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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 45



Since Froiflart, in all thefe times which carry us almoft to the end of his chronicle, cannot be fufpeéted of hatred to the French, nor of affection to the Englifh,—-I return to thofe years I have omitted from 1329-to 1369, of which he paflèd a confiderable part in England; attached to the king and queen, and living in a fort of familiarity with die young princes, their children: it is in refpect to thefe years that the fufpicion of partiality to the Englifli may be fuppofed to fubfift with the greateft force, k was-difficult, in a court where every thing breathed hatred to France, for him. to preferve that perfect neutrality which the quality of an hiftorian demands ; and not to lean towards the paffions and interefts of princes to whom he owed his prefent fortune, and from whom he expected more confiderable: eftablifhments. Reafons might be found' to weaken dûs prejudice iir the fweet temper -and moderation which queen Philippa ever preferved in the midft of all thefe wars : (he who calmed the fury of her hufband at the fiege of Calais,, and who obtained, by her interceffion, the pardon of. the fix generous citizens of that town whom he had condemned to death. I might add,, that if Froiflart was of the houfehold of king Edward, he was alfo of ther houfehold of king John ; and it feems he was* attached, to. this prince even: at the time when he was-in England;. But, without feeking to combat thefe prejudices brothers, rfhall fimply. eonfult the text of Froiflart, which muft,. in this refpeét, be the rule for our judgment. After having read him with all the attention J am capable of,, without having remarked one (ingle trace of the partiality they reproach him with, I have examined with the utmoft. care fome principal points» where, naturally it ought to have been the moft apparent. The aceeffion of Philip de Valois to the crown.had incenfed.all England, who adopted the chimerical pretentions of Edward III. This was a delicate circumftance for an hiftorian, who, living in the midft of a court and a nation fo ftrongly prejudiced, was determined not to quit tbe line of duty. Now. thefe are the terms in which Froiflart relates this event, after having mentioned the deaths- of the kings, Louis. Hutin, Philip le Long, and Charles le Bel: 'The twelve peers and barons of France did not give the realm of France to their fitter, who was queen of England, becaufc 42


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