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

1973 Franis Baon 1561-1626 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:Francis Bacon (1561–1626)
QUOTATION:“Antiquitas sæculi juventus mundi.” These times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those which we account ancient ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from ourselves. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Advancement of Learning. Book i. (1605).
Note 1.
As in the little, so in the great world, reason will tell you that old age or antiquity is to be accounted by the farther distance from the beginning and the nearer approach to the end,—the times wherein we now live being in propriety of speech the most ancient since the world’s creation.—George Hakewill: An Apologie or Declaration of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World. London, 1627.

For as old age is that period of life most remote from infancy, who does not see that old age in this universal man ought not to be sought in the times nearest his birth, but in those most remote from it?—Blaise Pascal: Preface to the Treatise on Vacuum.

It is worthy of remark that a thought which is often quoted from Francis Bacon occurs in [Giordano] Bruno’s “Cena di Cenere,” published in 1584: I mean the notion that the later times are more aged than the earlier.—Whewell: Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, vol. ii. p. 198. London, 1847.

We are Ancients of the earth,
And in the morning of the times.
Alfred Tennyson: The Day Dream. (L’Envoi.) [back]