Of Studies Essay

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Of Studies Francis Bacon[i] Studies serve for delight, for ornament[ii], and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness[iii] and retiring[iv]; for ornament, is in discourse[v]; and for ability, is in the judgment, and disposition[vi] of business. For expert men[vii] can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels[viii], and the plots[ix] and marshalling[x] of affairs, come best, from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor[xi] of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning[xii], by study; and studies themselves, do give forth[xiii] directions too much at large[xiv], except they be bounded in by experience[xv]. Crafty men contemn[xvi] studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that[xvii] is a wisdom without[xviii] them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously[xix]; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy[xx], and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments and the meaner sort of books, else[xxi] distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh[xxii] a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had

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