Francis Bacon Quotes

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman and essayist. His works argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. Most importantly, he argued this could be achieved by use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. His general idea of the importance and possibility of a skeptical methodology makes Bacon the father of the scientific method. This marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical details of which are still central in debates about science and methodology today.

We have collected and put Francis Bacon best quotes in the following categories. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these Francis Bacon Quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner. Please DO page find from your browser for your subject SEARCH.

Francis Bacon Quotes

… wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity. – Francis Bacon

A bachelor’s life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner. – Francis Bacon

A bad man is worse when he pretends to be a saint. – Francis Bacon

A cat will never drown if she sees the shore. – Francis Bacon

A crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures – Francis Bacon

A false friend is more dangerous than an open enemy. – Francis Bacon

A forbidden writing is thought to be a certain spark of truth, that flies up in the face of them who seek to tread it out. – Francis Bacon

A good conscience is a continual feast. – Francis Bacon

A good name is like precious ointment ; it filleth all round about, and will not easily away; for the odors of ointments are more durable than those of flowers. – Francis Bacon

A graceful and pleasing figure is a perpetual letter of recommendation. – Francis Bacon

A healthy body is a guest chamber for the soul: a sick body is a prison. – Francis Bacon

A just fear of an imminent danger, though be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war. – Francis Bacon

A king that would not feel his crown too heavy for him, must wear it every day; but if he think it too light, he knoweth not of what metal it is made. – Francis Bacon

A lie faces God and shrinks from man. – Francis Bacon

A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. – Francis Bacon

A little science estranges a man from God; a lot of science brings him back. – Francis Bacon

A man cannot speak to his son but as a father, to his wife but as a husband, to his enemy but upon terms; whereas a friend may speak as the case requires, and not as it sorteth with the person. – Francis Bacon

A man dies as often as he loses his friends. – Francis Bacon

A man finds himself seven years older the day after his marriage. – Francis Bacon

A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it. – Francis Bacon

A man that hath no virtue in himself ever envieth virtue in others. – Francis Bacon

A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth virtue in others. For men’s minds, will either feed upon their own good, or upon others’ evil. – Francis Bacon

A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth virtue in others. For men’s minds, will either feed upon their own good, or upon others’ evil; and who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other; and whoso is out of hope, to attain to another’s virtue, will seek to come at even hand, by depressing another’s fortune. – Francis Bacon

A man that is busy, and inquisitive, is commonly envious. For to know much of other men’s matters, cannot be because all that ado may concern his own estate; therefore it must needs be, that he taketh a kind of play-pleasure, in looking upon the fortunes of others. Neither can he, that mindeth but his own business, find much matter for envy. For envy is a gadding passion, and walketh the streets, and doth not keep home: Non est curiosus, quin idem sit malevolus. – Francis Bacon

A man that is young in years may be old in hours if he have lost no time. – Francis Bacon

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well – Francis Bacon

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green. – Francis Bacon

A man were better relate himself to a statue or picture than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother. – Francis Bacon

A man who contemplates revenge keeps his wounds green. – Francis Bacon

A man would die, though he were neither valiant nor miserable, only upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over and over. – Francis Bacon

A man’s nature runs either to herbs, or to weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other. – Francis Bacon

A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. – Francis Bacon

A much talking judge is an ill-tuned cymbal. – Francis Bacon

A picture should be a re-creation of an event rather than an illustration of an object; but there is no tension in the picture unless there is a struggle with the object. – Francis Bacon

A principal fruit of friendship, is the ease and discharge of the fullness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce. – Francis Bacon

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom. – Francis Bacon

A small task if it be really daily will beat the efforts of a spasmodic Hercules. – Francis Bacon

A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open. – Francis Bacon

A sudden, bold, and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man, and lay him open. Like to him that, having changed his name, and walking in Paul’s, another suddenly came behind him, and called him by his true name, whereat straightways he looked back. – Francis Bacon

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. – Francis Bacon

A young man not yet, an elder man not at all. – Francis Bacon

Above all things, good policy is to be used, that the treasure and moneys, in a state, be not gathered into few hands. For otherwise a state may have a great stock, and yet starve. – Francis Bacon

Above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is Nunc dimittis, when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations. Death hath this also, that it openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy. – Francis Bacon

Acorns were good until bread was found. – Francis Bacon

Again men have been kept back as by a kind of enchantment from progress in science by reverence for antiquity, by the authority of men counted great in philosophy, and then by general consent. – Francis Bacon

Again there is another great and powerful cause why the sciences have made but little progress; which is this. It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed. – Francis Bacon

Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. – Francis Bacon

Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. – Francis Bacon

All artists are vain, they long to be recognized and to leave something to posterity. They want to be loved, and at the same time they want to be free. But nobody is free. – Francis Bacon

All authority must be out of a man’s self, turned . . . either upon an art, or upon a man. – Francis Bacon

All bravery stands upon comparisons. – Francis Bacon

All colors will agree in the dark. – Francis Bacon

All colours will agree in the dark. – Francis Bacon

All good moral philosophy is … but the handmaid to religion. – Francis Bacon

All good moral philosophy is but the handmaid to religion. – Francis Bacon

All of our actions take their hue from the complexion of the heart, as landscapes their variety from light. – Francis Bacon

All painting is an accident. But it’s also not an accident, because one must select what part of the accident one chooses to preserve. – Francis Bacon

All rising to a great place is by a winding stair – Francis Bacon

All superstition is much the same whether it be that of astrology, dreams, omen, retributive judgment, or the like, in all of which the deluded believers observe events which are fulfilled, but neglect and pass over their failure, though it be much more common. – Francis Bacon

All the crimes on earth do not destroy so many of the human race, nor alienate so much property, as drunkenness. – Francis Bacon

All things are admired either because they are new or because they are great – Francis Bacon

All will come out in the washing. – Francis Bacon

All wise men, to decline the envy of their own virtues, use to ascribe them to Providence and Fortune; for so they may the better assume them: and, besides, it is greatness in a man, to be the care of the higher powers. – Francis Bacon

Always let losers have their words. – Francis Bacon

Ambition is like choler; which is an humor that maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not stopped. But if it be stopped, and cannot have his way, it becometh adust, and thereby malign and venomous. – Francis Bacon

Ambition is like choler; which is an humor that maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not stopped. But if it be stopped, and cannot have his way, it becometh a dust, and thereby malign and venomous. So ambitious men, if they find the way open for their rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous; but if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil eye, and are best pleased, when things go backward; which is the worst property in a servant of a prince, or state. – Francis Bacon

An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is a shrewd thing, in an orchard or garden. – Francis Bacon

An artist must learn to be nourished by his passions and by his despairs, – Francis Bacon

An hasty fortune maketh an enterpriser and remover … but the exercised fortune maketh the able man. – Francis Bacon

An illustrational form tells you through the intelligence immediately what the form is about, whereas a non-illustrational form works first upon sensation and then slowly leaks back into the fact. – Francis Bacon

And as for Mixed Mathematics, I may only make this prediction, that there cannot fail to be more kinds of them, as nature grows further disclosed. – Francis Bacon

And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes, like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air. – Francis Bacon

And certain it is, that the light that a man receiveth by counsel from another, is drier and purer, than that which cometh from his own understanding and judgment; which is ever infused, and drenched, in his affections and customs. – Francis Bacon

And for matter of policy and government, that learning, should rather hurt, than enable thereunto, is a thing very improbable. – Francis Bacon

And let a man beware, how he keepeth company with choleric and quarrelsome persons; for they will engage him into their own quarrels. – Francis Bacon

And yet surely to alchemy this right is due, that it may be compared to the husbandman whereof Aesop makes the fable, that when he died he told his sons that he had left unto them gold buried under the ground in his vineyard: and they digged over the ground, gold they found none, but by reason of their stirring and digging the mould about the roots of their vines, they had a great vintage the year following: so assuredly the search and stir to make gold hath brought to light a great number of good and fruitful inventions and experiments, as well for the disclosing of nature as for the use of man’s life. – Francis Bacon

Anger is certainly a kind of baseness, as it appears well in the weakness of those subjects in whom it reigns: children, women, old folks, sick folks. – Francis Bacon

Anger is certainly a kind of baseness; as it appears well in the weakness of those subjects in whom it reigns; children, women, old folks, sick folks. Only men must beware, that they carry their anger rather with scorn, than with fear; so that they may seem rather to be above the injury, than below it; which is a thing easily done, if a man will give law to himself in it. – Francis Bacon

Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor. – Francis Bacon

Another argument of hope may be drawn from this — that some of the inventions already known are such as before they were discovered it could hardly have entered any man’s head to think of; they would have been simply set aside as impossible. – Francis Bacon

Another argument of hope may be drawn from this-that some of the inventions already known are such as before they were discovered it could hardly have entered any man’s head to think of; they would have been simply set aside as impossible. For in conjecturing what may be men set before them the example of what has been, and divine of the new with an imagination preoccupied and colored by the old; which way of forming opinions is very fallacious, for streams that are drawn from the springheads of nature do not always run in the old channels. – Francis Bacon

Another diversity of Methods is according to the subject or matter which is handled; for there is a great difference in delivery of the Mathematics, which are the most abstracted of knowledges, and Policy, which is the most immersed … , yet we see how that opinion, besides the weakness of it, hath been of ill desert towards learning, as that which taketh the way to reduce learning to certain empty and barren generalities; being but the very husks and shells of sciences, all the kernel being forced out and expulsed with the torture and press of the method. – Francis Bacon

Another error is an impatience of doubt and haste to assertion without due and mature suspension of judgment. For the two ways of contemplation are not unlike the two ways of action commonly spoken of by the ancients; the one plain and smooth in the beginning, and in the end impassable; the other rough and troublesome in the entrance, but after a while fair and even. So it is in contemplation; if a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties. – Francis Bacon

Another precept is to practise all things chiefly at two several times, the one when the mind is best disposed, the other when it is worst disposed; that by the one you may gain a great step, by the other you may work out the knots and stonds of the mind, and make the middle times the more easy and pleasant. – Francis Bacon

Antiquities are history defaced, or some remnants of history which have casually escaped the shipwreck of time. – Francis Bacon

Antiquities, or remnants of history, are, as was said, tanquam tabula naufragii: when industrious persons, by an exact and scrupulous diligence and observation, out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, private records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of books that concern not story, and the like, do save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time. – Francis Bacon

Argumentation cannot suffice for the discovery of new work, since the subtlety of Nature is greater many times than the subtlety of argument. – Francis Bacon

Aristippus said: That those that studied particular sciences, and neglected philosophy, were like Penelope’s wooers, that made love to the waiting women. – Francis Bacon

Aristotle… a mere bond-servant to his logic, thereby rendering it contentious… – Francis Bacon

Aristotle… a mere bond-servant to his logic, thereby rendering it contentious and well nigh useless. – Francis Bacon

Art is man added to Nature. – Francis Bacon

As for the passions, and studies of the mind; avoid envy, anxious fears; anger fretting inwards; subtle and knotty inquisitions; joys and exhilarations in excess; sadness not communicated. Entertain hopes; mirth rather than joy; variety of delights, rather than surfeit of them; wonder and admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature. – Francis Bacon

As in nature, things move violently to their place and calmly in their place, so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. – Francis Bacon

As is the garden such is the gardener. A man’s nature runs either to herbs or weeds. – Francis Bacon

As the births of living creatures are at first ill-shapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time. – Francis Bacon

As the births of living creatures, at first, are ill-shapen: so are all Innovations, which are the births of time. – Francis Bacon

As you work, the mood grows on you. There are certain images which suddenly get hold of me and I really want to do them. But it’s true to say that the excitement and possibilities are in the working and obviously can only come in the working. – Francis Bacon

Ask a counsel of both times-of the ancient time what is best, and of the latter time what is fittest – Francis Bacon

Ask counsel of both times of the ancient time what is best, and of the latter time what is fittest. – Francis Bacon

Atheism is rather in the life than in the heart of man – Francis Bacon

Atheism leads a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation: all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue. – Francis Bacon

Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation, all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men. – Francis Bacon

Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men. Therefore atheism did never perturb states; for it makes men wary of themselves, as looking no further: and we see the times inclined to atheism (as the time of Augustus Cæsar) were civil times. But superstition hath been the confusion of many states, and bringeth in a new primum mobile, that ravisheth all the spheres of government. The master of superstition is the people; and in all superstition wise men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to practice, in a reversed order. – Francis Bacon

Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation, all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men-the master of superstition is the people; and arguments are fitted to practice, in a reverse order. – Francis Bacon

Base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in the dark. – Francis Bacon

Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Anger must be limited and confined, both in race and in time. – Francis Bacon

Be not penny-wise. Riches have wings. Sometimes they fly away of themselves, and sometimes they must be set flying to bring in more. – Francis Bacon

Be so true to thyself, as thou be not false to others. – Francis Bacon

Be true to thyself, as thou be not false to others. – Francis Bacon

Bear ever towards the contrary extreme of that whereunto we are by nature inclined; like unto the rowing against the stream, or making a wand straight by bending him contrary to his natural crookedness. – Francis Bacon

Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last; and for the most part it makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out of countenance; but yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh virtue shine, and vices blush. – Francis Bacon

Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite. – Francis Bacon

Because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical. – Francis Bacon

Before I start painting I have a slightly ambiguous feeling: happiness is a special excitement because unhappiness is always possible a moment later. – Francis Bacon

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake. – Francis Bacon

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake… – Francis Bacon

Believe not much them that seem to despise riches, for they despise them that despair of them. – Francis Bacon

Believing that I was born for the service of mankind, and regarding the care of the commonwealth as a kind of common property which, like the air and the water, belongs to everybody, I set myself to consider in what way mankind might be best served, and what service I was myself best fitted by nature to perform. – Francis Bacon

Beware of sudden change, in any great point of diet, and, if necessity enforce it, fit the rest to it. For it is a secret both in nature and state, that it is safer to change many things, than one. – Francis Bacon

Boldness is a child of ignorance – Francis Bacon

Boldness is ever blind, for it sees not dangers and inconveniences whence it is bad in council though good in execution. – Francis Bacon

Boldness is ever blind; for it seeth not dangers and inconveniences. – Francis Bacon

Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books. – Francis Bacon

Books speak plain when counselors blanch. – Francis Bacon

Books will speak plain when counselors blanch. – Francis Bacon

Brutes by their natural instinct have produced many discoveries, whereas men by discussion and the conclusions of reason have given birth to few or none. – Francis Bacon

But be the workmen what they may be, let us speak of the work; that is, the true greatness of kingdoms and estates, and the means thereof. – Francis Bacon

But by far the greatest hindrance and aberration of the human understanding proceeds from the dullness, incompetency, and deceptions of the senses; in that things which strike the sense outweigh things which do not immediately strike it, though they be more important. Hence it is that speculation commonly ceases where sight ceases; insomuch that of things invisible there is little or no observation. – Francis Bacon

But by far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this — that men despair and think things impossible. – Francis Bacon

But I account the use that a man should seek of the publishing of his own writings before his death, to be but an untimely anticipation of that which is proper to follow a man, and not to go along with him. – Francis Bacon

But it is not only the difficulty and labor which men take in finding out of truth, nor again that when it is found it imposeth upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. – Francis Bacon

But leaving these curiosities (though not unworthy to be thought on, in fit place), we will handle, what persons are apt to envy others; what persons are most subject to be envied themselves; and what is the difference between public and private envy. – Francis Bacon

But limns the water, or but writes in dust. – Francis Bacon

But men must know that in this theater of man’s life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on. – Francis Bacon

But one thing is most admirable (wherewith I will conclude this first fruit of friendship), which is, that this communicating of a man’s self to his friend, works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in halves. For there is no man, that imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the less. So that it is in truth, of operation upon a man’s mind, of like virtue as the alchemists use to attribute to their stone, for man’s body; that it worketh all contrary effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature. But yet without praying in aid of alchemists, there is a manifest image of this, in the ordinary course of nature. For in bodies, union strengtheneth and cherisheth any natural action; and on the other side, weakeneth and dulleth any violent impression: and even so it is of minds. – Francis Bacon

But the best demonstration by far is experience, if it go not beyond the actual experiment. – Francis Bacon

But the greatest error of all the rest is the mistaking or misplacing of the last or farthest end of knowledge: for men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use of men… – Francis Bacon

But the idols of the Market Place are the most troublesome of all: idols which have crept into the understanding through their alliances with words and names. For men believe that their reason governs words. But words turn and twist the understanding. This it is that has rendered philosophy and the sciences inactive. Words are mostly cut to the common fashion and draw the distinctions which are most obvious to the common understanding. Whenever an understanding of greater acuteness or more diligent observation would alter those lines to suit the true distinctions of nature, words complain. – Francis Bacon

But the images of men’s wits and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation. – Francis Bacon

But this is that which will dignify and exalt knowledge: if contemplation and action be more nearly and straitly conjoined and united together than they have been: a conjunction like unto that of the highest planets, Saturn, the planet of rest and contemplation, and Jupiter, the planet of civil society and action. – Francis Bacon

But we are not dedicating or building any Capitol or Pyramid to human Pride, but found a holy temple in the human Intellect, on the model of the Universe… For whatever is worthy of Existence is worthy of Knowledge-which is the Image (or Echo) of Existence. – Francis Bacon

But we may go further, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends; without which the world is but a wilderness. – Francis Bacon

But we may go further, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends; without which the world is but a wilderness; and even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and affections, is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity. – Francis Bacon

But we may go further, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends; without which the world is but a wilderness. – Francis Bacon

But when men have at hand a remedy more agreeable to their corrupt will, marriage is almost expulsed. And therefore there are with you seen infinite men that marry not, but chose rather a libertine and impure single life, than to be yoked in marriage; and many that do marry, marry late, when the prime and strength of their years is past. And when they do marry, what is marriage to them but a very bargain; wherein is sought alliance, or portion, or reputation, with some desire (almost indifferent) of issue; and not the faithful nuptial union of man and wife, that was first instituted. – Francis Bacon

By far the best proof is experience. – Francis Bacon

By indignities men come to dignities. – Francis Bacon

By learning man ascendeth to the heavens and their motions, where in body he cannot come. – Francis Bacon

By this means we presume we have established for ever, a true and legitimate marriage between the Empirical and Rational faculty; whose fastidious and unfortunate divorce and separation hath troubled and disordered the whole race and generation of mankind. – Francis Bacon

Cato said the best way to keep good acts in memory was to refresh them with new. – Francis Bacon

Certainly custom is most perfect, when it beginneth in young years: this we call education; which is, in effect, but an early custom. – Francis Bacon

Certainly fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swoln, and drowns things weighty and solid. – Francis Bacon

Certainly it is a heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind to move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth. – Francis Bacon

Certainly it is the nature of extreme self-lovers, as they will set an house on fire, and it were but to roast their eggs. – Francis Bacon

Certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he be not kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. – Francis Bacon

Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried, or childless men. – Francis Bacon

Certainly this is a duty, not a sin. “Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness. – Francis Bacon

Certainly virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant when they are incensed, or crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue. – Francis Bacon

Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince’s part to pardon. – Francis Bacon

Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth. – Francis Bacon

Champagne for my sham friends; real pain for my real friends. – Francis Bacon

Chiefly the mold of a man’s fortune is in his own hands. – Francis Bacon

Chiefly the mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands. – Francis Bacon

Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter. – Francis Bacon

Children sweeten labours. But they make misfortune more bitter. They increase the care of life. But they mitigate the remembrance of death. The perpetuity of generation is common to beasts. But memory, merit and noble works are proper to men. And surely a man shall see the noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men which have sought to express the images of their minds where those of their bodies have failed. – Francis Bacon

Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable. – Francis Bacon

Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God. – Francis Bacon

Clear and round dealing is the honor of man’s nature; and … mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but embaseth it.

Come home to men’s business and bosoms. – Francis Bacon

Concerning speech and words, the consideration of them hath produced the science of grammar. For man still striveth to reintegrate himself in those benedictions, from which by his fault he hath been deprived; and as he hath striven against the first general curse by the invention of all other arts, so hath he sought to come forth of the second general curse (which was the confusion of tongues) by the art of grammar. – Francis Bacon

Concerning the materials of seditions. It is a thing well to be considered; for the surest way to prevent seditions (if the times do bear it) is to take away the matter of them. For if there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell, whence the spark shall come, that shall set it on fire. The matter of seditions is of two kinds: much poverty, and much discontentment. It is certain, so many overthrown estates, so many votes for troubles. – Francis Bacon

Consistency is the foundation of virtue. – Francis Bacon

Constancy is the foundation of virtues. – Francis Bacon

Cosmus, Duke of Florence, was wont to say of perfidious friends, that “We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends. – Francis Bacon

Counsellors are not commonly so united, but that one counsellor, keepeth sentinel over another; so that if any do counsel out of faction or private ends, it commonly comes to the king’s ear. But the best remedy is, if princes know their counsellors, as well as their counsellors know them. – Francis Bacon

Crafty men condemn studies; Simple men admire them; And wise men use them: For they teach not their own use: but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. – Francis Bacon

Croesus said to Cambyses; That peace was better than war; because in peace the sons did bury their fathers, but in wars the fathers did bury their sons. – Francis Bacon

Cure the disease and kill the patient. – Francis Bacon

Custom is the principal magistrate of man’s life. – Francis Bacon

Dancing to song, is a thing of great state and pleasure. I understand it, that the song be in quire, placed aloft, and accompanied with some broken music; and the ditty fitted to the device. – Francis Bacon

Death hath this also; that it openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguisheth envy. – Francis Bacon

Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home. – Francis Bacon

Decided cases are the anchors of the law, as laws are of the state – Francis Bacon

Defer not charities till death; for certainly, if a man weigh it rightly, he that doth so is rather liberal of another man’s than of his own. – Francis Bacon

Deformed persons are commonly even with nature; for as nature hath done ill by them, so do they by nature; being for the most part (as the Scripture saith) void of natural affection; and so they have their revenge of nature. – Francis Bacon

Deformed persons commonly take revenge on nature. – Francis Bacon

Deformed persons, and eunuchs, and old men, and bastards, are envious. For he that cannot possibly mend his own case, will do what he can, to impair another’s; except these defects light upon a very brave, and heroical nature, which thinketh to make his natural wants part of his honor; in that it should be said, that an eunuch, or a lame man, did such great matters; affecting the honor of a miracle; as it was in Narses the eunuch, and Agesilaus and Tamberlanes, that were lame men. – Francis Bacon

Despise no new accident in your body, but ask opinion of it… There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic. A man’s observation, what he finds good and of what he finds hurt of, is the best physic to preserve health. – Francis Bacon

Discern of the coming on of years, and think not to do the same things still; for age will not be defied. – Francis Bacon

Disciples do owe their masters only a temporary belief, and a suspension of their own judgment till they be fully instructed … – Francis Bacon

Discretion in speech is more than eloquence. – Francis Bacon

Discretion of speech is more than eloquence, and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words, or in good order. – Francis Bacon

Dissimulation is but a faint kind of policy, or wisdom; for it asketh a strong wit, and a strong heart, to know when to tell truth, and to do it. Therefore it is the weaker sort of politics, that are the great dissemblers. – Francis Bacon

Divide with reason; between self-love and society; and be so true to thyself, as thou be not false to others; specially to thy king and country. – Francis Bacon

Do not wonder if the common people speak more truly than those above them: they speak more safely. – Francis Bacon

Do not wonder, if the common people speak more truly than those of high rank; for they speak with more safety. – Francis Bacon

Doctor Johnson said, that in sickness there were three things that were material; the physician, the disease, and the patient: and if any two of these joined, then they get the victory; for, Ne Hercules quidem contra duos [Not even Hercules himself is a match for two]. If the physician and the patient join, then down goes the disease; for then the patient recovers: if the physician and the disease join, that is a strong disease; and the physician mistaking the cure, then down goes the patient: if the patient and the disease join, then down goes the physician; for he is discredited. – Francis Bacon

Dreams, and predictions of astrology….ought to serve but for winter talk by the fireside. – Francis Bacon

Embrace and invite helps, and advices, touching the execution of thy place; and do not drive away such, as bring thee information, as meddlers; but accept of them in good part. – Francis Bacon

Envy is ever joined with the comparing of a man’s self; and where there is no comparison, no envy. – Francis Bacon

Even within the most beautiful landscape, in the trees, under the leaves the insects are eating each other; violence is a part of life. – Francis Bacon

Every person born in the USA is endowed with life, liberty, and a substantial share of the national debt. – Francis Bacon

Everybody has his own interpretation of a painting he sees… – Francis Bacon

Examine thy customs of diet, sleep, exercise, apparel, and the like; and try, in any thing thou shalt judge hurtful, to discontinue it, by little and little; but so, as if thou dost find any inconvenience by the change, thou come back to it again: for it is hard to distinguish that which is generally held good and wholesome, from that which is good particularly, and fit for thine own body.

Excusations, cessions, modesty itself well governed, are but arts of ostentation. – Francis Bacon

Faith doth both admit and reject disputation with difference. – Francis Bacon

Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid. – Francis Bacon

Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse. – Francis Bacon

First the amendment of their own minds. For the removal of the impediments of the mind will sooner clear the passages of fortune than the obtaining fortune will remove the impediments of the mind. – Francis Bacon

First therefore let us seek the dignity of knowledge in the archetype or first platform, which is in the attributes and acts of God, as far as they are revealed to man and may be observed with sobriety; wherein we may not seek it by the name of Learning; for all Learning is Knowledge acquired, and all Knowledge in God is original: and therefore we must look for it by another name, that of Wisdom or Sapience, as the Scriptures call it. – Francis Bacon

For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. – Francis Bacon

For all knowledge and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself. – Francis Bacon

For arts of pleasure sensual, the chief deficience in them is of laws to repress them. For as it hath been well observed, that the arts which flourish in times while virtue is in growth, are military; and while virtue is in state, are liberal; and while virtue is in declination, are voluptuary: so I doubt that this age of the world is somewhat upon the descent of the wheel. – Francis Bacon

For as in the government of states it is sometimes necessary to bridle one faction with another, so it is in the government within. – Francis Bacon

For behavior, men learn it, as they take diseases, one of another. – Francis Bacon

For better it is to make a beginning of that which may lead to something, than to engage in a perpetual struggle and pursuit in courses which have no exit. – Francis Bacon

For bleeding inwards and shut vapours strangle soonest and oppress most. – Francis Bacon

For cleanness of body was ever esteemed to proceed from a due reverence to God, to society, and to ourselves. – Francis Bacon

For first of all we must prepare a Natural and Experimental History, sufficient and good; and this is the foundation of all; for we are not to imagine or suppose, but to discover, what nature does or may be made to do. – Francis Bacon

For fountains, they are a Great Beauty and Refreshment, but Pools mar all, and make the Garden unwholesome, and full of Flies and Frogs. – Francis Bacon

For friends… do but look upon good Books: they are true friends, that will neither flatter nor dissemble. – Francis Bacon

For friendship maketh indeed a fair day in the affections, from storm and tempests; but it maketh daylight in the understanding, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts. – Francis Bacon

For good thoughts (though God accept them) yet, towards men, are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act; and that cannot be, without power and place, as the vantage, and commanding ground. – Francis Bacon

For government; let it be in the hands of one, assisted with some counsel; and let them have commission to exercise martial laws, with some limitation. And above all, let men make that profit, of being in the wilderness, as they have God always, and his service, before their eyes. – Francis Bacon

For in knowledge man’s mind suffereth from sense: but in belief it suffereth from spirit. – Francis Bacon

For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things.  On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe.  And the human understanding is like a false mirror; which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it. – Francis Bacon

For it is a true rule, that love is ever rewarded either with the reciproque, or with an inward and secret contempt. – Francis Bacon

For it is most true that a natural and secret hatred and aversation towards society in any man, hath somewhat of the savage beast. – Francis Bacon

For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with columbine innocence, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent: his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil: for without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced. – Francis Bacon

For it is very probable, that the motion of gravity worketh weakly, both far from the earth, and also within the earth: the former because the appetite of union of dense bodies with the earth, in respect of the distance, is more dull: the latter, because the body hath in part attained its nature when it is some depth in the earth. – Francis Bacon

For it utterly betrayeth all utility for men to embark themselves too far into unfortunate friendships, troublesome spleens, and childish and humorous envies or emulations. – Francis Bacon

For knowledge itself is power. – Francis Bacon

For knowledge, too, is itself power. – Francis Bacon

For lives, I do find strange that these times have so little esteemed the virtues of the times, as that the writings of lives should be no more frequent. For although there be not many sovereign princes or absolute commanders, and that states are most collected into monarchies, yet are there many worthy personages that deserve better than dispersed report or barren eulogies. – Francis Bacon

For many parts of Nature can neither be invented with sufficient subtlety, nor demonstrated with sufficient perspicuity, nor accommodated unto use with sufficient dexterity, without the aid and intervening of the mathematics, of which sort are perspective, music, astronomy, cosmography, architecture, engineery, and divers others. – Francis Bacon

For my name and memory I leave to men’s charitable speeches, and to foreign nations and the next ages. – Francis Bacon

For my name and memory, I leave it to men’s charitable speeches, to foreign nations, and to the next ages. – Francis Bacon

For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblances of things and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their subtler differences; as being gifted by nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of imposture.” -Francis Bacon

For no man can forbid the spark nor tell whence it may come. – Francis Bacon

For none deny there is a God, but those for whom it maketh that there were no God. – Francis Bacon

For quarrels, they are with care and discretion to be avoided. They are commonly for mistresses, healths, place, and words. – Francis Bacon

For the chain of causes cannot by any force be loosed or broken, nor can nature be commanded except by being obeyed. – Francis Bacon

For the end of logic is to teach a form of argument to secure reason, and not to entrap it. – Francis Bacon

For the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate. – Francis Bacon

For the mind of man is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect according to their true incidence; nay, it is rather like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture, if it be not delivered and reduced. – Francis Bacon

For the remedies; there may be some general preservatives, whereof we will speak: as for the just cure, it must answer to the particular disease; and so be left to counsel, rather than rule. – Francis Bacon

For the things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics. – Francis Bacon

For the unlearned man knows not what it is to descend into himself, or to call himself to account, nor the pleasure of that suavissima vita, indies sentire se fieri meliorem. – Francis Bacon

For the world is not to be narrowed till it will go into the understanding (which has been done hitherto), but the understanding is to be expanded and opened till it can take in the image of the world – Francis Bacon

For there are in nature certain fountains of justice whence all civil laws are derived but as streams; and like as waters do take tinctures and tastes from the soils through which they run, so do civil laws vary according to the regions and governments where they are planted, though they proceed from the same fountains. – Francis Bacon

For there is a great difference in delivery of the mathematics , which are the most abstracted of knowledges, and policy , which is the most immersed. And howsoever contention hath been moved , touching a uniformity of method in multiformity of matter, yet we see how that opinion, besides the weakness of it, hath been of ill desert towards learning, as that which taketh the way to reduce learning to certain empty and barren generalities; being but the very husks and shells of sciences, all the kernel being forced out and expulsed with the torture and press of the method. – Francis Bacon

For there was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself, as the lover doth of the person loved. – Francis Bacon

For those who intend to discover and to understand, not to indulge in conjectures and soothsaying, and rather than contrive imitation and fabulous worlds plan to look deep into the nature of the real world and to dissect it — for them everything must be sought in things themselves. – Francis Bacon

For time is the measure of business, as money is of wares. – Francis Bacon

For what a man would like to be true, that he more readily believes. – Francis Bacon

For whatever deserves to exist deserves also to be known, for knowledge is the image of existence, and things mean and splendid exist alike. – Francis Bacon

For when a man placeth his thoughts without himself, he goeth not his own way. – Francis Bacon

Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason. – Francis Bacon

Fortune is like the market, where, many times, if you can stay a little, the price will fall. – Francis Bacon

Fortune is to be honored and respected, and it be but for her daughters, Confidence and Reputation. For those two, Felicity breedeth; the first within a man’s self, the latter in others towards him. – Francis Bacon

Fortune makes him fool, whom she makes her darling. – Francis Bacon

Friends are thieves of time. – Francis Bacon

Friendship increases in visiting friends, but in visiting them seldom. – Francis Bacon

Friendship maketh daylight in the understanding, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts. – Francis Bacon

Friendship redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half. – Francis Bacon

Gardening is the purest of human pleasures. – Francis Bacon

Generally he perceived in men of devout simplicity this opinion: that the secrets of nature were the secrets of God, part of that glory into which man is not to press too boldly. – Francis Bacon

Generally music feedeth that disposition of the spirits which it findeth. – Francis Bacon

Generally, youth is like the first cogitations, not so wise as the second. For there is a youth in thoughts, as well as in ages. And yet the invention of young men, is more lively than that of old; and imaginations stream into their minds better, and, as it were, more divinely. – Francis Bacon

Give good hearing to those, that give the first information in business; and rather direct them in the beginning, than interrupt them in the continuance of their speeches; for he that is put out of his own order, will go forward and backward, and be more tedious, while he waits upon his memory, than he could have been, if he had gone on in his own course. But sometimes it is seen, that the moderator is more troublesome, than the actor. – Francis Bacon

Glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts. – Francis Bacon

God Almighty first planted a garden. – Francis Bacon

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. – Francis Bacon

God Almighty first planted a Garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man, without which buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks. And a man shall ever see, that when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately sooner than to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater perfection. – Francis Bacon

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. – Francis Bacon

God hangs the greatest weights upon the smallest wires. – Francis Bacon

God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave. – Francis Bacon

God has two textbooks – Scripture and Creation – we would do well to listen to both. – Francis Bacon

God has, in fact, written two books, not just one. Of course, we are all familiar with the first book he wrote, namely Scripture. But he has written a second book called creation. – Francis Bacon

God loveth the clean. – Francis Bacon

God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. – Francis Bacon

God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. – Francis Bacon

God’s first creature, which was light. – Francis Bacon

Good fame is like fire; when you have kindled you may easily preserve it; but if you extinguish it, you will not easily kindle it again. – Francis Bacon

Good thoughts, though God accept them, yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act.

Great art is always a way of concentrating, reinventing what is called fact, what we know of our existence- a reconcentration… tearing away the veils, the attitudes people acquire of their time and earlier time. Really good artists tear down those veils – Francis Bacon

Great art is deeply ordered. Even if within the order there may be enormously instinctive and accidental things, nevertheless they come out of a desire for ordering and for returning fact onto the nervous system in a more violent way. – Francis Bacon

Great boldness is seldom without some absurdity. – Francis Bacon

Great changes are easier than small ones. – Francis Bacon

Great Hypocrites are the real atheists. – Francis Bacon

Great riches have sold more men than they have bought. – Francis Bacon

Habit, if wisely and skillfully formed, becomes truly a second nature; but unskillfully and unmethodically depicted, it will be as it were an ape of nature, which imitates nothing to the life, but only clumsily and awkwardly – Francis Bacon

Half of science is putting forth the right questions. – Francis Bacon

He doth like the ape, that the higher he clymbes the more he shows his ars – Francis Bacon

He of whom many are afraid ought himself to fear many. – Francis Bacon

He of whom many are afraid ought to fear many. – Francis Bacon

He that can look into his estate but seldom, it behooveth him to turn all to certainties. – Francis Bacon

He that cannot contract the sight of his mind, as well as disperse and dilate it, wanteth a great faculty. – Francis Bacon

He that cannot possibly mend his own case will do what he can to impair another’s. – Francis Bacon

He that cometh to seek after knowledge, with a mind to scorn, shall be sure to find matter for his humour, but no matter for his instruction. – Francis Bacon

He that defers his charity until he is dead is, if a man weighs it rightly, rather liberal of another man’s goods than his own – Francis Bacon

He that gives good advice builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example builds with both – Francis Bacon

He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other. – Francis Bacon

He that hath a satirical vein, as maketh others afraid of his wit, so he need be afraid of others’ memory. – Francis Bacon

He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune. – Francis Bacon

He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.

He that hath knowledge spareth his words. – Francis Bacon

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works and of greatest merit for the public have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public. He was reputed one of the wise men that made answer to the question, when a man should marry a young man not yet, an elder man not at all. – Francis Bacon

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. – Francis Bacon

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which both in affection and means, have married and endowed the public. – Francis Bacon

He that plots to be the only figure among ciphers [zeros], is the decay of the whole age. – Francis Bacon

He that seeketh to be eminent amongst able men hath a great task; but that is ever good for the public. But he that plots to be the only figure amongst ciphers is the decay of a whole age. – Francis Bacon

He that seeketh victory over his nature, let him not set himself too great, nor too small tasks; for the first will make him dejected by often failings; and the second will make him a small proceeder, though often by prevailings. – Francis Bacon

He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled therewith. – Francis Bacon

He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel. – Francis Bacon

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator. – Francis Bacon

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils. – Francis Bacon

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator. – Francis Bacon

He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?. – Francis Bacon

He was reputed one of the wise men that made answer to the question when a man should marry? ‘A young man not yet, an elder man not at all.’ – Francis Bacon

He who desires solitude is either an animal or a god. – Francis Bacon

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend. – Francis Baco

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend. – Francis Bacon

Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper. – Francis Bacon

Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper. – Francis Bacon

Hope is the most beneficial of all the affections, and doth much to the prolongation of life… – Francis Bacon

Houses are built to live in and not to look on. – Francis Bacon

Houses are built to live in, and not to look on: therefore let use be preferred before uniformity. – Francis Bacon

Houses are built to live in, not to look on; therefore, let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had – Francis Bacon

Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. – Francis Bacon

Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule. – Francis Bacon

Hurl your calumnies boldly; something is sure to stick. – Francis Bacon

I always think of myself not so much as a painter but as a medium for accident and chance. – Francis Bacon

I believe in deeply ordered chaos – Francis Bacon

I cannot call riches better than the baggage of virtue. The Roman word is better, impedimenta. For as the baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue. – Francis Bacon

I commend rather some diet for certain seasons, than frequent use of physic, except it be grown into a custom. For those diets alter the body more, and trouble it less. – Francis Bacon

I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken all knowledge to be my province. – Francis Bacon

I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death. – Francis Bacon

I don’t believe art is available; it’s rare and curious and should be completely isolated; one is more aware of its magic the more it is isolated. – Francis Bacon

I don’t think people are born artists; I think it comes from a mixture of your surroundings, the people you meet, and luck. – Francis Bacon

I feel ever so strongly that an artist must be nourished by his passions and his despairs. These things alter an artist whether for the good or the better or the worse. It must alter him. The feelings of desperation and unhappiness are more useful to an artist than the feeling of contentment, because desperation and unhappiness stretch your whole sensibility. – Francis Bacon

I feel that I am much freer if I’m on my own, but I’m sure that there are a lot of painters who would perhaps be even more inventive if they had people round them… I find that if I am on my own I can allow the paint to dictate to me. So the images that I’m putting down on the canvas dictate the thing to me and it gradually builds up and comes along. – Francis Bacon

I foresee it and yet I hardly ever carry it out as I foresee it. It transforms itself by the actual paint. I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do. – Francis Bacon

I had rather believe all the Fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, then that this universall Frame, is without a Minde. And therefore, God never wrought Miracle, to convince Atheisme, because his Ordinary Works Convince it. It is true, that a little Philosophy inclineth Mans Minde to Atheisme; But depth in Philosophy, bringeth Mens Mindes about to Religion. – Francis Bacon

I had rather believe all the fables in the legends and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind. – Francis Bacon

I have often thought upon death, and I find it the least of all evils. – Francis Bacon

I have taken all knowledge to be my province – Francis Bacon

I have to hope that my instincts will do the right thing, because I can’t erase what I have done. And if I drew something first, then my paintings would be illustrations of drawings. – Francis Bacon

I hold every man a debtor to his profession. – Francis Bacon

I hold every man a debtor to his profession; from the which as men of course do seek to receive countenance and profit, so ought they of duty to endeavor themselves, by way of amends, to be a help and ornament thereunto. – Francis Bacon

I knew a wise man that had it for a by-word, when he saw men hasten to a conclusion, “Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner.” – Francis Bacon

I like, you may say, the glitter and colour that comes from the mouth, and I’ve always hoped in a sense to be able to paint the mouth like Monet painted a sunset. – Francis Bacon

I loathe my own face, and I’ve done self-portraits because I’ve had nobody else to do. – Francis Bacon

I open and lay out a new and certain path for the mind to proceed in, starting directly from the simple sensuous perception. – Francis Bacon

I paint for myself. I don’t know how to do anything else, anyway. Also I have to earn my living, and occupy myself. – Francis Bacon

I regret not starting to paint earlier…It is one of the few things I do regret. – Francis Bacon

I should have been, I don’t know, a con-man, a robber or a prostitute. But it was vanity that made me choose painting, vanity and chance. – Francis Bacon

I take all knowledge to be my province. – Francis Bacon

I think I tend to destroy the better paintings, or those that have been better to a certain extent. I try and take them further, and they lose all their qualities, and they lose everything. I think I would say that I destroy all the better paintings. – Francis Bacon

I think of myself as a kind of pulverizing machine into which everything I look at and feel is fed. I believe that I am different from the mixed-media jackdaws who use photographs etc. more or less literally. – Francis Bacon

I think that one of the things is that, if you are going to decide to be a painter, you have got to decide that you are not going to be afraid of making a fool of yourself. I think another thing is to be able to find subjects which really absorb you to try and do. I feel that without a subject you automatically go back into decoration because you haven’t got the subject which is always eating into you to bring it back – and the greatest art always returns you to the vulnerability of the human situation. – Francis Bacon

I use all sorts of things to work with: old brooms, old sweaters, and all kinds of peculiar tools and materials… I paint to excite myself, and make something for myself. – Francis Bacon

I usually accept bribes from both sides so that tainted money can never influence my decision. – Francis Bacon

I want a very ordered image, but I want it to come about by chance. – Francis Bacon

I want to make portraits and images. I don’t know how. Out of despair, I just use paint anyway. Suddenly the things you make coagulate and take on just the shape you intend. Totally accurate marks, which are outside representational marks. – Francis Bacon

I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am. – Francis Bacon

I wonder why it is that the countries with the most nobles also have the most misery? – Francis Bacon

I work for posterity, these things requiring ages for their accomplishment. – Francis Bacon

I would address one general admonition to all, that they consider what are the true ends of knowledge, and that they seek it not either for pleasure of the mind, or for contention, or for superiority to others, or for profit, or for fame, or power, or any of these inferior things, but for the benefit and use of life; and that they perfect and govern it in charity. For it was from lust of power that the Angels fell, from lust of knowledge that man fell, but of charity there can be no excess, neither did angel or man come in danger by it. – Francis Bacon

I would by all means have men beware, lest Æsop’s pretty fable of the fly that sate [sic] on the pole of a chariot at the Olympic races and said, ‘What a dust do I raise,’ be verified in them. For so it is that some small observation, and that disturbed sometimes by the instrument, sometimes by the eye, sometimes by the calculation, and which may be owing to some real change in the heaven, raises new heavens and new spheres and circles. – Francis Bacon

I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory trace of past events, as the snail leaves its slime. – Francis Bacon

I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail leaving its trail of the human presence… as a snail leaves its slime. – Francis Bacon

I would like, in my arbitrary way, to bring one nearer to the actual human being. – Francis Bacon

I would live to study, and not study to live. – Francis Bacon

I would live to study, not study to live. – Francis Bacon

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world. – Francis Bacon

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them. – Francis Bacon

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world. – Francis Bacon

If a man is gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows that he is a citizen of the world. – Francis Bacon

If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see fortune; for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible. – Francis Bacon

If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she is blind, she is not invisible. – Francis Bacon

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties. – Francis Bacon

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties. – Francis Bacon

If a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics. – Francis Bacon

If a man’s wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen; for they are cymini sectores, splitters of hairs. – Francis Bacon

If a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again. – Francis Bacon

If any human being earnestly desire to push on to new discoveries instead of just retaining and using the old; to win victories over Nature as a worker rather than over hostile critics as a disputant; to attain, in fact, clear and demonstrative knowlegde instead of attractive and probable theory; we invite him as a true son of Science to join our ranks. – Francis Bacon

If any human being earnestly desires to push on to new discoveries instead of just retaining and using the old; to win victories over Nature as a worker rather than over hostile critics as a disputant; to attain, in fact, clear and demonstrative know – Francis Bacon

