“Of Travel” by Francis Bacon

“Of Travel” by Francis Bacon

The essay “Of Travel” is a persuasive essay penned by Francis Bacon. He has adopted a practical approach to the matter he has discussed here. He appears before us as an experienced traveler who himself has great experience of traveling. He has not referred any other experienced authority to stress his point of view. He displays an understanding of his knowledge and experience of traveling and advises the readers to travel to have some information of the culture, language and traditions of unknown places but he also advises to reject the traditional approach of noting down all the experiences of traveling in the travel diary.

He believes that traveling is a source of learning. The young men can get a lot of knowledge through traveling. However, he also advises that the person who wants to visit unknown places must have knowledge of the language, tradition, culture and manners of the people of the unknown land. Otherwise, he should not visit that unknown place. He further advises the young people that they can travel to these places even if they do not know anything about the place but they can do it in the company of some experienced traveler or teacher who has some knowledge of these things because such an experienced traveler can guide the young ones about the things of interest and value. He also advises the traveler not to stay longer at a place in a foreign country. If he has to stay at a place for a longer period, he should move to some other place at the local level or he should move to some other town or city. This step will increase the exposure. The traveler should try to stay with some foreigner not with the people of his own country.

Further, he says that traveling on land is more valuable than traveling across the sea. Traveling across the sea teaches nothing to young people except to show them the blue water of the sea and the never-ending blue sky. On the other hand, traveling on the land offers many things to be observed even it becomes difficult for the traveler what to note down and what not to. However, the writer himself advises the traveler to note down the things of great importance in his diary. He says that the traveler must note down the court of the prince, the welcome to the ambassadors made by the courts of the prince, the royal court of justice, the churches, the monasteries, their way of living, libraries, ancient buildings, the ruins and the recreational places, etc. The things which he believes should not be ignored but should also not be given any importance while writing a diary are social events like marriages, funerals, celebrations of victories, etc.

At the end of the essay, he advises the traveler that he should maintain his contact with the foreigners with whom he met or stayed. He must maintain this contact through letters. Further, he advises that the traveler should not exaggerate the stories and experiences of his traveling. He should become well-mannered, factual and civilized. He should not underestimate the values and traditions of his own land. Rather, he should adopt the good things of the foreign lands.

To be brief, Bacon has skillfully taught us valuable principles of traveling. He appears before us as an experienced traveler who has great experience of traveling and knows how to convince others with his point of view. With the richness of his vast knowledge of traveling, he has told us how to get knowledge and information through traveling.                                                        (Words: 598)