Francis Bacon


English Scientist, Author, Philosopher

Author Quotes

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 labor what to speak as to find what to leave unspoken. Rich soils are often to be weeded.

Wisdom in speaking more valuable than fluency.

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.

Whence we see spiders, flies, or ants entombed and preserved forever in amber, a more than royal tomb.

Wisdom in the converse is more valuable than eloquence.

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.

What is it then to have or have no wife, but single thraldom, or a double strife?

Whereas men have many reasons to persuade, to use them all at once weakeneth them. For it argueth a neediness in every one of the reasons, as if one did not trust to any of them, but fled from one to another.

Wise men make more opportunities than they find.

Young men are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and fitter for new projects than for settled business: for the experience of age, in things that fall within the compass of it, directeth them: but in new things abuseth them. 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. 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.

What is more kindly than the feeling between host and guest? If a man be gracious to strangers, it shows that he is a citizen of the world and his heart is no island, cut off from other islands, but a continent that joins them.

Whereas they have sacrificed to themselves, they become sacrificers to the inconstancy of fortune, whose wings they thought, by their self-wisdom, to have pinioned.

Wise people make history, poetry makes people fluent tongue, making the ingenious mathematics, philosophy leads people to think in, makes people behave morally earnest, logic and science of speech makes people come forward and speak.

What is set down by order and division doth demonstrate that nothing is left out or omitted, but all is there.

Whether it be curiosity, or vain glory, or nature, Philanthropy is so fixed in my mind as it cannot be removed.

With a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud I try to be a fraud and a half.

What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. But it is not only the difficulty and labor which men take in finding out of truth....that doth bring lies in favor but a natural, though corrupt love of the lie itself.

Who does not want to think is fanatic who can not think is an idiot who does not dare to think is a coward.

With regard to authority, it is the greatest weakness to attribute infinite credit to particular authors, and to refuse his own judgment to Time, the author of all authors, and therefore of all authority.

What then remains but that we still should cry not to be born, or, being born, to die?

Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.

With respect to this charge of bribery I am as innocent as any born upon St. Innocent's Day. I never had bribe or reward in my eye or thoughts when pronouncing sentence or order.

Whatever is new is unlooked for; and even it mends some, and impairs others: and he that is holpen takes it for a fortune, and he that is hurt for a wrong.

Who taught the parrot his "Welcome?" Who taught the raven in a drought to throw pebbles into a hollow tree where she espied water, that the water might rise so as she might come to it? Who taught the bee to sail through such a vast sea of air, and to find the way from a flower in a field to her hive? Who taught the ant to bite every grain of corn that she burieth in her hill, lest it should take root and grow?

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.

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English Scientist, Author, Philosopher