Notice Bacon's reliance on parallel structures in particular, tricolons throughout this concise, aphoristic essay. Then, compare the essay to Samuel Johnson's treatment of the same theme more than a century later in On Studies. He worked as a lawyer and scientist throughout his life
Francis Bacon was an English Philosopher and writer best known as a founder of the modern empirical tradition based on the rational analysis of data obtained by observation and experimentation of the physical world. As he mentions the virtues of Study he also points out its vices: By this I mean Society values and concepts were different altogethers to what we know today.
By that time Society was strongly influenced by the idea of literacy and illiteracy relatively few were educated and could read and write. Only educated people had access to knowledge and by that, to social status and opportunity. Nowadays would be difficult to accept ideas which relate skills or professions towards an attitude to approach studying.
Today, a skilled machinist or carpenter can certainly be a studied person. Nowadays most people in our Society have the possibility to read and by that, to obtain knowledge independently of what our personal choices are in terms of profession.
Concepts and ideas evolve at the same time as the Human condition changes in all social, scientific, political and economic aspects. By looking through the glass of time and comparing the past to the present we come to the realization of the universality and endurance of some concepts and the fragility and impermanence of some others.
Of Studies by Francis Bacon 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 judgment 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 judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar.
They perfect nature, and are perfected 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 few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. 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.
Reading maketh 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 need have a present wit: Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend.
Abeunt studia in mores [Studies pass into and influence manners].
Nay, there is no stond or impediment in the wit but may be wrought out by fit studies; like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises. 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.
If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the Schoolmen; for they are cymini sectores [splitters of hairs]. A critic rightly points out thatHooker and Bacon did great things for the development of English prose.
Theyshowed that it was possible in English also to express the subtitles of thought in clear,straightforward, and uninvolved sentences and, when necessary, to condense the greatestamount of meaning into the fewest possible words.
Bacon shows himself in his essays as a perfect rhetorician. He used a style, whichthough not quite flexible and modern, was unmatchable for pith and pregnancy in theconveyance of his special kind of thought. When the bulk of English prose was full of loosesentences of enormous length, he supplied at once a short, crisp and firmly knit sentence of atype unfamiliar in English.
He rejected the conceit and overcrowded imagery of affectedliterary style, but he knew how to light up his thought with well placed figures, and give to itan imaginative glow and charm upon occasion, contrasting strongly with the unfigurativestyle of Ben Jonson who represents in his prose the extreme revulsion from affectation.
The more onereads them, the more remarkable seem their compactness and their nervous vitality. Theyshock sluggish attention into wakefulness as if by an electric contact, and though they maysometimes fail to nourish, they can never fail to stimulate.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.
Apr 22, · This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Crafty men contemn studies; simple men admire them; and wise men use them. For they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without [outside of] them, and above them, won by observation. For they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without [outside of] them, and above them.
E. g. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, wise men use them; Give me liberty or give me death. 2. Paradiastola - the lengthening of a syllable regularly short (in Greek poetry).
Mar 22, · Crafty men contemn 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 considerStatus: Resolved. Francis Bacon > Quotes > Quotable Quote “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.”.