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of the joy of thinking? One may assume that the idea of selecting pieces which would serve as models for writing was present, but incidentally. The general purpose was to prove to college students the readableness of the essay as a literary form. Authors and publishers have recognized this motive and have been generous in allowing the inclusion of modern copyrighted material.
Actual use by students is the best test of a book designed for them. Such a test, conducted last year, has caused a revision of Adventures in Essay Reading. The changes are the result of suggestions from instructors who used the book in class. In the revised edition brief sketches of the authors have been included. These sketches are not intended as complete biographies or as critical estimates, but as informal introductions presented to give the reader a sense of acquaintanceship with the authors.
If college students find in Adventures in Essay Reading enjoyment that will encourage further excursions into one of the most delightful fields of literature, those who have made this volume will feel well repaid.
THOMAS E. RANKIN.
OF STUDIES 1
Francis Bacon, statesman, man of law, philosopher, literary artist, and, more than is commonly thought, wit, was born in London, 1561, and died there in 1626. He was, therefore, contemporary with Spenser, Cervantes, Montaigne, and Shakespeare. He was a great scholar for the Elizabethan age, though that was an age when there was still so little advance in specialization that a man could, as Bacon said he purposed to do, take all knowledge for his province. Bacon was not far ahead of his day in any field of thought excepting science. He was not the inventor of induction, though he did much toward reforming the methods of scientific investigation from the compilation of alleged facts into testing facts by experiment. Outside the field of science, many another man in that time, as Shakespeare, for example, could have written much that came from the pen of Bacon. Yet, like all eminent scientists, Bacon reveals his personality in his writing. The function of the artist was defined by Bacon to be the adding of man to nature, and he added himself to the material with which he dealt. Bacon was a great speaker and a great writer. His style is grave and temperate, yet it gives the impression of suppressing ardent emotion over the object of his thought. The movement of his sentences is slow, but with a rich, deep music audible to the inner ear of the reader. Bacon's chief works for the English student are The Advancement of Learning, The History of Henry VII, The New Atlantis, and the Essays. The Essays are the least fine in diction, in imagination, and in eloquence, of his writings, but they give the same sense as do his other works of the importance of knowledge, of the unity of all knowledge, and of the value of organizing all knowledge to practical ends.
STUDIES serve for pastimes, for ornaments, and for abilities. Their chief use for pastime is in privateness and retiring; for ornament is in discourse, and for ability is in judgment. For expert men can execute, but learned men are fittest to judge or censure.
To spend too much time in them is sloth; to use them
1 First published in 1597.
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.
Crafty men contemn them, simple men admire them, wise men use them, for they teach not their own use, but that there is a wisdom without them and above them, won by observation.
Read not to contradict, nor to believe, 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 cursorily, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man. And therefore if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not.
Histories make men wise, poets witty, the mathematics subtle, natural philosophy deep, moral grave, logic and rhetoric able to contend.