I have always hated machinery, and the only machine I ever understood was a wheelbarrow, and that but imperfectly.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

In H. Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1977.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

If "Number rules the universe" as Pythagoras asserted, Number is merely our delegate to the throne, for we rule Number.

In H. Eves Mathematical Circles Revisited, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1971.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

The cowboys have a way of trussing up a steer or a pugnacious bronco which fixes the brute so that it can neither move nor think. This is the hog-tie, and it is what Euclid did to geometry.

In R Crayshaw-Williams The Search For Truth, p. 191.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

The longer mathematics lives the more abstract -- and therefore, possibly also the more practical -- it becomes.

In The Mathematical Intelligencer, vol. 13, no. 1, Winter 1991.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

If a lunatic scribbles a jumble of mathematical symbols it does not follow that the writing means anything merely because to the inexpert eye it is indistinguishable from higher mathematics.

In J. R. Newman (ed.) The World of Mathematics, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956, p. 308.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

The pursuit of pretty formulas and neat theorems can no doubt quickly degenerate into a silly vice, but so can the quest for austere generalities which are so very general indeed that they are incapable of application to any particular.

In H. Eves Mathematical Circles Squared, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1972.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

Obvious is the most dangerous word in mathematics.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

Abstractness, sometimes hurled as a reproach at mathematics, is its chief glory and its surest title to practical usefulness. It is also the source of such beauty as may spring from mathematics.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

Guided only by their feeling for symmetry, simplicity, and generality, and an indefinable sense of the fitness of things, creative mathematicians now, as in the past, are inspired by the art of mathematics rather than by any prospect of ultimate usefulness.

##### Bell, Eric Temple (1883-1960)

The Handmaiden of the Sciences.

[Title of one of
Bell's popular
mathematics
books]