16th-century Mathematician Quotes
The Rule of Three, or Golden Rule of Arithmetical whole Numbers. Be the three terms given 2 3 4....To finde their fourth proporcional Term: that is to say, in such Reason to the third term 4, as the second term 3, is to the first term.... Multiply the second term 3, by the third term 4, & giveth the product 12: which dividing by the first term 2, giveth the Quotient 6: I say that 6 is the fourth proportional term required.
I swear to you by the Sacred Gospel, and on my faith as a gentleman, not only never to publish your discoveries, if you tell them to me, but I also promise and pledge my faith as a true Christian to put them down in cipher so that after my death no one shall be able to understand them.
Particulars are frequently fallible, but universals never. Occult philosophy lays bare Nature in her complete nakedness, and alone contemplates the wisdom of universals by the eyes of intelligence. Accustomed to partake of the rivers which flow from the Fountain of Life, it is unacquainted with grossness and with clouded waters.
There is a certain way of searching for the truth in mathematics that Plato is said first to have discovered; Theon named it analysis, and defined it as the assumption of that which is sought as if it were admitted and working through its consequences to what is admitted to be true. This is opposed to synthesis, which is the assuming what is admitted and working through its consequences to arrive at and to understand that which is sought.
We can take pride in the fact that there is no science as certain as ours [alchemy] because it teaches by experience which is the mother, the source and the universal cause of all knowledge: and it is for the lack of this that Aristotle and the other philosophers have wondrously failed in their philosophy.