The best part of beauty is that which a picture cannot express.

The Ornamenta Rationalia is a collection of aphorisms published by Francis Bacon along with his Essays .


  • Arcum intensio frangit; animum, remissio.
    • Much bending breaks the bow. Much unbending, the mind.
  • Cum vitia prosint, peccat qui recte facit.
    • If vices were profitable, the virtuous man would be the sinner.
  • The flood of grief decreaseth, when it can swell no higher.
  • The fortune which nobody sees makes a man happy and unenvied.
  • Malus ubi bonum se simulat, tunc est pessimus.
    • A bad man is worst when he pretends to be a saint.
  • They live ill, who think to live for ever.
  • The coward calls himself a cautious man; and the miser says, he is frugal.
  • It is a strange desire which men have, to seek power and lose liberty.
  • A mixture of falsehood is like alloy in gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it debaseth it.
  • Death ... extinguisehs envy.
  • He that studieth revenge, keepeth his own wounds green.
  • If [things] be not tossed upon the arguments of counsel, they will be tossed upon- the waves of fortune.
  • Extreme self-lovers will set a man's house on fire, though it were but to roast their eggs.
  • Riches are the baggage of virtue; they cannot be spared nor left behind, but they hinder the march.
  • Riches have sold more men than ever they have bought.
  • A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.
  • The beautiful prove accomplished, but not of great spirit; and study, for the most part, rather behaviour than virtue.
  • The best part of beauty is that which a picture cannot express.
  • While a man maketh his train longer, he maketh his wings shorter.
  • Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament, adversity the blessing of the New.
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