Francis Bacon Quotes

Francis Bacon, 1561 – 1626

Born: 22 January 1561, London, England
Died: 9 April 1626, Highgate, England

Educated at home due to ill health, Bacon entered Trinity College, Cambridge at age twelve. Three years later he entered Gray’s Inn, then the largest of the four “Inns of Court” from which all barristers in England and Wales come. He spent three years on the continent, mostly in France, studying language, law, and statecraft while performing occasional diplomatic tasks. His father died in 1579, prompting his return to England. He took his first seat in Parliament in 1584, serving three ridings over the years, became Queen’s Counsel in 1596. After James I came to power, he was named Attorney General in 1613, Lord Chancellor in 1618. His career ended in disgrace over charges of corruption, he provided a written confession to all twenty-three counts, but it is unclear whether this was the truth or the means to protect the king from further inquiries. He wrote extensively on philosophy and science, what we now call the “scientific method” was first advanced in his Novum Organum. The theory has been advanced at various times that Bacon is the actual author of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare, even during their lifetimes. He may be one of the small group of scientists killed by their own experiments, he died of pneumonia shortly after experimenting with preserving meat by packing an eviscerated foul in snow; the argument is that the experimenter spent too much time at the same temperature as the experiment.

Francis Bacon quotes:

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

Francis Bacon
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.

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

Francis Bacon
A little philosophy inclineth men’s minds to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds to religion.

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 prudent question is one half of wisdom.

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

Francis Bacon

“Of Cunning” – Essays (1625)
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

Francis Bacon
Acorns were good till bread was found.

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

Francis Bacon
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.

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

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

Francis Bacon

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

Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last.
    Francis Bacon – Essays (1625)

Boldly sound your own praises, and some of them will stick.
    Francis Bacon – De Augmentis Scientarum (1623)

Boldness is ever blind, for it sees not dangers and inconveniences; whence it is bad in council though good in execution. The right use of the bold, therefore, is, that they never command in chief, but serve as seconds under the direction of others. For in council it is good to see dangers, and in execution not to see them unless they be very great.
    Francis Bacon

Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
    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 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

Certainly fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swoln, and drowns things weighty and solid.
    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 virtue is like precious odours, 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

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

Critics are like brushers of noblemen’s clothes.
    Francis Bacon – quoting Sir Henry Wotton in Apothegms (1625)

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.

Francis Bacon

Apophthegms, No. 97 (1624)
Ambition is like choler, which is a humor that maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not stopped, but if it be stopped, and cannot have its way, it becometh fiery, and thereby malign and venomous.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
An angry man who suppresses his passions thinks worse than he speaks; and an angry man that will chide speaks worse than he thinks.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

“Of Gardens” in Essays (1625)
Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

Novum Organum Scientiarum, Book I, Aphorism 109 (1620)
Aphorisms, representing a knowledge broken, do invite men to inquire further; whereas methods carrying the show of a total do secure men, as if they were at furthest.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Aristotle … a mere bond-servant to his logic, thereby rendering it contentious and well nigh useless.

Francis Bacon

Rerum Novarum (1605)
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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
As the births of living creatures at first are ill-shapen, so are all Innovations, which are the births of time.

Francis Bacon

“Of Innovations” in Essays (1625)
As those wines which flow from the first treading of the grape are sweeter and better than those forced out by the press, which gives them the roughness of the husk and stone, so are those doctrines best and sweetest which flow from a gentle crush of the scriptures, and are not wrung into controversies and commonplaces.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
As threshing separates the corn from the chaff, so does affliction purify virtue.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
As to jest, there ought to be certain things privileged from it, — namely, religion, matters of state, great persons, and man’s present business of importance, and any case that deserveth pity.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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.

Francis Bacon

The Advancement of Learning, Book VII (1605)
Atheism is rather in the life than in the heart of man.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)

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

Francis Bacon

“Of Revenge” in Essays (1625)
Bashfulness is a great hindrance to a man, both in uttering his sentiments and in understanding what is proposed to him; ‘t is therefore good to press forward with discretion, both in discourse and company of the better sort.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Be so true to thyself as thou be not false to others.

