history-page22 - Farkas Bolyai(friend of Gauss and father...

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Farkas Bolyai (friend of Gauss and father of Janos) to Janos Bolyai upon hearing of Janos’s plans: “You must not attempt this approach to parallels. I know this way to the very end. I have traversed this bottomless night, which extinguished all light and joy of my life. I entreat you, leave the science of parallels alone . . . I thought I would sacri±ce myself for the sake of the truth. I was ready to become a martyr who would remove the ²aw from geometry and return it puri±ed to mankind. I accomplished monstrous, enormous labours; my creations are far better than those of others and yet I have not achieved complete satisfaction . . . . I turned back when I saw that no man can reach the bottom of the night. I turned back unconsoled, pitying myself and all mankind. Learn from my example: I wanted to know about parallels, I remain ignorant, this has taken all the ²owers of my life and all my time from me.” Gauss to Farkas upon receiving Janos’s work: “If I commenced by saying that I am
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