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Francis Bacon (Artist)

The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power.
Francis Bacon power
is power.
Francis Bacon power
Nothing is terrible except fear itself.
Francis Bacon fear
Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.
Francis Bacon home
Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.
Francis Bacon
I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken allto be my province; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations, and verbosities, the other with blind experiments and auricular traditions and impostures, hath committed so many spoils, I hope I should bring in industrious observations, grounded conclusions, and profitable inventions and discoveries; the best state of that province. This, whether it be curiosity, or vain glory, or nature, or (if one take it favourably) philanthropia, is so fixed in my mind as it cannot be removed. And I do easily see, that place of any reasonable countenance doth bring commandment of more wits than of a man's own; which is the thing I greatly affect.
Francis Bacon hope
… a mere bond-servant to his logic, thereby rendering it contentious and well nigh useless.
Francis Bacon logic
I do plainly and ingenuously confess that I am guilty of corruption, and do renounce all defense. I beseech your Lordships to be merciful to a broken reed.
Francis Bacon guilt
Lucid intervals and happy pauses.
Francis Bacon happy
Nil terribile nisi ipse timor.
Francis Bacon
Riches are a good handmaid, but the worst mistress.
Francis Bacon good
Audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret.
Francis Bacon
I bequeath my soul to God... My body to be buried obscurely. For my name and memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, and to foreign nations, and the next age.
Francis Bacon soul
It is true that that may hold in these things, which is the general root of superstition; namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.
Francis Bacon men
Ne mireris, si vulgus verius loquatur quam honoratiores; quia etiam tutius loquitur.
Francis Bacon honor
He that defers his charity 'till he is dead, is (if a man weighs it rightly) rather liberal of another man's, than of his own.
Francis Bacon man
Whence we see spiders, flies, or ants entombed and preserved forever in amber, a more than royal tomb.
Francis Bacon lies
When you wander, as you often delight to do, you wander indeed, and give never such satisfaction as the curious time requires. This is not caused by any natural defect, but first for want of election, when you, having a large and fruitful mind, should not so much labour what to speak as to find what to leave unspoken. Rich soils are often to be weeded.
Francis Bacon time
"You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God" This canon is the mother of all canons against heresy; the causes of error are two; the ignorance of the will of God, and the ignorance or not sufficient consideration of his power.
Francis Bacon power
If thou shalt aspire after the glorious acts of men, thy working shall be accompanied with compunction and strife, and thy remembrance followed with distaste and upbraidings; and justly doth it come to pass towards thee, O man, that since thou, which art God's work, doest him no reason in yielding him well-pleasing service, even thine own works also should reward thee with the like fruit of bitterness.
Francis Bacon war
For a man to love again where he is loved, it is the charity of publicans contracted by mutual profit and good offices; but to love a man's enemies is one of the cunningest points of the law of , and an imitation of the divine nature.
Francis Bacon love
Alland wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself.
Francis Bacon knowledge
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.
Francis Bacon man
In this theater of man's life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.
Francis Bacon life
Seek first the virtues of the mind; and other things either will come, or will not be wanted.
Francis Bacon mind
For alland wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself.
Francis Bacon knowledge
Time, which is the author of authors.
Francis Bacon author
The two ways of contemplation are not unlike the two ways of action commonly spoken of by the ancients: the one plain and smooth in the beginning, and in the end impassable; the other rough and troublesome in the entrance, but after a while fair and even. So it is in contemplation: 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.
Francis Bacon action
Antiquitas saeculi juventus mundi. [The age of antiquity is the youth of the world.] These times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those which we account ancient ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from ourselves.
Francis Bacon war
It is manifest that there is no danger at all in the proportion or quantity of knowledge, how large soever, lest it should make it swell or out-compass itself; no, but it is merely the quality of knowledge, which, be it in quantity more or less, if it be taken without the true corrective thereof, hath in it some nature of venom or malignity, and some effects of that venom, which is ventosity or swelling. This corrective spice, the mixture whereof maketh knowledge so sovereign, is charity, which the Apostle immediately addeth to the former clause; for so he saith, “Knowledge bloweth up, but charity buildeth up”.
Francis Bacon knowledge
The sun, which passeth through pollutions and itself remains as pure as before.
