Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Francis Bacon. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are seen as developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution.
Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. He argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. Most importantly, he argued science could be achieved by the use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. Although his most specific proposals about such a method, the Baconian method, did not have long-lasting influence, the general idea of the importance and possibility of a sceptical methodology makes Bacon the father of the scientific method. This method was a new rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, whose practical details are still central to debates on science and methodology.
Francis Bacon was a patron of libraries and developed a system for cataloguing books under three categories – history, poetry, and philosophy – which could further be divided into specific subjects and subheadings. Bacon was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he rigorously followed the medieval curriculum, largely in Latin.
Bacon was the first recipient of the Queen's counsel designation, conferred in 1597 when Elizabeth I of England reserved him as her legal advisor. After the accession of James VI and I in 1603, Bacon was knighted, then created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St Alban in 1621.
He had no heirs and so both titles became extinct on his death in 1626 at the age of 65. He died of pneumonia, with one account by John Aubrey stating that he had contracted it while studying the effects of freezing on meat preservation. He is buried at St Michael's Church, St Albans, Hertfordshire.
They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.
Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercouse.
Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth, and embaseth it.
Ambition is like choler; which is an humor that maketh men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not stopped. But if it be stopped, and cannot have his way, it becometh adust, and thereby malign and venomous.
REVENGE is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.
Mixture of lie doeth ever add pleasure.
God has, in fact, written two books, not just one. Of course, we are all familiar with the first book he wrote, namely Scripture. But he has written a second book called creation.
The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding.
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in proportion.
Men fear death, as children fear to go into the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
The universe must not be narrowed down to the limit of our understanding, but our understanding must be stretched and enlarged to take in the image of the universe as it is discovered.
A man that is young in years may be old in hours, if he has lost no time.
If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.
The master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools, and arguments are fitted to practice in a reversed order.
A prudent question is one half of wisdom.
When a judge departs from the letter of the law he becomes a lawbreaker.
Bashfulness is a great hindrance to a man, both in uttering his sentiments and in understanding what is proposed to him; 't is therefore good to press forward with discretion, both in discourse and company of the better sort.
New nobility is but the act of power, but ancient nobility is the act of time.
Death ...openeth the gate to good fame and extinguisheth envy.
The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears: they cannot utter the one, nor will they utter the other.
The breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air than in the hand.
Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not; a sense of humour to console him for what he is.
Envy is ever joined with the comparing of a man's self; and where there is no comparison, no envy.
It is a true rule that love is ever rewarded, either with the reciproque or with an inward and secret contempt.
We cannot command nature except by obeying her.
Art is man added to Nature.
The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.
The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.
Of all things known to mortals, wine is the most powerful and effectual for exciting and inflaming the passions of mankind, being common fuel to them all.
Before I start painting I have a slightly ambiguous feeling: happiness is a special excitement because unhappiness is always possible a moment later.
Defer not charities till death; for certainly, if a man weigh it rightly, he that doth so is rather liberal of another man's than of his own.
I would like, in my arbitrary way, to bring one nearer to the actual human being.
Great boldness is seldom without some absurdity.
Philosophers make imaginary laws for imaginary commonwealths, and their discourses are as the stars, which give little light because they are so high.
Base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in the dark.
Books will speak plain when counselors blanch.
You can't be more horrific than life itself.
Out of monuments, names, words proverbs ...and the like, we do save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time.
Certainly virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant when they are incensed, or crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.
The cause and root of nearly all evils in the sciences is this-that while we falsely admire and extol the powers of the human mind we neglect to seek for its true helps.
Nay, number itself in armies importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for, as Virgil saith, It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.
In all negotiations of difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees.
All superstition is much the same whether it be that of astrology, dreams, omen, retributive judgment, or the like, in all of which the deluded believers observe events which are fulfilled, but neglect and pass over their failure, though it be much more common.
Such is the way of all superstition, whether in astrology, dreams, omens, divine judgments, or the like; wherein men, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happen much oftener.
Excusations, cessions, modesty itself well governed, are but arts of ostentation.
A good name is like precious ointment ; it filleth all round about, and will not easily away; for the odors of ointments are more durable than those of flowers.
It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives.
Perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures.