If I go to the National Gallery and I look at one of the great paintings that excite me there, it’s not so much the painting that excites me as that the painting unlocks all kinds of valves of sensation within me which return me to life more violently. – Francis Bacon

If I might control the literature of the household, I would guarantee the well-being of Church and State. – Francis Bacon

If I sit and daydream, the images rush by like a succession of colored slides. – Francis Bacon

If in other sciences we should arrive at certainty without doubt and truth without error, it behooves us to place the foundations of knowledge in mathematics. – Francis Bacon

If it be objected that this doth in a sort authorize usury, which before, was in some places but permissive; the answer is, that it is better to mitigate usury, by declaration, than to suffer it to rage, by connivance. – Francis Bacon

If money be not they servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him. – Francis Bacon

If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. – Francis Bacon

If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him. – Francis Bacon

If my people look as if they’re in a dreadful fix, it’s because I can’t get them out of a technical dilemma. – Francis Bacon

If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill. – Francis Bacon

If there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on fire. – Francis Bacon

If thou would’st have that stream of hard-earn’d knowledge, of Wisdom heaven-born, remain sweet running waters, thou should’st not leave it to become a stagnant pond. – Francis Bacon

If vices were profitable, the virtuous man would be the sinner. – Francis Bacon

If we are to achieve things never before accomplished we must employ methods never before attempted – Francis Bacon

If we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts; but if we begin with doubts, and are patient in them, we shall end in certainties. – Francis Bacon

If we begin with certainties, we will end in doubt. But if we begin with doubts and bear them patiently, we may end in certainty. – Francis Bacon

If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us. – Francis Bacon

If you can talk about it, why paint it? – Francis Bacon

If you dissemble sometimes your knowledge of that you are thought to know, you shall be thought, another time, to know that you know not. – Francis Bacon

If you want to convey fact, this can only ever be done through a form of distortion. You must distort to transform what is called appearance into image. – Francis Bacon

If you would work any man, you must either know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his ends, and so persuade him or his weakness and disadvantages, and so awe him or those that have interest in him, and so govern him. In dealing with cunning persons, we must ever consider their ends, to interpret their speeches; and it is good to say little to them, and that which they least look for. – Francis Bacon

I’ll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him. If I do grow great, I’ll grow less; for I’ll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman should do. – Francis Bacon

Ill Fortune never crushed that man whom good fortune deceived not. – Francis Bacon

I’m just trying to make images as accurately as possible off my nervous system as I can. – Francis Bacon

I’m working for myself; what else have I got to work for? How can you work for an audience? What do you imagine an audience would want? I have got nobody to excite except myself, so I am always surprised if anyone likes my work sometimes. I suppose I’m very lucky, of course, to be able to earn my living by something that really absorbs me to try to do, if that is what you call luck. – Francis Bacon

Images also help me find and realise ideas. I look at hundreds of very different, contrasting images and I pinch details from them, rather like people who eat from other people`s plates. – Francis Bacon

Imagination was given man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is. – Francis Bacon

Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is. – Francis Bacon

Important families are like potatoes. The best parts are underground. – Francis Bacon

In all negotiations of difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees. – Francis Bacon

In all superstition wise men follow fools. – Francis Bacon

In charity there is no excess. – Francis Bacon

In civil business; what first? Boldness; what second, and third? Boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness. – Francis Bacon

In contemplation, if a man begins with certainties he shall end in doubts; but if he be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties. – Francis Bacon

In counsel it is good to see dangers; but in execution not to see them unless they be very great – Francis Bacon

In every great time there is some one idea at work which is more powerful than any other, and which shapes the events of the time and determines their ultimate issues. – Francis Bacon

In mathematics I can report no deficiency, except it be that men do not sufficiently understand the excellent use of Pure Mathematics. – Francis Bacon

In nature things move violently to their place, and calmly in their place. – Francis Bacon

In one and the same fire, clay grows hard and wax melts. – Francis Bacon

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. – Francis Bacon

In Philosophy, the contemplations of man do either penetrate unto God, or are circumferred to Nature, or are reflected and reverted upon himself. Out of which several inquiries there do arise three knowledges, Divine Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, and Human Philosophy or Humanity. For all things are marked and stamped with this triple character of the power of God, the difference of Nature and the use of Man. – Francis Bacon

In revenge a man is but even with his enemy; for it is a princely thing to pardon, and Solomon saith it is the glory of a man to pass over a transgression. – Francis Bacon

In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior. – Francis Bacon

In the discharge of thy place, set before thee the best examples; for imitation is a globe of precepts. And after a time, set before thee thine own example; and examine thyself strictly, whether thou didst not best at first. Neglect not also the examples, of those that have carried themselves ill, in the same place; not to set off thyself, by taxing their memory, but to direct thyself, what to avoid. – Francis Bacon

In things that a man would not be seen in himself, it is a point of cunning to borrow the name of the world; as to say, “The world says,” or “There is a speech abroad.” – Francis Bacon

In things that are tender and unpleasing, it is good to break the ice, by some whose words are of less weight, and to reserve the more weighty voice, to come in as by chance, so that he may be asked the question upon the other’s speech: as Narcissus did, relating to Claudius the marriage of Messalina and Silius. – Francis Bacon

In things that are tender and unpleasing, it is good to break the ice by some one whose words are of less weight, and to reserve the more weighty voice to come in as by chance. – Francis Bacon

In thinking, if a person begins with certainties, they shall end in doubts, but if they can begin with doubts, they will end in certainties. – Francis Bacon

Innovations, which are the births of time. – Francis Bacon

Invention is of two kinds much differing—the one of arts and sciences, and the other of speech and arguments. The former of these I do report deficient; which seemeth to me to be such a deficience as if, in the making of an inventory touching the state of a defunct, it should be set down that there is no ready money. For as money will fetch all other commodities, so this knowledge is that which should purchase all the rest. And like as the West Indies had never been discovered if the use of the mariner’s needle had not been first discovered, though the one be vast regions, and the other a small motion; so it cannot be found strange if sciences be no further discovered, if the art itself of invention and discovery hath been passed over. – Francis Bacon

Ipsa scientia potestas est. (Knowledge itself is power.) – Francis Bacon

It [Poesy] was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind by submitting the shews of things to the desires of the mind. – Francis Bacon

It cannot be denied that outward accidents conduce much to fortune, favor, opportunity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue; but chiefly, the mold of a man’s fortune is in his own hands – Francis Bacon

It cannot be that axioms established by argumentation should avail for the discovery of new works, since the subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of argument. – Francis Bacon

It cannot be that axioms established by argumentation should avail for the discovery of new works, since the subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of argument. But axioms duly and orderly formed from particulars easily discover the way to new particulars, and thus render sciences active. – Francis Bacon

It has well been said that the arch-flatterer, with whom all petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man’s self. – Francis Bacon

It hath been an opinion that the French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are; but howsoever it be between nations, certainly it is so between man and man – Francis Bacon

It is a certain sign of a wise government and proceeding that it can hold men’s hearts by hopes when it cannot by satisfaction – Francis Bacon

It is a good point of cunning for a man to shape the answer he would have in his own words and propositions, for it makes the other party stick the less. – Francis Bacon

It is a great happiness when men’s professions and their inclinations accord. – Francis Bacon

It is a miserable state of mind to have few things to desire and many things to fear. And yet that commonly is the case of kings… – Francis Bacon

It is a miserable state of mind to have few things to desire and many things to fear. – Francis Bacon

It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tost upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth . . . and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below. – Francis Bacon

It is a point of cunning, to wait upon him with whom you speak, with your eye; as the Jesuits give it in precept: for there be many wise men, that have secret hearts, and transparent countenances. Yet this would be done with a demure abasing of your eye, sometimes, as the Jesuits also do use. – Francis Bacon

It is a poor centre of a man’s actions, himself. It is right earth. For that only stands fast upon his own centre; whereas all things, that have affinity with the heavens, move upon the centre of another, which they benefit. – Francis Bacon

It is a sad fate for a man to die too well known to everybody else, and still unknown to himself. – Francis Bacon

It is a secret both in nature and state, that it is safer to change many things than one. – Francis Bacon

It is a strange desire, to seek power and lose liberty, or to seek power over others and to lose power over a man’s self. The rising unto place is laborious, and by pains men come to greater pains, and it is sometimes base; and by indignities men come to dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress is either a downfall or at least an eclipse, which is a melancholy thing. – Francis Bacon

It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man’s self. – Francis Bacon

It is a strange thing to behold, what gross errors and extreme absurdities many (especially of the greater sort) do commit, for want of a friend to tell them of them. – Francis Bacon

It is a true rule that love is ever rewarded, either with the reciproque or with an inward and secret contempt. – Francis Bacon

It is against nature for money to beget money. – Francis Bacon

It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous spirit, whom honor amends. For honor is, or should be, the place of virtue and as in nature, things move violently to their place, and calmly in their place, so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man’s self, whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself when he is placed. – Francis Bacon

It is as hard and severe a thing to be a true politician as to be truly moral. – Francis Bacon

It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other. – Francis Bacon

It is by discourse that men associate; and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar. And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obsesses the understanding. Nor do the definitions or explanations, wherewith in some things learned men are wont to guard and defend themselves, by any means set the matter right. But words plainly force and overrule the understanding, and throw all into confusion, and lead men away into innumerable and inane controversies and fancies. – Francis Bacon

It is good discretion not make too much of any man at the first; because one cannot hold out that proportion. – Francis Bacon

It is good discretion not to make too much of any man at the first; because one cannot hold out that proportion. – Francis Bacon

It is good discretion, not to make too much of any man at the first; because one cannot hold out that proportion. To be governed (as we call it) by one is not safe; for it shows softness, and gives a freedom, to scandal and disreputation; for those, that would not censure or speak ill of a man immediately, will talk more boldly of those that are so great with them, and thereby wound their honor. Yet to be distracted with many is worse; for it makes men to be of the last impression, and full of change. – Francis Bacon

It is idle to expect any great advancement in science from the superinducing and engrafting of new things upon old. We must begin anew from the very foundations, unless we would revolve for ever in a circle with mean and contemptible progress. – Francis Bacon

It is impossible to love and be wise – Francis Bacon

It is impossible to love and to be wise. – Francis Bacon

It is in life as it is in ways, the shortest way is commonly the foulest, and surely the fairer way is not much about. – Francis Bacon

It is left only to God and to the angels to be lookers on. – Francis Bacon

It is madness and a contradiction to expect that things which were never yet performed should be effected, except by means hitherto untried. – Francis Bacon

It is natural to die as to be born. – Francis Bacon

It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed. – Francis Bacon

It is not the lie that passes through the mind, but the lie that sinks in and settles in it, that does the hurt. – Francis Bacon

It is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the hurt. – Francis Bacon

It is not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity. – Francis Bacon

It is nothing won to admit men with an open door, yet to receive them with a shut and reserved countenance. – Francis Bacon

It is rightly laid down that ‘true knowledge is knowledge by causes’. Also the establishment of four causes is not bad: material, formal, efficient and final. – Francis Bacon

It is scarcely possible at once to admire and excel an author, as water rises no higher than the reservoir it falls from. – Francis Bacon

It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human intellect to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives; whereas it ought properly to hold itself indifferently disposed towards both alike. – Francis Bacon

It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives – Francis Bacon

It is the true office of history to represent the events themselves, together with the counsels, and to leave the observations and conclusions thereupon to the liberty and faculty of every man’s judgment – Francis Bacon

It is the wisdom of the crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour. – Francis Bacon

It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity. – Francis Bacon

It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. – Francis Bacon

It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man, so weak, but it mates, and masters, the fear of death; and therefore, death is no such terrible enemy, when a man hath so many attendants about him, that can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honor aspireth to it; grief flieth to it; fear preoccupieth it. – Francis Bacon

It is yet a higher speech of his than the other, “It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.” – Francis Bacon

it might be a long trip, so be careful not to wear your shoes out: you might need them in the afterlife. – Francis Bacon

It often falls out that somewhat is produced of nothing; for lies are sufficient to breed opinion, and opinion brings on substance. – Francis Bacon

It was a high speech of Seneca (after the manner of the Stoics), that “The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.” – Francis Bacon

It was a high speech of Seneca that “The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.” – Francis Bacon

It was prettily devised of Aesop, “The fly sat on the axle tree of the chariot wheel and said, what dust do I raise!” – Francis Bacon

It was well said that envy keeps no holidays. – Francis Bacon

It were better to have no opinion of God at all, than such an opinion, as is unworthy of him. – Francis Bacon

It would be unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried. – Francis Bacon

It’s all so meaningless, we may as well be extraordinary. – Francis Bacon

Iterations are commonly loss of time. But there is no such gain of time, as to iterate often the state of the question; for it chaseth away many a frivolous speech, as it is coming forth. Long and curious speeches, are as fit for dispatch, as a robe or mantle, with a long train, is for race. Prefaces and passages, and excusations, and other speeches of reference to the person, are great wastes of time; and though they seem to proceed of modesty, they are bravery. Yet beware of being too material, when there is any impediment or obstruction in men’s wills; for pre-occupation of mind ever requireth preface of speech; like a fomentation to make the unguent enter. – Francis Bacon

It’s always hopeless to talk about painting – one never does anything but talk around it. – Francis Bacon

It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity. – Francis Bacon

It’s not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity. – Francis Bacon

It’s such an extraordinary supple medium that you never do quite know what paint will do. – Francis Bacon

I’ve had photographs taken for portraits because I very much prefer working from the photographs than from models… I couldn’t attempt to do a portrait from photographs of somebody I didn’t know… – Francis Bacon

Jesus would have been one of the best photographers that ever existed. He was always looking at the beauty of people souls. In fact Jesus was constantly making pictures of God in people’s life by looking at their souls and exposing them to his light. – Francis Bacon

Journeys at youth are part of the education; but at maturity, are part of the experience. – Francis Bacon

Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than that of laws. – Francis Bacon

Judges ought above all to remember the conclusion of the Roman Twelve Tables :The supreme law of all is the weal [weatlh/ well-being] of the people. – Francis Bacon

Judges ought to be more leaned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue. – Francis Bacon

Judges ought to remember that their office is to interpret law, and not to make law, or give law. – Francis Bacon

Judges ought to remember, that their office is jus dicere, and not jus dare; to interpret law, and not to make law, or give law. – Francis Bacon

Kings have to deal with their neighbors, their wives, their children, their prelates or clergy, their nobles, their second-nobles or gentlemen, their merchants, their commons, and their men of war; and from all these arise dangers, if care and circumspection be not used. – Francis Bacon

Knowledge and human power are synonymous. – Francis Bacon

Knowledge hath in it somewhat of the serpent, and therefore where it entereth into a man it makes him swell. – Francis Bacon

Knowledge is a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate. – Francis Bacon

Knowledge is power. – Francis Bacon

Knowledge is power.—Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est. – Francis Bacon

Knowledge itself is power – Francis Bacon

Lastly, I would address one general admonition to all: that they consider what are the true ends of knowledge, and that they seek it not either for pleasure of the mind, or for contention, or for superiority to others, or for profit, or fame, or power, or any of these inferior things: but for the benefit and use of life; and that they perfect and govern it in charity. – Francis Bacon

Laws and Institutions Must Go Hand in Hand with the Progress of the Human Mind. – Francis Bacon

Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning and almost childish; then his youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile; then his strength of years, when it is solid and reduced; and lastly his old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust. – Francis Bacon

Learning teaches how to carry things in suspense, without prejudice, till you resolve it. – Francis Bacon

Let every student of nature take this as his rule, that whatever the mind seizes upon with particular satisfaction is to be held in suspicion. – Francis Bacon

Let men but think over their infinite expenditure of understanding, time, and means on matters and pursuits of far less use and value; whereof, if but a small part were directed to sound and solid studies, there is no difficulty that might not be overcome. – Francis Bacon

Let no one think or maintain that a person can search too far or be too well studied in either the book of God’s word or the book of God’s works. – Francis Bacon

Let princes, against all events, not be without some great person, one or rather more, of military valor, near unto them, for the repressing of seditions in their beginnings. For without that, there useth to be more trepidation in court upon the first breaking out of troubles, than were fit. – Francis Bacon

Let the mind be enlarged… to the grandeur of the mysteries, and not the mysteries contracted to the narrowness of the mind – Francis Bacon

Let us consider the false appearances that are imposed upon us by words, which are framed and applied according to the conceit and capacities of the vulgar sort; and although we think we govern our words, and prescribe it well … yet certain it is that words, as a Tartar’s bow, do shoot back upon the understanding of the wisest, and mightily entangle and pervert the judgment. – Francis Bacon

Libels and licentious discourses against the state, when they are frequent and open; and in like sort, false news often running up and down, to the disadvantage of the state, and hastily embraced; are amongst the signs of troubles. – Francis Bacon

Liberty of speech invites and provokes liberty to be used again, and so bringeth much to a man’s knowledge. – Francis Bacon

Libraries are as the shrine where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed. – Francis Bacon

Lies are sufficient to breed opinion, and opinion brings on substance. – Francis Bacon

Life is a marshmallow, easy to chew but hard to swallow. – Francis Bacon

Life, an age to the miserable, and a moment to the happy. – Francis Bacon

Like strawberry wives, that laid two or three great strawberries at the mouth of their pot, and all the rest were little ones. – Francis Bacon

Like the strawberry wives, that laid two or three great strawberries at the mouth of their pot, and all the rest were little ones. – Francis Bacon

Little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth. For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. – Francis Bacon

Look to make your course regular, that men may know beforehand what they may expect. – Francis Bacon

Look upon good books; they are true friends, that will neither flatter nor dissemble: be you but true to yourself…and you shall need no other comfort nor counsel. – Francis Bacon

Look when the world hath fewest barbarous peoples, but such as commonly will not marry or generate, except they know means to live (as it is almost everywhere at this day, except Tartary), there is no danger of inundations of people; but when there be great shoals of people, which go on to populate, without foreseeing means of life and sustentation, it is of necessity that once in an age or two, they discharge a portion of their people upon other nations; which the ancient northern people were wont to do by lot; casting lots what part should stay at home, and what should seek their fortunes. When a warlike state grows soft and effeminate, they may be sure of a war. For commonly such states are grown rich in the time of their degenerating; and so the prey inviteth, and their decay in valor, encourageth a war. – Francis Bacon

Love and envy make a man pine, which other affections do not, because they are not so continual. – Francis Bacon

Lukewarm persons think they may accommodate points of religion by middle ways and witty reconcilements,–as if they would make an arbitrament between God and man. – Francis Bacon

Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him … when the hill stood still, he was never a wit abashed, but said, ‘If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.’ – Francis Bacon

Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled: Mahomet called the hill to come to him again and again; and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, ‘If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.’ – Francis Bacon

Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true. – Francis Bacon

Man prefers to think what he prefers to be true – Francis Bacon

Man seeketh in society comfort, use and protection. – Francis Bacon

Man was formed for society. – Francis Bacon

Man, as the minister and interpreter of nature, is limited in act and understanding by his observation of the order of nature; neither his understanding nor his power extends further. – Francis Bacon

Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature. Beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything. – Francis Bacon

Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or thought of the course of nature; beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything. – Francis Bacon

man’s sense is falsely asserted to be the standard of things; on the contrary, all the perceptions both of the senses and the mind bear reference to man and not to the Universe, and the human mind resembles these uneven mirrors which impart their own properties to different objects, from which rays are emitted and distort and disfigure them. – Francis Bacon

Many a man’s strength is in opposition, and when he faileth, he grows out of use. – Francis Bacon

Many a man’s strength is in opposition, and when he faileth, he groweth out of use – Francis Bacon

Many secrets of art and nature are thought by the unlearned to be magical. – Francis Bacon

Mark what a generosity and courage (a dog) will put on when he finds himself maintained by a man, who to him is instead of a God – Francis Bacon

Measure not dispatch by the time of sitting, but by the advancement of business – Francis Bacon

Medical men do not know the drugs they use, nor their prices. – Francis Bacon

Medicine is a science which hath been (as we have said) more professed than laboured, and yet more laboured than advanced: the labour having been, in my judgment, rather in circle than in progression. For I find much iteration, but small addition. It considereth causes of diseases, with the occasions or impulsions; the diseases themselves, with the accidents; and the cures, with the preservation. – Francis Bacon

Men are rather beholden … generally to chance or anything else, than to logic, for the invention of arts and sciences. – Francis Bacon

Men commonly think according to their inclinations, speak according to their learning and imbibed opinions, but generally act according to custom – Francis Bacon

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased by tales, so is the other. – Francis Bacon

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. – Francis Bacon

Men in great place are thrice servants, – servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business. – Francis Bacon

Men in great place are thrice servants, servants to the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business, so as they have freedom, neither in their persons, nor in their actions, nor in their times. – Francis Bacon

Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business. – Francis Bacon

Men leave their riches either to their kindred or their friends, and moderate portions prosper best in both. – Francis Bacon

Men must know that in this theater of man’s life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on. – Francis Bacon

Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success. – Francis Bacon

Men of noble birth are noted to be envious towards new men when they rise. For the distance is altered, and it is like a deceit of the eye, that when others come on they think themselves go back. – Francis Bacon

Men on their side must force themselves for a while to by their notions by and begin to familiarize themselves with facts. – Francis Bacon

Men ought to find the difference between saltiness and bitterness. Certainly, he that hath a satirical vein, as he maketh others afraid of his wit, so he had need be afraid of others’ memory. – Francis Bacon

Men seem neither to understand their riches nor their strength. Of the former they believe greater things than they should; of the latter, less. – Francis Bacon

Men suppose their reason has command over their words; still it happens that words in return exercise authority on reason – Francis Bacon

Men that are great lovers of themselves, waste the public. – Francis Bacon

Men’s thoughts are much according to their inclination, their discourse and speeches according to their learning and infused opinions. – Francis Bacon

Men’s thoughts, are much according to their inclination; their discourse and speeches, according to their learning and infused opinions; but their deeds, are after as they have been accustomed. – Francis Bacon

Merit and good works, is the end of man’s motion; and conscience of the same is the accomplishment of man’s rest. For if a man can be partaker of God’s theatre, he shall likewise be partaker of God’s rest. – Francis Bacon

Mixture of lie doeth ever add pleasure. – Francis Bacon

Money is a good servant, a dangerous master. – Francis Bacon

Money is a great servant but a bad master. – Francis Bacon

Money is a great treasure that only increases as you give it away. – Francis Bacon

