“Of Studies” is an essay written by Sir Francis Bacon, a renowned English philosopher, statesman, and essayist, in the late 16th century. The essay discusses the nature and benefits of studying and learning.
Of Studies Summary
Of Studies Summary in English:
According to Bacon, studying books serves three useful purposes. They are a source of entertainment for us in our leisure. They enable us to make our conversation polished and beautiful. They enable us to manage the affairs of our day-to-day life most efficiently. Thus studies give us profit as well as pleasure.
But excessive studies can prove harmful. Spending too much time on studies will make us lazy. Using bookish knowledge in conversation will make it artificial. Judging everybody and everything according to the bookish knowledge too is no good. The author calls it the mere whim of a scholar. There is nothing sensible about it.
Different people have different attitudes towards studies. The wicked people look down upon books. They think that cunningness will do for them; wisdom of books is of no use. Simple-minded people admire books. They look at them with awe.
But the wise men derive advantage out of books. A person, however, must have clear aims of studying books. We should not use bookish knowledge to contradict and condemn others. We should not have blind faith in books. We should not suspend our judgement and believe all that is written in books. Moreover, the aim of studies is not to indulge in talks and discourses.
The aim of studies, in fact, is the acquisition of wisdom. We must develop the wisdom to judge the actions, achievements and values of men and society.
According to Bacon, every book should not be read with the same interest and concentration. There are books and books in the world. There are good books and bad books – well-written books and badly-written books, as they say. There are books of high quality and books of low quality. Time on books should be spent according to their quality.
Bacon beautifully remarks : Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.’ It means that some books should be read in parts – they are good in parts only. Some books should be swallowed. We should go through them hurriedly.
Summary Of Studies
They don’t deserve our time and concentration. But some books are of a very high quality. We must read them with full concentration. We must digest them, assimilate them. But there are certain books which need not be read in original. Reading them through notes and extracts will be enough. Such books are read through proxy.
Bacon goes on to say : ‘Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. In other words, it means that reading develops the mental faculties of man; conversation and discussion make him quick-witted. Writing makes him an accurate man. He can quote exact facts and figures. Studies have a great influence on the human mind. History makes men wise. Poetry makes him witty and Mathematics, subtle. Science makes man profound and philosophy makes him sober and serious.
Books have curative powers too. Physical exercises cure physical ailments while studies cure a man of his mental deficiencies. Mathematics cures lack of concentration. If a man cannot find differences, he should study the philosophers of the Middle Ages. Similarly, if a man lacks reasoning, he should study law and lawyers’ cases. Thus, Bacon believes that every defect of the mind has a special remedy.
Of Studies Translation in English
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), “the brightest, wisest and meanest? of mankind”, is known as the father of the English essay and the father of modem English prose. Eke was a voluminous writer. His essays mostly deal with the ethicall qualities of men or with matters pertaining to the government or the state. They are full of practical wisdom of life. His style is aphoristic ,formal, impersonal and informative.
In the present essay Bacon describes the advantages of studies. This is one of his most popular essays. Studies give pleasure, embellish our conversation and augment our practical abilities. Different men view studies differently.
Reading, writing and conversation are all necessary to perfect and develop the powers of a man. A study of different subjects carries with it different advantages. Studies cure mental ailments or defects just as certain sports and exercises cure specific physical ailments.
Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring, for ornament, is in discourse, and for ability, is in the judgement and disposition of business.
For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one, but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling 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 judgement wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar.
They perfect nature and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men condemn studies; simple men admire them; and wise men use them for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without 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, and some to be read wholly and with diligence and action.
Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others, but that would be only in the less important arguments and the meaner sort of books, else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things.
Summary Of Studies essay
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore if a man writes little; he had need have a great memory; if he confers little, he had need have a present wit, and if he reads little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise, poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave ; logic and rhetoric able to contend. About studia in mores (Studies pass into the character).
Nay there is no stand or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies: like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercise. Bowling is good for the stone and reins shooting for the lungs and breast, gentle walking for the stomach; riding for the head, and the like.
So if a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics, for in demonstration if his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen; for they are cymini sectores If he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers’ cases. So every defect of the mind may have a special
Old Blockhead repairs his House Summary