Saturday, March 12, 2022

"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 humour of a scholar. "-- Explain.

These lines are taken from Bacon's essay 'Of Studies'. Here Bacon tries to show the limitations of too much study. Reading books undoubtedly gives us intellectual pleasure or delight, refines our language and adds to our natural abilities. These are certainly desirable ends for every cultured man. But too much of something is always to be avoided. In the field of studies Bacon sounds a note of warning by saying that too much time spent in studies produces sloth and laziness in a person. Man is not merely an intellectual being; he is a social and economic animal as well. If he spends too much time in reading books the other important aspects of his life will be neglected, his development will be lop-sided, and not a well-rounded one. Bacon himself was not a bookish scholar but was deeply involved in the social and political activities of his time.

Again, studies help us polish our language. It is, so to say, an ornament to language. Just as wearing too many ornaments, far from enhancing the beauty of a lady, prevents her natural beauty to shine forth, so also the use of too much ornament in speech amounts to affectation and pretense. It does more harm than good to us.

Lastly, Bacon warns us against over-dependence on book knowledge in forming our judgments. A bookish character lacks wide practical experience and hence forms judgments, comes to conclusions that have little or no relation with the actual world. In spite of the vastness of his book knowledge, such a person often proves to be a failure in the affairs of this world.