Bacon's quotation: Certainly virtue is like precious odors


Could you please shed some light on this quotation?

[i][b]“Certainly virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant when they are incensed, or crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.”

Sir Francis Bacon [/b][/i]



Hi Tom,

You have to accept as I have said before about Francis Bacon that this is English back some 300 years:


I have tried to convey the idea in capital letters.


Many thanks, Alan for simplifying it. :smiley:

If I asked you to elaboate it a bit, would you please do it and WITHOUT SCOLDING ME? Please see my attempt.

" Until a person is put on trial (goes through a difficult time), you cannot know his full potential/ strength/ quality. And good times/ luck are best at taking the worst out of people. They may show their true colours when ther are prospering."

Do we agree, Alan?



Hi Tom

I think your interpretation sounds pretty good. :smiley:


Hi Tom,

I’m sorry you think I might scold! Perhaps you could elaborate on the part I have made bold:


I think I wanted to say that when people thrive i.e, become rich, have a great stroke of good luck or chance upon windfalls, they ( in many cases) change their attitude towards other people. It is when one can well assess them and their worst colors which had been hidden up until now are too apparent for whosoever wants to see.

Just some of my incoherent thoughts, Alan


Hi Tom,

Thanks for that. The expression really to my mind is: bring out the worst in people and of course the opposite: bring out the best in people.