I cannot call riches by a better name than the “baggage” of virtue; the Roman word is better, “impediment.” For as the baggage is to an army, so are riches to virtue. It cannot be spared or left behind, and yet it hindereth the march; yea, and the care of it sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory. Of great riches there is no real use, except in the distribution; the rest is but conceit.
Topics: Vanity, Conceit, Riches
We think according to nature; we speak according to rules; but we act according to custom.
A little philosophy inclineth men’s minds to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further.—But when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.
Topics: Atheism, Philosophy, God
Bashfulness is a great hindrance to a man, both in uttering his sentiments and in understanding what is proposed to him; it is therefore good to press forward with discretion, both in discourse and company of the better sort.
Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety.
Those friends are weak and worthless, that will not use the privilege of friendship in admonishing their friends with freedom and confidence, as well of their errors as of their danger.
All rising to a great place is by a winding stair.
There are three parts in truth: first, the inquiry, which is the wooing of it; secondly, the knowledge of it, which is the presence of it; and thirdly, the belief, which is the enjoyment of it.
Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.
Vain-glorious men are the scorn of the wise, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.
It would be 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.
Riches are for spending, and spending for honor and good actions; therefore extraordinary expense must be limited by the worth of the occasion.
A man must make his opportunity as oft as find it.
The reverence of man’s self, is, nest to religion, the chiefest bridle of all vices.
Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue.
Topics: Justice, Law
The desire of power in excess caused angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity is no excess, neither can man or angels come into danger by it.
Topics: Excess, Desires, Desire
The place of justice is a hallowed place.
Knowledge and human power are synonymous, since the ignorance of the cause frustrates the effect.
Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper.
Histories make men wise; poets, witty; mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
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.
Topics: Age, Wine, Time
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.
Seek first the virtues of the mind; and other things either will come, or will not be wanted.
The surest way to prevent seditions is to take away the matter of them; for if there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on fire.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Roger Bacon English Philosopher
- Isaac Newton English Physicist
- John Locke English Philosopher
- Geoffrey Chaucer English Poet
- Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke English Politician
- George Henry Lewes English Philosopher
- William of Ockham English Philosopher, Polemicist
- Baruch Spinoza Dutch Philosopher
- David Hume Scottish Philosopher, Historian
- Alfred North Whitehead English Mathematician, Philosopher