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A' LIBERAL EDUCATION
PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE LEADING STUDIES
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.
PRINCIPLES AND RECENT HISTORY.
BY WILLIAM WHEWELL, D.D.,
MASTER OF TRINITY COLLEGE.
GEORGE BIDDELL AIRY, ESQUIRE,
MY DEAR AIRY,
It gives me great pleasure to make the present volume the memorial of a long and valued friendship, by dedicating it to you. But even without such a motive, I might fitly have placed your name in the front of my book, on account of its subject ; for though it is now several years since you were called from a sphere of academical to one of more direct national influence, we still enjoy the benefit, both in our scientific activity, and in our educational methods, of the paths which you traced for us, and of the spirit which you diffused among us.
I know too that you continue to take a lively interest in the proceedings and character of your ancient home. I will further add, as another reason for offering my Reflections to you, that with regard to the kind of Mathematical Studies most suited to the University, and especially with regard to the destructive effect of mere analysis upon the mind, I know that your views agree with my own.
That you may long continue your noble career of scientific distinction and national usefulness, is the hearty wish and prayer of,
MY DEAR AIRY,
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
This new Edition of my book Of a Liberal Education in general, and with particular reference to the leading Studies of the University of Cambridge, I have now further designated as Part I., and have described its subject as the Principles and Recent History of such Education; having at the same time published PART II., of which the subject is Discussions and Changes 1840–1850. Having, in this Second Part, an opportunity of carrying on further the discussion of the questions which came before me, I have made only slight and unimportant corrections in the First Part.
I may take this opportunity of remarking that Mr Harvey Goodwin's Elementary Course of Mathematics, on which, in Article 354, and the following, I have ventured to offer some criticisms, reached a third edition in October last: and in this edition the part of the work which contains the requisite propositions of Newton is brought so near to Newton's own reasoning, as to be liable to little or none of the objection which I have made to it in Article 358; though I still think it advisable that the student should consult the original text.
As completing the collection of recent University Regulations concerning Examinations which I have given in the Appendix to Part II., I will insert two