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Quotations --- Francis Bacon


 

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.

 

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.

 

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

 

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

 

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

 

Reading maketh a full man; and writing an axact man. And, therefore, if a man write little, he need have a present wit; and if he read little, he need have much cunning to seem to know which he doth not.

 

Wonder is the seed of knowledge.

 

Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.

 

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand--and melting like a snowflake...”

 

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

 

Money is a great servant but a bad master.

 

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

 

Knowledge is power.

 

There are two ways of spreading light..to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

 

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

 

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.

 

Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read.

 

If we are to achieve things never before accomplished we must employ methods never before attempted.

 

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

 

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 true friendship.

 

The remedy is worse than the disease.

 

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.

 

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.

 

A man that is young in years may be old in hours if he have lost no time.

 

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

 

For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.

 

For friends... do but look upon good Books: they are true friends, that will neither flatter nor dissemble.

 

To conclude, therefore, let no man upon a weak conceit of sobriety or an ill-applied moderation think or maintain that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or the book of God's works, divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficience in both; only let men beware that they apply both to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to ostentation; and again, that they do not unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together.

 

Nature cannot be commanded except by being obeyed.

 

The Idols of 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.

 

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

 

To say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men.

 

Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest shall be provided or its loss shall not be felt.

 

People of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon and seldom drive business home to it's conclusion, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.

 

The surest way to prevent seditions...is to take away the matter of them.

 

The virtue of prosperity is temperance, the virtue of adversity is fortitude.

 

“Nay, the same Solomon the king, although he excelled in the glory of treasure and magnificent buildings, of shipping and navigation, of service and attendance, of fame and renown, and the like, yet he maketh no claim to any of those glories, but only to the glory of inquisition of truth; for so he saith expressly, "The glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the glory of the king is to find it out;" as if, according to the innocent play of children, the Divine Majesty took delight to hide His works, to the end to have them found out; and as if kings could not obtain a greater honour than to be God's playfellows in that game”

 

Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study.

 

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

 

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

 

There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious.

 

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

 

The human understanding is of its own nature prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds.

 

For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblances of things and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their subtler differences; as being gifted by nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of imposture.

 

Knowledge is a rich storehouse, for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man's estate.

 

He of whom many are afraid ought to fear many.

 

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

 

Discern of the coming on of years, and think not to do the same things still; for age will not be defied.

 

There was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself, as the lover doth of the person loved; and therefore it was well said, That it is impossible to love, and to be wise.

 

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

 

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

 

 Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last; and for the most part it makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out of countenance; but yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh virtue shine, and vices blush.

 

To suffering there is a limit; to fearing, none.

 

Whoseoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god. Certain it is that the light that a man receiveth by counsel from another is drier and purer than that which cometh from his own understanding and judgment.

 

I would address one general admonition to all, that they consider what are the true ends of knowledge, and that they seek it not either for pleasure of the mind, or for contention, or for superiority to others, or for profit, or for fame, or power, or any of these inferior things, but for the benefit and use of life; and that they perfect and govern it in charity. For it was from lust of power that the Angels fell, from lust of knowledge that man fell, but of charity there can be no excess, neither did angel or man come in danger by it.”

 

If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.

 

Let every student of nature take this as a rule,-- that whatever his mind seizes and dwells upon with peculiar satisfaction is to be held in suspicion.

 



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