Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.
The way of fortune is like the milkyway 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.
Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.
In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.
The remedy is worse than the disease.
Knowledge is power.
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.
Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.
A bachelor's life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner.
A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.
Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.
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.
We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
It is impossible to love and to be wise.
The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding.
What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.
A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.
Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.
Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.
If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.
Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.
If a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics.
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.
Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason.
Friends are thieves of time.
Wise men make more opportunities than they find.
Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted... but to weigh and consider.
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.
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men's nurses.
Opportunity makes a thief.
Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.
Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.
God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.
Acorns were good until bread was found.
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.
Studies serve for delight, for ornaments, and for ability.
Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse.
The great end of life is not knowledge but action.
Money is like manure, of very little use except it be spread.
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.
They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.
In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.
Friendship increases in visiting friends, but in visiting them seldom.
People have discovered that they can fool the devil; but they can't fool the neighbors.
Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
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.
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.
Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.
Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter.
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.
A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.
Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open.
Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many comforts and hopes.
Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.
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.
Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than that of laws.
Science is but an image of the truth.
The worst men often give the best advice.
Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished.
Houses are built to live in, and not to look on: therefore let use be preferred before uniformity.
Truth is a good dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out.
The place of justice is a hallowed place.
The momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or evil.
Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New.
This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.
Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will not be felt.
He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.
There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.
Who ever is out of patience is out of possession of their soul.
Small amounts of philosophy lead to atheism, but larger amounts bring us back to God.
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.
When a man laughs at his troubles he loses a great many friends. They never forgive the loss of their prerogative.
Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.
The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grieves and fears.
Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.
Fortune is like the market, where, many times, if you can stay a little, the price will fall.
Of all virtues and dignities of the mind, goodness is the greatest, being the character of the Deity; and without it, man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing.
The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.
But men must know, that in this theatre of man's life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.
God hangs the greatest weights upon the smallest wires.
The desire of excessive power caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge caused men to fall.
Studies perfect nature and are perfected still by experience.
I had rather believe all the Fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a Mind.
God's first creature, which was light.
The correlative to loving our neighbors as ourselves is hating ourselves as we hate our neighbors.
Rebellions of the belly are the worst.
A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it.
Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set.
It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.
God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave.