skip to main | skip to sidebar
Home » , » It has been claimed by Bacon that his essays "come home to men's business and blossoms "

"come home to men's business and blossoms "

The claim made by Bacon in the statement quoted above is perfectly justified. His essays bear testimony to the claim he has made, as his essays are full of profound insight into the mundane activities and affairs. His essays contain erudite and thought provoking reflections on life and the world. Although passionately interested in abstract and philosophical speculations, his attention never strays from the practical aspect of life and men's business and blossoms.

Bacon attaches too much importance to morality and pragmatism. His essay "of studies" is a fine example of his obsession with the practical and pragmatic aspects of life. In the essay 'Of Studies", the author focuses on the method, nature and purposes of studies. He tells us about the diverse utility of studies. They bring delight, mirth and consolation to private and secluded life: they give the discussions an ornamental touch and colour; and study is the ability in the judgement and disposition of business Bacon also underlines the intellectual utility of the studies as they contribute greatly to the development of natural human abilities and skills.

Bacon's treatment of books is even more practical; he is a true pragmatic in his dealings with different types of book. Bacon, like a man of world, is of the opinion that all books do not deserve same treatment and attention and contemplation. He rightly says that "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." Bacon attaches much importance to writing and he is definitely a realist in this respect. "Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man, and writing an exact man." That reading must be accompanied by discourse and writing is the view of the author. Reading gives men intelligence; conversation gives one ready wit and writing renders one memory. Bacon also states that studies affect character and drive away the diseases of mind. Mathematics is necessary for man's wit; philosophy and theology which are noted for their hair-splitting logical distinction will sharpen the wit.

Bacon thus stresses the practical value of studies. The skill for rational and practical management of human affairs must be encouraged by studies. Mere book-learning will not serve the purpose. He never forgets that studies can only add to the native wisdom of a man which is founded on experience. As he puts it "but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation." This is a profoundly thoughtful statement which can only be expected of a man who has seen much of life with a shrewd but contemplative mind. Bacon's essays come home to men's business because his attention is always fixed on the needs of human life and they appeal to the heart because they are interspersed with practical and philosophical speculations on the various aspects of life and the world. These generalisations have an element of universality in them and that is why their appeal transcends the limits of time and space. Let us consider the wisdom of the statement: "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." A statement like this contains the distilled wisdom of a man who has seen life and its proper aims with perfect clarity of vision. 

Bacon's essays are counsels of a shrewd man of the world. Based on his personal experiences and observations of men and manners. Bacon wrote for the young men of ambition who wanted complete self-realisation in public life. He was an empiricist and he always emphasised experience and observations of men and manners as the source of true knowledge. Reading of books sharpens the mind enriched with experiences and observations.


Post a Comment

Back To Top