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Bacon describes the nature and functions of studies in his great essay Of Studies'. Salient features of Studies impart joy, cultural elegance, and competence to deal with the affairs of life wisely and rationally.Uneducated men may be efficient in management of the practical affairs of life, but they can never take a comprehensive view of a question and judge it wisely as learned men do. But to spend too much time in studies is sloth. To make a show of one's learning is a kind of affectation and to make one's judgement entirely dependent on studies is the sign of an unrealistic pedant. Studies can remove imperfections of human nature and they are perfected by the direct experience of life. Book learning without the support of the direct experience is largely a barren and unfruitful thing. It is only wise men who are capable of making a fruitful use of book-learning. The purpose of reading should be to increase one's capacity for rational and critical thinking.
salient features of the essay 'Of Studies '


All books are not equally important and therefore one should not try to read them with equal attention and industry. Reading gives us knowledge which we learn to use properly through discussion. Writing serves the purpose of making our knowledge exact and accurate. Discussion teaches us to use our knowledge. The study of different subjects gives us different kinds of knowledge and intellectual training. The study of history gives us wisdom and insight. Poetry makes us intelligent and sensitive. Mathematics makes our thinking acute and exact. Moral philosophy makes us grave. Login and rhetoric increases our ability to contend with our opponents' intellectual disputes. Just as different diseases of the body may be cured thorough different kinds of physical exercise, similarly the study of different subjects can remove different kinds of mental defect or drawback.Bacon's essays are reflective and philosophical. The essay is a series of counsels, It is not an elaborate or discursive development of a particular subject. It is neatly direct and frankly didactic. He is moralist and his essays are meant for men of ambition in the Renaissance, which desired self-realisation. So, didactic note is the characteristic feature of Bacon's essays. But he is not a pedant who looks at the world through the spectacle of books. He understands the value of direct experience and observations. He regards experience and observations as chief factors that contribute to knowledge. Bacon is an enlightened empiricist.His sentences are like condensed aphorisms. The short essay is a marvellous example of the art of condensation. There is no looseness or prolixity anywhere in the essay. The whole essay is composed of sentences, which are like separate and independent units, each of which is capable of being developed into a short independent essay. One can easily write an essay of the length of the original essay of 'Of Studies', just based on the line "Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man." This very sentence bears testimony to the terseness that Bacon adopted in writing his essays. The whole sentences can easily be elaborated into a new essay. His essay 'Of Studies' is full of such sentences, which abound in meaning and value.

The style of Bacon has several engaging qualities. Each of the sentences is like a finely polished gem. There is an unmistakable stamp of careful artistic finish in them. There is a very remarkable combination of abstract thinking with vivid and concrete images. An illustrated may be found in the statement where Bacon says that - "natural abilities are like natural plants that need pruning by study". The following sentence will supply an apt illustration - "Crafty men condemn studies; simple men admire them; and wise men use them." It is the delightful combination of profound and clear thinking with a charming lucidity of concise expression that makes the essay one of the finest specimens of Bacon's style.


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