Of Studies - Francis Bacon
1. Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight
2. is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in
3. the judgment and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and
4. perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots
5. and marshaling of affairs, come best from those that are learned…Read not to
6. contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and
7. discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be
8. swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested…Reading maketh a full
9. man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a
10. man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had
11. need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning,
12. to seem to know that he doth not.
13. Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural
14. philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend.
15. Abeuntstudia in mores**. Nay, there is no stand or
16. impediment in the wit but may be wrought out by fit studies: like as diseases
17. of the body may have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for the stone
18. and reins; shooting for the lungs and breast; gentle walking for the stomach;
19. riding for the head; and the like. So if a man’s wit be wandering, let him study
20. the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so
21. little, he must begin again: If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find
22. differences, let him study the Schoolmen; for they are cymini sectors*:
23. If he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call one thing to prove and
24. illustrate another, let him study the lawyers’ cases; so every defect of the
25. mind may have a special receipt.
** Abeunt Studia in mores: Latin for “Studies help form character”
* cymini sectores: Latin for “hairsplitters”; literally dividers of cumin seed
The sentence in lines 7-8 that states “some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested” relies on the following literary device?