Money is like manure, its only good if you spread it around. – Francis Bacon

Money is like manure, of very little use except it be spread. – Francis Bacon

Money is like muck, not good except it be spread. – Francis Bacon

Money is like muck, not good unless spread. – Francis Bacon

Money is like muck, not good unless spread. – Francis Bacon

Money makes a good servant, but a bad master. – Francis Bacon

More dangers have deceived men than forced them. – Francis Bacon

Moreover, the works already known are due to chance and experiment rather than to sciences; for the sciences we now possess are merely systems for the nice ordering and setting forth of things already invented; not methods of invention or directions for new works. – Francis Bacon

Much bending breaks the bow; much unbending the mind. – Francis Bacon

My essays . . . come home, to men’s business, and bosoms. – Francis Bacon

My Lord St. Albans said that Nature did never put her precious jewels into a garret four stories high, and therefore that exceeding tall men had ever very empty heads. – Francis Bacon

My painting is not violent, it’s life that is violent. Even within the most beautiful landscape, in the trees, under the leaves, the insects are eating each other; violence is a part of life. We are born with a scream; we come into life with a scream and maybe love is a mosquito net between the fear of living and the fear of death. – Francis Bacon

My praise shall be dedicated to the mind itself. The mind is the man, and the knowledge is the mind. A man is but what he knoweth. The mind is but an accident to knowledge, for knowledge is the double of that which is. – Francis Bacon

Mysteries are due to secrecy. – Francis Bacon

Nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body, and it addeth no small reverence to men’s manners and actions if they be not altogether open. Therefore set it down: That a habit of secrecy is both politic and moral. – Francis Bacon

Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. – Francis Bacon

Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study. – Francis Bacon

Nature cannot be commanded except by being obeyed. – Francis Bacon

Nature is a labyrinth in which the very haste you move with will make you lose your way. – Francis Bacon

Nature is commanded by obeying her. – Francis Bacon

Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished. – Francis Bacon

Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished. Force, maketh nature more violent in the return; doctrine and discourse, maketh nature less importune; but custom only doth alter and subdue nature. He that seeketh victory over his nature, let him not set himself too great, nor too small tasks; for the first will make him dejected by often failings; and the second will make him a small proceeder, though by often prevailings. And at the first let him practise with helps, as swimmers do with bladders or rushes; but after a time let him practise with disadvantages, as dancers do with thick shoes. For it breeds great perfection, if the practice be harder than the use. Where nature is mighty, and therefore the victory hard, the degrees had need be, first to stay and arrest nature in time; like to him that would say over the four and twenty letters when he was angry; then to go less in quantity; as if one should, in forbearing wine, come from drinking healths, to a draught at a meal; and lastly, to discontinue altogether. But if a man have the fortitude, and resolution, to enfranchise himself at once, that is the best: – Francis Bacon

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. – Francis Bacon

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. In everything man has accomplished, we have only manipulated nature into doing what it is. – Francis Bacon

Nay, number itself in armies importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for, as Virgil saith, It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be. – Francis Bacon

Neither is it possible to discover the more remote and deeper parts of any science, if you stand but upon the level of the same science, and ascend not to a higher science. – Francis Bacon

Neither the naked hand nor the understanding left to itself can effect much. It is by instruments and helps that the work is done, which are as much wanted for the understanding as for the hand. And as the instruments of the hand either give motion or guide it, so the instruments of the mind supply either suggestions for the understanding or cautions. – Francis Bacon

Never any knowledge was delivered in the same order it was invented. – Francis Bacon

Nevertheless if any skillful Servant of Nature shall bring force to bear on matter, and shall vex it and drive it to extremities as if with the purpose of reducing it to nothing, then will matter (since annihilation or true destruction is not possible except by the omnipotence of God) finding itself in these straits, turn and transform itself into strange shapes, passing from one change to another till it has gone through the whole circle and finished the period. – Francis Bacon

New nobility is but the act of power, but ancient nobility is the act of time. – Francis Bacon

Next to religion, let your care be to promote justice. – Francis Bacon

No artist knows in his own lifetime whether what he does will be the slightest good, because it takes at least seventy-five to a hundred years before the thing begins to sort itself out. – Francis Bacon

No body can be healthful without exercise, neither natural body nor politic; and certainly to a kingdom or estate, a just and honorable war, is the true exercise. A civil war, indeed, is like the heat of a fever; but a foreign war is like the heat of exercise, and serveth to keep the body in health; for in a slothful peace, both courages will effeminate, and manners corrupt. – Francis Bacon

No body can be healthful without exercise, neither natural body nor politic, and certainly, to a kingdom or estate, a just and honourable war is the true exercise. – Francis Bacon

No man can by care taking (as the Scripture saith) add a cubit to his stature, in this little model of a man’s body; but in the great frame of kingdoms and commonwealths, it is in the power of princes or estates, to add amplitude and greatness to their kingdoms; for by introducing such ordinances, constitutions, and customs, as we have now touched, they may sow greatness to their posterity and succession. But these things are commonly not observed, but left to take their chance. – Francis Bacon

No man is angry that feels not himself hurt – Francis Bacon

No man’s fortune can be an end worthy of his being. – Francis Bacon

No one has yet been found so firm of mind and purpose as resolutely to compel himself to sweep away all theories and common notions, and to apply the understanding, thus made fair and even, to a fresh examination of particulars. – Francis Bacon

No one has yet been found so firm of mind and purpose as resolutely to compel himself to sweep away all theories and common notions, and to apply the understanding, thus made fair and even, to a fresh examination of particulars. Thus it happens that human knowledge, as we have it, is a mere medley and ill-digested mass, made up of much credulity and much accident, and also of the childish notions which we at first imbibed. – Francis Bacon

No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth. – Francis Bacon

Nobility of birth commonly abateth industry. – Francis Bacon

None of the affections have been noted to fascinate and bewitch but envy. – Francis Bacon

Nor do apophthegms only serve for ornament and delight, but also for action and civil use, as being the edge-tools of speech which cut and penetrate the knots of business and affairs: for occasions have their revolutions, and what has once been advantageously used may be so again, either as an old thing or a new one. – Francis Bacon

Nor is mine a trumpet which summons and excites men to cut each other to pieces with mutual contradictions, or to quarrel and fight with one another; but rather to make peace between themselves, and turning with united forces against the Nature of Things – Francis Bacon

Nothing destroys authority more than the unequal and untimely interchange of power stretched too far and relaxed too much. – Francis Bacon

Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise. – Francis Bacon

Nothing doth so much keep men out of the Church, and drive men out of the Church, as breach of unity. – Francis Bacon

Nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn. – Francis Bacon

Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety. – Francis Bacon

Nothing is so mischievous as the apotheosis of error. – Francis Bacon

Nothing is terrible except fear itself. – Francis Bacon

Nothing is to be feared but fear itself. Nothing grievous but to yield to grief. – Francis Bacon

Nothing is to be feared but fear. – Francis Bacon

Nothing opens the heart like a true friend, to whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes…and whatever lies upon the heart…. – Francis Bacon

Now, to speak of public envy. There is yet some good in public envy, whereas in private, there is none. For public envy, is as an ostracism, that eclipseth men, when they grow too great. And therefore it is a bridle also to great ones, to keep them within bounds. – Francis Bacon

Nuptial love makes mankind; friendly love perfects it; but wanton love corrupts and debases it. – Francis Bacon

Nuptial love maketh mankind, friendly love perfecteth it, but wonton love corrupteth and embaseth it. – Francis Bacon

O life! An age to the miserable, a moment to the happy. – Francis Bacon

Observation and experiment for gathering material, induction and deduction for elaborating it: these are are only good intellectual tools. – Francis Bacon

Observing our faults in others, is sometimes improper for our case. But the best receipt (best, I say, to work, and best to take) is the admonition of a friend. – Francis Bacon

Of all the things in nature, the formation and endowment of man was singled out by the ancients. – Francis Bacon

Of all things known to mortals wine is the most powerful and effectual for exciting and inflaming the passions of mankind, being common fuel to them all. – Francis Bacon

Of all virtues and dignities of the mind, goodness is the greatest, being the character of the Deity; and without it, man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing. – Francis Bacon

Of all virtues and dignities of the mind, goodness is the greatest – Francis Bacon

Of great riches there is no real use, except in the distribution; the rest is but conceit – Francis Bacon

Of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribution; the rest is but conceit. – Francis Bacon

Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. – Francis Bacon

Once the human mind has favoured certain views, it pulls everything else into agreement with and support for them. Should they be outweighed by more powerful countervailing considerations, it either fails to notice these, or scorns them, or makes fine distinctions in order to neutralize and so reject them. – Francis Bacon

One always starts work with the subject, no matter how tenuous it is, and one constructs an artificial structure by which one can trap the reality of the subject-matter that one has started from. – Francis Bacon

One of the fathers saith . . . that old men go to death, and death comes to young men. – Francis Bacon

One of the Seven [wise men of Greece] was wont to say: That laws were like cobwebs, where the small flies are caught and the great break through. – Francis Bacon

One of the Seven [wise men of Greece] was wont to say: That laws were like cobwebs, where the small flies are caught and the great break through. – Francis Bacon

Opportunity makes a thief. – Francis Bacon

Our humanity is a poor thing, except for the divinity that stirs within us. – Francis Bacon

Our humanity were a poor thing were it not for the divinity which stirs within us – Francis Bacon

Out of monuments, names, words proverbs …and the like, we do save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time. – Francis Bacon

Out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, private records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of books, and the like, we do save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time – Francis Bacon

Overt and apparent virtues, bring forth praise; but there be secret and hidden virtues, that bring forth fortune; certain deliveries of a man’s self, which have no name. – Francis Bacon

Painting gave meaning to my life which without it would not have had – Francis Bacon

Painting is a duality and abstract painting is an entirely aesthetic thing. It always remains on one level. It is only really interesting in the beauty of its patterns or its shapes. – Francis Bacon

Painting is the pattern of one’s own nervous system being projected on canvas. – Francis Bacon

Painting today is pure intuition and luck and taking advantage of what happens when you splash the stuff down. – Francis Bacon

Parents who wish to train up their children in the way they should go must go in the way in which they would have their children go. – Francis Bacon

Patience and gravity of hearing, is an essential part of justice; and an overspeaking judge is no well-tuned cymbal. – Francis Bacon

People have discovered that they can fool the devil; but they can’t fool the neighbors. – Francis Bacon

People of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon and seldom drive business home to it’s conclusion, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success. – Francis Bacon

People of great position are servants times three, servants of their country, servants of fame, and servants of business. – Francis Bacon

People prefer to believe what they want to be true. – Francis Bacon

People usually think according to their inclinations, speak according to their learning and ingrained opinions, but generally act according to custom. – Francis Bacon

Perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures. – Francis Bacon

Philosophers make imaginary laws for imaginary commonwealths, and their discourses are as the stars, which give little light because they are so high. – Francis Bacon

Philosophy when superficially studied, excites doubt, when thoroughly explored, it dispels it. – Francis Bacon

Photographs are not only points of reference… they’re often triggers of ideas. – Francis Bacon

Physicians are, some of them, so pleasing and conformable to the humor of the patient, as they press not the true cure of the disease; and some other are so regular, in proceeding according to art for the disease, as they respect not sufficiently the condition of the patient. Take one of a middle temper; or if it may not be found in one man, combine two of either sort; and forget not to call as well, the best acquainted with your body, as the best reputed of for his faculty. – Francis Bacon

Picasso is the reason why I paint. He is the father figure, who gave me the wish to paint. – Francis Bacon

Pictures and shapes are but secondary objects and please or displease only in the memory. – Francis Bacon

Poesy is the wine of demons. – Francis Bacon

Poesy was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind by submitting the shews of things to the desires of the mind. – Francis Bacon

Praise from the common people is generally false, and rather follows the vain than the virtuous. – Francis Bacon

Praise is the reflection of virtue. – Francis Bacon

Princes are like heavenly bodies, which cause good or evil times, and which have much veneration, but no rest. – Francis Bacon

Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which cause good or evil times, and which have much veneration but no rest. – Francis Bacon

Prosperity discovers vice, adversity discovers virtue. – Francis Bacon

Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue. – Francis Bacon

Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many comforts and hopes. – Francis Bacon

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New; which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God’s favor. – Francis Bacon

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New. – Francis Bacon

Pyrrhus, when his friends congratulated to him his victory over the Romans under Fabricius, but with great slaughter of his own side, said to them, “Yes; but if we have such another victory, we are undone.” – Francis Bacon

Rather to excite your judgment briefly than to inform it tediously. – Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted… but to weigh and consider. – Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, but to weigh and consider . . . Histories make men wise. – Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted…but to weigh and consider. – Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. – Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. – Francis Bacon

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man. – Francis Bacon

Reading maketh a full man. – Francis Bacon

Reading maketh a full man; and writing an axact man. And, therefore, if a man write little, he need have a present wit; and if he read little, he need have much cunning to seem to know which he doth not. – Francis Bacon

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. – Francis Bacon

Reasoning draws a conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience. – Francis Bacon

Rebellions of the belly are the worst. – Francis Bacon

Reduce things to the first institution, and observe wherein, and how, they have degenerate; but yet ask counsel of both times; of the ancient time, what is best; and of the latter time, what is fittest. – Francis Bacon

Reform therefore, without bravery, or scandal of former times and persons; but yet set it down to thyself, as well to create good precedents, as to follow them. – Francis Bacon

Religion being the chief band of human society, it is a happy thing, when itself is well contained within the true band of unity. The quarrels, and divisions about religion, were evils unknown to the heathen. The reason was, because the religion of the heathen, consisted rather in rites and ceremonies, than in any constant belief. For you may imagine, what kind of faith theirs was, when the chief doctors, and fathers of their church, were the poets. But the true God hath this attribute, that he is a jealous God; and therefore, his worship and religion, will endure no mixture, nor partner. We shall therefore speak a few words, concerning the unity of the church; what are the fruits thereof; what the bounds; and what the means. – Francis Bacon

Religion brought forth riches, and the daughter devoured the mother. – Francis Bacon

Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. – Francis Bacon

Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. – Francis Bacon

Revenge is a kind of wild justice. – Francis Bacon

Riches are a good handmaid, but the worst mistress. – Francis Bacon

Riches are a good handmaiden, but the worst mistress. – Francis Bacon

Riches are for spending, and spending for honor and good actions. Therefore extraordinary expense must be limited by the worth of the occasion; for voluntary undoing, may be as well for a man’s country, as for the kingdom of heaven. But ordinary expense, ought to be limited by a man’s estate; and governed with such regard, as it be within his compass; and not subject to deceit and abuse of servants; and ordered to the best show, that the bills may be less than the estimation abroad. – Francis Bacon

Riches are for spending, and spending for honor and good actions; therefore extraordinary expense must be limited by the worth of the occasion. – Francis Bacon

Riches are for spending. – Francis Bacon

Sacred and inspired divinity, the sabaoth and port of all men’s labours and peregrinations. – Francis Bacon

Salomon saith, There is no new thing upon the earth. So that as Plato had an imagination, that all knowledge was but remembrance; so Salomon giveth his sentence, that all novelty is but oblivion. – Francis Bacon

Science is but an image of the truth. – Francis Bacon

Science is the labor and handicraft of the mind. – Francis Bacon

Secrecy … is indeed the virtue of a confessor. And assuredly, the secret man heareth many confessions. For who will open himself, to a blab or a babbler? But if a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery; as the more close air sucketh in the more open; and as in confession, the revealing is not for worldly use, but for the ease of a man’s heart, so secret men come to the knowledge of many things in that kind; while men rather discharge their minds, than impart their minds. In few words, mysteries are due to secrecy. Besides (to say truth) nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body; and it addeth no small reverence, to men’s manners and actions, if they be not altogether open. As for talkers and futile persons, they are commonly vain and credulous withal. For he that talketh what he knoweth, will also talk what he knoweth not. Therefore set it down, that an habit of secrecy, is both politic and moral. And in this part, it is good that a man’s face give his tongue leave to speak. For the discovery of a man’ s self, by the tracts of his countenance, is a great weakness and betraying; by how much it is many times more marked, and believed, than a man’s words. – Francis Bacon

Secrecy in suits goes a great way towards success. – Francis Bacon

Seek not proud riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly. – Francis Bacon

Seek the good of other men, but be not in bondage to their faces or fancies; for that is but facility, or softness; which taketh an honest mind prisoner. – Francis Bacon

Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest shall be provided or its loss shall not be felt. – Francis Bacon

Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will not be felt. – Francis Bacon

Set it down to thyself, as well to create good precedents as to follow them. – Francis Bacon

Severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave and not taunting. – Francis Bacon

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom. – Francis Bacon

Silence is the virtue of fools. – Francis Bacon

Since custom is the principal magistrate of man’s life, let men by all means endeavor to obtain good customs. – Francis Bacon

Since my logic aims to teach and instruct the understanding, not that it may with the slender tendrils of the mind snatch at and lay hold of abstract notions (as the common logic does), but that it may in very truth dissect nature, and discover the virtues and actions of bodies, with their laws as determined in matter; so that this science flows not merely from the nature of the mind, but also from the nature of things. – Francis Bacon

Since there must be borrowing and lending, and men are so hard of heart as they will not lend freely, usury must be permitted. – Francis Bacon

Sir Amice Pawlet, when he saw too much haste made in any matter, was wont to say, “Stay a while, that we may make an end the sooner” – Francis Bacon

Sir Henry Wotton used to say that critics are like “brushers of noblemen’s clothes.” – Francis Bacon

Slander boldly, something always sticks – Francis Bacon

Small amounts of philosophy lead to atheism, but larger amounts bring us back to God. – Francis Bacon

So ambitious men, if they find the way open for their rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous; but if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil eye, and are best pleased, when things go backward. – Francis Bacon

So if a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics. – Francis Bacon

So if any man think philosophy and universality to be idle studies, he doth not consider that all professions are from thence served and supplied.  And this I take to be a great cause that hath hindered the progression of learning, because these fundamental knowledges have been studied but in passage. – Francis Bacon

So saith Solomon, Where much is, there are many to consume it; and what hath the owner, but the sight of it with his eyes? The personal fruition in any man, cannot reach to feel great riches: there is a custody of them; or a power of dole, and donative of them; or a fame of them; but no solid use to the owner. Do you not see what feigned prices, are set upon little stones and rarities? and what works of ostentation are undertaken, because there might seem to be some use of great riches? – Francis Bacon

So that every wand or staff of empire is forsooth curved at top. – Francis Bacon

So we see, in languages, the tongue is more pliant to all expressions and sounds, the joints are more supple, to all feats of activity and motions, in youth than afterwards. For it is true, that late learners cannot so well take the ply; except it be in some minds, that have not suffered themselves to fix, but have kept themselves open, and prepared to receive continual amendment, which is exceeding rare.

So when any of the four pillars of government, are mainly shaken, or weakened (which are religion, justice, counsel, and treasure), men had need to pray for fair weather. But let us pass from this part of predictions (concerning which, nevertheless, more light may be taken from that which followeth); and let us speak first, of the materials of seditions; then of the motives of them; and thirdly of the remedies. – Francis Bacon

Solomon saith, ‘He that considereth the wind, shall not sow, and he that looketh to the clouds, shall not reap.’ A wise man will make more opportunities, than he finds. – Francis Bacon

Some artists leave remarkable things which, a 100 years later, don’t work at all. I have left my mark; my work is hung in museums, but maybe one day the Tate Gallery or the other museums will banish me to the cellar… you never know. – Francis Bacon

Some books are to be tasted, others are to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested. – Francis Bacon

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few are to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. – Francis Bacon

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books, else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know, that he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtile; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend. – Francis Bacon

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. – Francis Bacon

Some books are to be tasted; others swallowed; and some to be chewed and digested. – Francis Bacon

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly. – Francis Bacon

Some build rather upon the abusing of others, and (as we now say) putting tricks upon them, than upon soundness of their own proceedings. – Francis Bacon

Some have in readiness so many tales and stories, as there is nothing they would insinuate, but they can wrap it into a tale; which serveth both to keep themselves more in guard, and to make others carry it with more pleasure. It is a good point of cunning, for a man to shape the answer he would have, in his own words and propositions; for it makes the other party stick the less. – Francis Bacon

Some men covet knowledge out of a natural curiosity and inquisitive temper; some to entertain the mind with variety and delight; some for ornament and reputation; some for victory and contention; many for lucre and a livelihood; and but few for employing the Divine gift of reason to the use and benefit of mankind. – Francis Bacon

Some paint comes across directly onto the nervous system and other paint tells you the story in a long diatribe through the brain. – Francis Bacon

Speech of yourself ought to be seldom and well chosen. – Francis Bacon

Spouses are great impediments to great enterprises. – Francis Bacon

States are great engines moving slowly. – Francis Bacon

States, as great engines, move slowly. – Francis Bacon

Streams that are drawn from the springheads of nature do not always run in the old channels. – Francis Bacon

Studies perfect nature and are perfected still by experience. – Francis Bacon

Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgement and execution of business. – Francis Bacon

Studies serve for delight, for ornaments, and for ability. – Francis Bacon

Such is the way of all superstition, whether in astrology, dreams, omens, divine judgments, or the like; wherein men, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happen much oftener. – Francis Bacon

Such philosophy as shall not vanish in the fume of subtile, sublime, or delectable speculation but shall be operative to the endowment and betterment of man’s life. – Francis Bacon

suckers or sponges to draw use of knowledge; insomuch as that which, if doubts had not preceded, a man should never have advised, but passed it over without note, by the suggestion and solicitation of doubts, is made to be attended and applied. – Francis Bacon

Surely every medicine is an innovation, and he that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils. – Francis Bacon

Suspicion amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they never fly by twilight. – Francis Bacon

Suspicions that the mind, of itself, gathers, are but buzzes; but suspicions that are artificially nourished and put into men’s heads by the tales and whisperings of others, have stings. – Francis Bacon

Take an arrow, and hold it in flame for the space of ten pulses, and when it cometh forth you shall find those parts of the arrow which were on the outsides of the flame more burned, blacked, and turned almost to coal, whereas the midst of the flame will be as if the fire had scarce touched it. This is an instance of great consequence for the discovery of the nature of flame; and sheweth manifestly, that flame burneth more violently towards the sides than in the midst. – Francis Bacon

