Euclid's Elements, Or Second Lessons in Geometry, in the Order of Simson's and Playfair's Editions: Adapted to the Use of Advanced Learners and Private Students (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Euclid's Elements, or Second Lessons in Geometry, in the Order of Simson's and Playfair's Editions: Adapted to the Use of Advanced Learners and Private Students

There was once a competition between certain persons to be the first who should see the risen sun; and the prize was awarded to him who turned his face westward: because there the 'sun's effects were first discovered, in gilding towers, and battlements, and the mountain's brow. To ascertain the existence of geometry by its efl'ects, let us turn from books to the community, and the obvious defect will meet us in every department of life. Few citizens know what these things mean, or what their use.

A question then arises, Should this be so? The regrets of thousands prove the contrary. The learning to read and write is a mere preparation to receive instruo tion: after which, the learner should take hold of the pro petties of things, and examine them in detail, beginning with the most general, and therefore the most useful. But are there any properties more general than those of magni tude, figure, and motion? There are none: the attribute of number itself is not more general, and it is certainly less expedient as a branch of study. The cherished motto, A place for everything, evinces the necessity of geom etry in all the schools. The magnitude and figure of everything, and of the space to contain it, as well as the law of motion and the momentum of force which conveys it to the place, are certainly more worthy of consideration than the mere fact that it counts one.

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