Extension and abstraction without apparent direction or purpose is fundamental to the discipline. Applicability is not the reason we work, and plenty that is not applicable contributes to the beauty and magnificence of our subject.
Peter Rowlett, "The unplanned impact of mathematics", Nature 475, 2011, pp. 166-169.
Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. "Immortality" may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean.
G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).. Quotations by Hardy. Gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk. Retrieved on 27 November 2013..