Studies serve for delight, for ornament and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment, and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best, from those that are learned. 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 humor of a scholar.
They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves, do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation Read not to contradict and confute nor to believe and take for granted.
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 Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them bothers; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books, else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things.
-By Francis Bacon弗兰西斯·培根