Today’s words come to us from Sir Francis Bacon — 16th century philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, and . . . inventor of bacon. I’m kidding about the bacon part, that’s an urban myth (bacon actually dates back to China, circa 1500 BC). But, Sir Bacon did give us the Bacon Method, which would later evolve into the Scientific Method of discovery. Not quite as delicious as bacon, but still important.
Sir Bacon (it’s really fun to call him that) also gave us these words (well, sort of):
Sir Bacon is often given credit for these words, and they are found in The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon, specifically, in a book called, Apophthegms, Old and New. I’ll admit I had to look that one up — an apophthegm is a saying, or maxim (why write a book of maxims when you can make people try to pronounce apophthegms?).
Sir Bacon attributes the words to Alonso of Aragon (a strong entry in Who’s Who in Completely Obscure Historical Figures — if you’re dying to know, Alonso of Aragon was the Archbishop of Zaragoza and Valencia, Spain, circa 1512). Here’s the full text:
Alonso of Aragon was wont to say, in commendation of age, that age appeared to be best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
I wholeheartedly agree.
Here’s to old things . . . Salud!
Bacon, Francis, and John Robertson. The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon: Reprinted from the Texts and Translations with the Notes and Prefaces of Ellis & Spedding. London: Routledge, 1905.