And it occurs to no one that to admit a greatness not commensurable with the standard of right and wrong is merely to admit one's own nothingness and immeasurable meanness.

Any quantity, commensurable or incommensurable, can be expressed uniquely as a simple continued fraction, terminating in the case of a commensurable quantity, non-terminating in the case of an incommensurable quantity.

Since the fraction is infinite it cannot be commensurable and therefore its value is a quadratic surd number.

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If this is the case, the apsidal angle must evidently be commensurable with -ir, and since it cannot vary discontinuously the apsidal angle in a nearly circular orbit must be constant.