English Essay on "Of Studies"
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: for natural abilities are like natural plants that need pruning by study and studies themselves do give forth direction 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 note 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 is like common distilled waters, flashy things.(adamjeecoaching.blogspot.com) Reading makes 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 him. Had need have a present wit and if he read little he had need have much cunning. To seem to know that he do not histories make men wise poets, witty the mathematics, subtitle natural philosophy, deep. Moral grave logic and rhetoric, able to contend. About studios in mores (Studies pass into character). Nay there is no stone 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. So if 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 to distinguish or find differences, let him study the school men for they are Cymene sectors (dividers-of cumin seeds Le. given to excessive subtlety). 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 very defect of the mind may have a special receipt.