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50 Francis Bacon Quotes From The Iconic English Philosopher

February 2, 2021 7:00 AM EST

These Francis Bacon quotes focus on the importance of knowledge and wisdom. Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and a politician, is credited with developing the scientific method. His ideas maintain their status as an influential part of modern science.

He also had a lot to say about women, beauty, and children. Reading through these quotes will definitely get your brain thinking.

50 Francis Bacon Quotes From The Iconic English Philosopher

Just who was Francis Bacon, though?

Bacon was educated at Cambridge and developed a system of cataloging library books. His official title, the Viscount of St. Alban, became extinct upon his death because he did not have an heir.

Francis pursued a parliamentary role to further his three goals: serve his country, uncover the truth, and serve the church. He is part of the reason we have a United Kingdom today, as he supported Scotland and England’s unification. Enjoy these Francis Bacon quotes!

Don’t forget to also read these Edmund Burke quotes on liberty, power, and virtue.

Francis Bacon quotes about women, beauty, and parenting

1. “Wives are young men’s mistresses; companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses.” — Francis Bacon

2. “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” — Francis Bacon

3. “Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.” — Francis Bacon

4. “A bachelor’s life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner.” — Francis Bacon

5. “The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grieves and fears.” — Francis Bacon

6. “The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.” — Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon quotes about knowledge and wisdom

7. “Knowledge is power.” — Francis Bacon

8. “Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.” — Francis Bacon

9. “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” — Francis Bacon

10. “It is impossible to love and to be wise.” — Francis Bacon

11. “If a man’s wit be wandering, let him study mathematics.” — Francis Bacon

12. “The great end of life is not knowledge, but action.” — Francis Bacon

13. “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.” — Francis Bacon

14. “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” — Francis Bacon

15. “Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.” — Francis Bacon

16. “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” — Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon quotes about age and children

17. “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” — Francis Bacon

18. “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

19. “I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.” — Francis Bacon

20. “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.” — Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon quotes on life lessons

21. “The remedy is worse than the disease.” — Francis Bacon

22. “Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.” — Francis Bacon

23. “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.” — Francis Bacon

24. “A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.” — Francis Bacon

25. “If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.” — Francis Bacon

26. “Friends are thieves of time.” — Francis Bacon

27. “Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.” — Francis Bacon

28. “Money is like manure, of very little use except it be spread.” — Francis Bacon

29. “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” — Francis Bacon

30. “For friends… do but look upon good Books: they are true friends, that will neither flatter nor dissemble.”― Francis Bacon

31. “The place of justice is a hallowed place.” — Francis Bacon

32. “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” — Francis Bacon

33. “Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.” — Francis Bacon

Thought-provoking Francis Bacon quotes

34. “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” — Francis Bacon

35. “A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open.” — Francis Bacon

36. “Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.” — Francis Bacon

37. “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.” — Francis Bacon

38. “Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” — Francis Bacon

39. “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.” — Francis Bacon

40. “Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted… but to weigh and consider.” — Francis Bacon

41. “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.” — Francis Bacon

42. “He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.” — Francis Bacon

43. “Houses are built to live in, and not to look on: therefore let use be preferred before uniformity.” — Francis Bacon

44. “The way of fortune is like the milky way 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.” — Francis Bacon

45. “Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.” — Francis Bacon

46. “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.” — Francis Bacon

47. “Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many comforts and hopes.” — Francis Bacon

48. “They are ill discoverers that think there is no land when they can see nothing but sea.” — Francis Bacon

49. “Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” — Francis Bacon

50. “Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will not be felt.” — Francis Bacon

What did you learn from these Francis Bacon quotes?

Bacon attempted to become Attorney General in 1594; however, that position was awarded to Sir Edward Coke. Sir Edward would also end up marrying the wealthy widow that Bacon had been courting.

Despite these setbacks, he became the first delegate of the Queen’s Counsel in 1957. When King James I succeeded to the throne, Bacon’s favor among the royal set grew, leading to a knighthood in 1603.

In 1607, he was given the position of solicitor general. Parliament did not like the influence Bacon had on the King and banned him from sitting in parliament in 1614. He continued to be a favorite of the King, though, and became the temporary Regent of England in 1607.

He was first awarded Lord Chancellor’s title, then Baron Verulam, before becoming Viscount of St. Alban in 1621. His career in parliament ended when he fell into debt and was charged with corruption. The King only jailed him for a few days and remitted the fine he was sentenced to pay. After that, he devoted himself to learning and writing.

If you have any other Francis Bacon quotes and sayings you would like to add, please leave them in the comments below!

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