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THOMAS JOHNES, ESQ. Memoirs of the life of Sir John Froissart

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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THOMAS JOHNES, ESQ.
Memoirs of the life of Sir John Froissart
page 36



If, when at courts, or in the other places he vifited, he met with any from whom he thought he could gain information, more efpecially captains or heralds, who in thofe times were the moft ufual agents in negotiations and in affairs of importance,—he began a converfation with them, and infetifibly led them to fpeak of thofe parts of hiftory of which they ought to be beft informed, whether in regard to die country where they were, or to other circumftanoes of their lives; and he never quitted them until he had induced them to tell all they knew, the whole of which he immediately fct down in writing. Not content with collecting all thefe valuable authorities, and comparing very carefully, as he himfelf informs us, the intelligence of perfons who had been attached to diffèrent parties, he fought for proofs ftill lefs liable to fufpkion: he confulted the treaties which princes had entered into with each other, their challenges or declarations of war, the letters they wrote, and other papers of this nature. He expreffly lays, that he had feen many which he does not mention, particularly thofe in the chancery of the king of England : fome of them are tranfcribed entire in the courfe of his hiftory. It appears that he did not infert every thing he found as chance offered, but mat he examined the articles critically, and laid afide all thofe whofe authenticity did not feem to him folly proved. VII. WHAT END PROISSART PBOPOSBD IN WRITING HIS HISTORY, AtTJf WHAT RULES HE LAID DOWN TO HIMSELF IN ITS COMPOSITION. IT may eafily be judged, from the detail of the pains which Froiflart himfelf tells us he took, mat he was acquainted with the rules of found criticiûn, and the true method which ought to be followed in writing hiftory. He likewife informs us, that he had no intention of making a dry chronicle, wherein facto are limply related with their dates, and in the order of their occurrence,—but that he was anxious to write what may be called in truth hiftory, in which the events are prefented, with all the circumftanoes attendant on them. The details which lay open the fecret Springs by which mankind ad are precisely thofe which unveil the character F 35


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