Francis Bacon Quotes – Sayings


Famous Francis Bacon quotations. Francis Bacon quotes on science, hope, knowledge and more.


  1. [Knowledge is] a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator, and the relief of man’s estate.
  2. They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
  3. But men must know, that in this theatre of man’s life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers-on.
  4. We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.
  5. All good moral philosophy is but the handmaid to religion.
  6. Fortunes … come tumbling into some men’s laps.
  7. That other principle of Lysander, ‘That children are to be deceived with comfits and men with oaths’.
  8. Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
  9. Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.
  10. Like strawberry wives, that laid two or three great strawberries at the mouth of their pot, and all the rest were little ones.
  11. One of the Seven was wont to say: ‘That laws were like cobwebs; where the small flies were caught, and the great brake through.
  12. Riches are a good handmaiden, but the worst mistress.
  13. I have of ten thought upon death, and i find it the least of all evils.
  14. My essays … come home, to men’s business, and bosoms.
  15. What is truth ? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer,
  16. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.
  17. lt is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the hurt.
  18. Certainly it is a heaven upon earth, to have a, man’s mind to move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.
  19. 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.
  20. Reveage triumphs over death; love slights it; honour aspireth to it; grief flieth to it.
  21. It is as natural to die as to be bom; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.
  22. All colours will agree in the dark.
  23. Revenge is a kind of wild justice.
  24. A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.
  25. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament, adversity is the blessing of the New.
  26. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without, comforts and hopes.
  27. Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.
  28. Nakedness is uncomely as well in mind, as body.
  29. The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears.
  30. Children sweeten labours; but they make misfortunes more bitter.
  31. The noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men.
  32. He that hath wife and children, hath given hostages to fortune; for theyare impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue, or mischief.
  33. There are some other that account wife and children but as bills of charges.
  34. Wives are young men’s mistresses; companions for middle age; and old men’s nurses.
  35. He was reputed one of the wise men that made answer to the question, when a man should marry ? ‘A young man not yet, an elder man not at all.
  36. The speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but in love.
  37. The arch-flatterer, with whom all the petty fiatterers have intelligence, is a man’s self.
  38. Nuptial lo ve maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it.
  39. Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants offame; and servants of business.
  40. It is a strange desire to seek power and to lose liberty.
  41. Set it down to thyself, as well to create good precedents as to follow them.
  42. Severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave and not taunting.
  43. As in nature things move violently to their place and calmly in their place, so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm.
  44. There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise.
  45. In civil business; what first? Boldness; what second, and third? Boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness.
  46. Boldness is an ill-keeper of promise.
  47. If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.
  48. In charity there is no excess.
  49. If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.
  50. New nobility is but the act of power, but ancient nobility is the act of time.
  51. Nobility of birth commonly abateth industry.
  52. The four pillars of government … (which are religion, justice, counsel, and treasure).
  53. The surest way to prevent seditions (if the times do bear it) is to take away the matter of them.
  54. Money is like muck, not good except it be spread.
  55. The remedy is worse than the disease.
  56. God never wrought miraele to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it.
  57. A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.
  58. For none deny there is a God, but those for whom it maketh that there were no God.
  59. It were betterto have no opinion of God at all, than such an opinion as is unworthy of him.
  60. There is a superstition in avoiding superstition.
  61. Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.
  62. Let diaries, therefore, be brought in use.
  63. Books will speak plain when counsellors blanch.
  64. There be that can pack the cards, andyet cannot play well.
  65. When he wrote aletter, he would put that which was most material in the postscript, as if it had been a by-matter.
  66. Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.
  67. Be so true to thyself, as thou be not false to others.
  68. Certainly it is the nature of extrerne self lovers,as they will set an house on fire, and it were but to roast their eggs.
  69. It is the wisdom of the crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour.
  70. He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovater.
  71. A wise man that had it for a by-word; when hesaw men hasten to a conclusion, ‘Stay a Iittle, that we may make an end the sooner’.
  72. To choose time is to save time.
  73. The French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are.
  74. ‘It had been hard for him that spake it to have put more truth and untruth together, in few words, than in that speech: ‘Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast, or a god’.
  75. A crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures.
  76. Cure the disease and kill the patient.
  77. Riches are for spending.
  78. Neither is money the sinews of war (as it ıs trivially said).
  79. He that commands the sea is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little of the war as he will.
  80. Age will not be defied.
  81. Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight.
  82. There is nothing makes aman suspect much, more than to know little.
  83. Intermingle … jest with earnest.
  84. [Dreams and predictions] ought to serve but for winter talk by the fireside.
  85. Nature is often hidden; sametimes overcome; seldorn extinguished.
  86. A man’s nature runs either to herbs, or to weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.
  87. Beauty is like a richstone, best plainset.
  88. Houses are built to live in and not to lock on.
  89. God Almighty first planted a garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.
  90. There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals.
  91. Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.
  92. To spend too much time in studies is sloth.
  93. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.
  94. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and same few to be chewed and digested.
  95. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
  96. Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle ; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave ; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
  97. A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
  98. Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.
  99. It was prettily devised of Aesop, ‘The fly sat upon the axle-tree of the chariot-wheel and said, What a dust do I raise’.
  100. The place of justice is a hallowed place.
  101. Lucid intervals and happy pauses.
  102. I would live to study and not study to live.
  103. For knowledge itself is power.
  104. The world’s a bubble; and the life of man. Less than a span.
  105. Who then to frail mortality shall trust. But limns the water, or but writes in dust.
  106. What is it then to have or have no wife. But single thraldom, or a double strife?
  107. What then remains, but that we still should cry. Not to be born, or being born, to die?
  108. I have taken all knowledge to be my province.

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