Francis Bacon

(Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban)

Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
  • Born: January 22, 1561
  • Died: April 9, 1626
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Philosopher









Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, PC QC (/ˈbeɪkən/; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher and statesman, who served as Attorney General, and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method, and remained influential through the scientific revolution.

Quote Topics Cited
… there is not anything, amongst civil affairs, more subject to error than the right valuation and true judgment concerning the power and forces of an estate…. Walled towns, stored arsenals and armouries, goodly races of horses, chariots of war, elephants, ordnance, artillery, and the like, all this is but a sheep in a lion’s skin, except the breed and disposition of the people be stout and warlike. Military & Veterans
A steady hand in military affairs is more requisite than in peace, because an error committed in war may prove irremediable. Leaders & Leadership
A wise king must do less in altering his laws than he may; for new government is ever dangerous … Legislating & Legislative Process
All nations that are liberal of naturalization toward strangers are fit for empire. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
All rising to a great place is by a winding stair. Miscellaneous
All that impugn a received religion or superstition are, by the adverse part, branded with the name of atheists. Religion & God
Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor. Miscellaneous
Antiquities are history defaced, or some remnants of history which have casually escaped the shipwreck of time. Time ;History
As for jest, there are certain things which ought to be privileged from it; namely, religion, matters of state, great persons, any man's present business of importance and any case that deserveth pity. Miscellaneous
Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Each single thing can be referred more easily to the hand and rod of God. This is nothing more or less than wishing to please God by a lie. Religion & God
He that plots to be the only figure among ciphers, is the decay of the whole age.
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
His laws, whoso marks them well, are deep, and not vulgar; not made upon the spur of a particular occasion for the present, but out of providence of the future, to make the estate of his people still more and more happy; after the manner of the legislators in ancient and heroical times. Legislating & Legislative Process
Histories make men wise. History
Hurl your calumnies boldly; something is sure to stick. Audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I respect you, I fear you not; and the less you speak of your own greatness, the more I will think of it. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
In civil business; what first? Boldness; what second and third? boldness. Leaders & Leadership
In government change is suspected. Management & Managing Government
In nature and state, it is safer to change many things than one. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
It is a miserable state of mind, to have few things to desire and many things to fear; and yet that commonly is the case of Kings. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than the torture of laws. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Judges ought to remember that their office is Ius dicere and not Ius dare; to interpret law, and not to make law, or give law. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Knowledge and human power are synonymous. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Power
Knowledge itself is power. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Let princes choose ministers … rather upon conscience than upon bravery.
Lies are sufficient to breed opinion and opinion brings on substance. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true. Propaganda & Disinformation
Measure not dispatch by the times of sitting, but by the advancement of business. Management & Managing Government
Men in great places are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Men on their side must force themselves for a while to lay their notions by and begin to familiarize themselves with facts. Propaganda & Disinformation
Money is like muck, not good except it be spread. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Nothing destroyeth authority so much as the unequal and untimely interchange of power pressed too far, and relaxed too much. Power
Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise. Leaders & Leadership
Power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring. Power
Princes need, in tender matters and ticklish times, to beware what they say. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. Human Nature
States are great engines moving slowly. States. Nations & Nationhood
The empire of man over things is founded on the ... sciences. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The four pillars of government are ... religion, justice, counsel, and treasure. Management & Managing Government
The greatest vicissitude of things amongst men, is the vicissitude of sects and religions. Religion & God
The inquiry, knowledge, and belief of truth is the sovereign good of human nature. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The remedy is worse than the disease. Management & Managing Government
The speaking in perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but love. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
The subject we talk of is the eye of England: if there be a speck or two in the eye, we endeavor to take them off; he would be a strange oculist, who should pull out the eye.” Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The vices of authority are chiefly four: delays, corruption, roughness and facility [weakness]. Management & Managing Government
The voice of the people hath some divineness in it, else how should so many men agree to be of one mind? Public Opinion & Polling
The ways to enrich are many, and most of them foul. Business, Commerce & Finance
There are three thing which make a nation great and prosperous: a fertile soil, busy workshops, easy conveyance for men and goods from place to place. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
There is one radical distinction between different minds … that some minds are stronger and apter to mark the difference of things, others to mark their resemblances. Human Nature
To worship the people is to be worshipped. Public Opinion & Polling
Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority. Truth ;Time ;Miscellaneous
Women to govern men, slaves freemen, are much in the same degree; all being total violations and perversions of the laws of nature and nations. Human Nature
You shall have sometime your house so full of glass that we cannot tell where to come to be out of the sun or the cold. Housing
A bachelor's life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner. Life
A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. Religion & God
A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it.
A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.
A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.
A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open.
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
Acorns were good until bread was found.
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. Trust
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. Women
As the births of living creatures are at first ill-shapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time. Time
Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
But men must know, that in this theatre of man's life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on. Life ;Religion & God