That conceit, elegantly expressed by the Emperor Charles V., in his instructions to the King, his son, “that fortune hath somewhat the nature of a woman, that if she be too much wooed she is the farther off. – Francis Bacon

That things are changed, and that nothing really perishes, and that the sum of matter remains exactly the same, is sufficiently certain. – Francis Bacon

That which above all other yields the sweetest smell in the air is the violet. – Francis Bacon

That which is past is gone and irrevocable, and wise men have enough to do with things present and to come. – Francis Bacon

The age of antiquity is the youth of the world. – Francis Bacon

The arch-flatterer, with whom all the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man’s self – Francis Bacon

The bee enclosed and through the amber shown Seems buried in the juice which was his own. – Francis Bacon

The best armor is to keep out of gunshot. – Francis Bacon

The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express. – Francis Bacon

The best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful admonition of a friend. – Francis Bacon

The best work, and of greatest merit for the public, has proceeded from the unmarried or childless men. – Francis Bacon

The breaking off, in the midst of that one was about to say, as if he took himself up, breeds a greater appetite in him with whom you confer, to know more. – Francis Bacon

The breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air than in the hand. – Francis Bacon

The calling of a man’s self to a strict account, is a medicine, sometime too piercing and corrosive. – Francis Bacon

The cause and root of nearly all evils in the sciences is this-that while we falsely admire and extol the powers of the human mind we neglect to seek for its true helps. – Francis Bacon

The causes and motives of seditions are, innovation in religion; taxes; alteration of laws and customs; breaking of privileges; general oppression; advancement of unworthy persons; strangers; dearths; disbanded soldiers; factions grown desperate; and what soever, in offending people, joineth and knitteth them in a common cause. – Francis Bacon

The causes of superstition are: pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies; excess of outward and pharisaical holiness; overgreat reverence of traditions, which cannot but load the church; the stratagems of prelates, for their own ambition and lucre; the favoring too much of good intentions, which openeth the gate to conceits and novelties; the taking an aim at divine matters, by human, which cannot but breed mixture of imaginations: and, lastly, barbarous times, especially joined with calamities and disasters. – Francis Bacon

The colors that show best by candlelight are white, carnation, and a kind of sea-water green. – Francis Bacon

The cord breaketh at last by the weakest pull. – Francis Bacon

The correlative to loving our neighbors as ourselves is hating ourselves as we hate our neighbors. – Francis Bacon

The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness. – Francis Bacon

The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness. It is not like a drug; it is a particular state when everything happens very quickly, a mixture of consciousness and unconsciousness , of fear and pleasure; it’s a little like making love, the physical act of love. – Francis Bacon

The desire for power in excess caused angels to fall; the desire for knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity is no excess, neither can man or angels come into danger by it – Francis Bacon

The desire of excessive power caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge caused men to fall. – Francis Bacon

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall. – Francis Bacon

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall: but in charity there is no excess; neither can angel nor man come in danger by it. – Francis Bacon

The dignity of this end of endowment of man’s life with new commodity appeareth by the estimation that antiquity made of such as guided thereunto ; for whereas founders of states, lawgivers, extirpators of tyrants, fathers of the people, were honoured but with the titles of demigods, inventors ere ever consecrated among the gods themselves. – Francis Bacon

The divisions of science are not like different lines that meet in one angle, but rather like the branches of trees that join in one trunk. – Francis Bacon

The doctrines of religion are resolved into carefulness; carefulness into vigorousness; vigorousness into guiltlessness; guiltlessness into abstemiousness; abstemiousness into cleanliness; cleanliness into godliness. – Francis Bacon

The End of our Foundation is the knowledge of Causes; and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire, to the effecting of all things possible. – Francis Bacon

The errors of young men are the ruin of business, but the errors of aged men amount to this, that more might have been done, or sooner. – Francis Bacon

The errors of young men, are the ruin of business; but the errors of aged men, amount but to this, that more might have been done, or sooner. – Francis Bacon

The essential form of knowledge… is nothing but a representation of truth: for the truth of being and the truth of knowing are one, differing no more than the direct beam and the beam reflected. – Francis Bacon

The example of God, teacheth the lesson truly. – Francis Bacon

The eye of the human understanding is not a naked organ of perception (lumen siccum), but an eye imbued with moisture by Will and Passion. Man always believes what he determines to believe. – Francis Bacon

The eye of understanding is like the eye of the sense; for as you may see great objects through small crannies or levels, so you may see great axioms of nature through small and contemptible instances. – Francis Bacon

The first question concerning the Celestial Bodies is whether there be a system, that is whether the world or universe compose together one globe, with a center, or whether the particular globes of earth and stars be scattered dispersedly, each on its own roots, without any system or common center. – Francis Bacon

The first remedy or prevention is to remove, by all means possible, that material cause of sedition whereof we spake; which is, want and poverty in the estate. – Francis Bacon

The folly of one man is the fortune of another. – Francis Bacon

The folly of one man, is the fortune of another. For no man prospers so suddenly, as by others’ errors. – Francis Bacon

The fortune which nobody sees makes a person happy and unenvied. – Francis Bacon

The French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are. – Francis Bacon

The general root of superstition : namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other. – Francis Bacon

The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other. – Francis Bacon

The genius of any single man can no more equal learning, than a private purse hold way with the exchequer. – Francis Bacon

The genius, wit, and the spirit of a nation are discovered by their proverbs. – Francis Bacon

The government of the soul in moving the body is inward and profound, and the passages thereof hardly to be reduced to demonstration.

The great advantages of simulation and dissimulation are three. First to lay asleep opposition and to surprise. For where a man’s intentions are published, it is an alarum to call up all that are against them. The second is to reserve a man’s self a fair retreat: for if a man engage himself, by a manifest declaration, he must go through, or take a fall. The third is, the better to discover the mind of another. For to him that opens himself, men will hardly show themselves adverse; but will fair let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech to freedom of thought. – Francis Bacon

The great end of life is not knowledge but action. – Francis Bacon

The greatest error of all the rest is the mistaking or misplacing of the last or farthest end of knowledge: for men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use of men. – Francis Bacon

The greatest trust between man and man is the trust of giving counsel. – Francis Bacon

The greatest trust, between man and man, is the trust of giving counsel. For in other confidences, men commit the parts of life; their lands, their goods, their children, their credit, some particular affair; but to such as they make their counsellors, they commit the whole: by how much the more, they are obliged to all faith and integrity. – Francis Bacon

The greatest vicissitude of things amongst men, is the vicissitude of sects and religions. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding is moved by those things most which strike and enter the mind simultaneously and suddenly, and so fill the imagination; and then it feigns and supposes all other things to be somehow, though it cannot see how, similar to those few things by which it is surrounded. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding is no dry light, but receives an infusion from the will and affections… What a man had rather were true he more readily believes. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding is of its own nature prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding is of its own nature prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds. And though there be many things in nature which are singular and unmatched, yet it devises for them parallels and conjugates and relatives which do not exist. Hence the fiction that all celestial bodies move in perfect circles, spirals and dragons being (except in name) utterly rejected. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding is unquiet; it cannot stop or rest, and still presses onward, but in vain. Therefore it is that we cannot conceive of any end or limit to the world, but always as of necessity it occurs to us that there is something beyond… But he is no less an unskilled and shallow philosopher who seeks causes of that which is most general, than he who in things subordinate and subaltern omits to do so – Francis Bacon

The human understanding of its own nature is prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding, from its peculiar nature, easily supposes a greater degree of order and equality in things than it really finds. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding, when any preposition has been once laid down… forces everything else to add fresh support and confirmation; and although more cogent and abundant instances may exist to the contrary, yet it either does not observe them or it despises them, or it gets rid of and rejects them by some distinction, with violent and injurious prejudice, rather than sacrifice the authority of its first conclusions. – Francis Bacon

The Idols of Tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe or race of men. For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it. – Francis Bacon

The ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. – Francis Bacon

The images of men’s wit and knowledge remain in books, exempted from the worry of time and capable of perpetual renovation. – Francis Bacon

The images of mens wits and knowledge remain in books. They generate still, and cast their seeds in the minds of others, provoking and causing infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages – Francis Bacon

The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man. – Francis Bacon

The inclination to goodness, is imprinted deeply in the nature of man; insomuch, that if it issue not towards men, it will take unto other living creatures; as it is seen in the Turks, a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts, and give alms, to dogs and birds; insomuch, as Busbechius reporteth, a Christian boy, in Constantinople, had like to have been stoned, for gagging in a waggishness a long-billed fowl. – Francis Bacon

The inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or the wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. – Francis Bacon

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery. – Francis Bacon

The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery – Francis Bacon

The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears: they cannot utter the one, nor will they utter the other – Francis Bacon

The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grieves and fears. – Francis Bacon

The joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears. They cannot utter the one; nor they will not utter the other. Children sweeten labors; but they make misfortunes more bitter. They increase the cares of life; but they mitigate the remembrance of death. The perpetuity by generation is common to beasts; but memory, merit, and noble works, are proper to men. And surely a man shall see the noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men; which have sought to express the images of their minds, where those of their bodies have failed. So the care of posterity is most in them, that have no posterity. They that are the first raisers of their houses, are most indulgent towards their children; beholding them as the continuance, not only of their kind, but of their work; and so both children and creatures. – Francis Bacon

The knowledge of man is as the waters, some descending from above, and some springing from beneath: the one informed by the light of nature, the other inspired by divine revelation. – Francis Bacon

The lame (as they say) in the path outstrip the swift who wander from it, and it is clear that the very skill and swiftness of him who runs not in the right direction must increase his aberration. – Francis Bacon

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes the wrong one. – Francis Bacon

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one … the more active and swift the latter is, the further he will go astray. – Francis Bacon

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one. Nay, it is obvious that the more active and swift the latter is the further he will go astray. – Francis Bacon

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes the wrong one. – Francis Bacon

The lawyer is judged by the virtue of his pleading, and not by the issue of the cause. – Francis Bacon

The less people speak of their greatness, the more we think of it. – Francis Bacon

The light that a man receives by counsel from another is drier and purer than that which comes from his own understanding and judgment, which is ever infused and drenched in his affections and customs. – Francis Bacon

The light that a man receiveth by counsel from another is drier and purer than that which cometh from his own understanding and judgment, which is ever infused and drenched in his affections and customs. – Francis Bacon

The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search for truth. So it does more harm than good. – Francis Bacon

The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies. – Francis Bacon

The master of superstition, is the people; and in all superstition, wise men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to practice, in a reversed order. – Francis Bacon

The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes the middle course, it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. – Francis Bacon

The mold of our fortunes is in our own hands. – Francis Bacon

The momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil. – Francis Bacon

The monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power, or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years, or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities have been decayed and demolished? – Francis Bacon

The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power. – Francis Bacon

The more a man drinketh of the world, the more it intoxicateth. – Francis Bacon

The mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands. – Francis Bacon

The mystery lies in the irrationality by which you make appearance – if it is not irrational, you make illustration. – Francis Bacon

The nature of things betrays itself more readily under the vexations of art than in its natural freedom. – Francis Bacon

The natures and dispositions of men are, not without truth, distinguished from the predominance of the planets. – Francis Bacon

The noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men, which have sought to express the images of their minds where those of their bodies have failed. – Francis Bacon

The noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men, which have sought to express the image of their minds, where those of their bodies have failed. So the care of posterity is most in them that they have no posterity. – Francis Bacon

The noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men. – Francis Bacon

The noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men, which have sought to express the images of their minds where those of their bodies have failed. – Francis Bacon

The only hope [of science] … is in genuine induction. – Francis Bacon

The only really interesting thing is what happens between two people in a room. – Francis Bacon

The partitions of knowledge are not like several lines that meet in one angle, and so touch not in a point; but are like branches of a tree, that meet in a stem, which hath a dimension and quantity of entireness and continuance, before it come to discontinue and break itself into arms and boughs. – Francis Bacon

The pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. – Francis Bacon

The person is a poor judge who by an action can be disgraced more in failing than they can be honored in succeeding. – Francis Bacon

The place of justice is a hallowed place. – Francis Bacon

The pleasure and delight of knowledge and learning, it far surpasseth all other in nature – Francis Bacon

The poets did well to conjoin Music And Medicine in Apollo: because the office of medicine is but to tune this curious harp of man’s body and to reduce it to harmony. – Francis Bacon

The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man’s body. – Francis Bacon

The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, in Apollo, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man’s body and reduce it to harmony. – Francis Bacon

The poets make Fame a monster. They describe her in part finely and elegantly, and in part gravely and sententiously. They say, look how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath underneath; so many tongues; so many voices; she pricks up so many ears. – Francis Bacon

The prerogative of God extendeth as well to the reason as to the will of man: so that as we are to obey His law, though we find a reluctation in our will, so we are to believe His word, though we find a reluctation in our reason. – Francis Bacon

The productions of the mind and hand seem very numerous in books and manufactures. But all this variety lies in an exquisite subtlety and derivations from a few things already known, not in the number of axioms. – Francis Bacon

The punishing of wits enhances their authority. – Francis Bacon

The quarrels and divisions about religion were evils unknown to the heathen. The reason was because the religion of the heathen consisted rather in rites and ceremonies than in any constant belief. – Francis Bacon

The registering of doubts hath two excellent uses: the one, that it saveth philosophy from errors and falsehoods; when that which is not fully appearing is not collected into assertion, whereby error might draw error, but reserved in doubt: the other, that the entry of doubts are as so many – Francis Bacon

The registering of doubts hath two excellent uses: the one, that it saveth philosophy from errors and falsehoods; when that which is not fully appearing is not collected into assertion, whereby error might draw error, but reserved in doubt: the other, that the entry of doubts are as so many suckers or sponges to draw use of knowledge; insomuch as that which, if doubts had not preceded, a man should never have advised, but passed it over without note, by the suggestion and solicitation of doubts, is made to be attended and applied. – Francis Bacon

The remedy is worse than the disease. – Francis Bacon

The rising unto place is laborious, and by pains men come to greater pains; and it is sometimes base, and by indignities men come to dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress is either a downfall, or at least an eclipse. – Francis Bacon

The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses. – Francis Bacon

The same is the case of men, that rise after calamities and misfortunes. For they are as men fallen out with the times; and think other men’s harms, a redemption of their own sufferings. – Francis Bacon

The Scripture saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it, by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it….It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip, than in the heart of man. – Francis Bacon

the serpent if it wants to become the dragon must eat itself. – Francis Bacon

The speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but love. – Francis Bacon

The specious meditations, speculations, and theories of mankind are but a kind of insanity, only there is no one to stand by and observe it. – Francis Bacon

The stage is more beholding to love than the life of man. For as to the stage, love is ever matter of comedies and now and then of tragedies; but in life it doth much mischief, sometimes like a Siren, sometimes like a Fury. – Francis Bacon

The study of nature with a view to works is engaged in by the mechanic, the mathematician, the physician, the alchemist, and the magician; but by all as things now are with slight endeavour and scanty success. – Francis Bacon

The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding. – Francis Bacon

The sun, which passeth through pollutions and itself remains as pure as before. – Francis Bacon

The surest way to prevent seditions (if the times do bear it) is to take away the matter of them. – Francis Bacon

The surest way to prevent seditions…is to take away the matter of them. – Francis Bacon

The Syllogism consists of propositions, propositions consist of words, words are symbols of notions. Therefore if the notions themselves (which is the root of the matter) are confused and over-hastily abstracted from the facts, there can be no firmness in the superstructure. Our only hope therefore lies in a true induction. – Francis Bacon

The Trinitarian believes a virgin to be the mother of a son who is her maker. – Francis Bacon

The true atheist is he whose hands are cauterized by holy things. – Francis Bacon

The true bounds and limitations, whereby human knowledge is confined and circumscribed,… are three: the first, that we do not so place our felicity in knowledge, as we forget our mortality: the second, that we make application of our knowledge, to give ourselves repose and contentment, and not distates or repining: the third, that we do not presume by the contemplation of Nature to attain to the mysteries of God. – Francis Bacon

The understanding must not therefore be supplied with wings, but rather hung with weights, to keep it from leaping and flying. – Francis Bacon

The universe must not be narrowed down to the limit of our understanding, but our understanding must be stretched and enlarged to take in the image of the universe as it is discovered. – Francis Bacon

The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul. – Francis Bacon

The virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in mortals is the heroical virtue. – Francis Bacon

The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the heroical virtue. – Francis Bacon

The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude. – Francis Bacon

The voice of Nature will consent, whether the voice of man do or no. – Francis Bacon

The voice of the people has about it something divine: for how otherwise can so many heads agree together as one? – Francis Bacon

The way of fortune is like the milky way in the sky; which is a meeting, or knot, of a number of small stars, not seen asunder, but giving light together : so are there a number of little and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate.

The way of fortune is like the milkyway in the sky; which is a number of small stars, not seen asunder, but giving light together: so it is a number of little and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate. – Francis Bacon

The way of fortune, is like the Milken Way in the sky; which is a meeting or knot of a number of small stars; not seen asunder, but giving light together. – Francis Bacon

The wisdom of conversation ought not to be over much affected, but much less despised; for it hath not only an honour in itself, but an influence also into business and government. – Francis Bacon

The wisdom of the ancients. – Francis Bacon

The wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. – Francis Bacon

The wonder of a single snowflake outweighs the wisdom of a million meteorologists. – Francis Bacon

The world ‘s a bubble, and the life of man less than a span. – Francis Bacon

The worst men often give the best advice. – Francis Bacon

The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship. – Francis Bacon

The worst solitude is to have no real friendships. – Francis Bacon

The worst solitute is to be destitute of true friendship. – Francis Bacon

The zeal which begins with hypocrisy must conclude in treachery at first it deceives, at last it betrays – Francis Bacon

Then bless thy secret growth, nor catch At noise, but thrive unseen and dumb; Keep clean, be as fruit, earn life, and watch, Till the white-wing’d reapers come. – Francis Bacon

There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth. The one flies from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms, and from these principles, the truth of which it takes for settled and immovable, proceeds to judgment and to the discovery of middle axioms. And this way is now in fashion. The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all. This is the true way, but as yet untried. – Francis Bacon

There Are But Two Tragedies in Life-One is One’s Inability to attain One’s Heart’s Desire-The Other Is To Have It! – Francis Bacon

There are Idols which we call Idols of the Market. For Men associate by Discourse, and a false and improper Imposition of Words strangely possesses the Understanding, for Words absolutely force the Understanding, and put all Things into Confusion. – Francis Bacon

There are many wise men that have secret hearts and transparent countenances. – Francis Bacon

There are some other that account wife and children but as bills of charges – Francis Bacon

There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power. – Francis Bacon

There are two ways of spreading light..to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. – Francis Bacon

There arises from a bad and unapt formation of words a wonderful obstruction to the mind. – Francis Bacon

There be many wise men, that have secret hearts, and transparent countenances. – Francis Bacon

There be that can pack the cards, and yet cannot play well. – Francis Bacon

There be three things which make a nation great and prosperous: a fertile soil, busy workshops, easy conveyance for men and goods from place to place – Francis Bacon

There is a cunning which we in England call “the turning of the cat” in the pan; which is, when that which a man says to another, he says it as if another had said it to him. – Francis Bacon

There is a cunning which we in England call the runing of the cat in the pan. – Francis Bacon

There is a difference between happiness and wisdom: he that thinks himself the happiest man is really so; but he that thinks himself the wisest is generally the greatest fool. – Francis Bacon

There is a kind of followers likewise, which are dangerous, being indeed espials; which inquire the secrets of the house, and bear tales of them, to others. Yet such men, many times, are in great favor; for they are officious, and commonly exchange tales. – Francis Bacon

There is a superstition in avoiding superstition. – Francis Bacon

There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic: a man’s own observation what he finds good of and what he finds hurt of is the best physic to preserve health. – Francis Bacon

There is also great use of ambitious men, in being screens to princes in matters of danger and envy; for no man will take that part, except he be like a seeled dove, that mounts and mounts, because he cannot see about him. – Francis Bacon

There is another ground of hope that must not be omitted. Let men but think over their infinite expenditure of understanding, time, and means on matters and pursuits of far less use and value; whereof, if but a small part were directed to sound and solid studies, there is no difficulty that might not be overcome. – Francis Bacon

There is as much difference between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as is a man’s self. – Francis Bacon

There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise. – Francis Bacon

There is in man’s nature a secret inclination and motion towards love of others, which, if it be not spent upon some one or a few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, and maketh men become humane and charitable, as it is seen sometimes in friars. Nuptial love maketh mankind, friendly love perfecteth it, but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it. – Francis Bacon

There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals, which was wont to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the other. – Francis Bacon

There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals. – Francis Bacon

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying. – Francis Bacon

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that lost by not trying. – Francis Bacon

There is no doubt but men of genius and leisure may carry our method to greater perfection, but, having had long experience, we have found none equal to it for the commodiousness it affords in working with the Understanding. – Francis Bacon

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion. – Francis Bacon

There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion. – Francis Bacon

There is no great concurrence between learning and wisdom. – Francis Bacon

There is no greater wisdom than well to time the beginnings and onsets of things. – Francis Bacon

There is no man doth a wrong for the wrong’s sake; but thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or honour, or the like. There, why should I be angry with a man for loving himself better than me? And if any man should do wrong merely out of ill nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or briar, which prick and scratch, because they can do no other. – Francis Bacon

There is no man that imparteth his joys to his friends, but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friends, but he grieveth the less. – Francis Bacon

There is no passion in the mind of man so weak, but it mates and masters the fear of death . . . Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honor aspireth to it; grief flieth to it. – Francis Bacon

There is no secrecy comparable to celerity. – Francis Bacon

There is no such flatterer as is a man’s self. – Francis Bacon

There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious. – Francis Bacon

There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little. – Francis Bacon

There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little, and therefore men should remedy suspicion by procuring to know more, and not keep their suspicions in smother. – Francis Bacon

There is nothing more certain in nature than that it is impossible for any body to be utterly annihilated. – Francis Bacon

There is superstition in avoiding superstition. – Francis Bacon

There ought to be gardens for all months in the year, in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in season. – Francis Bacon

