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



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 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Memoirs of the life of Sir John Froissart
page 50

anxiety to be informed of every event, and of every particular that may mtereft his readers, he will yet be very far from perfection, if with thefe acquirements he do not exercife a found criticifm, which, in the multitude •f difcordant relations, knows how to feparate every thing that is diftant from truth, or his work will otherwife be Ids an hiftory than a heap of fables and popular rumours. Notwithftanding all Froiflart tells us of the care he took to hear both fides, to compare their different accounts with each other, and often with tite original' pieces, I think he may be accufed of fome little negligence on this head. His manner of life allowed him but little leifure to make all the reflections and all the companions which fuch an examination would require. In thofe countries whither his active curiofity carried* himi other attentions occupied his mind. Charged fometimes with fecret commiffions, he endeavoured to inflnuate himfelf into the good graces of thofe princes he vifited, by compofitions of gallantry, by romance», by poetry ;. and the love he ever had for pleafure took fuch poffeffion both of his time and his-heart that his mind muft have been often turnedfrom the ferious meditations of the cabinet, of which naturally it was not very capable. I am not afraid to fey, that his manner of life is to be found in fome fort re-traced even in his chronicles. We fee in them tumultuous meetings of warriors of all ages, degrees and countries,—feafts,—entertainments at inns,—converfations after fupper, which lafted until a late hours, where every one was eager to relate what lie had' feen or done \, after which, the travelling hiftorian, before he went to bed,, haftened to put on paper every thing his memory could: recollect. We obferve in them the hiftory of events, which happened during the courfe of almoft a century, in all the provinces of the kingdom, and of all the people in Europe, related without order. In- a fmall number of chapters we frequently meet with feveral different hiftories, begun,, interrupted, recommenced, and again broken off; and in this confufion the fame things repeated, fometimes in order: to be corrected, fometimes to be contradicted or denied, or in other cafes to be augmented. The hiftorian feems to have carried, even to his composition of the chronicle his love of romances, and to have imitated the diforder which* reigns in fuch fort of works ; from which we might fay he has affected* 47

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