If we arrive at an equation containing on each side the same term but with different coefficients, we must take equals from equals until we get one term equal to another term. But, if there are on one or on both sides negative terms, the deficiencies must be added on both bides until all the terms on both sides are positive. Then we must take equals from equals until one term is left on each side.
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As a square number is known to be the product of a number multiplied by itself, so every polygonal number, multiplied by one number and added to another, both of which depend upon the number of its angles, produces a square number. I shall prove this, and shall show also how from a given side to find its polygon and conversely. Some auxiliary propositions must first be proved.
Perhaps the topic [of this book] will appear fairly difficult to you because it is not yet familiar knowledge and the understanding of beginners is easily confused by mistakes; but with your inspiration and my teaching it will be easy for you to master, because clear intelligence supported by good lessons is a fast route to knowledge.
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