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The first part of the following volume consists of the principal Books of Euclid's ELEMENTS. Of this part Dr. Simson's edition has been made the basis ; and, except in the Definitions, Euclid's arrangement has been strictly adhered to. In many instances I have endeavoured to improve the work, sometimes by abbreviations in the process of reasoning, and more frequently by the omission of needless repetitions in the language of the demonstrations. In doing this, however, I have cautiously avoided making such alterations as would injure the true spirit of the original : I have taken care not to apply too rude a hand to a work that, for more than twenty centuries, has been justly held in the highest estimation in all civilized countries.
The Notes and Illustrations at the end of the volume, and those interspersed through the work, will point out some of the more important of the modifications above referred to. In addition to these, it may be here mentioned, that considerable changes, and, it is hoped, improvements, have been made in the demonstrations of the 5th and 35th Propositions of the First Book ; in the 13th of the Second Book; in the 14th, 15th, 21st, 31st, and 32d of the Third Book ;
and in several in the Fourth, Sixth, Eleventh, and
Much real originality is not to be expected in
An APPENDIX has been subjoined, which, besides
The Third Book of this APPENDIX contains a short
mining heights and distances in some of the simplest and most useful cases.
Spherical trigonometry has been omitted, on account of the superior mode of investigating the principles of that important and interesting branch of science afforded by the modern analysis ; that method of investigation requiring a knowledge of algebraic operations, which, in the rest of the volume, the student is not supposed to possess. Any person, therefore, who wishes to study spherical trigonometry, or even plane trigonometry beyond its mere elements, should have recourse to some of the recent treatises on the subject.
The volume closes with a number of propositions intended to serve as exercises on the principles established in the ELEMENTS and the APPENDIX. These, which are partly new and partly selected, are in general easy; and they may be proposed to the student from time to time, according to the progress which he has made in the study of geometry, and the ability which he manifests in performing them.
In this SECOND EDITION some beneficial changes have been made with respect to arrangement; and, in many instances, illustrations have been introduced, which will render several propositions plainer and easier to the studerit. Some minute errors, also, have been corrected, which escaped notice in the First Edition ; and the volume, as a whole, will be found to be considerably improved.
GLASGOW COLLEGE, Oct. 25th, 1836.