Francis Bacon self
Sacred and inspired divinity, the sabaoth and port of all men's labours and peregrinations.
Francis Bacon men
Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.
Francis Bacon body
States as great engines move slowly.
Francis Bacon great
They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
Francis Bacon think
But men must know that in this theater of man's life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.
Francis Bacon life
We are much beholden toand others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.
Francis Bacon men
The obliteration of the evil hath been practised by two means, some kind of redemption or expiation of that which is past, and an inception or account de novo for the time to come. But this part seemeth sacred and religious, and justly; for all good moral philosophy (as was said) is but a handmaid to religion.
Francis Bacon philosophy
Only charity admitteth no excess. For so we see, aspiring to be like God in power, the angels transgressed and fell; Ascendam, et ero similis altissimo: by aspiring to be like God in knowledge, man transgressed and fell; Eritis sicut Dii, scientes bonum et malum: but by aspiring to a similitude of God in goodness or love, neither man nor angel ever transgressed, or shall transgress.
Francis Bacon love
For man seeketh in society comfort, use, and protection: and they be three wisdoms of divers natures, which do often sever: wisdom of the behaviour, wisdom of business, and wisdom of state.
Francis Bacon wisdom
Primum quaerite bona animi; caetera aut aderunt, aut non oberunt
Francis Bacon
Silence is the virtue of a fool.
Francis Bacon virtue
As we divided natural philosophy in general into the inquiry of , and productions of effects: so that part which concerneth the inquiry of causes we do subdivide according to the received and sound division of causes. The one part, which is , inquireth and handleth the material and efficient causes; and the other, which is , handleth the formal and final causes.
Francis Bacon philosophy
This misplacing hath caused a deficience, or at least a great improficience in the sciences themselves. For the handling of final causes, mixed with the rest in physical inquiries, hath intercepted the severe and diligent inquiry of all real and physical causes, and given men the occasion to stay upon these satisfactory andcauses, to the great arrest and prejudice of further discovery. For this I find done not only by , who ever anchoreth upon that shore, but by , , and others which do usually likewise fall upon these flats of discoursing causes.
Francis Bacon science
Theofand some others, who did not suppose a mind or reason in the frame of things, but attributed the form thereof able to maintain itself to infinite essays or proofs of nature, which they term fortune, seemeth to me... in particularities of physical causes more real and better inquired than that of Aristotle and Plato; whereof both intermingled final causes, the one as a part of theology, and the other as a part of logic, which were the favourite studies respectively of both those persons. Not because those final causes are not true, and worthy to be inquired, being kept within their own province; but because their excursions into the limits of physical causes hath bred a vastness and solitude in that tract.
Francis Bacon art
our Saviour ... not being like man, which knows man’s thoughts by his words, but knowing man’s thoughts immediately, He never answered their words, but their thoughts.
Francis Bacon words
Neither did the dispensation of God vary in the times after our Saviour came into the world; for our Saviour himself did first show His power to subdue ignorance, by His conference with the priests and doctors of the law, before He showed His power to subdue nature by His miracles. And the coming of this Holy Spirit was chiefly figured and expressed in the similitude and gift of tongues, which are but vehicula scienti
Francis Bacon time
Art is man added to Nature Descriptio Globi Intellectus (1612).
Francis Bacon man
Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature. Beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.
Francis Bacon nature
We are wont to call that human reasoning which we apply to Nature the anticipation of Nature (as being rash and premature) and that which is properly deduced from things the interpretation of Nature.
Francis Bacon man
Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed...
Francis Bacon knowledge
The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of argument.
Francis Bacon time
We cannot command nature except by obeying her.
Francis Bacon nature
In my judgment all the received systems are but so many stage plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion.
Francis Bacon men
We cannot conceive of any end or limit to the world, but always as of necessity it occurs to us that there is something beyond…
Francis Bacon world
By far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this — that men despair and think things impossible.
Francis Bacon science
Let men but think over their infinite expenditure of understanding, time, and means on matters and pursuits of far less use and value; whereof, if but a small part were directed to sound and solid studies, there is no difficulty that might not be overcome.
Francis Bacon time
Truth therefore and utility are here the very same thing…
Francis Bacon truth
Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.
Francis Bacon knowledge
It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.
Francis Bacon self
The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search for truth. So it does more harm than good.
