Francis Bacon Quotes

Francis Bacon was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England.

Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon quotes part 1

Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.

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

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.

Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter.

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

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

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

Science is but an image of the truth.

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

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

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

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

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set.

When a man laughs at his troubles he loses a great many friends. They never forgive the loss of their prerogative.

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

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

God’s first creature, which was light.

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

The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.

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

He that hath knowledge spareth his words.

The worst solitude is to have no real friendships.

Silence is the virtue of fools.

What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.

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.

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

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

This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.

Wise men make more opportunities than they find.

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

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

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.

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

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.

Friends are thieves of time.

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.

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

Next to religion, let your care be to promote justice.

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

Acorns were good until bread was found.

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

Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.

It is impossible to love and to be wise.

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.

There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little.

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

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

The worst men often give the best advice.

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.

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

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.

If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.

The pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon.

Riches are a good hand maiden, but a poor mistress.

Studies perfect nature and are perfected still by experience.

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

We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.

By indignities men come to dignities.

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

Who ever is out of patience is out of possession of their soul.

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.

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

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

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

Francis Bacon quotes part 2

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

The place of justice is a hallowed place.

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.

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.

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

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.

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.

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.

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

It is natural to die as to be born.

Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished.

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

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

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.

Rebellions of the belly are the worst.

Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses.

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

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.

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

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

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.

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.

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

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

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.

God hangs the greatest weights upon the smallest wires.

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

I had rather believe all the Fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a Mind.

Studies serve for delight, for ornaments, and for ability.

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.

The remedy is worse than the disease.

We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.

Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.

Opportunity makes a thief.

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

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.

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

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

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

Knowledge and human power are synonymous.

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.

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

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

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.

The great end of life is not knowledge but action.

Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety.

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

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

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.

Knowledge is power.

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

Friendship increases in visiting friends, but in visiting them seldom.

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

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

The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding.

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

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

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