Francis Bacon Quotes

Most popular Francis Bacon Quotes

Knowledge is power.
— Francis Bacon

power

Age will not be defied.

age

Knowledge itself is power.
— Francis Bacon

knowledge

In charity there is no excess.

charity

To choose time is to save time.
— Francis Bacon
Time is the greatest innovator.
— Francis Bacon

time

Silence is the virtue of fools.

silence

Time is the measure of business.
— Francis Bacon
Nature is commanded by obeying her.
— Francis Bacon
For also knowledge itself is power.

knowledge power

By indignities men come to dignities.

dignity

Time, . . . is the author of authors.
— Francis Bacon
It is impossible to love and to be wise.
— Francis Bacon

love cynical

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.

nature

A prudent question is one half of wisdom.
— Francis Bacon

wisdom asking questions

The place of justice is a hallowed place.

justice

No man is angry that feels not himself hurt.

anger

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set.

virtue

Perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures.
Young men are fitter to invent than to judge.
— Francis Bacon

creativity

I would live to study, and not study to live.
— Francis Bacon
Truth is the daughter of time, not authority.
— Francis Bacon
Virtue is a like a rich stone, best plain set.
— Francis Bacon
There is no such flatterer as is a man's self.

flattery self-deception the self

We cannot command nature except by obeying her.
— Francis Bacon

nature

All rising to great place is by a winding stair.

greatness

Critics are like brushers of noblemen's clothes.

critics

Money is like muck, not good except it be spread.

money

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

hope

Men prefer to believe what they prefer to be true.
— Francis Bacon
Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
— Francis Bacon
The wise will make more opportunities than they find
— Francis Bacon
Be so true to thyself as thou be not false to others.
— Francis Bacon
Truth emerges more readily from error than confusion.

error truth mistakes

Prosperity discovers vice, adversity discovers virtue.
— Francis Bacon
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

opportunity

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

artists

Time is the measure of business, as money is of wares.
— Francis Bacon

time

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.
— Francis Bacon

revenge

Chiefly the mold of a man's fortune is in his own hands.
— Francis Bacon
The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall.

power

Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.
Books are ships which pass through the vast seas of time.
— Francis Bacon
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils.
— Francis Bacon
The art of invention grows young with the things invented.
— Francis Bacon
Boldly sound your own praises, and some of them will stick.

praise

Truth comes out of error more readily than out of confusion.
— Francis Bacon

mistakes

The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.
— Francis Bacon
Children sweeten labors; but they make misfortunes more bitter.

children misfortune

A crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures.
— Francis Bacon
Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished.

potential nature

They that reverence too much old times are but a scorn to the new.
— Francis Bacon
The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears.
— Francis Bacon

parenting

For behavior, men learn it, as they take diseases, one of another.
— Francis Bacon

human nature

The speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but love.

exaggeration speech

Nothing doth more hurt in state than that cunning men pass for wise.
— Francis Bacon
There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little.

suspicion

The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man.

Goodness

Never any knowledge was delivered in the same manner it was invented.
— Francis Bacon
What is truth? Said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.
— Francis Bacon
One who is young in years may be old in hours, if he has lost no time.
— Francis Bacon
Human nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished.
— Francis Bacon
Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study.

ability education

Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last.

beauty

The genius, wit, and spirit of a nation are discovered in its proverbs.
— Francis Bacon
A healthy body is a guest-chamber for the soul; a sick body is a prison.
— Francis Bacon

health

Our humanity were a poor thing but for the divinity that stirs within us.
— Francis Bacon
In nature things move violently to their place, and calmly in their place.
— Francis Bacon
No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth.
— Francis Bacon
It is the wisdom of the crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour.

hypocrisy

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

reading writing

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.
— Francis Bacon
Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.

vice & virtue

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

beauty

Virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed.

virtue

Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable.
— Francis Bacon
The French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are.
— Francis Bacon

France

Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon.
— Francis Bacon
Many a man's strength is in opposition, and when that faileth, he groweth out of use.

opposition

Learning teaches how to carry things in suspense, without prejudice, till you resolve.
— Francis Bacon
God Almighty first planted a garden.  And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.

garden

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.
— Francis Bacon
Here is a test to see if your mission on earth is finished. If you are alive, it isn't.
— Francis Bacon
People have discovered that they can fool the devil; but they can't fool the neighbors.
— Francis Bacon

neighbors

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

science discovery imagination

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

asking questions

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

Travel

Nature is a labyrinth in which the very haste you move with will make you lose your way.
— Francis Bacon

nature

Nature is a labyrinth in which the very haste you move with, will make you lose your way.