Francis Bacon truth
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.
Francis Bacon science
There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth. The one flies from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms, and from these principles, the truth of which it takes for settled and immovable, proceeds to judgment and to the discovery of middle axioms. And this way is now in fashion. The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all. This is the true way, but as yet untried.
Francis Bacon truth
There is a great difference between the Idols of the human mind and the Ideas of the divine. That is to say, between certain empty dogmas, and the true signatures and marks set upon the works of creation as they are found in nature.
Francis Bacon nature
It cannot be that axioms established by argumentation should avail for the discovery of new works, since the subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of argument. But axioms duly and orderly formed from particulars easily discover the way to new particulars, and thus render sciences active.
Francis Bacon science
Further, it will not be amiss to distinguish the three kinds and, as it were, grades of ambition in mankind. The first is of those who desire to extend their own power in their native country, a vulgar and degenerate kind. The second is of those who labor to extend the power and dominion of their country among men. This certainly has more dignity, though not less covetousness. But if a man endeavor to establish and extend the power and dominion of the human race itself over the universe, his ambition (if ambition it can be called) is without doubt both a more wholesome and a more noble thing than the other two. Now the empire of man over things depends wholly on the arts and sciences. For we cannot command nature except by obeying her.
Francis Bacon science
There are four classes of Idols which beset men's minds. To these for distinction's sake I have assigned names — calling the first class,  ; the second, ; the third, Idols of the Market-Place; the fourth, Idols of the Theater.
Francis Bacon mind
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.
Francis Bacon nature
The Idols of the Cave are the idols of the individual man. For everyone (besides the errors common to human nature in general) has a cave or den of his own, which refracts and discolors the light of nature, owing either to his own proper and peculiar nature; or to his education and conversation with others; or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires; or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed or in a mind indifferent and settled; or the like. So that the spirit of man (according as it is meted out to different individuals) is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance. Whence it was well observed by Heraclitus that men look for sciences in their own lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.
Francis Bacon education
There are also Idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call Idols of the Market Place, on account of the commerce and consort of men there. For it is by discourse that men associate, and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar. And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. Nor do the definitions or explanations wherewith in some things learned men are wont to guard and defend themselves, by any means set the matter right. But words plainly force and overrule the understanding, and throw all into confusion, and lead men away into numberless empty controversies and idle fancies.
Francis Bacon words
Lastly, there are Idols which have immigrated into men's minds from the various dogmas of philosophies, and also from wrong laws of demonstration. These I call Idols of the Theater, because in my judgment all the received systems are but so many stage plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion.
Francis Bacon mind
The human understanding is of its own nature prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds. And though there be many things in nature which are singular and unmatched, yet it devises for them parallels and conjugates and relatives which do not exist. Hence the fiction that all celestial bodies move in perfect circles, spirals and dragons being (except in name) utterly rejected.
Francis Bacon 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. 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.
Francis Bacon understanding
…it is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives…
Francis Bacon understanding
The human understanding is moved by those things most which strike and enter the mind simultaneously and suddenly, and so fill the imagination; and then it feigns and supposes all other things to be somehow, though it cannot see how, similar to those few things by which it is surrounded.
Francis Bacon mind
The human understanding is unquiet; it cannot stop or rest, and still presses onward, but in vain. Therefore it is that we cannot conceive of any end or limit to the world, but always as of necessity it occurs to us that there is something beyond... But he is no less an unskilled and shallow philosopher who seeks causes of that which is most general, than he who in things subordinate and subaltern omits to do so.
Francis Bacon war
But by far the greatest hindrance and aberration of the human understanding proceeds from the dullness, incompetency, and deceptions of the senses; in that things which strike the sense outweigh things which do not immediately strike it, though they be more important. Hence it is that speculation commonly ceases where sight ceases; insomuch that of things invisible there is little or no observation.
Francis Bacon understanding
But the best demonstration by far is experience, if it go not beyond the actual experiment.
Francis Bacon men
In the same manner as we are cautioned by religion to show our faith by our works we may very properly apply the principle to philosophy, and judge of it by its works; accounting that to be futile which is unproductive, and still more so, if instead of grapes and olives it yield but the thistle and thorns of dispute and contention.
Francis Bacon philosophy
It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed.
