantes. 
Soit AB - x, BC=y, TeC la touchante de la courbe AC, et la raison 

TB ou SG = x gera a ppell^e -^. Soyent deux ou plusieurs autres courbes 
BC = y SO fy 

AF, AH, et posant BF = v, BH=w, et la droite FL touchante de la courbe 

LF dx MH dx .. - „ , 

AF, et MH de la courbe AH, et ■= = - et -=-5. = — , je dis que dy ou dvw 

sera egal a vdiv + wdv ; estant v = w = x et y = vto = x', alors pour v et w sub- 
stituant x, nous aurons dviv = 2xdx. 


whom alone he knew this to be the case, and of whom alone it 
was true. 

(Tout cela reussira aussi si Tangle ABC est aigu ou obtus, item s'il est infi- 
niment obtus, c'est a dire si TAC est une ligne droite.) 

This is Leibnitz's manuscript, as given by Gerhardt, which has to be compared 
with the Daguerreotype Copy. The same Daguerreotype contains a part of Leibnitz's 
first letter to Newton with almost the same apothecary-excuse mentioned above 
page 149. Gerhardt's words, which we give at the foot of page 155, refer to 
our page 155, line 20, and indirectly to what we have printed page 154, line 16, 
and the Daguerreotype Copy proves, that the name of Newton fell there in a 
somewhat particular manner out of the author's pen, though Gerhardt's note, 
which we have here given, has not spoken of the same. 

The full length titles of the most modern works quoted by us in 
the present work are : 
Sir David Brewster's Memoirs of the life, writings, and discoveries of Sir Isaac 

Newton. Edinburgh 1855. 
J. Edleston's Correspondence of Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Cotes, including 

letters of other eminent men, now first published, etc. London 1850. 
Leibnitzens mathematische Schriften, herausgegeben von G. J. Gerhardt. Erster 

Band. Berlin 1849. Zweiter Band. 1850. Dritter Band. Halle 1855 u. 1856. 
Vierter Band. 1858. Funfter Band. 1859. 
C. J. Gerhardt, Dr., die Entdeckung der Differenzialrechnung durch Leibnitz. Halle 

1848. Cited as Gerhardt's I. (first) Tract or as Gerhardt's Tract of 1848. 
Derselbe, die Entdeckung der hohern Analysis. Halle 1855. Cited as Gerhardt's 

II. (second) Tract, or as Gerhardt's Tract of 1855. 
H. Weissenborn, Dr., die Principien der hoheren Analysis, als historisch-kritischer 

Beitrag zur Geschichte der Mathematik. Halle 1856. 

Other citations are indicated with sufficient precision in the work. 

Gerhardt's Tract of 1855, p. 38, speaks of a book entitled, " Gregorius 
" Vincentius Curvilineorum amcenior contemplation nee non examen circuit 
" quadraturce. Lugo 1 . 1654." No such book exists, but only a " Cur- 
" vilineorum amcenior contemplatio necnon examen circuit quadratures a 
11 R. P. Gregorio Vincentio propositaz, Autlwre Vincentio Leotando /" 
which book has not therefore, as Gerhardt makes out, Gregoire de 
St. Vincent for its author. 









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