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

Page 169

Francis Bacon. (1561–1626) (continued)
    “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
          Advancement of Learning. Book i. (1605).
    For the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate.
          Advancement of Learning. Book i. (1605).
    The sun, which passeth through pollutions and itself remains as pure as before. 2
          Advancement of Learning. Book ii. (1605).
    It [Poesy] was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind by submitting the shews of things to the desires of the mind.
          Advancement of Learning. Book ii. (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]
Note 2.
The sun, though it passes through dirty places, yet remains as pure as before.—Advancement of Learning (ed. Dewey).

The sun, too, shines into cesspools and is not polluted.—Diogenes Laertius: Lib. vi. sect. 63.

Spiritalis enim virtus sacramenti ita est ut lux: etsi per immundos transeat, non inquinatur (The spiritual virtue of a sacrament is like light: although it passes among the impure, it is not polluted).—Saint Augustine: Works, vol. iii., In Johannis Evang. cap. i. tr. v. sect. 15.

The sun shineth upon the dunghill, and is not corrupted.—John Lyly: Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit (Arber’s reprint), p. 43.

The sun reflecting upon the mud of strands and shores is unpolluted in his beam.—Taylor: Holy Living, chap. i. p. 3.

Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.—John Milton: The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. [back]