Presentation on theme: "Of Studies I. A brief summary: Of Studies is the most popular of Bacon's 58 essays. It analyzes what studies chiefly serve for, the different ways adopted."— Presentation transcript:
Of Studies I. A brief summary: Of Studies is the most popular of Bacon's 58 essays. It analyzes what studies chiefly serve for, the different ways adopted by different people to pursue studies, and how studies exert influence over human character. Forceful and persuasive, compact and precise, Of Studies reveals to us Bacon's mature attitude towards learning.
II Theme: To discuss rather analytically the use and abuse of studies, the proper and improper ways to pursue one’s studies, and also the effect of the different kinds of studies upon character. III. Structure 1.Functions of reading (study). From the beginning to line 16 on page 139 “…won by observation)
2.Ways of reading (study) From “read not to contradict…” to “ …flashy things.” (line 3 from bottom) 3.The effect of reading upon human character: From “Reading maketh a full man,…” to the end.
III. Style 1. A new genre: essay. An essay is a piece of prose writing, usually short, that deals with a subject in a limited way and expresses a particular point of view. An essay is never a comprehensive treatment of a subject ( the word comes from French word, essai, meaning “ attempt” or “try”). An essay many be serious or humorous, tight organized or rambling, retrained or emotional.
The two general classifications of essay are the informal essay (also called the familiar or personal essay) and the formal essay. An informal essay is usually brief and is written as if the writer is talking informally to the reader about some topic, using a conversational style and a personal or humorous tone. In an informal essay, the writer might digress from the topic at hand, or express some amusing, startling, or absurd opinions. In general, an informal
essay reveals as much about the personality of its author as it does about its subject. By contrast, a formal essay is tightly organized, dignified in style, and serious in tone. Francis Bacon’s “Of Studies” is an example of a formal essay. II. Structure/organization is compact; expressions are brief and concise; diction is simple but powerful; arguments are clear and persuasive and the tone is sincere and serious.
III. As the intention of the essay is to give some practical advise about how a person can do best in his life, this genre or literary form can best serve or reflect the content. See the humanist point of view here which is contrast to the Middle Ages idea that one was either practical or learned; Bacon says not only that one can be both, but that each helps the other. IV Parallelism and symmetric( 对称结构 ) sentences frequently used. “..for.., for…, for…,” “for ornament is…., for ability is….”
Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring(l ); for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business. For expert(2) men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels (3), and the plots and marshaling of affairs (4), come best from those that are learned (5). To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too(l )(2) general m In discourse– when one is engaged in conversation. In the judgement and disposition of business– when one forms a judgement and makes definite arragements about the affairs of the world. 1 Judge..one:Form opinions of specific matters separately.
much for ornament is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules is the humor(7) of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience(8); for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning(9) by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large(10), except they be bounded in by experience(11). Crafty men(12) 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 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(13); and some few to be read13 But that…won by observation: but that (to make good use of studies) is a wisdom that lies beyond and above the realm of studies, attainable only through a keen observation of things. 2
wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy(14) and extracts made of them by others, but that would(15) be only in the less important arguments and the meaner sort of books; else distilled （蒸馏；提取 … 的精华） books are like common distilled waters (16), flashy things(17). //Reading maketh a full man, conference( consultation, conversation) a ready man, and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need15 A full man– a man with a wide knowledge of things A ready man– a man who can answer things readily and freely./ exact man—a man who speaks and write with accuracy. 3
have a great memory; if he confer (converse, speak)little, he had need have a present wit(born gift); and if he read little, he had need have more cunning, to seem to know that(18) he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets, witty(19); the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend. Abeunt studia in mores. (20) Nay, there is no stond(21) or impediment in the wit but may be wrought out by fit studies,21 If a man write little,… memory— ”write” = take note; “ had need have”= would need to have
like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for the stone and reins(22), 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 the22
schoolmen(23), for they are Cumini sectores. If'he be not apt to beat over matters(24) and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyer's cases. So every defect of the mind may have a special receipt(25).25
Notes: (1) privateness and retiring: private life and retirement or when one is alone and away from company. (2) expert: experienced (rather than learned) or men with much experience. (3)general counsels– the giving of advice on general topics. (4) the plots and marshalling of affairs– the planning and the directing of affairs. (5) those are that learned– learned men, scholars. (6) sloth– lazy (coming from a lazy animal 树懒(1)
(7) humor: mannerism, implying absurd error. (8) they … by experience– They (studies) improve a person’s nature abilities and are themselves made more complete by experience. (9) pruning: originally proyning– old spelling –meaning: trimming, or cutting off the superfluous and burdensome parts. (10) too much large– too general or impractical. (11) bounded in by experience– restricted by experience. (12) crafty men—men who have some special skill ( crafty”= skillful, ingenious, having some special skill).7)
(13) curiously: with thoroughness and care. (14) read by deputy—read with the assistance of others./ extract– passages taken from books(15) would: should. But to read by deputy and to have extracts made of books by other persons should be done only in the case of books with less important subject-matter and of little value (“argument”= the content or subject matter of books).(16) distilled books– books from which the better parts have been extracted; distilled waters: infusions of herbs,etc., used as home remedies. (17) flat and tasteless things.13
(18) that: that which. (19) witty: imaginative,inventive. (20) Abeunt studia in mores (Latin) “ Studirs culminate in manners” (Ovid, Horides), or studies go into forming one’s character. (21)“stond”: hindrance, block, drawback or difficulty. (22) reins– gall bladder and (23 ) the schoolmen: medieval theologians. 24) beat over matters: make thorough examinations of things. 25) receipt: cure, prescription.2225