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培根论学习英文版

Of Study

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 first, from those that are learned. To spend too much time in study is sloth; to use then too much on ornament, is affection; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for nature ability 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 contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is the wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted; not 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 are also to be read in deputy, and extracts made of others; and 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: and if hr read little, he had need have much in cunning, to seem to know, that he both not.

Histories make man wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend. Abeunt studia in mores. Nay, there is no stond or impediment in 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 demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again. 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 one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study 197 the lawyer’s cases. So every defect of the mind, may have a special receipt.

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