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English philosopher, statesman and writer
(1561 - 1626)
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They that deny a God destroy man's nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and, if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, his is a base and ignoble creature.
      - Essays--Of Atheism [God]

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set.
      - Essays--Of Beauty [Virtue]

Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again, and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, "If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill."
      - Essays--Of Boldness [Faith : Policy]

Houses are built to live in, not to look on; therefore, let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had.
      - Essays--Of Building [Architecture]

The greatest trust between man and man is the trust of giving counsel.
      - Essays--Of Counsel [Trust]

There is a cunning which we in England call the turning of the cat in the pan.
      - Essays--Of Cunning [Deceit]

It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.
      - Essays--Of Death [Death]

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.
      - Essays--Of Death [Death]

Discretion of speech is more than eloquence; and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words or in good order.
      - Essays--Of Discourse [Speech]

Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which cause good or evil times; and which have much veneration, but no rest.
      - Essays--Of Empire [Royalty]

Therefore if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune: for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.
      - Essays--Of Fortune [Fortune]

Because indeed there was never law, or sect, or opinion, did so much magnify goodness, as the Christian religion doth.
      - Essays--Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature

There was never law, or set, or opinion did so much magnify goodness, as the Christian religion doth.
      - Essays--Of Goodness, and Goodness of Nature

Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverend than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue.
      - Essays--Of Judicature [Judges]

He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
      - Essays--Of Marriage and Single Life

A man's nature, runs either to herbs or weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.
      - Essays--Of Nature in Men [Culture]

A man's own observation, what he find good of, and what he finds hurt of, is the best physic to preserve health.
      - Essays--Of Regimen of Health [Medicine]

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; morals, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
      - Essays--Of Studies [Education : Study]

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
      - Essays--Of Studies [Learning : Reading]

But no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of Truth.
      - Essays--Of Truth [Truth]

We see spiders, flies or ants entombed and preserved forever in amber, a more than royal tomb.
      - Historia Vitoe et Mortis [Flies]

Vices of the time; vices of the man.
  [Lat., Vitia temporis; vitia hominis.]
      - Humble Submission and Supplication to the Lords of Parliament

Libraries are as the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed.
      - Libraries [Libraries]

If I had always served God as I have served you, Madam, I should not have great account to render at my death.
      - Life and Times of Francis the First
         (vol. I, p. 46, of ed. 2) [Service]

Testimony is like an arrow shot from a long bow, the force of it depends on the strength of the hand that draws it. Argument is like an arrow from a cross-bow, which has equal force though drawn by a child.
      - Life of Johnson (vol. 4, p. 80) [Argument]

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