The present work has been undertaken in order to supply a demand for an easy introduction to our Elementary Algebra for Schools, and also to meet the wishes of those who, while approving of the order and treatment of the subject there laid down, have felt the want of a beginners? text-book in a cheaper form.
The order we adopted in our Elementary Algebra differed in some important particulars from that of previous text-books. It was an innovation and an experiment; but our own long experience, backed by the cordial support of friends and colleagues, emboldened us to hope that our treatment would eventually win general acceptance. And we have not been disappointed. The favourable reception of six editions of our text-book, and its adoption in so many of the principal English and Colonial schools, furnish ample proof that no objection has been urged against our treatment of the subject, whilst numbers of teachers, previously unknown to us, have favoured us with expressions of distinct approval. We have, therefore, felt no hesitation in compiling this little book on similar lines.
Our order has been determined mainly by two considerations: first, a desire to introduce as early as possible the practical side of the subject and some of its most interesting applications, such as easy equations and problems; and secondly, the strong opinion that all reference to compound expressions and their resolution into factors should be postponed until the usual operations of Algebra have been exemplified in the case of simple expressions. By this course the beginner soon becomes acquainted with the ordinary algebraically processes without encountering too many of their difficulties; and he is learning at the same time something of the more attractive parts of the subject.