Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.

Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.

O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

Hamlet.

I am ill at these numbers.

Hamlet.

Tyndall declared that he saw in Matter the promise and potency of all forms of life, and with his Irish graphic lucidity made a picture of a world of magnetic atoms, each atom with a positive and a negative pole, arranging itself by attraction and repulsion in orderly crystalline structure. Such a picture is dangerously fascinating to thinkers oppressed by the bloody disorders of the living world. Craving for purer subjects of thought, they find in the contemplation of crystals and magnets a happiness more dramatic and less childish than the happiness found by mathematicians in abstract numbers, because they see in the crystals beauty and movement without the corrupting appetites of fleshly vitality.

Preface to Back to Methuselah.

The mathematician is fascinated with the marvelous beauty of the forms he constructs, and in their beauty he finds everlasting truth.

In N. Rose,
Mathematical Maxims
and Minims, Raleigh
NC: Rome Press Inc.,
1988.

Mathematical rigor is like clothing; in its style it ought to suit the occasion, and it diminishes comfort and restrains freedom of movement if it is either too loose or too tight.

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

[E.H.] Moore was presenting a paper on a highly technical topic to a large gathering of faculty and graduate students from all parts of the country. When half way through he discovered what seemed to be an error (though probably no one else in the room observed it). He stopped and re-examined the doubtful step for several minutes and then, convinced of the error, he abruptly dismissed the meeting -- to the astonishment of most of the audience. It was an evidence of intellectual courage as well as honesty and doubtless won for him the supreme admiration of every person in the group -- an admiration which was in no wise diminished, but rather increased, when at a later meeting he announced that after all he had been able to prove the step to be correct.

The American
Mathematical
Monthly, 40 (1933),
191-195.

I have no faith in political arithmetic.

One merit of mathematics few will deny: it says more in fewer words than any other science. The formula, e^(i*pi) = -1 expressed a world of thought, of truth, of poetry, and of the religious spirit "God eternally geometrizes."

In N. Rose,
Mathematical Maxims
and Minims, Raleigh
NC: Rome Press Inc.,
1988.

[His toast:]

Pure mathematics, may it never be of any use to anyone.

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