Bacon is rather charmingly and, in my view, lugubriously known as the last person in Western culture who "knew everything." He was a polymath, that's the two-dollar word for really bright, and he was intensely curious and intensely well-informed about everything of interest in his 17th century world. He was an empiricist in a largely doctrinaire world. Bacon invented the scientific method---believe it or not, doing experiments to test theories and accepting counter-intuitive findings were not at the top of every thinker's list in the early 1600s.
I like Bacon's epigram above. It occurs to me that the opportunities we make are more likely to be the right opportunities than those we find.