When any of the four pillars of government-religion, justice, counsel, and treasure-are mainly shaken or weakened, men had need to pray for fair weather.
Salomon saith, There is no new thing upon the earth. So that as Plato had an imagination, that all knowledge was but remembrance; so Salomon giveth his sentence, that all novelty is but oblivion.
Nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body, and it addeth no small reverence to men's manners and actions if they be not altogether open. Therefore set it down: That a habit of secrecy is both politic and moral.
He that cometh to seek after knowledge, with a mind to scorn, shall be sure to find matter for his humour, but no matter for his instruction.
No artist knows in his own lifetime whether what he does will be the slightest good, because it takes at least seventy-five to a hundred years before the thing begins to sort itself out.
There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little, and therefore men should remedy suspicion by procuring to know more, and not keep their suspicions in smother.
Discretion in speech is more than eloquence.
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.
I usually accept bribes from both sides so that tainted money can never influence my decision.
I always think of myself not so much as a painter but as a medium for accident and chance.
The punishing of wits enhances their authority.
We gave ourselves for lost men, and prepared for death. Yet we did lift up our hearts and voices to God above, who showeth His wonders in the deep.
If you dissemble sometimes your knowledge of that you are thought to know, you shall be thought, another time, to know that you know not.
Whence we see spiders, flies, or ants entombed and preserved forever in amber, a more than royal tomb.
The bee enclosed and through the amber shown Seems buried in the juice which was his own.
Ask counsel of both timesof the ancient time what is best, and of the latter time what is fittest.
Much bending breaks the bow; much unbending the mind.
A bad man is worse when he pretends to be a saint.
But we are not dedicating or building any Capitol or Pyramid to human Pride, but found a holy temple in the human Intellect, on the model of the Universe... For whatever is worthy of Existence is worthy of Knowledge-which is the Image (or Echo) of Existence.
The cord breaketh at last by the weakest pull.
It is nothing won to admit men with an open door, and to receive them with a shut and reserved countenance.
If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master.
Such philosophy as shall not vanish in the fume of subtile, sublime, or delectable speculation but shall be operative to the endowment and betterment of man's life.
I wonder why it is that the countries with the most nobles also have the most misery?
Jesus would have been one of the best photographers that ever existed. He was always looking at the beauty of people souls. In fact Jesus was constantly making pictures of God in people's life by looking at their souls and exposing them to his light.
It cannot be denied that outward accidents conduce much to fortune, favor, opportunity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue; but chiefly, the mold of a man's fortune is in his own hands.
By this means we presume we have established for ever, a true and legitimate marriage between the Empirical and Rational faculty; whose fastidious and unfortunate divorce and separation hath troubled and disordered the whole race and generation of mankind.
There is no such flatterer as is a man's self.
It is the true office of history to represent the events themselves, together with the counsels, and to leave the observations and conclusions thereupon to the liberty and faculty of every man's judgment.
The specious meditations, speculations, and theories of mankind are but a kind of insanity, only there is no one to stand by and observe it.
Is it not knowledge that doth alone clear the mind of all perbutations?
Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.
Painting is a duality and abstract painting is an entirely aesthetic thing. It always remains on one level. It is only really interesting in the beauty of its patterns or its shapes.
The best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful admonition of a friend.
They who derive their worth from their ancestors resemble potatoes, the most valuable part of which is underground.
In civil business; what first? boldness; what second and third? boldness: and yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness.
I have to hope that my instincts will do the right thing, because I can't erase what I have done. And if I drew something first, then my paintings would be illustrations of drawings.
Be so true to thyself, as thou be not false to others.
I use all sorts of things to work with: old brooms, old sweaters, and all kinds of peculiar tools and materials... I paint to excite myself, and make something for myself.
The doctrines of religion are resolved into carefulness; carefulness into vigorousness; vigorousness into guiltlessness; guiltlessness into abstemiousness; abstemiousness into cleanliness; cleanliness into godliness.
It was prettily devised of Aesop, The fly sat on the axle tree of the chariot wheel and said, what dust do I raise!
Money is like muck, not good unless spread.
He that seeketh to be eminent amongst able men hath a great task; but that is ever good for the public. But he that plots to be the only figure amongst ciphers is the decay of a whole age.
A much talking judge is an ill-tuned cymbal.