There was a young man in Rome that was very like Augustus Caesar; Augustus took knowledge of it and sent for the man, and asked him “Was your mother never at Rome?” He answered “No Sir; but my father was.” – Francis Bacon

There was never law, or sect, or opinion did so much magnify goodness, as the Christian religion doth. – Francis Bacon

There was never miracle wrought by God to convert an atheist, because the light of nature might have led him to confess a God. – Francis Bacon

There was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself, as the lover doth of the person loved; and therefore it was well said, That it is impossible to love, and to be wise. – Francis Bacon

There were taken apples, and … closed up in wax. … After a month’s space, the apple inclosed in was was as green and fresh as the first putting in, and the kernals continued white. The cause is, for that all exclusion of open air, which is ever predatory, maintaineth the body in its first freshness and moisture. – Francis Bacon

Therefore if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible. – Francis Bacon

Therefore, as atheism is in all respects hateful, so in this, that it depriveth human nature of the means to exalt itself, above human frailty. – Francis Bacon

Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical. – Francis Bacon

Therefore, since custom is the principal magistrate of man’s life, let men by all means endeavor, to obtain good customs. – Francis Bacon

These times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those which we account ancient ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from ourselves. – Francis Bacon

They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations. – Francis Bacon

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea. – Francis Bacon

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they see nothing but sea. – Francis Bacon

They are the best physicians, who being great in learning most incline to the traditions of experience, or being distinguished in practice do not reflect the methods and generalities of art. – Francis Bacon

They say that it is a pity, the devil should have God’s part, which is the tithe. – Francis Bacon

They that deny a God destroy man’s nobility, for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. – Francis Bacon

They that deny a God destroy man’s nobility, for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he is not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature – Francis Bacon

They that desire to excel in too many matters, out of levity and vain glory, are ever envious. For they cannot want work; it being impossible, but many, in some one of those things, should surpass them. Which was the character of Adrian the Emperor; that mortally envied poets, and painters, and artificers, in works wherein he had a vein to excel. – Francis Bacon

They that reverence to much old times are but a scorn to the new. – Francis Bacon

They that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils. – Francis Bacon

They who derive their worth from their ancestors resemble potatoes, the most valuable part of which is underground. – Francis Bacon

Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly. – Francis Bacon

This communicating of a Man’s Selfe to his Frend works two contrarie effects; for it re-doubleth Joys, and cutteth Griefs in halves. – Francis Bacon

This delivering of knowledge in distinct and disjointed aphorisms doth leave the wit of man more free to turn and toss, and to make use of that which is so delivered to more several purposes and applications – Francis Bacon

This envy, being in the Latin word invidia, goeth in the modern language, by the name of discontentment; of which we shall speak, in handling sedition. It is a disease, in a state, like to infection. For as infection spreadeth upon that which is sound, and tainteth it; so when envy is gotten once into a state, it traduceth even the best actions thereof, and turneth them into an ill odor. And therefore there is little won, by intermingling of plausible actions. For that doth argue but a weakness, and fear of envy, which hurteth so much the more, as it is likewise usual in infections; which if you fear them, you call them upon you. – Francis Bacon

This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well. – Francis Bacon

This is the foundation of all. We are not to imagine or suppose, but to discover, what nature does or may be made to do. – Francis Bacon

This world’s a bubble. – Francis Bacon

Those experiments be not only esteemed which have an immediate and present use, but those principally which are of most universal consequence for invention of other experiments, and those which give more light to the invention of causes; for the invention of the mariner’s needle, which giveth the direction, is of no less benefit for navigation than the invention of the sails, which give the motion. – Francis Bacon

Those herbs which perfume the air most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but, being trodden upon and crushed, are three; that is, burnet, wild thyme and watermints. Therefore, you are to set whole alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk or tread. – Francis Bacon

Those that want friends to open themselves unto are cannibals of their own hearts. – Francis Bacon

Those who have handled sciences have been either men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes a middle course: it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy; for it neither relies solely or chiefly on the powers of the mind, nor does it take the matter which it gathers from natural history and mechanical experiments and lay it up in the memory whole, as it finds it, but lays it up in the understanding altered and digested. – Francis Bacon

Those who have handled sciences have been either men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes a middle course: it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. – Francis Bacon

Those who have taken upon them to lay down the law of nature as a thing already searched out and understood, whether they have spoken in simple assurance or professional affectation, have therein done philosophy and the sciences great injury. – Francis Bacon

Time … is the author of authors. – Francis Bacon

Time is the author of authors. – Francis Bacon

Time is the greatest innovator. – Francis Bacon

To be free minded and cheerfully disposed at hours of meat and sleep and of exercise is one of the best precepts of long lasting. – Francis Bacon

To be free-minded and cheerfully disposed, at hours of meat, and of sleep, and of exercise, is one of the best precepts of long lasting. – Francis Bacon

To choose time is to save time. – Francis Bacon

To conclude, therefore, let no man upon a weak conceit of sobriety or an ill-applied moderation think or maintain that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God’s word, or the book of God’s works, divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficience in both; only let men beware that they apply both to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to ostentation; and again, that they do not unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together. – Francis Bacon

To contain anger from mischief, though it take hold of a man, there be two things, whereof you must have special caution. The one, of extreme bitterness of words, especially if they be aculeate and proper; for cummunia maledicta are nothing so much; and again, that in anger a man reveal no secrets; for that, makes him not fit for society. The other, that you do not peremptorily break off, in any business, in a fit of anger; but howsoever you show bitterness, do not act anything, that is not revocable. – Francis Bacon

To invent is to discover that we know not, and not to recover or resummon that which we already know – Francis Bacon

To know truly is to know by causes. – Francis Bacon

To praise a man’s self, cannot be decent, except it be in rare cases; but to praise a man’s office or profession, he may do it with good grace, and with a kind of magnanimity. – Francis Bacon

To proceed, to that which is next in order from God, to spirits: we find, as far as credit is to be given to the celestial hierarchy of that supposed Dionysius, the senator of Athens, the first place or degree is given to the angels of love, which are termed seraphim; the second to the angels of light, which are termed cherubim; and the third, and so following places, to thrones, principalities, and the rest, which are all angels of power and ministry; so as this angels of knowledge and illumination are placed before the angels of office and domination. – Francis Bacon

To say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men. – Francis Bacon

To seek to extinguish anger utterly is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles: ‘Be angry, but sin not.’ ‘Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.’ – Francis Bacon

To seek to extinguish anger utterly, is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles: Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Anger must be limited and confined, both in race and in time. We will first speak how the natural inclination and habit to be angry, may be attempted and calmed. Secondly, how the particular motions of anger may be repressed, or at least refrained from doing mischief. Thirdly, how to raise anger, or appease anger in another. – Francis Bacon

To speak now of the true temper of empire, it is a thing rare and hard to keep; for both temper, and distemper, consist of contraries. But it is one thing, to mingle contraries, another to interchange them. The answer of Apollonius to Vespasian, is full of excellent instruction. Vespasian asked him, What was Nero’s overthrow? He answered, Nero could touch and tune the harp well; but in government, sometimes he used to wind the pins too high, sometimes to let them down too low. And certain it is, that nothing destroyeth authority so much, as the unequal and untimely interchange of power pressed too far, and relaxed too much. – Francis Bacon

To spend too much time in studies is sloth. – Francis Bacon

To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar – Francis Bacon

To spend too much time in them [studying] is sloth, to use them too much for ornament is affectation, to make judgment wholly by their rules is the humor* of a scholar…. – Francis Bacon

To suffering there is a limit; to fearing, none. – Francis Bacon

To take advice of some few friends, is ever honorable; for lookers-on many times see more than gamesters; and the vale best discovereth the hill. – Francis Bacon

Too much magnifying of man or matter, doth irritate contradiction, and procure envy and scorn. – Francis Bacon

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel. – Francis Bacon

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. – Francis Bacon

Truth … is the sovereign good of human nature. – Francis Bacon

Truth arises more readily from error than from confusion. – Francis Bacon

Truth can never be reached by just listening to the voice of an authority. – Francis Bacon

Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion. – Francis Bacon

Truth is a good dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out. – Francis Bacon

Truth is a naked and open daylight – Francis Bacon

Truth is a naked and open daylight, that does not show the masques, and mummeries, and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. . . A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure – Francis Bacon

Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible. – Francis Bacon

Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority. – Francis Bacon

Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt that, if there were taken out of men’s minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves? – Francis Bacon

Truth will sooner come out from error than from confusion. – Francis Bacon

Upon a given body to generate and superinduce a new nature or new natures is the work and aim of human power. To discover the Form of a given nature, or its true difference, or its causal nature, or fount of its emanation… this is the work and aim of human knowledge. – Francis Bacon

Vain-glorious men are the scorn of the wise, the admiration of fools, the idols of paradise, and the slaves of their own vaunts. – Francis Bacon

Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor. – Francis Bacon

Velazquez found the perfect balance between the ideal illustration which he was required to produce, and the overwhelming emotion he aroused in the spectator. – Francis Bacon

Very few people have a natural feeling for painting, and so, of course, they naturally think that painting is an expression of the artist’s mood. But it rarely is. Very often he may be in greatest despair and be painting his happiest paintings. – Francis Bacon

Vices of the time; vices of the man. – Francis Bacon

Virtue is like a rich stone — best plain set. – Francis Bacon

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set. – Francis Bacon

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set; and surely virtue is best, in a body that is comely, though not of delicate features; and that hath rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect. Neither is it almost seen, that very beautiful persons are otherwise of great virtue; as if nature were rather busy, not to err, than in labor to produce excellency. – Francis Bacon

Virtue is like a rich stone,—best plain set. – Francis Bacon

Virtue is like precious odours, more fragrant when they are incensed or crushed; for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue. – Francis Bacon

Virtue is like precious odours,-most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed. – Francis Bacon

We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do. – Francis Bacon

We are much beholden to Machiavelli and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do . For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil. For without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced. Nay, an honest man can do no good upon those that are wicked, to reclaim them, without the help of the knowledge of evil. – Francis Bacon

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. – Francis Bacon

We cannot too often think there is a never sleeping eye, which reads the heart, and registers our thoughts – Francis Bacon

We gave ourselves for lost men, and prepared for death. Yet we did lift up our hearts and voices to God above, who “showeth His wonders in the deep”; beseeching Him of His mercy, that as in the beginning He discovered the face of the deep, and brought forth dry land, so He would now discover land to us, that we might not perish. – Francis Bacon

We gave ourselves for lost men, and prepared for death. Yet we did lift up our hearts and voices to God above, who “showeth His wonders in the deep”. – Francis Bacon

We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake… – Francis Bacon

We must see whether the same clock with weights will go faster at the top of a mountain or at the bottom of a mine; it is probable, if the pull of the weights decreases on the mountain and increases in the mine, that the earth has real attraction. – Francis Bacon

We only have our nervous system to paint. – Francis Bacon

We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends. – Francis Bacon

We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps. – Francis Bacon

We see then how far the monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power, or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities have been decayed and demolished? – Francis Bacon

We think according to nature. We speak according to rules. We act according to custom. – Francis Bacon

We will speak of nobility, first as a portion of an estate, then as a condition of particular persons. A monarchy, where there is no nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute tyranny; as that of the Turks. For nobility attempers sovereignty, and draws the eyes of the people, somewhat aside from the line royal. – Francis Bacon

What is it then to have or have no wife, / But single thraldom, or a double strife? – Francis Bacon

What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. – Francis Bacon

What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin. – Francis Bacon

What then remains but that we still should cry for being born, and, being born, to die? – Francis Bacon

What then remains but that we still should cry
For being born, and, being born, to die? – Francis Bacon

What then remains, but that we still should cry,/ Not to be born, or being born, to die? – Francis Bacon

What, then, remains but that we still should cry, For being born, and, being born, to die?

Whatever you can, count. – Francis Bacon

When a bee stings, she dies. She cannot sting and live. When men sting, their better selves die. Every sting kills a better instinct. Men must not turn bees and kill themselves in stinging others. – Francis Bacon

When a doubt is once received, men labour rather how to keep it a doubt still, than how to solve it; and accordingly bend their wits. – Francis Bacon

When a man laughs at his troubles he loses a great many friends. They never forgive the loss of their prerogative. – Francis Bacon

When a traveler returneth home, let him not leave the countries where he hath traveled altogether behind him. – Francis Bacon

When any of the four pillars of government are mainly shaken or weakened (which are religion, justice, counsel and treasure), men had need to pray for fair weather. – Francis Bacon

When any of the four pillars of government-religion, justice, counsel, and treasure-are mainly shaken or weakened, men had need to pray for fair weather. – Francis Bacon

When Christ came into the world, peace was sung; and when He went out of the world, peace was bequeathed. – Francis Bacon

When he wrote a letter, he would put that which was most material in the postscript, as if it had been a by-matter – Francis Bacon

When I paint I am ageless, I just have the pleasure or the difficulty of painting. – Francis Bacon

When you wander, as you often delight to do, you wander indeed, and give never such satisfaction as the curious time requires. This is not caused by any natural defect, but first for want of election, when you, having a large and fruitful mind, should not so much labour what to speak as to find what to leave unspoken. Rich soils are often to be weeded. – Francis Bacon

Whence we see spiders, flies, or ants entombed and preserved forever in amber, a more than royal tomb. – Francis Bacon

Where a man cannot fitly play his own part; if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage. – Francis Bacon

Who ever is out of patience is out of possession of their soul. – Francis Bacon

Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much. – Francis Bacon

Who then to frail mortality shall trust
But limns on water, or but writes in dust. – Francis Bacon

Who then to frail mortality shall trust,/ But limns the water, or but writes in dust. – Francis Bacon

Whoseoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god. Certain it is that the light that a man receiveth by counsel from another is drier and purer than that which cometh from his own understanding and judgment. – Francis Bacon

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god. – Francis Bacon

Whosoever is delighted in Solitude, is either a wild Beast or a God. – Francis Bacon

Why should a man be in love with his fetters, though of gold? – Francis Bacon

Why should I be angry with a man for loving himself better than me? – Francis Bacon

Wise judges have prescribed that men may not rashly believe the confessions of witches, nor the evidence against them; for the witches themselves are imaginative; and people are credulous, and ready to impute accidents to witchcraft. – Francis Bacon

Wise men make more opportunities than they find. – Francis Bacon

Wise sayings are not only for ornament, but for action and business, having a point or edge, whereby knots in business are pierced and discovered. – Francis Bacon

Without friends the world is but a wilderness. – Francis Bacon

Without friends the world is but a wilderness. There is no man that imparteth his joys to his friends, but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his grieves to his friend, but he grieveth the less. – Francis Bacon

Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses. – Francis Bacon

Wonder is the seed of knowledge – Francis Bacon

Words, when written, crystallize history; their very structure gives permanence to the unchangeable past – Francis Bacon

Worthy books are not companions – they are solitudes: we lose ourselves in them and all our cares – Francis Bacon

Wounds cannot be cured without searching. – Francis Bacon

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. – Francis Bacon

You cannot teach a child to take care of himself unless you will let him try to take care of himself. He will make mistakes and out of these mistakes will come his wisdom. – Francis Bacon

You can’t be more horrific than life itself. – Francis Bacon

You could say that I have no inspiration, that I only need to paint. – Francis Bacon

You see, painting has now become, or all art has now become completely a game, by which man distracts himself. What is fascinating actually is, that it’s going to become much more difficult for the artist, because he must really deepen the game to become any good at all. – Francis Bacon

You shall read (saith he) that we are commanded to forgive our enemies; but you never read, that we are commanded to forgive our friends. But yet the spirit of Job was in a better tune: Shall we (saith he) take good at God’s hands, and not be content to take evil also? – Francis Bacon

You want accuracy, but not representation. If you know how to make the figuration, it doesn’t work. Anything you can make, you make by accident. In painting, you have to know what you do, not how, when you do it. – Francis Bacon

Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than for counsel, and fitter for new projects than for settled business. – Francis Bacon

Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly to the end, without consideration of the means and degrees; pursue some few principles, which they have chanced upon absurdly; care not to innovate, which draws unknown inconveniences; use extreme remedies at first; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not acknowledge or retract them; like an unready horse, that will neither stop nor turn. – Francis Bacon

Young people are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and more fit for new projects than for settled business. – Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon Quotes

From Wikiquote

  • I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken all knowledge to be my province; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations, and verbosities, the other with blind experiments and auricular traditions and impostures, hath committed so many spoils, I hope I should bring in industrious observations, grounded conclusions, and profitable inventions and discoveries; the best state of that province. This, whether it be curiosity, or vain glory, or nature, or (if one take it favourably) philanthropia, is so fixed in my mind as it cannot be removed. And I do easily see, that place of any reasonable countenance doth bring commandment of more wits than of a man’s own; which is the thing I greatly affect.
    • Letter to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (ca. 1593), published in The Works of Francis Bacon: Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Alban, and Lord High Chancellor of England 14 Vols. (1870) James Spedding, Robert L. Ellis, Douglas D. Heath, editors, Vol. VIII p. 109. See also, for approximate date, Mrs. Henry Pott, Francis Bacon and His Secret Society (1891) p. 114
  • The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power.
    • Essex’s Device (1595)
  • Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.
    • Knowledge itself is power.
    • Meditationes Sacræ [Sacred Meditations] (1597) “De Hæresibus” [Of Heresies]
    • Variants:
    • Scientia Ipsa Potentia Est.
    • Scientia potentia est.
      • Knowledge is power.
    • Scientia potestas est.
    • Scientia est potentia.
  • Nay, number (itself) in armies, importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for (as Virgil saith) it never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.
    • Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral (1597), XXIX: “Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates.”
  • It is not the pleasure of curiosity, nor the quiet of resolution, nor the raising of the spirit, nor victory of wit, nor faculty of speech … that are the true ends of knowledge … but it is a restitution and reinvesting, in great part, of man to the sovereignty and power, for whensoever he shall be able to call the creatures by their true names, he shall again command them.
    • Valerius Terminus: Of the Interpretation of Nature (ca. 1603) Works, Vol. 1, p. 83; The Works of Francis Bacon (1819) p. 133, Vol. 2
  • Knowledge, that tendeth but to satisfaction, is but as a courtesan, which is for pleasure, and not for fruit or generation.
    • Valerius Terminus: Of the Interpretation of Nature (ca. 1603) Works, Vol. 1, p. 83; The Works of Francis Bacon (1819) p. 133, Vol. 2
  • For I find that even those that have sought knowledge for itself and not for benefit, or ostentation, or any practical enablement in the course of their life, have nevertheless propounded to themselves a wrong mark, namely, satisfaction, which men call truth, and not operation. For as in the courts and services of princes and states, it is a much easier matter to give satisfaction than to do the business; so in the inquiring of causes and reasons it is much easier to find out such causes as will satisfy the mind of man, and quiet objections, than such causes as will direct him and give him light to new experiences and inventions.
    • Valerius Terminus: Of the Interpretation of Nature (ca. 1603) Works, Vol. 1; The Works of Francis Bacon (1857) p. 232, Vol. 3.
  • Aristotle… a mere bond-servant to his logic, thereby rendering it contentious and well nigh useless.
    • Rerum Novarum (1605)
  • I do plainly and ingenuously confess that I am guilty of corruption, and do renounce all defense. I beseech your Lordships to be merciful to a broken reed.
    • On being charged by Parliament with corruption in office (1621)
  • Lucid intervals and happy pauses.
    • History of King Henry VII, III (1622)
  • Nil terribile nisi ipse timor.
    • Nothing is terrible except fear itself.
    • De Augmentis Scientiarum, Book II, Fortitudo (1623)
  • Riches are a good handmaid, but the worst mistress.
    • De Augmentis Scientiarum, Book II, Antitheta (1623)
  • Audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret.
    • Hurl your calumnies boldly; something is sure to stick.
    • De Augmentis Scientiarum (1623)
  • I bequeath my soul to God… My body to be buried obscurely. For my name and memory, I leave it to men’s charitable speeches, and to foreign nations, and the next age.
    • His will (1626)
  • We have also sound houses, where we practice and demonstrate all sounds and their generation. We have harmonies which you have not, of quarter sounds and lesser slides of sounds. Divers instruments of music likewise to you unknown, some sweeter than any you have; together with bells and rings that are dainty and sweet. We represent small sounds as great and deep; likewise divers trembling and warblings of sounds, which in their original are entire. We represent and imitate all articulate sounds and letters, and the voices of beasts and birds. We have certain helps which set to the ear to do further the hearing greatly. We have also divers strange and artificial echoes, reflecting the voice many times, and as if it were tossing it; and some that give back the voice louder than it came, some shriller and some deeper; yea, some rendering the voice, differing in the letters or articulate sound from that they receive. We have also means to convey sounds in tubes and pipes, in strange lines and distances…
    • New Atlantis (1627)
  • It is true that may hold in these things, which is the general root of superstition; namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.
    • Sylva Sylvarum Century X (1627)
  • Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.
    • An Essay on Death published in The Remaines of the Right Honourable Francis Lord Verulam (1648) but may not have been written by Bacon
  • [I]n the system of Copernicus there are found many and great inconveniences; for both the loading of the earth with triple motion is very incommodious, and the separation of the sun from the company of the planets, with which it has so many passions in common, is likewise a difficulty, and the introduction of so much immobility into nature, by representing the sun and stars as immovable, especially being of all bodies the highest and most radiant, and making the moon revolve about the earth in an epicycle, and some other assumptions of his, are the speculations of one who cares not what fictions he introduces into nature, provided his calculations answer. But if it be granted that the earth moves, it would seem more natural to suppose that there is no system at all, but scattered globes… than to constitute a system of which the sun is the centre. And this the consent of ages and of antiquity has rather embraced and approved. For the opinion concerning the motion of the earth is not new, but revived from the ancients… whereas the opinion that the sun is the centre of the world and immovable is altogether new… and was first introduced by Copernicus. …But if the earth moves, the stars may either be stationary, as Copernicus thought or, as it is far more probable, and has been suggested by Gilbert, they may revolve each round its own centre in its own place, without any motion of its centre, as the earth itself does… But either way, there is no reason why there should not be stars above stars til they go beyond our sight.
    • Descriptio Globi Intellectualis (1653, written ca. 1612) Ch. 6, as quoted in “Description of the Intellectual Globe,” The Works of Francis Bacon (1889) pp. 517-518, Vol. 4, ed. James Spedding, Robert Leslie Ellis, Douglas Denon Heath.
  • Ne mireris, si vulgus verius loquatur quam honoratiores; quia etiam tutius loquitur.
    • (Do not wonder, if the common people speak more truly than those of high rank; for they speak with more safety.)
      • Exempla AntithetorumIX. Laus, Existimatio (Pro.)
  • He that defers his charity ’till he is dead, is (if a man weighs it rightly) rather liberal of another man’s, than of his own.
    • Ornamenta Rationalia [#55]
  • Whence we see spiders, flies, or ants entombed and preserved forever in amber, a more than royal tomb.
    • Historia Vitæ et Mortis; Sylva Sylvarum, Cent. i. Exper. 100, reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)
  • When you wander, as you often delight to do, you wander indeed, and give never such satisfaction as the curious time requires. This is not caused by any natural defect, but first for want of election, when you, having a large and fruitful mind, should not so much labour what to speak as to find what to leave unspoken. Rich soils are often to be weeded.
    • Letter of Expostulation to Coke, reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