Francis Bacon

“Of Wisdom for a Man’s Self” in Essays (1625)
Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last.

Francis Bacon

“Of Beauty” in Essays (1625)
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 if it light well, it makes virtues shine and vice blush.

Francis Bacon

“Of Beauty” in Essays (1625)
Believe not much them that seem to despise riches; for they despise them that despair of them; and none are worse when they come to them. Be not penny-wise; riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves, sometimes they must be set flying to bring in more.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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.

Francis Bacon

“Of Regimen of Health” in Essays (1625)
Blushing is the livery of virtue.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Boldly sound your own praises, and some of them will stick.

Francis Bacon

De Augmentis Scientarum (1623)
Boldness is ever blind, for it sees not dangers and inconveniences; whence it is bad in council though good in execution. The right use of the bold, therefore, is, that they never command in chief, but serve as seconds under the direction of others. For in council it is good to see dangers, and in execution not to see them unless they be very great.

Francis Bacon

“Of Boldness” in Essays (1625)
Boldness is ever blind; for it seeth not dangers and inconveniences.

Francis Bacon

“Of Boldness” in Essays (1625)
Books are true friends that will never flatter nor dissemble: be you but true to yourself, … and you shall need no other comfort.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.

Francis Bacon

Resuscitatio (1657)
Business is bought at a dear hand where there is small despatch.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)

But 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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

The Advancement of Learning, Book II (1605)
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

Novum Organum Scientiarum, Book I, Aphorism 54 (1620)
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

“Of Friendship” in Essays (1625)
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

Novum Organum Scientiarum, Book I, Aphorism 50 (1620)
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

Novum Organum Scientiarum, Book I, Aphorism 92 (1620)
Cato said the best way to keep good acts in memory was to refresh them with new.

Francis Bacon

Apophthegms, No. 247 (1624)
Certainly fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swoln, and drowns things weighty and solid.

Francis Bacon

“Of Praise” in Essays (1625)
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

“Of Wisdom for a Man’s Self” in Essays (1625)
Certainly the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin, and passage to another world, is holy and religious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto Nature, is weak.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when they are incensed, or crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.

Francis Bacon
Certainly, if a man will but keep of an even hand, his ordinary expenses ought to be but to the half of his receipts; and if he thinks to wax rich, but to the third part.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

“Of Revenge” in Essays (1625)
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

“Of Truth” in Essays (1625)
Chiefly the mold of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.

Francis Bacon

“Of Fortune” in Essays (1625)

Children sweeten labors, but they make misfortunes more bitter; they increase the cares of life, but they mitigate the remembrance of death.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

The Advancement of Learning, Book II (1605)
Clear and round dealing is the honor of man’s nature; the mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Contempt putteth an edge upon anger more than the hurt itself.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

Apophthegms, No. 206 (1624)
Costly followers are not to be liked; lest while a man maketh his train longer, he make his wings shorter.

Francis Bacon

“Of Followers and Friends” in Essays (1625)
Critics are like brushers of noblemen’s clothes.

Francis Bacon

quoting Sir Henry Wotton in Apothegms (1625)
Cure the disease and kill the patient.

Francis Bacon

“Of Friendship” in Essays (1625)
Dangers are no more light if they once seem light, and more dangers have deceived men than forced them; nay, it were better to meet some dangers half-way, though they come nothing near, than to keep too long a watch upon their approaches; for if a man watch too long it is odds he will fall fast asleep.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Death openeth the gate to good fame, and extinguished envy.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

“Of Deformity” in Essays (1625)
Discourse ought to be as a field, without coming home to any man.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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. A good continued speech, without a good speech of interlocution, shows slowness; and a good reply, or second speech, without a good settled speech, showeth shallowness and weakness.

Francis Bacon

“Of Discourse” in Essays (1625)

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

“Of Discourse” in Essays (1625)
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 politicians that are the greatest dissemblers.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Do not overwork the mind any more than the body; do everything with moderation.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Dolendi modus, timendi non item. (To suffering there is a limit; to fearing, none.)

