Francis Bacon: "The Secretary of Nature"
§ "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."
§ "Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon."
§ "Books (such as are worthy the name of books) ought to have no patrons but truth and reason."
§ "It is a secret both in nature and state, that it is safer to change many things than one." [1612 Bacon Ess., Reg. Health (Arb.) 59 As quoted in the OED.]
§ "I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death."
§ "What then remains but that we still should cry For being born, and, being born, to die?"
§ "They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea."
§ "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." (1605.)
§ "[The fact finder is to] set down a continuance of the naked events and actions, without the motives or designs." [1605 Bacon Adv. Learn. ii. i. (1873) 90 Commentaries As quoted in the OED.]
§ "Fortune hath somewhat the nature of a woman; if she be too much wooed, she is the farther off."
§ "He that clears at once, will relapse. But he that cleareth by degrees, induceth an habite of frugality, and gaineth as well upon his mind as upon his estate." [1612 Bacon Ess. Expense (Arb.) 55 As quoted in the OED.]
§ "There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic. A man's own observation, what he finds good of and what he finds hurt of, is the best physic to preserve health."
§ "How far the humours and affects of the body do alter or work upon the mind." [1605 Bacon Adv. Learn. ii. ix. _3 (1873) As quoted in the OED.]
§ "Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper."
§ "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, Idols of the Tribe; the second, Idols of the Cave; the third, Idols of the Market-Place; the fourth, Idols of the Theater."
§ "A great state left to an heir, is as a lure to all the birds of prey round about, to seize on him." [1612 Bacon Ess., Riches (Arb.) 240 As quoted in the OED.]
§ "Judges ought to remember, that their office is Ius dicere, and not Jus dare; to interprete law, and not to make law, or give Law."
§ "Judges ought to be more Learned, then Wittie."
§ "The place of Justice is an hallowed place." [1612 Bacon Ess., Judicature (Arb.) 456 As quoted in the OED.]
§ "I have taken all knowledge to be my province."
§ "For all knowledge and wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an impression of pleasure in itself."
§ "The laws of the most kingdoms and states have been like buildings of many pieces, and patched up from time to time according to occasion, without frame or model. ... This continual heaping up of laws without digesting them maketh but a chaos and confusion, and turneth the laws many times to become but snares for the people. ... Then look into the state of your laws and justice of your land: purge out multiplicity of laws: clear the incertainty of them: repeal those that are snaring; and press the execution of those that are wholesome and necessary ..."
§ "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief."
§ "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
§ "New Things piece not so well." [1625 ---- Ess., Innovations (Arb.) 526 As quoted in the OED.]
§ "We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do."
§ "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion."
§ "Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise."
§ "It is a strange desire to seek power and to lose liberty."
§ "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."
§ "Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man."
§ "Be so true to thyself, as thou be not false to others."
§ "... the seed of knowledge."
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