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NOTES (iii) QUEHIES
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF
HISTORY, FOLKLORE, MATHEMATICS,
"Learn to know all, but keep thyself unknown." —Iraneus.
CONDUCTED AND PUBLISHED BY
S. C. &. L., M. GOULD,
With the close of volume VII Notes And Queries completes the seventh revolution in its orbit around the great central sun of Truth. It will remain the constant purpose of its publishers to shorten the radius of its motion as the years advance, thereby lessening the distance from the central luminary.
It is true of periodicals as of men; they cannot pose for any length of time for more than they are really worth; and while Notes And Queries may at present claim the milder honors of the satellite, we hope under the general laws of evolution, to merit, in course of time, the grander dignity of planetary existence, encouraged by the fact that "' Tall oaks from little acorns grow."
In the present volumes, among the modern discoveries in pure mathematics, the exact number of "digital squares "' has been solved and the deductions of Dr. Artemas Martin and Hon. J. H. Drummond have been given.
In astronomy, the latest discoveries of asteroids have been stated, which completes a total of 301 planetoids discovered in the space of ninety years—an average over three and one-third per year, since the discovery of Ceres by Piazzi on Jan. 1, 1801.
Shakespeare inquired " What's in a name?" The articles of antonomasias will illustrate how much there is of an allegorical and figurative character in the literature of nomenclature.
Delving in the mines of Truth might seem discouraging to even the most devoted workers, when considering the inexhaustible veins of ore and the rarity of the profound thinkers employed, were it not for the patience and the enthusiasm of the few who realize that ultimate victory of Truth over Error will ere long become an absolute certainty, in place of a vague hope, and were it not that the champions in the highest cause in which human intellect can be engaged, will inherit the most imperishable fame possible to the dreams of human imagination.
But in the great laboratory of thought, pure truth like pure carbon of the hills, is found only in the form of grains like diamonds. Pearls of thought do no run in coal measures, or wide-stretched beds of ore.
If at times our materials seem fragmentary, let the facts be noted with interest, and gathered with diligence, tha tthe aggregated particles, may take their proper form in the masonry of the vast temple of the Universal Truth.
As human life has been said to be " A cry between the silences"; may the voice of our columns be heard by our friends with even a part of the deference that we ever feel for the grander charms from the pages of our more pretentious contemporaries.
In the next volume it will be our aim to solve some of the unanswered queries which have accumulated from the beginning. Some of these are not only interesting, but difficult, especially where accuracy is necessary. It has been well said that a fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer, but a wise man cannot ask more questions than a fool is willing to answer.
Only those who attempt to answer general queries can fully realize what the phrase "On reliable authority" really involves. As the opinions of very many people must be taken with grains of allowance, so we find that among the sources of information, very many works of reference are wholly unreliable. And although infallibility is far from being a human characteristic, it will remain the constant purpose of this journal to "eliminate the sources of error" persistently and faithfully.
Several articles and also bibliographies which have appeared in our pages have been extensively quoted and referred to; among the latter is the " Bibliography on Cyclometry and Quadratures," which has been quoted by Florian Cajori, M. S., of the University of Wisconsin, in his admirable compilation on the " Teaching and History of Mathematics in the United States," published by the Bureau of Education as Circular of Information No. 3, 1890; the "Bibliography of Mathematical Journals in the United States " has also been called for by many mathematicians. We have several other bibliographies in preparation, on special subjects, which will be published in due time.
The article on " Biblical Information" in this volume is the most extensive, as well as complete, chapter of research that ever appeared in any journal in this country, without exception.
S. C. Sc L. M. GOULD, Publishers