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By JOHN BONNYCASTLE,
PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ROYAL MILsiky
FIRST NEW-YORK, FROM THE TTH LONDON EDITION
THE powers of the mind, like those of the body, are increased by frequent exertion; application and industry supply the place of genius and invention; and even the creative faculty itself may be strengthened and improved by use and perseverance. Uncultivated nature is uniformly rude and imbecile, it being by imitation alone that we at first acquire knowledge, and the means .of *extending its bounds. A just and perfect acquaintance with the simple elements of science, is a recessary step towards our future progress and advancement; and this, assisted by laborious investigation and habi cat inquiry, will constantly lead to eminence and perfections.
Books of rudiments, therefore, concisely written, well digested, and methodically arranged, are treasures. of inestimable value; and too many attempts cannot be made to render them perfect and complete. When the first principles of any art or science are firmly fixed and rooted in the mind, their application soon becomes easy, pleasant and obvious; the understanding is delighted and enlarged; we conceive clearly, reason distinctly, and form just and satisfactory conclusions. But, on the contrary, when the mind, instead of reposing on the stability of truth and received principles, is wandering in doubt and uncertainty, our ideas will necessarily be confused and obscure; and every step we take must be attended with fresh difficulties and endless perplexity.
That the grounds, or fundamental parts, of every science, are dull and unentertaining, is a complaint univer