Quotation by Francis Bacon

For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent: his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil: for without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced.
Francis Bacon (1561–1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. The Advancement of Learning, bk. 2, ch. 21, sct. 9 (1605).

Bacon was referring to Jesus's words to the Apostles in Matthew 10:16: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
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