‘As is well known the principle of virtual velocities transforms all statics into a mathematical assignment, and by D’Alembert’s principle for dynamics, the latter is again reduced to statics. Although it is is very much in order that in gradual training of science and in the instruction of the individual the easier precedes the more difficult, the simple precedes the more complicated, the special precedes the general, yet the min, once it has arrived at the higher standpoint, demands the reverse process whereby all statics appears only as a very special case of mechanics.’
Collected Works (1877), Vol. 5, 25-26. Quoted in G. Waldo Dunnington, Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science (2004), 412.