Francis Bacon

Francis
Bacon
1561
1626

English Scientist, Author, Philosopher

Author Quotes

There were taken apples, and Â… closed up in wax. Â… 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.

They that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils.

Those friends are weak and worthless, that will not use the privilege of friendship in admonishing their friends with freedom and confidence, as well of their errors as of their danger.

The momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil.

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.

The spending in the theoretical study and time-consuming hit from laziness and lethargy, and be manufactured cost and love in appearing Astnadk in your judgment is always on the provisions of the theoretical study and hit the bases of shamelessness scientists and their mood

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.

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!

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.

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.

Therefore if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune: for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.

They who derive their worth from their ancestors resemble potatoes, the most valuable part of which is underground.

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.

The monuments of Wit survive the monuments of power. The verses of a poet endure without a syllable lost, while States and Empires pass many periods. Let him (the poet) not think he shall descend : for he is now upon a hill as a ship is mounted upon the ridge of a wave : but that Hill of the Muses is above tempests, always clear and calm; a hill of the goodliest discovery, that man can have, being a prospect upon all the errors and wanderings of the present and former times. Yea, in some cliff it leadeth the eye beyond the horizon of time, and giveth no obscure divination of time to come.

The pleasure and delight of knowledge far surpasseth all other in nature. We see in all other pleasures there is satiety; and after they be used, their verdure departeth, which showeth well that they be but deceits of pleasure, and not pleasures; and that it was the novelty which pleased, not the quality; and therefore we see that voluptuous men turn friars, and ambitious princes turn melancholy. But of knowledge there is no satiety, but satisfaction and appetite are perpetually interchangeable.

The stage is more beholding to love than the life of man. For as to the stage, love is ever a matter of Comedies , and now and then of tragedies . It is strange to note the excess of this passion; and how it braves the nature and value of things, that the speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but love.

The vices of authority are chiefly four: delays, corruption, roughness, and facility. For delays give easy access; keep times appointed; go through with that which is in hand, and interlace not business but of necessity. For corruption doth not only bind thine own hands or thy servants from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from offering: for integrity used doth the one; but integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other; and avoid not only the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found variable, and changeth manifestly without manifest cause, giveth suspicion of corruption: therefore, always, when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and declare it, together with the reasons that move thee to change, and do not think to steal it. A servant or a favorite, if he be inward, and no other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly thought but a by-way to close corruption. For roughness, it is a needless cause of discontent: severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility, it is worse than bribery; for bribes come but now and then; but if importunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be without; as Solomon saith, “To respect persons it is not good, for such a man will transgress for a piece of bread.”

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 Theatre … The Idols of the 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. The Idols of the Cave are the idols of the individual man. For every one (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. 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 where with 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. 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 Theatre; 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.

There is a great difference betwixt a cunning man and a wise man. There be that can pack the cards, who yet cannot play well; they are good in canvasses and factions, and yet otherwise mean men.

There is no other way but to meditate and ruminate well upon the effects of anger,—how it troubles man’s life; and the best time to do this is to look back upon anger when the fit is thoroughly over. Seneca saith well, “that anger is like rain, which breaks itself upon that it falls.” The Scripture exhorteth us “to possess our souls in patience:” whosoever is out of patience is out of possession of his soul…. 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…. 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 “communia 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.

There's no fortune so good, but it bates an ace.

Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.

Those Spaniards in Mexico who were chased of the Indians tell us what to do with our goods in our extremity. They being to pass over a river in their flight, as many as cast away their gold swam over safe; but some, more covetous, keeping their gold, were either drowned with it, or overtaken and slain by the savages: you have received, now learn to give.

The more a man drinketh of the world, the more it intoxicateth; and age doth profit rather in the powers of understanding, than in the virtues of the will and affections.

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!

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

English Scientist, Author, Philosopher