Francis Bacon

Francis
Bacon
1561
1626

English Scientist, Author, Philosopher

Author Quotes

Vain-glorious men are the scorn of the wise, the admiration of fools, the idols of paradise, and the slaves of their own vaunts.

We take cunning for a sinister, or crooked, wisdom, and certainly there is a great difference between a cunning man and a wise man, not only in point of honesty, but in point of ability…. 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.”… It is a point of cunning to let fall those words in a man’s own name which he would have another man learn and use, and thereupon take advantage…. 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…. But these small wares and petty points of cunning are infinite, and it were a good deed to make the best of them; for that nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.

To discover, then, the ignorance and error of this opinion, and the misunderstanding in the grounds thereof, it may well appear these men do not observe or consider that it was not the pure knowledge of Nature and universality, a knowledge by the light whereof man did give names unto other creatures in Paradise as they were brought before him according unto their proprieties, which gave the occasion to the fall; but it was the proud knowledge of good and evil, with an intent in man to give law unto himself, and to depend no more upon GodÂ’s commandments, which was the form of the temptation.

Truth , which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making or 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.

Velazquez found the perfect balance between the ideal illustration which he was required to produce, and the overwhelming emotion he aroused in the spectator.

We want short, sound, and judicious notes upon Scripture, without running into commonplaces, pursuing controversies, or reducing those notes to artificial method, but leaving them quite loose and native. For, certainly, 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 the 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.

To fortify imagination there be three ways: the authority whence the belief is derived, means to quicken and corroborate the imagination, and means to repeat it and refresh it.

Truth ... is the sovereign good of human nature.

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.

What a miserable thing it is to be injured by those of whom we cannot complain.

To invent is to discover that we know not, and not to recover or resummon that which we already know.

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.

Vices of the time; vices of the man.

To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the truth of civil business, it will be acknowledged, even by those who practise it not, that clear and round dealing is the honor of manÂ’s nature, and that mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it: for these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent: which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet.

Truth is a naked and open daylight, Truth which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the enquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it, and the belief 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.

Virtue is best in a body that hath rather dignity of presence than beauty of aspect. The beautiful prove accomplished, but not of great spirit; and study, for the most part, rather behaviour than virtue.

To say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men.

Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.

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; and therefore they prove accomplished, but not of great spirit: and study rather behaviour than virtue. But this holds not always.

To suffering there is a limit; to fearing, none.

Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.

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.

To take a soldier without ambition, is to pull off his spurs.

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?

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.

Author Picture
First Name
Francis
Last Name
Bacon
Birth Date
1561
Death Date
1626
Bio

English Scientist, Author, Philosopher