Meditationes sacræ (1597)

  • “You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” This canon is the mother of all canons against heresy; the causes of error are two; the ignorance of the will of God, and the ignorance or not sufficient consideration of his power.
    • Of Heresies
  • If thou shalt aspire after the glorious acts of men, thy working shall be accompanied with compunction and strife, and thy remembrance followed with distaste and upbraidings; and justly doth it come to pass towards thee, O man, that since thou, which art God’s work, doest him no reason in yielding him well-pleasing service, even thine own works also should reward thee with the like fruit of bitterness.
    • Of The Works Of God and Man
  • For a man to love again where he is loved, it is the charity of publicans contracted by mutual profit and good offices; but to love a man’s enemies is one of the cunningest points of the law of Christ, and an imitation of the divine nature.
    • Of The Exaltation of Charity

The Advancement of Learning (1605)

  • For all knowledge and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself.
    • Book I, i, 3
  • Let great authors have their due, as time, which is the author of authors, be not deprived of his due, which is, further and further to discover truth.
    • Book I, iv, 10
  • Time, which is the author of authors.
    • Book I, iv, 12
  • The two ways of contemplation are not unlike the two ways of action commonly spoken of by the ancients: the one plain and smooth in the beginning, and in the end impassable; the other rough and troublesome in the entrance, but after a while fair and even. So it is in contemplation: If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.
    • Book I, v, 8
  • Antiquitas saeculi juventus mundi. [The age of antiquity is the youth of the world.] These times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those which we account ancient ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from ourselves.
    • Book I, v, 8
  • The greatest error of all the rest is the mistaking or misplacing of the last or farthest end of knowledge: for men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use of men: as if there were sought in knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searching and restless spirit; or a tarrasse, for a wandering and variable mind to walk up and down with a fair prospect; or a tower of state, for a proud mind to raise itself upon; or a fort or commanding ground, for strife and contention; or a shop, for profit or sale; and not a rich storehouse, for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate.
    • Book I, v, 11
  • It is manifest that there is no danger at all in the proportion or quantity of knowledge, how large soever, lest it should make it swell or out-compass itself; no, but it is merely the quality of knowledge, which, be it in quantity more or less, if it be taken without the true corrective thereof, hath in it some nature of venom or malignity, and some effects of that venom, which is ventosity or swelling. This corrective spice, the mixture whereof maketh knowledge so sovereign, is charity, which the Apostle immediately addeth to the former clause; for so he saith, “Knowledge bloweth up, but charity buildeth up”.
    • Book I
  • The sun, which passeth through pollutions and itself remains as pure as before.
    • Book II
  • Sacred and inspired divinity, the sabaoth and port of all men’s labours and peregrinations.
    • Book II
  • Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.
    • Book II
  • States as great engines move slowly.
    • Book II
  • The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul; by reason whereof there is, agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can be found in the nature of things. Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical: because true history propoundeth the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them more just in retribution, and more according to revealed providence: because true history representeth actions and events more ordinary, and less interchanged, therefore poesy endueth them with more rareness, and more unexpected and alternative variations: so as it appeareth that poesy serveth and conferreth to magnanimity, morality, and to delectation. And therefore it was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind into the nature of things.
    • Book II, iv, 2
  • They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
    • Book II, vii, 5
  • But men must know that in this theater of man’s life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.
    • Book II, xx, 8
  • We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.
    • Book II, xxi, 9
  • The obliteration of the evil hath been practised by two means, some kind of redemption or expiation of that which is past, and an inception or account de novo for the time to come. But this part seemeth sacred and religious, and justly; for all good moral philosophy (as was said) is but a handmaid to religion.
    • Book II, xxii, 14
  • Only charity admitteth no excess. For so we see, aspiring to be like God in power, the angels transgressed and fell; Ascendam, et ero similis altissimo: by aspiring to be like God in knowledge, man transgressed and fell; Eritis sicut Dii, scientes bonum et malum: but by aspiring to a similitude of God in goodness or love, neither man nor angel ever transgressed, or shall transgress.
    • Book II, XXII
  • For man seeketh in society comfort, use, and protection: and they be three wisdoms of divers natures, which do often sever: wisdom of the behaviour, wisdom of business, and wisdom of state.
    • Book II, xxiii
  • Primum quaerite bona animi; caetera aut aderunt, aut non oberunt
    • Seek first the virtues of the mind; and other things either will come, or will not be wanted
    • Book II, xxxi
  • I could not be true and constant to the argument I handle, if I were not willing to go beyond others; but yet not more willing than to have others go beyond me again: which may the better appear by this, that I have propounded my opinions naked and unarmed, not seeking to preoccupate the liberty of men’s judgments by confutations.
    • Book II
  • For the inquisition of Final Causes is barren, and like a virgin consecrated to God produces nothing.
    • Book III, viii
  • Silence is the virtue of a fool.
    • Book VI, xxxi
  • As we divided natural philosophy in general into the inquiry of causes, and productions of effects: so that part which concerneth the inquiry of causes we do subdivide according to the received and sound division of causes. The one part, which is physic, inquireth and handleth the material and efficient causes; and the other, which is metaphysic, handleth the formal and final causes.
    • Book VII, 3
  • This misplacing hath caused a deficience, or at least a great improficience in the sciences themselves. For the handling of final causes, mixed with the rest in physical inquiries, hath intercepted the severe and diligent inquiry of all real and physical causes, and given men the occasion to stay upon these satisfactory and specious causes, to the great arrest and prejudice of further discovery. For this I find done not only by Plato, who ever anchoreth upon that shore, but by Aristotle, Galen, and others which do usually likewise fall upon these flats of discoursing causes.
    • Book VII, 7
  • The natural philosophy of Democritus and some others, who did not suppose a mind or reason in the frame of things, but attributed the form thereof able to maintain itself to infinite essays or proofs of nature, which they term fortune, seemeth to me… in particularities of physical causes more real and better inquired than that of Aristotle and Plato; whereof both intermingled final causes, the one as a part of theology, and the other as a part of logic, which were the favourite studies respectively of both those persons. Not because those final causes are not true, and worthy to be inquired, being kept within their own province; but because their excursions into the limits of physical causes hath bred a vastness and solitude in that tract.
    • Book VII, 7
  • Neither did the dispensation of God vary in the times after our Saviour came into the world; for our Saviour himself did first show His power to subdue ignorance, by His conference with the priests and doctors of the law, before He showed His power to subdue nature by His miracles. And the coming of this Holy Spirit was chiefly figured and expressed in the similitude and gift of tongues, which are but vehicula scientiæ.
  • Touching the secrets of the heart and the successions of time, doth make a just and sound difference between the manner of the exposition of the Scriptures and all other books. For it is an excellent observation which hath been made upon the answers of our Saviour Christ to many of the questions which were propounded to Him, how that they are impertinent to the state of the question demanded: the reason whereof is, because not being like man, which knows man’s thoughts by his words, but knowing man’s thoughts immediately, He never answered their words, but their thoughts. Much in the like manner it is with the Scriptures, which being written to the thoughts of men, and to the succession of all ages, with a foresight of all heresies, contradictions, differing estates of the Church, yea, and particularly of the elect, are not to be interpreted only according to the latitude of the proper sense of the place, and respectively towards that present occasion whereupon the words were uttered, or in precise congruity or contexture with the words before or after, or in contemplation of the principal scope of the place; but have in themselves, not only totally or collectively, but distributively in clauses and words, infinite springs and streams of doctrine to water the Church in every part. And therefore as the literal sense is, as it were, the main stream or river, so the moral sense chiefly, and sometimes the allegorical or typical, are they whereof the Church hath most use; not that I wish men to be bold in allegories, or indulgent or light in allusions: but that I do much condemn that interpretation of the Scripture which is only after the manner as men use to interpret a profane book.
    • XXV. (17)

Novum Organum (1620)

Novum Organum Scientiarum also known as The New Organon
  • Those who have taken upon them to lay down the law of nature as a thing already searched out and understood, whether they have spoken in simple assurance or professional affectation, have therein done philosophy and the sciences great injury. For as they have been successful in inducing belief, so they have been effective in quenching and stopping inquiry; and have done more harm by spoiling and putting an end to other men’s efforts than good by their own. Those on the other hand who have taken a contrary course, and asserted that absolutely nothing can be known — whether it were from hatred of the ancient sophists, or from uncertainty and fluctuation of mind, or even from a kind of fullness of learning, that they fell upon this opinion — have certainly advanced reasons for it that are not to be despised; but yet they have neither started from true principles nor rested in the just conclusion, zeal and affectation having carried them much too far….
    Now my method, though hard to practice, is easy to explain; and it is this. I propose to establish progressive stages of certainty. The evidence of the sense, helped and guarded by a certain process of correction, I retain. But the mental operation which follows the act of sense I for the most part reject; and instead of it I open and lay out a new and certain path for the mind to proceed in, starting directly from the simple sensuous perception.
  • We are wont to call that human reasoning which we apply to Nature the anticipation of Nature (as being rash and premature) and that which is properly deduced from things the interpretation of Nature.

Book I

  • Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature. Beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.
    • Aphorism 1
  • Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.
    • Aphorism 3
  • It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.
    • Aphorism 6
  • The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search for truth. So it does more harm than good.
    • Aphorism 7
  • The cause and root of nearly all evils in the sciences is this — that while we falsely admire and extol the powers of the human mind we neglect to seek for its true helps.
    • Aphorism 9
  • There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth. The one flies from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms, and from these principles, the truth of which it takes for settled and immovable, proceeds to judgment and to the discovery of middle axioms. And this way is now in fashion. The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all. This is the true way, but as yet untried.
    • Aphorism 19
  • There is a great difference between the Idols of the human mind and the Ideas of the divine. That is to say, between certain empty dogmas, and the true signatures and marks set upon the works of creation as they are found in nature.
    • Aphorism 23
  • It cannot be that axioms established by argumentation should avail for the discovery of new works, since the subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of argument. But axioms duly and orderly formed from particulars easily discover the way to new particulars, and thus render sciences active.
    • Aphorism 24
  • Further, it will not be amiss to distinguish the three kinds and, as it were, grades of ambition in mankind. The first is of those who desire to extend their own power in their native country, a vulgar and degenerate kind. The second is of those who labor to extend the power and dominion of their country among men. This certainly has more dignity, though not less covetousness. But if a man endeavor to establish and extend the power and dominion of the human race itself over the universe, his ambition (if ambition it can be called) is without doubt both a more wholesome and a more noble thing than the other two. Now the empire of man over things depends wholly on the arts and sciences. For we cannot command nature except by obeying her.
    • Aphorism 129
  • There are four classes of Idols which beset men’s minds. To these for distinction’s sake I have assigned names — calling the first class, Idols of the Tribe; the second, Idols of the Cave; the third, Idols of the Market-Place; the fourth, Idols of the Theater.
    • Aphorism 39
  • The Idols of Tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe or race of men. For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.
    • Aphorism 41
  • The Idols of the Cave are the idols of the individual man. For everyone (besides the errors common to human nature in general) has a cave or den of his own, which refracts and discolors the light of nature, owing either to his own proper and peculiar nature; or to his education and conversation with others; or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires; or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed or in a mind indifferent and settled; or the like. So that the spirit of man (according as it is meted out to different individuals) is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance. Whence it was well observed by Heraclitus that men look for sciences in their own lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.
    • Aphorism 42
  • There are also Idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call Idols of the Market Place, on account of the commerce and consort of men there. For it is by discourse that men associate, and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar. And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. Nor do the definitions or explanations wherewith in some things learned men are wont to guard and defend themselves, by any means set the matter right. But words plainly force and overrule the understanding, and throw all into confusion, and lead men away into numberless empty controversies and idle fancies.
    • Aphorism 43
  • Lastly, there are Idols which have immigrated into men’s minds from the various dogmas of philosophies, and also from wrong laws of demonstration. These I call Idols of the Theater, because in my judgment all the received systems are but so many stage plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion.
    • Aphorism 44
  • The human understanding is of its own nature prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds. And though there be many things in nature which are singular and unmatched, yet it devises for them parallels and conjugates and relatives which do not exist. Hence the fiction that all celestial bodies move in perfect circles, spirals and dragons being (except in name) utterly rejected.
    • Aphorism 45
  • The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.
    • Aphorism 46
  • …it is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives…
    • Aphorism 46
  • The human understanding is moved by those things most which strike and enter the mind simultaneously and suddenly, and so fill the imagination; and then it feigns and supposes all other things to be somehow, though it cannot see how, similar to those few things by which it is surrounded.
    • Aphorism 47
  • The human understanding is unquiet; it cannot stop or rest, and still presses onward, but in vain. Therefore it is that we cannot conceive of any end or limit to the world, but always as of necessity it occurs to us that there is something beyond… But he is no less an unskilled and shallow philosopher who seeks causes of that which is most general, than he who in things subordinate and subaltern omits to do so.
    • Aphorism 48
  • But by far the greatest hindrance and aberration of the human understanding proceeds from the dullness, incompetency, and deceptions of the senses; in that things which strike the sense outweigh things which do not immediately strike it, though they be more important. Hence it is that speculation commonly ceases where sight ceases; insomuch that of things invisible there is little or no observation.
    • Aphorism 50
  • But the best demonstration by far is experience, if it go not beyond the actual experiment.
    • Aphorism 70
  • In the same manner as we are cautioned by religion to show our faith by our works we may very properly apply the principle to philosophy, and judge of it by its works; accounting that to be futile which is unproductive, and still more so, if instead of grapes and olives it yield but the thistle and thorns of dispute and contention.
    • Aphorism 73
  • It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed.
    • Aphorism 81
  • But by far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this — that men despair and think things impossible.
    • Aphorism 92
  • The beginning is from God: for the business which is in hand, having the character of good so strongly impressed upon it, appears manifestly to proceed from God, who is the author of good, and the Father of Lights. Now in divine operations even the smallest beginnings lead of a certainty to their end. And as it was said of spiritual things, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation,” so is it in all the greater works of Divine Providence; everything glides on smoothly and noiselessly, and the work is fairly going on “before men are aware that it has begun. Nor should the prophecy of Daniel be forgotten, touching the last ages of the world: —“Many shall go to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased;” clearly intimating that the thorough passage of the world (which now by so many distant voyages seems to be accomplished, or in course of accomplishment), and the advancement of the sciences, are destined by fate, that is, by Divine Providence, to meet in the same age.
    • Aphorism 93
  • Those who have handled sciences have been either men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes a middle course: it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy; for it neither relies solely or chiefly on the powers of the mind, nor does it take the matter which it gathers from natural history and mechanical experiments and lay it up in the memory whole, as it finds it, but lays it up in the understanding altered and digested. Therefore from a closer and purer league between these two faculties, the experimental and the rational (such as has never yet been made), much may be hoped.
    • Aphorism 95
  • No one has yet been found so firm of mind and purpose as resolutely to compel himself to sweep away all theories and common notions, and to apply the understanding, thus made fair and even, to a fresh examination of particulars. Thus it happens that human knowledge, as we have it, is a mere medley and ill-digested mass, made up of much credulity and much accident, and also of the childish notions which we at first imbibed.
    • Aphorism 97
  • Another argument of hope may be drawn from this — that some of the inventions already known are such as before they were discovered it could hardly have entered any man’s head to think of; they would have been simply set aside as impossible. For in conjecturing what may be men set before them the example of what has been, and divine of the new with an imagination preoccupied and colored by the old; which way of forming opinions is very fallacious, for streams that are drawn from the springheads of nature do not always run in the old channels.
    • Aphorism 109
  • There is another ground of hope that must not be omitted. Let men but think over their infinite expenditure of understanding, time, and means on matters and pursuits of far less use and value; whereof, if but a small part were directed to sound and solid studies, there is no difficulty that might not be overcome.
    • Aphorism 111
  • Let men learn (as we have said above) the difference that exists between the idols of the human mind, and the ideas of the Divine mind. The former are mere arbitrary abstractions; the latter the true marks of the Creator on his creatures, as they are imprinted on, and defined in matter, by true and exquisite touches. Truth, therefore, and utility are here perfectly identical.
    • Aphorism 124
  • Again, we should notice the force, effect, and consequences of inventions, which are nowhere more conspicuous than in those three which were unknown to the ancients; namely, printing, gunpowder, and the compass. For these three have changed the appearance and state of the whole world; first in literature, then in warfare, and lastly in navigation: and innumerable changes have been thence derived, so that no empire, sect, or star, appears to have exercised a greater power and influence on human affairs than these mechanical discoveries.
    • Aphorism 129

Book II

  • Truth will sooner come out from error than from confusion.
    • Aphorism 20
  • Above all, every relation must be considered as suspicious, which depends in any degree upon religion, as the prodigies of Livy: And no less so, everything that is to be found in the writers of natural magic or alchemy, or such authors, who seem, all of them, to have an unconquerable appetite for falsehood and fable.
    • Aphorism 29
  • [N]ot only must we seek the measure of motions and actions by themselves, but much more in comparison; for this is of excellent use and very general application. Now we find that the flash of a gun is seen sooner than its report is heard… and this is owing it seems to the motion of light being more rapid than that of sound. We find to that visible images are received by the sight faster than they are dismissed; thus the strings of the violin, when struck by the finger, are to appearance doubled and tripled, because the new image is received before the old one is gone; which is also why the reason why rings being spun round look like globes, and a lighted torch, carried hastily at night, seems to have a tail. And it was upon this inequality of motions in point of velocity that Galileo built his theory of flux and reflux of the sea; supposing that the earth revolved faster than the water could follow; and that the water was therefore first gathered in a heap and then fell down, as we see in a basin of water moved quickly. But this he devised upon an assumption which cannot be allowed, viz. that the earth moves; and also without being well informed as to the sexhorary motion of the tide.
    • Aphorism 46
  • Since my logic aims to teach and instruct the understanding, not that it may with the slender tendrils of the mind snatch at and lay hold of abstract notions (as the common logic does), but that it may in very truth dissect nature, and discover the virtues and actions of bodies, with their laws as determined in matter; so that this science flows not merely from the nature of the mind, but also from the nature of things.
    • Aphorism 52
  • To God, truly, the Giver and Architect of Forms, and it may be to the angels and higher intelligences, it belongs to have an affirmative knowledge of forms immediately, and from the first contemplation. But this assuredly is more than man can do, to whom it is granted only to proceed at first by negatives, and at last to end in affirmatives, after exclusion has been exhausted.
    • Aphorism XV

Apophthegms (1624)

  • My Lord St. Albans said that Nature did never put her precious jewels into a garret four stories high, and therefore that exceeding tall men had ever very empty heads.
    • No. 17
  • Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.
    • No. 36
  • Like strawberry wives, that laid two or three great strawberries at the mouth of their pot, and all the rest were little ones.
    • No. 54
  • Sir Henry Wotton used to say that critics are like brushers of noblemen’s clothes.
    • No. 64
  • Sir Amice Pawlet, when he saw too much haste made in any matter, was wont to say. “Stay a while, that we may make an end the sooner.”
    • No. 76
  • Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appears to be best in four things — old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
    • No. 97
  • Pyrrhus, when his friends congratulated to him his victory over the Romans under Fabricius, but with great slaughter of his own side, said to them, “Yes; but if we have such another victory, we are undone”.
    • No. 193
  • Cosmus, Duke of Florence, was wont to say of perfidious friends, that “We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.”
    • No. 206
  • Cato said the best way to keep good acts in memory was to refresh them with new.
    • No. 247

Essays (1625)

