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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 52

iatflef artHlefy, marine, Ac armour of thofe on foot, and thofe on horfeback : we find In this hiftory every thing which can excite curiofity with regard to ûobiMty and knighthood, their challenges, their deadly combats, tits, tournaments, entries of princes,—aflemblies, feafts, balls, the dreffes of both fexcs,—fe that his chronicle is a complete body of the antiquities of the fourteenth century. I muft confefs, that thefe details only attrafl: attention from their own fmgukrity: they are related without ftudy and without art. It is, in truth, a familiar converfation with a man of enderftanding who has feen a great deal and tells his ftory well. Nevertfaehft, this amiable ftory-teller knows how, at times, and in particular when he fpeaks of any grand event, to unite the majefty of hiftory with the fimplicity of a tale. Let any one read, among other things, the many battles whkh he has fo excellently painted : let him read the recital of -the famous battle of Poitiers,—he wMi there fee, in the perfcn of the prince of Wales, a hero, far greater by the generofity with which he made ufe of his viéfcory, by his attentions to a conquered prince, and by the refpeét he always paid him, than by thofe efforts of courage which had made him triumph. 1 do not believe there is any thing which can equal the fuhlimityof this model of hiftory, nothing which can more intereft the heart and elevate the mind. Otters, of a very différent nature have their value in their fimplicity: fuch is the epifode of the love of the king of England for the countefs of Salifbury, the tender and affeéting recital of which does not yield to the moft ingenious and beft-written romances. The hiftorian fometimes takes a gay tone, as in the chapter wherein he fpeaks of the impatience of the young king Charles VI. to receive his new bride ; and in that wherein he relates the jokes which this prince made on his uncle, the duke of Berry, who, at a time of life not well fuited for love, married a young wife. The tafte of the author is very vifible in the manner in which he treats thefe fnbjeéts ; but as the age he lived in knew how to conciliate all things, this tafte did not exclude the ftrain of devotion which runs through the courfe of his work. It is only to be wifhed that he had not degraded his religion by a creduhty ridiculoufly fuperftitious : frdfe miracles, prophecies^ cnchantmcnts» have nothing in them fo abfttrd as not to find in him an H 49

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