The key question, it seemed to him, was that of whether man was to obey Nature, or attempt to command her. It had been answered long, long ago, claimed Moss; man's very essence lay in the fact that he had elected to command. But to Stenham that seemed a shallow reply. To him wisdom consisted in the conscious and joyous obedience to natural laws, yet when he had said that to Moss, Moss had laughed pityingly. 'My dear man, wisdom is a primitive concept,' he had told him. 'What we want now is knowledge.' Only great disillusionment could make a man say such a thing, Stenham believed.
The matter of sedition is of two kinds: much poverty and much discontentment....The causes and motives of sedition are, innovation in religion; taxes; alteration of laws and customs; breaking of privileges; general oppression; advancement of unworthy persons, strangers; dearths; disbanded soldiers; factions grown desperate; and whatsoever in offending people joineth them in a common cause.' The cue of every leader, of course, is to divide his enemies and to unite his friends. 'Generally, the dividing and breaking of all factions...that are adverse to the state, and setting them at a distance, or at least distrust, among themselves, is not one of the worst remedies; for it is a desperate case, if those that hold with the proceeding of the state be full of discord and faction, and those that are against it be entire and united.' A better recipe for the avoidance of revolutions is an equitable distribution of wealth: 'Money is like muck, not good unless it be spread.' But this does not mean socialism, or even democracy; Bacon distrusts the people, who were in his day quite without access to education; 'the lowest of all flatteries is the flattery of the common people;' and 'Phocion took it right, who, being applauded by the multitude, asked, What had he done amiss?' What Bacon wants is first a yeomanry of owning farmers; then an aristocracy for administration; and above all a philosopher-king. 'It is almost without instance that any government was unprosperous under learned governors.' He mentions Seneca, Antonius Pius and Aurelius; it was his hope that to their names posterity would add his own.
The paintings of Francis Bacon to my eye are very beautiful. The paintings of Bosch or Goya are to my eye very beautiful. I've also stood in front of those same paintings with people who've said, 'let's get on to the Botticellis as soon as possible.' I have lingered, of course.
Great art is always a way of concentrating, reinventing what is called fact, what we know of our existence- a reconcentration… tearing away the veils, the attitudes people acquire of their time and earlier time. Really good artists tear down those veils
The human understanding is no dry light, but receives infusion from the will and affections; whence proceeds sciences which may be called sciences as one would. For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from supersition; the light of experience, from arrogrance and pride; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections color and infect the understanding.1620 - Francis Bacon
The human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature.
i heard someone tried the monkeys-on-typewriters bit trying for the plays of W. Shakespeare, but all they got was the collected works of Francis Bacon.