Francis Bacon self
But by far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this — that men despair and think things impossible.
Francis Bacon science
Those who have handled sciences have been either men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes a middle course: it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy; for it neither relies solely or chiefly on the powers of the mind, nor does it take the matter which it gathers from natural history and mechanical experiments and lay it up in the memory whole, as it finds it, but lays it up in the understanding altered and digested. Therefore from a closer and purer league between these two faculties, the experimental and the rational (such as has never yet been made), much may be hoped.
Francis Bacon philosophy
No one has yet been found so firm of mind and purpose as resolutely to compel himself to sweep away all theories and common notions, and to apply the understanding, thus made fair and even, to a fresh examination of particulars. Thus it happens that human knowledge, as we have it, is a mere medley and ill-digested mass, made up of much credulity and much accident, and also of the childish notions which we at first imbibed.
Francis Bacon knowledge
Another argument of hope may be drawn from this — that some of the inventions already known are such as before they were discovered it could hardly have entered any man's head to think of; they would have been simply set aside as impossible. For in conjecturing what may be men set before them the example of what has been, and divine of the new with an imagination preoccupied and colored by the old; which way of forming opinions is very fallacious, for streams that are drawn from the springheads of nature do not always run in the old channels.
Francis Bacon hope
There is another ground of hope that must not be omitted. Let men but think over their infinite expenditure of understanding, time, and means on matters and pursuits of far less use and value; whereof, if but a small part were directed to sound and solid studies, there is no difficulty that might not be overcome.
Francis Bacon hope
Let men learn (as we have said above) the difference that exists between the idols of the human mind, and the ideas of the Divine mind. The former are mere arbitrary abstractions; the latter the true marks of the Creator on his creatures, as they are imprinted on, and defined in matter, by true and exquisite touches. Truth, therefore, and utility are here perfectly identical.
Francis Bacon mind
Again, we should notice the force, effect, and consequences of inventions, which are nowhere more conspicuous than in those three which were unknown to the ancients; namely, printing, gunpowder, and the compass. For these three have changed the appearance and state of the whole world; first in literature, then in warfare, and lastly in navigation: and innumerable changes have been thence derived, so that no empire, sect, or star, appears to have exercised a greater power and influence on human affairs than these mechanical discoveries.
Francis Bacon war
Truth will sooner come out from error than from confusion.
Francis Bacon will
Above all, every relation must be considered as suspicious, which depends in any degree upon religion, as the prodigies of : And no less so, everything that is to be found in the writers of natural magic or alchemy, or such authors, who seem, all of them, to have an unconquerable appetite for falsehood and fable.
Francis Bacon religion
Since my logic aims to teach and instruct the understanding, not that it may with the slender tendrils of the mind snatch at and lay hold of abstract notions (as the common logic does), but that it may in very truth dissect nature, and discover the virtues and actions of bodies, with their laws as determined in matter; so that this science flows not merely from the nature of the mind, but also from the nature of things.
Francis Bacon truth
To God, truly, the Giver and Architect of Forms, and it may be to the angels and higher intelligences, it belongs to have an affirmative knowledge of forms immediately, and from the first contemplation. But this assuredly is more than man can do, to whom it is granted only to proceed at first by negatives, and at last to end in affirmatives, after exclusion has been exhausted.
Francis Bacon knowledge
Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
Francis Bacon friends
My Lord St. Albans said that Nature did never put her precious jewels into a garret four stories high, and therefore that exceeding tall men had ever very empty heads.
Francis Bacon men
Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.
Francis Bacon good
Like strawberry wives, that laid two or three great strawberries at the mouth of their pot, and all the rest were little ones.
Francis Bacon great
Sir Henry Wotton used to say that critics are like brushers of noblemen's clothes.
Francis Bacon men
Sir Amice Pawlet, when he saw too much haste made in any matter, was wont to say. "Stay a while, that we may make an end the sooner."
Francis Bacon end
Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that 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.
Francis Bacon men
, when his friends congratulated to him his victory over the Romans under Fabricius, but with great slaughter of his own side, said to them, "Yes; but if we have such another victory, we are undone".
Francis Bacon friends
Cosmus, Duke of Florence, was wont to say of perfidious friends, that "We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends."
Francis Bacon friends

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