nature

It is said of untrue valors, that some men's valors are in the eyes of them that look on.
— Francis Bacon
It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed.

goals

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

books

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

fortune

Science is the labor and handicraft of the mind; poetry can only be considered its recreation.
— Francis Bacon

science poetry

Philosophy, when superficially studied, excites doubt; when thoroughly explored, it dispels it.
— Francis Bacon
Seneca's Epistles to Lucilius, if one mark them well, are but Essays—that is dispersed meditations.

essays

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

fame

Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.
— Francis Bacon
If there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on fire.

revolution

The folly of one man is the fortune of another; for no man prospers so suddenly as by others' errors.

folly

For all knowledge and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself.

wonder

Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it.
— Francis Bacon
The folly of one man is the fortune of another.  For no man prospers so suddenly as by others' errors.

foolishness

All our actions take their hue from the complexion of the heart, as landscapes their variety from light.
— Francis Bacon
There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.
— Francis Bacon

effort failure

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

revenge

Knowledge hath in it somewhat of the serpent, and therefore where it entereth into a man it makes him swell.
— Francis Bacon

knowledge

It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infanct, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.
— Francis Bacon

birth death

Money is like manure, it's not worth anything unless you spread it around to help young beautiful things grow.
— Francis Bacon
The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall.
— Francis Bacon
Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read.
— Francis Bacon
A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.
— Francis Bacon

philosophy religion

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

revenge

Seek not proud riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly.
— Francis Bacon
Philosophy directs us first to seek the goods of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied, or are not much wanted.

philosophy

Men in great places are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business.

greatness

Boldness is ever blind, for it sees not dangers and inconveniences; whence it is bad in council though good in execution.
— Francis Bacon
Therefore if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.
— Francis Bacon

fortune

Nothing destroys authority so much as the unequal and untimely interchange of power, pressed too far and relaxed too much.
— Francis Bacon
Men suppose their reason has command over their words; still it happens that words in return exercise authority on reason.
— Francis Bacon
For as your majesty saith most aptly and elegantly, "As the tongue speaketh to the ear so the gesture speaketh to the eye."

body language

The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.

prosperity adversity

Let the mind be enlarged... to the grandeur of the mysteries, and not the mysteries contracted to the narrowness of the mind.
— Francis Bacon
The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man's body.
— Francis Bacon
Judges ought to remember, that their office is jus dicere, and not jus dare; to interpret law, and not to make law, or give law.
— Francis Bacon

courts

This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half.

friendship communication

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
— Francis Bacon

death

Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.

death

If we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts; but if we begin in doubts, and are patient in them, we shall end in certainties.
— Francis Bacon
Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than for counsel, fitter for new projects than for settled business.
— Francis Bacon
Logic and rhetoric make men able to contend. Logic differeth from rhetoric as the fist from the palm; the one close, the other at large.
— Francis Bacon
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.

certainty doubt

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

family

There are three things which make a nation great and prosperous-a fertile soil, busy workshops, and easy conveyance for men and commodities.
— Francis Bacon

natural resources

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
— Francis Bacon
When ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately sooner than to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater perfection.
— Francis Bacon

garden

We are born with a scream; we come into life with a scream, and maybe love is a mosquito net between the fear of living and the fear of death.
— Francis Bacon

love

Discretion of speech is more than eloquence; and to speak agreeably to one with whom we deal with is more than to speak in good words, or in good order.
— Francis Bacon
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.

understanding

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.
— Francis Bacon
The punishment of wits enhances their authority, and a forbidden writing is thought to be a certain spark of truth that flies up in the face of them who seek to tread it out.

censorship

Nor do apothegms only serve for ornament and delight, but also for action and civil use: as being the edge-tools of speech, which cut and penetrate the knot of business and affairs.
There are three parts in truth: first, the inquiry, which is the wooing of it; secondly, the knowledge of it, which is the presence of it; and thirdly, the belief, which is the enjoyment of it.
— Francis Bacon
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

charity

For strength of nature in youth passeth over many excesses, which are owing a man till his age. Discern the coming on of years, and think not to do the same things still; for age will not be defied.
— Francis Bacon
A man would do well to carry a pencil in his pocket, and write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable, and should be secured, because they seldom return.
— Francis Bacon
Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning, and almost childish; then his youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile; then his strength of years, when it is solid and reduced; and, lastly, his old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust.

learning

It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore and to see ships tossed upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth...and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below.

truth