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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 51

«ren to borrow their ftyle. Thus, for example, when he begins a narrative, he frequently ufes this expreffion, € Now the tale fays;' and when he fpeaks of the death of any one, or of fome other melancholy event, he adds, * but amend it he could not ;* phrafes which are to be met with in almoft every page of the romances of the Round Table. However, all I fay of this romantic tafte of Froiflart, which he feems to have preferved in his hiftory, applies folely to the ftyle he makes ufe of; for I have never once obferved that he attempts to embellifh it with the marvellous. The faults which are met with contrary to hiftorical exa&ntfs arife folely from the natural confufion of his mind, the precipitation with which he wrote, and the ignorance he muft neceflarily have been in refpeéling many things, which muft be fuppofed to have efcaped his inquiries. What he relates of diftant countries, fuch as Africa, Hungary, Tartary, and in general the eaftern parts of the world, is full of the groflèft blunders. In his time, commerce had not formed any connexion between thofe countries and our own : what was known of them was founded on the faith of thofe whom accident had carried thither, and who had refided there too fhort a time to gain fufficient information refpeéling the manners, cuftoms, and hiftory of their inhabitants. But if Froiflart has committed many faults in what he relates to us, the greateft, without doubt, is to have fpoken at all of what he could not with any degree of accuracy know. All thefe defeéls and imperfeélions do not prevent his chronicle from being confidered as one of the moft precious monuments of our hiftory; and the perufal of it from being as agreeable as inftruélive to thofe who, not confining themfelves to the knowledge of general faéts, feek in the details of particular events, and of the ufages of that period, to develope the charaéler of mankind, and of the ages which have paffed. Froiflart was born to tranfmit to pofterity a living.piélure of an age which preferred the hazard of war to the folid advantages of peace,—which, amid the intervals of troubles almoft continually agitating it, found relaxation only in the moft tumultuous pleafures. Befides the confliéls of fo many'nations which he relates, and in which he defcribes divers ufages refpeéling the Ban and Arrière Ban, the attack MUà defence of places, fortifications, detachments^ fkirmifhes, orders of

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