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Koenig and Blassiere. This edition has served as the model for that which is now offered to the student: some slight modifications have necessarily been made, owing to the difference in the size of the pages.
It will be perceived then, that in the present edition each distinct assertion in the argument begins a new line; and at the ends of the lines are placed the necessary references to the preceding principles on which the assertions depend. Moreover, the longer propositions are distributed into subordinate parts, which are distinguished by breaks at the beginning of the lines.
This edition contains all the propositions which are usually read in the Universities. After the text will be found a selection of notes; these are intended to indicate and explain the principal difficulties which have been noticed in the Elements of Euclid, and to supply the most important inferences which can be drawn from the propositions. The notes relate to Geometry exclusively; they do not introduce developments involving Arithmetic and Algebra, because these latter subjects are always studied in special works, and because Geometry alone presents sufficient matter to occupy the attention of early students. After some hesitation on the point, all remarks relating to Logic have also been excluded. Although the study of Logic appears to be reviving in this country, and may eventually obtain a more assured position than it now holds in a course of liberal education, yet at present few persons take up Logic before Geometry; and it seems therefore premature to devote space to a subject which will be altogether unsuitable to the majority of those who use a work like the present.
After the notes will be found an Appendix, consisting of propositions supplemental to those in the Elements of Euclid; it is hoped that a judicious choice has been made
from the abundant materials which exist for such an Appendix. The propositions selected are worthy of notice on various grounds; some for their simplicity, some for their value as geometrical facts, and some as being problems which may naturally suggest themselves, but of which the solutions are not very obvious.
The work finishes with a collection of exercises. Geometrical deductions afford a most valuable discipline for a student of mathematics, especially in the earlier period of his course; the numerous departments of analysis which subsequently demand his attention will leave him but little time then for pure Geometry. It seems however that the habits of mind which the study of pure Geometry tends to form, furnish an advantageous corrective for some of the evils resulting from an exclusive devotion to Analysis, and it is therefore desirable to engage the attention of beginners with geometrical exercises.
Many persons whose duties have rendered them familiar with the examination of large numbers of students in elementary mathematics have noticed with regret the frequent failures in geometrical deductions. Several collections of exercises already exist, but the general complaint is that they are too difficult. Those in the present volume may be divided into two parts; the first part contains 440 exercises, which it is hoped will not be found beyond the power of early students; the second part consists of the remainder, which may be reserved for practice at a later stage. These exercises have been principally selected from College and University examination papers, and have been tested by long experience with pupils. It will be seen that they are distributed into sections according to the propositions in the Elements of Euclid on which they chiefly depend. As far as possible they are arranged in order of difficulty, but it must sometimes happen, as is the case
in the Elements of Euclid, that one example prepares the way for a set of others which are much easier than itself. It should be observed that the exercises relate to pure Geometry; all examples which would find a more suitable place in works on Trigonometry or Algebraical Geometry have been carefully rejected.
It only remains to advert to the mechanical execution of the volume, to which great attention has been devoted. The figures will be found to be unusually large and distinct, and they have been repeated when necessary, so that they always occur in immediate connexion with the corresponding text. The type and paper have been chosen so as to render the volume as clear and attractive as possible. The design of the editor and of the publishers has been to produce a practically useful edition of the Elements of Euclid, at a moderate cost; and they trust that the design has been fairly realised.
Any suggestions or corrections relating to the work will be most thankfully received.
ST JOHN'S COLLEGE,