By indignities men come to dignities.
Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried, or childless men.
Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy, but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon.
Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter.
Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable. Life
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.
Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.
Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
For my name and memory I leave to men's charitable speeches, and to foreign nations and the next ages.
Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.
Fortune is like the market, where, many times, if you can stay a little, the price will fall.
Friends are thieves of time. Time
Friendship increases in visiting friends, but in visiting them seldom. Friendship
God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. Religion & God
God hangs the greatest weights upon the smallest wires. Religion & God
God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave. Religion & God ;Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
God's first creature, which was light. Religion & God
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.
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.
He that hath knowledge spareth his words. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator. Time
Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper. Hope
Houses are built to live in, and not to look on: therefore let use be preferred before uniformity.
I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death. Death
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.
I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.
If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.
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.
If a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.
Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. Humor
In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.
In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.
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. Power
It is a true rule that love is ever rewarded, either with the reciproque or with an inward and secret contempt. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
It is as hard and severe a thing to be a true politician as to be truly moral.
It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.
It is impossible to love and to be wise. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
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. Life
It is natural to die as to be born.
Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than that of laws.
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.
Knowledge is power. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Power
Lies are sufficient to breed opinion, and opinion brings on substance.
Life, an age to the miserable, and a moment to the happy. Life
Many a man's strength is in opposition, and when he faileth, he grows out of use.
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. Death
Money is like manure, of very little use except it be spread. Money, Coins & Minting
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.
Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished. Nature
Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. Nature
Next to religion, let your care be to promote justice. Religion & God
No body can be healthful without exercise, neither natural body nor politic, and certainly, to a kingdom or estate, a just and honourable war is the true exercise. War & Peace
Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety.
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.
Opportunity makes a thief.
People have discovered that they can fool the devil; but they can't fool the neighbors.
People usually think according to their inclinations, speak according to their learning and ingrained opinions, but generally act according to custom. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Pictures and shapes are but secondary objects and please or displease only in the memory.
Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many comforts and hopes.
Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.
Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted... but to weigh and consider.
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
Rebellions of the belly are the worst.
Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. Nature
Riches are a good hand maiden, but a poor mistress.
Science is but an image of the truth. Truth ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will not be felt.
Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.
Silence is the virtue of fools.
Small amounts of philosophy lead to atheism, but larger amounts bring us back to God. Religion & God
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
Studies perfect nature and are perfected still by experience. Nature
Studies serve for delight, for ornaments, and for ability.
The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.
The desire of excessive power caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge caused men to fall. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Power
The fortune which nobody sees makes a person happy and unenvied.
The genius, wit, and the spirit of a nation are discovered by their proverbs.
The great end of life is not knowledge but action. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life
The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grieves and fears.
The mechanical arts are of ambiguous use, serving as well for hurt as for remedy.
The momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil. Life ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon.
The place of justice is a hallowed place.
The quarrels and divisions about religion were evils unknown to the heathen. The reason was because the religion of the heathen consisted rather in rites and ceremonies than in any constant belief. Religion & God
The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.
The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding. Nature
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.
The worst men often give the best advice.
The worst solitude is to have no real friendships.
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. Happiness & Unhappiness
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. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
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.
There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little.
Therefore if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.
They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
They that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils.
Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.
This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Travel
Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion. Truth
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. Truth
Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible. Truth
Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set.
We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.
We cannot command Nature except by obeying her. Nature
What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Truth
When a man laughs at his troubles he loses a great many friends. They never forgive the loss of their prerogative.
Who ever is out of patience is out of possession of their soul. Patience
Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.
Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god. Religion & God
Wise men make more opportunities than they find.
Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men's nurses. Women
Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
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. Business, Commerce & Finance