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With their order--I mean the position of each, as involving the priority of some and the posteriority of others, and their respective distances from the extremity--with this astronomy may be left to deal, since the astronomical discussion is adequate. This discussion shows that the movements of the several stars depend, as regards the varieties of speed which they exhibit, on the distance of each from the extremity. It is established that the outermost revolution of the heavens is a simple movement and the swiftest of all, and that the movement of all other bodies is composite and relatively slow, for the reason that each is moving on its own circle with the reverse motion to that of the heavens. This at once leads us to expect that the body which is nearest to that first simple revolution should take the longest time to complete its circle, and that which is farthest from it the shortest, the others taking a longer time the nearer they are and a shorter time the farther away they are. For it is the nearest body which is most strongly influenced, and the most remote, by reason of its distance, which is least affected, the influence on the intermediate bodies varying, as the mathematicians show, with their distance.

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