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THE MOST NOBLE
MARQUIS of SALISBURY, KNIGHT OF THE GARTER,
LORD CHAMBERLAIN OF HIS
MAJESTY'S HOUSEHOLD, &c.
This Attempt to render the Introduction to the important Science of
Both perfpicuous and entertaining, is in gratitude for favours received, respectfully inscribed,
moft humble and
BRISTOL, September 12, 1796.
Dr. BEDDOES TO Mr. DONNE.
Clifton, August 18, 1796.
MULTIPLIED occupations of the
moft urgent nature put it totally out of my power to furnish you at present with those preliminary remarks on the utility of your mathematical models, which I gave your fubscribers reason to expect. I do not however think any reflections I could offer of fuch importance, as to make it worth your while to fufpend the delivery of your boxes; and I really know not when I fhall be lefs engaged.
I intended to ftate, that you by no ftand pledged to my theory of mathematical evidence. Neither have I been active in bringing out your mechanical demonstrations, as fuppofing them calculated to corroborate my argu
ments. Thofe arguments must stand by their own ftrength. I do not fuppofe them likely to be speedily overthrown.
Your apparatus in my opinion will be of infinite ufe to parents, interested in fecuring to their children the bleffing of a clear and just understanding. A much greater proportion, I believe, than nine out of ten of those, who are educated to the profeffions, or to live without a profeffion, conceive an insuperable disgust against Geometry, as it is usually taught: and very little management will moft furely be fufficient to prevent this pernicious effect by the help of your models.
It may be thought, that the long demonstrations in Euclid are of ufe in beftowing a facility in conceiving and recalling long chains of argument. This advantage I fhall not call in queftion; for I am not disposed to depreciate the merits of the antient Geometricians.
I fhall however obferve that, as all ideas are derived from sense, all argument must confist of a ftatement of facts or perceptions. The true way therefore of making ideas durable, or rather eafily excitable, is to make them distinct at first. It was on this account truly observed, that " the art of memory is the art of attention." The fame