A quotation by Boethius
The science of numbers ought to be preferred as an acquisition before all others, because of its necessity and because of the great secrets and other mysteries which there are in the properties of numbers. All sciences partake of it, and it has need of none.
Quoted in J Fauvel and J Gray, The History of Mathematics: a Reader (London 1987)
Of all misfortune, the worst kind of fate is to have been happy.