Francis Bacon
Dramatical or representative poesy is, as it were, a visible history; for it sets out the image of things as if they were present.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Even at our birth, death does but stand aside a little. And every day he looks towards us and muses somewhat to himself whether that day or the next he will draw nigh.

Francis Bacon
Even reproof, from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Fame is like a river, that bareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid; but if persons of quality and judgment concur, then it filleth all round about, and will not easily away; for the odors of ointments are more durable than those of flowers.

Francis Bacon

“Of Ceremonies and Respects” in Essays (1625)
Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.

Francis Bacon

“Of Ceremonies and Respects” – Essays (1625)
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.

Francis Bacon

“Of The Exaltation of Charity” in Meditationes sacrae (1597)
For all knowledge and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself.

Francis Bacon

The Advancement of Learning, Book I (1605)
For also knowledge itself is power.

Francis Bacon

“Of Heresies” – Religious Meditations (1597)
For as it is said of calumny, ‘calumniate boldly, for some of it will stick’ so it may be said of ostentation (except it be in a ridiculous degree of deformity), ‘boldly sound your own praises, and some of them will stick.’

Francis Bacon

De Augmentis Scientarum (1623)
For cleanness of body was ever esteemed to proceed from a due reverence to God, to society, and to ourselves.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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.

Francis Bacon

“Valerius Terminus: Of the Interpretation of Nature” in The Works of Francis Bacon, Vol. I, James Spedding, Robert L. Ellis, and Douglas D. Heath, eds. (1870)

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

Francis Bacon

“Of Love” in Essays (1625)
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.

Francis Bacon

The Advancement of Learning, Book II (1605)
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.

Francis Bacon

“Of Love” in Essays (1625)
Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Fortune is like the market, where many times, if you can stay a little, the price will fall.

Francis Bacon

“Of Delays” in Essays (1625)
Fortune is not content to do a man one ill turn.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Fortune makes him fool, whom she makes her darling.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Founders and senators of states and cities, lawgivers, extirpers of tyrants, fathers of the people, and other eminent persons in civil government, were honored but with titles of worthies or demigods; whereas such as were inventors and authors of new arts, endowments, and commodities towards man’s life, were ever consecrated among the gods themselves.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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.

Francis Bacon

Novum Organum Scientiarum, Book I, Aphorism 28 (1620)
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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Generally it is good to commit the beginning of all great actions to Argus with his hundred eyes, and the end to Briareus with his hundred hands — first to watch, and then to speed.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

“Of Vain-Glory” in Essays (1625)
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.

Francis Bacon

“Of Gardens” in Essays (1625)
God grant that we may contend with other churches as the vine with the olive, which of us shall bear the best fruit; but not as the brier with the thistle, which of us shall be most unprofitable.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
God hangs the greatest weights upon the smallest wires.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)

God has placed no limit to intellect.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because His ordinary works convince it.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Good books are true friends.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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
Goodness answers to the theological virtue charity, and admits no excess but error. 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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Goodness I call the habit, and goodness of nature the inclination. This of all the virtues and dignities of the mind, is the greatest, being the character of the Deity; and without it man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Great effects come of industry and perseverance; for audacity doth almost bind and mate the weaker sort of minds.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Habit, if wisely and skillfully formed, becomes truly a second nature, as the common saying is; but unskillfully and unmethodically directed, it will be, as it were, the ape of Nature, which imitates nothing to the life, but only clumsily and awkwardly.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
He is truly well-bred who knows when to value and when to despise those national peculiarities, which are regarded by some with so much observance; a traveller of taste at once perceives that the wise are polite all the world over, but that fools are polite only at home.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
He sleeps well who is not conscious that he sleeps ill.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
He that cometh to seek after knowledge with a mind to scorn and censure shall be sure to find matter for his humor, but none for his instruction.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
He that commands the sea is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little of the war as he will.

Francis Bacon

“Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates” in Essays (1625)
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.

