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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 165

Francis Bacon. (1561–1626) (continued)
    Virtue is like precious odours,—most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed. 1
          Of Adversity.
    He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
          Of Marriage and Single Life.
    Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses. 2
          Of Marriage and Single Life.
    Men in great place are thrice servants,—servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business.
          Of Great Place.
    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.”
          Of Boldness.
    The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall. 3
          Of Goodness.
    The remedy is worse than the disease. 4
          Of Seditions.
Note 1.
As aromatic plants bestow
No spicy fragrance while they grow;
But crushed or trodden to the ground,
Diffuse their balmy sweets around.
Oliver Goldsmith: The Captivity, act i.

The good are better made by ill,
As odours crushed are sweeter still.
Samuel Rogers: Jacqueline, stanza 3. [back]
Note 2.
Robert Burton (quoted): Anatomy of Melancholy, part iii. sect. 2, memb. 5, subsect. 5. [back]
Note 3.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes;
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel.
Alexander Pope: Essay on Man, ep. i. line 125. [back]
Note 4.
There are some remedies worse than the disease.—Publius Syrus: Maxim 301. [back]