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THE word MATHEMATICS, like most other of our scienti-

fic terms, is of Grecian origin, and seems originally to have

signified knowledge, or learning in general. It is now, how-

ever, greatly limited in its signification, being applied to de-

signate that science exclusively which treats of quantity.

Quantity may be contemplated under two different forms;

either as made up of separate and distinct parts, or as one

extended and continuous whole. When quantity is consider-

ed as a collection of separate and distinct parts, or as an ag

gregate of several things of the same kind, it is called Num-

ber; and that portion of Mathematics which proposes to in-

vestigate the power and properties of number is denominated

ARITHMETIC.

When quantity is considered as one extended and continu-

ous whole, such as in the case of a line, a surface, or a solid,

it is called extension; and that division of Mathematics,

which proposes to investigate the properties of figured exten-

sion, is denominated GEOMETRY.

Algebra, another very important branch of Mathematics,

seems to hold a kind of middle ground between Arithmetic

and Geometry; possessing several of the distinctive qualities

of each, yet the exclusive characteristic of neither. For,

although it is closely allied to the former, in regard to the

manner of its operations, yet it is equally so to the latter, in

regard to the generality of its conclusions. Hence, it has

been sometimes very appropriately called UNIVERSAL ARITH-

METIC. It serves as that link by which Geometry is con-

nected with Arithmetic; or that medium through which

Geometrical relation may be exhibited in number.

A

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