|A depiction of Gassendi's moving ship stone dropping experiment.|
"Who can easily comprehend that small thing … within the body of an elephant … that it should be able to agitate such a bulk, and to cause it to perform a swift and harmonious dance? But indeed, the same fiery nature of the soul, serves within the body by its own mobility, what a little flame of gunpowder does in a cannon: it not only drives the bullet with so much force, but also drives back the whole machine with so great strength."
“I remain silent here about what could be added concerning the resolution of those five principles into their seeds and finally into atoms.”
“While [the atoms] are moving in various ways and meeting, interweaving, intermingling, unrolling, uniting, and being fitted together, molecules or small structures similar to molecules are created, from which the actual seeds are constructed and fashioned.”
“This child will one day be the marvel of his age.”— Bishop of Digne (1603), after hearing an oration delivered by Gassendi, age 11, in Latin 
“But because men may yet be puzzled with the universality and constancy of this regularity, and its long continuance through so many ages, that there are no records at all of the contrary anywhere to be found; the atomic atheist further adds, that the senseless atoms, playing and toying up and down, without any care or thought, and from eternity trying all manner of tricks, conclusions and experiments, were at length (they know not how) taught, and by the necessity of things themselves, as it were, driven, to a certain kind of trade of artificialness and methodicalness; so that though their motions were at first all casual and fortuitous, yet in length of time they became orderly and artificial, and governed by a certain law, they contracting as it were upon themselves, by long practice and experience, a kind of habit of moving regularly; or else being, by the mere necessity of things, at length forced so to move, as they should have done, had art and wisdom directed them.”— Pierre Gassendi (c.1648), Arrangement of the Philosophy of Epicurus; refuted by Ralph Cudworth, 1678; quoted by Charles Peirce (Ѻ)