  • Come home to men’s business and bosoms.
    • Dedication to the Essays (edition 1625)
  • What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.
    • Of Truth
  • No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth.
    • Of Truth
  • Truth is a naked and open daylight, that doth not shew the masks and mummeries and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candlelights.
    • Of Truth
  • It is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the hurt.
    • Of Truth
  • Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.
    • Of Truth
  • There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious. And therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason, why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge? Saith he, If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood, and breach of faith, cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal, to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men; it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth.
    • Of Truth
  • Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
    • Of Death
  • It is worthy the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man, so weak, but it mates, and masters, the fear of death; and therefore, death is no such terrible enemy, when a man hath so many attendants about him, that can win the combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honor aspireth to it; grief flieth to it; fear preoccupieth it.
    • Of Death
  • Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.
    • Of Revenge
  • Base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in the dark.
    • Of Revenge
  • Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince’s part to pardon.
    • Of Revenge
  • Vindictive persons live the life of witches; who, as they are mischievous, so end they infortunate.
  • Certain Laodiceans, and lukewarm persons, think they may accommodate points of religion, by middle way, and taking part of both, and witty reconcilements; as if they would make an arbitrament between God and man. Both these extremes are to be avoided; which will be done, if the league of Christians, penned by our Savior himself, were in two cross clauses thereof, soundly and plainly expounded: He that is not with us, is against us; and again, He that is not against us, is with us; that is, if the points fundamental and of substance in religion, were truly discerned and distinguished, from points not merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention.
  • Of Unity Of Religion
  • It is yet a higher speech of his than the other, “It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.”
    • Of Adversity
  • It was a high speech of Seneca (after the manner of the Stoics), that “The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.”
    • Of Adversity
  • Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.
    • Of Adversity
  • The virtue of prosperity, is temperance; the virtue of adversity, is fortitude; which in morals is the more heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New; which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God’s favor. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David’s harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job, than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.
    • Of Adversity
  • Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.
    • Of Adversity
  • Virtue is like precious odors — most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed.
    • Of Adversity
  • The joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears. They cannot utter the one; nor they will not utter the other.
    • Of Parents and Children
  • He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which both in affection and means, have married and endowed the public.
    • Of Marriage and Single Life
  • Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses.
    • Of Marriage and Single Life
  • A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth virtue in others. For men’s minds, will either feed upon their own good, or upon others’ evil; and who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other; and whoso is out of hope, to attain to another’s virtue, will seek to come at even hand, by depressing another’s fortune.
    • Of Envy
  • For there was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself, as the lover doth of the person loved; and therefore it was well said, That it is impossible to love, and to be wise.
    • Of Love
  • For it is a true rule, that love is ever rewarded either with the reciproque, or with an inward and secret contempt.
    • Of Love
  • Nuptial love maketh mankind, friendly love perfecteth it, but wonton love corrupteth and embaseth it.
    • Of Love
  • Men in great place are thrice servants,—servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business.
    • Of Great Place
  • It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous spirit, whom honor amends. For honor is, or should be, the place of virtue and as in nature, things move violently to their place, and calmly in their place, so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man’s self, whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself when he is placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor, fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will sure be paid when thou art gone. If thou have colleagues, respect them, and rather call them, when they look not for it, than exclude them, when they have reason to look to be called. Be not too sensible, or too remembering, of thy place in conversation, and private answers to suitors; but let it rather be said, When he sits in place, he is another man.
    • Of Great Place
  • It is a strange desire, to seek power and to lose liberty.
    • Of Great Place
  • Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled. Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again; and when the hill stood still he was never a whit abashed, but said, “If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.”
    • Of Boldness
  • There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise; and therefore, those faculties by which the foolish part of men’s minds is taken are most potent. Wonderful like is the case of boldness in civil business. What first?—Boldness: what second and third?—Boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts; but, nevertheless, it doth fascinate, and bind hand and foot those that are either shallow in judgment or weak in courage, which are the greatest part, yea, and prevaileth with wise man at weak times;
    • Of Boldness
  • Boldness is ever blind; for it seeth not dangers and inconveniences.
    • Of Boldness
  • A good name is like a precious ointment; it filleth all around about, and will not easily away; for the odors of ointments are more durable than those of flowers.
    • Of Praise
  • In charity there is no excess.
    • Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature
  • If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.
    • Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature
  • The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall.
    • Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature
  • Money is like muck, not good except it be spread.
    • Of Seditions and Troubles
  • The remedy is worse than the disease.
    • Of Seditions and Troubles
  • I had rather believe all the fables in the legends and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind. And therefore, God never wrought miracle, to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.
    • Of Atheism; in the original archaic English this read: I HAD rather beleeve all the Fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, then that this universall Frame, is without a Minde. And therefore, God never wrought Miracle, to convince Atheisme, because his Ordinary Works convince it. It is true, that a little Philosophy inclineth Mans Minde to Atheisme; But depth in Philosophy, bringeth Mens Mindes about to Religion.
  • The Scripture saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it, by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it. For none deny, there is a God, but those, for whom it maketh that there were no God. It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip, than in the heart of man, than by this; that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted in it, within themselves, and would be glad to be strengthened, by the consent of others.
    • Of Atheism
  • You shall have atheists strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects. And, which is most of all, you shall have of them, that will suffer for atheism, and not recant; whereas if they did truly think, that there were no such thing as God, why should they trouble themselves?
    • Of Atheism
  • The great atheists, indeed are hypocrites; which are ever handling holy things, but without feeling; so as they must needs be cauterized in the end.
    • Of Atheism
  • They that deny a God destroy a man’s nobility, for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.
    • Of Atheism
  • Therefore, as atheism is in all respects hateful, so in this, that it depriveth human nature of the means to exalt itself, above human frailty.
    • Of Atheism
  • It were better to have no opinion of God at all, than such an opinion, as is unworthy of him. For the one is unbelief, the other is contumely; and certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity.
    • Of Superstition
  • Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. He that traveleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.
    • Of Travel
  • Princes are like heavenly bodies, which cause good or evil times, and which have much veneration but no rest.
    • Of Empire
  • The greatest trust, between man and man, is the trust of giving counsel. For in other confidences, men commit the parts of life; their lands, their goods, their children, their credit, some particular affair; but to such as they make their counsellors, they commit the whole: by how much the more, they are obliged to all faith and integrity.
    • Of Counsel
  • Fortune is like the market, where many times, if you can stay a little, the price will fall.
    • Of Delays
  • Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.
    • Of Cunning
  • In things that a man would not be seen in himself, it is a point of cunning to borrow the name of the world; as to say, “The world says,” or “There is a speech abroad.”
    • Of Cunning
  • There is a cunning which we in England call “the turning of the cat in the pan;” which is, when that which a man says to another, he lays it as if another had said it to him.
    • Of Cunning
  • It is a good point of cunning for a man to shape the answer he would have in his own words and propositions, for it makes the other party stick the less.
    • Of Cunning
  • Be true to thyself, as thou be not false to others.
    • Of Wisdom for a Man’s Self
  • It is the nature of extreme self-lovers, as they will set an house on fire, and it were but to roast their eggs.
    • Of Wisdom for a Man’s Self
  • As the births of living creatures at first are ill-shapen, so are all Innovations, which are the births of time.
    • Of Innovations
  • He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.
    • Of Innovations
  • Affected dispatch is one of the most dangerous things to business that can be. It is like that, which the physicians call predigestion, or hasty digestion; which is sure to fill the body full of crudities, and secret seeds of diseases. Therefore measure not dispatch, by the times of sitting, but by the advancement of the business.
    • Of Dispatch
  • Seeming wise men may make shift to get opinion; but let no man choose them for employment; for certainly you were better take for business, a man somewhat absurd, than over-formal.
    • Of Seeming Wise
  • It hath been an opinion that the French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are; but howsoever it be between nations, certainly it is so between man and man.
    • Of Seeming Wise
  • A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.
    • Of Friendship
  • But we may go further, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends; without which the world is but a wilderness; and even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and affections, is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity.
    • Of Friendship
  • Cure the disease and kill the patient.
    • Of Friendship
  • Riches are for spending.
    • Of Expense
  • He that commands the sea is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little of the war as he will.
    • Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates
  • The greatness of an estate, in bulk and territory, doth fall under measure; and the greatness of finances and revenue, doth fall under computation. The population may appear by musters; and the number and greatness of cities and towns by cards and maps. But yet there is not any thing amongst civil affairs more subject to error, than the right valuation and true judgment concerning the power and forces of an estate.
    • Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates
  • There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic. A man’s own observation, what he finds good of and what he finds hurt of, is the best physic to preserve health.
    • Of Regimen of Health
  • Beware of sudden change, in any great point of diet, and, if necessity inforce it, fit the rest to it. For it is a secret both in nature and state, that it is safer to change many things, than one.
    • Of Regimen of Health
  • As for the passions and studies of the mind: avoid envy; anxious fears; anger fretting inwards; subtle and knotty inquisitions; joys and exhilarations in excess; sadness not communicated. Entertain hopes; mirth rather than joy; variety of delights, rather than surfeit of them; wonder and admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature.
    • Of Regimen of Health
  • Suspicions amongst thoughts, are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight. Certainly they are to be repressed, or at least well guarded: for they cloud the mind; they leese friends; and they check with business, whereby business cannot go on currently and constantly. They dispose kings to tyranny, husbands to jealousy, wise men to irresolution and melancholy. They are defects, not in the heart, but in the brain; for they take place in the stoutest natures.
    • Of Suspicion
  • Intermingle…jest with earnest.
    • Of Discourse
  • Discretion of speech, is more than eloquence; and to speak agreeably to him, with whom we deal, is more than to speak in good words, or in good order.
    • Of Discourse
  • So ambitious men, if they find the way open for their rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous; but if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil eye, and are best pleased, when things go backward.
    • Of Ambition
  • Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.
    • Of Nature in Men
  • Men’s thoughts, are much according to their inclination; their discourse and speeches, according to their learning and infused opinions; but their deeds, are after as they have been accustomed.
    • Of Custom and Education
  • If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she is blind, she is not invisible.
    • Of Fortune
  • Chiefly the mold of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.
    • Of Fortune
  • If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she is blind, she is not invisible.
    • Of Fortune
  • Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than for counsel, and fitter for new projects than for settled business.
    • Of Youth and Age
  • Virtue is like a rich stone — best plain set.
    • Of Beauty
  • There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
    • Of Beauty
  • Deformed persons are commonly even with nature; for as nature hath done ill by them, so do they by nature; being for the most part (as the Scripture saith) void of natural affection; and so they have their revenge of nature.
    • Of Deformity
  • Houses are built to live in, not to look on; therefore, let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had.
    • Of Building
  • God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures.
    • Of Gardens
  • And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes, like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air.
    • Of Gardens
  • The planting of hemp and flax would be an unknown advantage to the kingdom, many places therein being as apt for it , as any foreing parts.
    • Of Trading
  • If you would work any man, you must either know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his ends, and so persuade him or his weakness and disadvantages, and so awe him or those that have interest in him, and so govern him. In dealing with cunning persons, we must ever consider their ends, to interpret their speeches; and it is good to say little to them, and that which they least look for. In all negotiations of difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees.
    • Of Negotiating
  • Costly followers are not to be liked; lest while a man maketh his train longer, he make his wings shorter.
    • Of Followers and Friends
  • To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need proyning, by study; and studies themselves, do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.
    • Of Studies
  • Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.
    • Of Studies
  • Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
    • Of Studies
 
  • Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.
    • Of Studies
  • Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
    • Of Studies
  • A wise man will make more opportunities, than he finds.
    • Of Ceremonies and Respect
  • Certainly fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swoln, and drowns things weighty and solid.
    • Of Praise
  • Glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.
    • Of Vain-Glory
  • The winning of honor, is but the revealing of a man’s virtue and worth, without disadvantage.
    • Of Honor and Reputation
  • Judges ought to remember, that their office is jus dicere, and not jus dare; to interpret law, and not to make law, or give law.
    • Of Judicature
  • Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences; for there is no worse torture than the torture of laws. Specially in case of laws penal, they ought to have care that that which was meant for terror be not tuned into rigour; and that they bring not upon the people that shower whereof the Scripture speaketh, Pluet super eos laqueos: for penal laws pressed are a shower of snares upon the people.
    • Of Judicature
  • To seek to extinguish anger utterly, is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles: Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger.
Anger must be limited and confined, both in race and in time.
    • Of Anger
  • The greatest vicissitude of things amongst men is the vicissitude of sects and religions.
    • Of Vicissitude of Things
 

The world’s a bubble, and the life of man
Less than a span.

The World (1629)

  • The world’s a bubble, and the life of man
    Less than a span.
  • Who then to frail mortality shall trust
    But limns the water, or but writes in dust.
  • What then remains but that we still should cry
    Not to be born, or, being born, to die?

Resuscitatio (1657)

  • Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
    • Proposition touching Amendment of Laws

Quotes about Francis Bacon

  • The “Baconian” sciences were the kind Francis Bacon had in mind when he issued a call to revitalize science by basing it on craftsmen’s knowledge of nature. Bacon is remembered as the most effective critic of the traditional learning promulgated the elite institutions of his day. …Bacon advocated compiling a “history of arts,” or encyclopedia of crafts knowledge…
    • Clifford D. Conner, A People’s History of Science (2005)
  • This is unquestionably the nature of the principle of induction as proposed by Lord Bacon. Its useful and successful application, however, to the various departments of knowledge,—and there is scarcely any department to which, under suitable modifications, it may not be advantageously applied,—requires much care, attention, and assiduous patience. Bacon, therefore, employs the chief part of the first book of the Novum Organum in exposing the various prejudices and futile anticipations, which he calls the idols of the human mind, in contradistinction to the ideas of the divine mind, or those impressions of truth which are stamped upon the various elements and orders of creation. These idols he ranges under the four general classes, which he quaintly but expressively denominates Idols of the Tribe, Idols of the Den, Idols of the Forum, and Idols of the Theatre. The first class of idols, or prejudices, he represents as naturally inherent in the race of men, on account of the narrowness and imperfection of their views; the second, as peculiar to individuals, and arising from their peculiar habits and pursuits, hence entitled idols of the den or cave; the third, as springing from the mutual intercourse of mankind with each other, hence called idols of the forum or market; and the fourth, as originating in the false and fantastic theories of philosophers, exhibited from age to age as so many scenic representations on the stage of the intellectual world, and therefore appropriately styled idols of the theatre.
    • John Davies (D.D., Hon. Canon of Durham), The Handmaid, or, The Pursuits of Literature and Philosophy, Considered as Subservient to the Interests of Morality and Religion: Five Dissertations (1841)
  • His achievement was not the less great because it was indirect. His philosophical works, though little read now, “moved the intellects which moved the world.” He made himself the eloquent voice of the optimism and resolution of the Renaissance. Never was any man so great a stimulus to other thinkers… The whole tenor and career of British thought have followed the philosophy of Bacon. His tendency to conceive the world in Democritean mechanical terms gave to his secretary, Hobbes, the starting-point for a thorough-going materialism; his inductive metbod gave to Locke the idea of an empirical psychology, bound by observation and freed from theology and metaphysics; and his emphasis on “commodities” and “fruits” found formulation in Bentham’s identification of the useful and the good. Wherever the spirit of control has overcome the spirit of resignation, Bacon’s influence has been felt. He is the voice of all those Europeans who have changed a continent from a forest into a treasure-land of art and science, and have made their little peninsula the center of the world… Everything is possible to man. Time is young; give us some little centuries, and we shall control and remake all things. We shall perhaps at last learn the noblest lesson of all, that man must not fight man, but must make war only on the obstacles that nature offers to the triumph of man.
    • Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: the Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers (1926)
  • For Bacon as for Luther, “knowledge that tendeth but to satisfaction, is but as a courtesan, which is for pleasure, and not for fruit or generation.” Its concern is not “satisfaction, which men call truth,” but “operation,” the effective procedure. The “true end, scope or office of knowledge” does not consist in “any plausible, delectable, reverend or admired discourse, or any satisfactory arguments, but in effecting and working, and in discovery of particulars not revealed before, for the better endowment and help of man’s life.” There shall be neither mystery nor any desire to reveal mystery.
    • Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), p. 2
  • Das Wissen, das Macht ist, kennt keine Schranken, weder in der Versklavung der Kreatur noch in der Willfähigkeit gegen die Herren der Welt.
    • Knowledge, which is power, knows no limits, either in its enslavement of creation or in its deference to worldly masters.
      • Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), p. 2
  • Francis Bacon long ago called attention to the play of predispositions or prejudices in man’s life when he wrote of four “Idols,” or types of false opinion, that man must avoid if he wishes to attain sound judgements.
    …1. The idols of the tribe are those false opinions which, by the very nature of man himself, are likely to distort and discolor his judgements. Bacon recognized “the mind” as an active agent that tended to project its own whims and desires into its surroundings… therefore… man, collectively speaking, tends to be anthropocentric or “man-centered” in his investigations of nature.
    2. The idols of the cave are those errors which the individual makes in consequence of his peculiar or personal temperament and background. Each individual has been inevitably, if not unduly, influenced by certain traditions, authorities, and the like which have been especially admired in the particular “cave” or locality where his values came about as a reflection of what his associates valued.
    3. The idols of the market place are those errors which arise as a result of the ways we confuse one another, especially through the nonrigorous and vague or ambiguous use of language. Bacon recognized that language does not necessarily reflect either the content or the structure of reality, that it is quite possible to create “names” for nonexistent things. Men may think that reason governs the use of words; but in reality it is often words which govern reason.
    4. The idols of the theater are those errors or false opinions imbedded in an uncritically accepted tradition. Thus, pride of race, exaggerated nationalism, or perverted patriotism may become the essential traditions of a culture; and in some communities children grow up in a climate of social snobbery, narrow sectarianism in religion, and strict partisanism in politics.
    Bacon believed that “the power of reason” gave man the ability to rise above prejudice.

    • H. Gordon Hullfish, Philip G. Smith, Reflective Thinking: The Method of Education (1961)
  • Francis Bacon had essayed to sum up the past of physical science, and to indicate the path which it must follow if its great destinies were to be fulfilled. And though the attempt was just such a magnificent failure as might have been expected from a man of great endowments, who was so singularly devoid of scientific insight that he could not understand the value of the work already achieved by the true instaurators of physical science; yet the majestic eloquence and the fervid vaticinations of one who was conspicuous alike by the greatness of his rise and the depth of his fall, drew the attention of all the world to the ‘new birth of Time.’
    • Thomas Henry Huxley, The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century (1889)
  • Descartes was an eminent mathematician, and it would seem that the bent of his mind led him to overestimate the value of deductive reasoning from general principles, as much as Bacon had underestimated it.
    • Thomas Henry Huxley, The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century (1889)
  • To anyone who knows the business of investigation practically, Bacon’s notion of establishing a company of investigators to work for ‘fruits,’ as if the pursuit of knowledge were a kind of mining operation and only required well-directed picks and shovels, seems very strange.
    • Thomas Henry Huxley, The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century (1889)
  • Since… it appears that Aristotle very distinctly recognized the cardinal principles of the Baconian philosophy, why… has the world credited Bacon with a great reform in the very attacks he made on Aristotle? The answer is simple. Bacon did not attack the Method which Aristotle taught; indeed, he was very imperfectly acquainted with it. He attacked the Method which the followers of Aristotle practised.
    • George Henry Lewes, Aristotle: a Chapter from the History of Science (1864)
  • The doctrine of the Novum Organum may be summed up, from our point of view, as the sovereignty of technique. It represents, not merely a preoccupation with technique combined with a recognition that technical knowledge is never the whole of knowledge, but the assertion that technique and some material for it to work upon are all that matters. Nevertheless, this is not itself the beginning of the new intellectual fashion, it is only an early and unmistakable intimation of it: the fashion itself may be said to have sprung from the exaggeration of Bacon’s hopes rather than from the character of his beliefs.
    • Michael Oakeshott, “Rationalism in Politics” (1947), published in Rationalism in Politics and other essays (1962)
  • If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shin’d
    The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind.

    • Alexander Pope, Essay on Man (1732-1734)
  • He never took a pride, as in the humour of some, in putting any of his guests, or that otherwise discours’d with him, to the blush; but was ever ready to countenance and encourage their abilities, whatever they were. Neither was he one that would appropriate the discourse to himself alone, but left a liberty to the rest of the company to take their turns; wherein he took pleasure to hear a man speak in his own faculty, and would draw him on, and allure him to discourse upon such a subject. And for himself, he despised no man’s observations; but would light his torch at any man’s candle.
    • William Rawley, “The Life Of the Honourable Author” in Lord Bacon’s Essays, &c. Vol. II (London: 1720), pp. xiii–xiv. Cf. Francis Osborne, Advice to a Son: “Thus he [Lord Bacon] did not only learn himself, but gratify such as taught him; who looked upon their callings as honoured through his notice”.
  • When Bacon, who commended Henry VII for protecting the tenant right of the small farmer, and pleaded in the House of Commons for more drastic land legislation, wrote “Wealth is like muck. It is not good but if it be spread,” he was expressing in an epigram what was the commonplace of every writer on politics from Fortescue at the end of the fifteenth century to Harrington in the middle of the seventeenth.
    • R. H. Tawney, The Acquisitive Society (1920); also see Bacon’s History of the Reign of King Henry VII (1622)
  • The Lord Chancellor was not particularly interested in the writings of the humanists.
    • Carlos G. Noreña. 1907. Juan Luis Vives. Springer Science & Business Media. 241.
  • The case of the Baconians is not won until it has been proved that the substitution of covetousness for wantlessness, or an ascending spiral of desires for a stable requirement of necessities, leads to a happier condition.
    • Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: 1948), pp. 14-15
  • If Bacon had weighed well all that Science had achieved in his time, and had laid down a complete scheme of rules for scientific research, so far as they could be collected from the lights of that age, it would still be incumbent upon the philosophical world to augment as well as preserve the inheritance which he left; by combining with his doctrines such new views as the advances of later times cannot fail to produce or suggest; and by endeavouring to provide, for every kind of truth, methods of research as effective as those to which we owe the clearest and surest portions of our knowledge. Such a renovation and extension of the reform of philosophy appears to belong peculiarly to our own time.
    • William Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences (1837)
  • The Great Reform of Philosophy and Method, in which Bacon so eloquently called upon men to unite their exertions in his day, has, even in ours, been very imperfectly carried into effect. And even if his plan had been fully executed, it would now require to be pursued and extended.
    • William Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences (1837)
  • The Novum Organon of Bacon was suitably ushered into the world by his Advancement of Learning; and any attempt to continue and extend his Reform of the Methods and Philosophy of Science may, like his, be most fitly preceded by, and founded upon, a comprehensive Survey of the existing state of human knowledge.
    • William Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences (1837)

Disputed

  • Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is.
    • Attributed to Bacon without citation of work in Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists (2007) by James Geary, p. 112; this is sometimes attributed to others, also without citation of works, but is most often quoted as an anonymous aphorism, with no published sources yet located prior to The Deke Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 3 (1938)

Misattributed

  • Choose the best life; for habit will make it pleasant
    • Epictetus, Fragment 144
  • For behavior, men learn it, as they take diseases, one of another.
    • In an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Solitude and Society” in The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, (December 1857), p. 228, this follows a statement clearly attributed to Bacon, which might be a paraphrase. Without explicit citation, this is added to the parapgraph with quote marks but seems to be a paraphrase of lines by William Shakespeare, from King Henry IV, Part II, Act V, scene 1: “It is certain that either wife bearing or ignorant carriage is caught, as men take diseases, one of another: therefore let men take heed of their company.”
  • It is a sad fate for a man to die too well known to everybody else, and still unknown to himself
    • A translation of chorus lines in a classical tragedy by Seneca the Younger, Thyestes, lines 401-403, appearing in Essays, Civil and Moral by Francis Bacon, part XI, Of Great Place. The original lines in latin are Illi mors gravis incubate/Qui notus nimis omnibus/Ignotus moritur sibi. Inaccurately attributed to Francis Bacon in Amazing Grace, a 2006 historical drama.

Leave a Reply

Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: