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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 49



It'is tree fhat the 'king of England and his fon, the prince of Wales, feem to have been, as long as they lived, the heroes of his hiftory, and that • in the -recital of feveral battles he is more occupied with them than with the ''king of France. But where is the Frenchman of candour who will not -find himfelf forced to give thefe princes the utmoft praife? Befides, docs not *bur hiftorian render juftice to the valour and intrepidity of king Philip de Valois and of king John ? Nothing can furpafs the praifes he gives, as well to the wifdom as to the ability of king Chartes V. and, above all, that tglorious teftimony which he makes no difficulty to put into the mouth of the king of England : * There never was a king who armed himfelf fo little ; and there never was a king who gave me fo much to do.1 1 think I have fully eftablifhed the faéfc, by the foregoing arguments, of Froiflart not being that partial hiftorian he has been faid to have been: neverthelefs, I think it will be more fafe to read him with fome circumfpeétion ; and I repeat that we ought ever, as much as poffibie, to keep fight of two obje&s, which I have particularly endeavoured to point out in the preceding pages : I mean to fey, on one hand, the details of his life, his different attachments to divers princes and to certain lords, the connexions he had, or the friendfhips he contra&ed with various perfons ; on the other, the fituations in which he was placed when he wrote his hiftory, what parts of it were undertaken at the felicitation of the count de JNamur, a partifan of the Engiifh, and thofe which he eompofed by the command of the count de Blois, a friend to France. . For, if we be determined to perfuade ourfelves that he ought to be difpofed to favour the Engiifh in all he relates to the year 1S?9, from the fame reafon he fhould lean to the Ffench in all the enfuing years to the conclufion of his chronicle. I muft not negleâ to mention that his prejudices are fometimes vifible when he enters into the minuted details, as we may be convinced by the praifês he gives to the piety and other virtues of the count de Foix, ftrongly contracted by thofe actions of cruelty he had juft before related. But an hiftorian, difengaged from all paffioe, fhould hold an even balance between the different parties, when to this quality he ihall add, .that which .cannot be.rcfufed to Froiflart,—I mean, a continual «8


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