Francis Bacon

Ornamenta Rationalia #55 in The Works of Francis Bacon (1730)
He that dies in an earnest pursuit is like one that is wounded in hot blood; who, for the time, scarce feels the hurt; and therefore a mind fixed and bent upon somewhat that is good doth avert the dolors of death; but above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace.”

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)

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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

“Of Marriage and Single Life” in Essays (1625)
He that questioneth much shall learn much, and content much; but especially if he apply his questions to the skill of the persons whom he asketh; for he shall give them occasion to please themselves in speaking, and himself shall continually gather knowledge; but let his questions not be troublesome, for that is fit for a poser; and let him be sure to leave other men their turn to speak; nay, if there be any that would reign and take up all the time, let them find means to take them off, and bring others on, — as musicians used to do with those that dance too long galliards. 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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.

Francis Bacon

“Of Travel” – Essays (1625)
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.

Francis Bacon

“Of Innovations” in Essays (1625)
Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.

Francis Bacon

“Of Studies” in Essays (1625)
Hope is a good breakfast, but a bad supper.

Francis Bacon

Apophthegms, No. 36 (1624)
Hope is a leaf-joy which may be beaten out to a great extension, like gold.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

“Of Building” in Essays (1625)
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

Novum Organum Scientiarum, Book I, Aphorism 3 (1620)
Hurl your calumnies boldly; something is sure to stick. (Audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret.)

Francis Bacon

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.

Francis Bacon

will (1626)
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; it cannot be spared nor left behind, but it hindereth the march; yea, and the care of it sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory: of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribution; the rest is but conceit.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

letter to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley in The Works of Francis Bacon, Vol. VIII, James Spedding et al, eds. (1870)

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.

Francis Bacon

letter to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, in The Works of Francis Bacon, Vol. VIII, James Spedding, Robert L. Ellis, and Douglas D. Heath, eds. (1870)
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.

Francis Bacon

The Advancement of Learning, Book II (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.

Francis Bacon

responding to charge by Parliament of corruption in office (1621)
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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
I hold every man a debtor to his profession.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
I knew a wise man who 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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
I know not how, but martial men are given to love. I think it is but as they are given to wine; for perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

Novum Organum Scientiarum (1620)
I take all knowledge to be my province.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
I will say positively and resolutely that is it impossible an elective monarchy should be so free and absolute as an hereditary.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

“Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature” in Essays (1625)
If a man can play the true logician, and have judgment as well as invention, he may do great matters.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she is blind, yet she is not invisible.

Francis Bacon

“Of Fortune” in Essays (1625)
If a man read little, he had need have much cunning to seem to know that he doth not.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
If a man will begin in certainties he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin in doubts he shall end in certainties.

Francis Bacon

The Advancement of Learning, Book I (1605)

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

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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.

Francis Bacon

“Of The Works Of God and Man” in Meditationes sacrae (1597)
If vices were profitable, the virtuous man would be the sinner.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
If we do not maintain Justice, Justice will not maintain us.

Francis Bacon
Imagination I understand to be the representation of an individual thought. Imagination is of three kinds: joined with belief of that which is to come; joined with memory of that which is past; and of things present.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.

Francis Bacon
In all other human gifts and passions, though they advance nature, yet they are subject to excess; but charity alone admits no excess. For so we see, by aspiring to be like God in power the angels transgressed and fell; by aspiring to be like God in knowledge man transgressed and fell; but by aspiring to be like God in goodness or love, neither man nor angel ever did or shall transgress. For unto the imitation we are called.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
In charity there is no excess.

Francis Bacon

“Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature” in Essays (1625)
In contemplation, if a man 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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
In nature things move violently to their place, and calmly in their place.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
In one and the same fire, clay grows hard and wax melts.

Francis Bacon
In regard of our deliverance past, and our danger present and to come, let us look up to God, and every man reform his own ways.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
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

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)
In States, arms and learning have a concurrence or near sequence in time.

Francis Bacon

Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, Charles Noel Douglas, compiler (1917)

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