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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 53

unbounded and blind belief. Every one knows the tale he tells of the demon Orthon. It can fcarcely be comprehended how he can connect with Chriftlanrty the example which he draws from the fable of Aéteon to juftify the probability of an adventure of the fame fort, which makes part of another tale. He has befides been reproached with having difhonoured hiftory by his too great minutenefe. I agree, that we readily would have difpenfed with his telling us at what fign thofe lodged of whom he was fpeaking, and pointing out the inns where he himfelf had fometimes taken up his quarters ; but I cannot equally condemn the love-adventures, the feafts and ceremonies of which he has left us defcriptions. Although at times his narrations be not relating to fubjeéb fufEciently noble, yet he paints fo agreeably and fo truly the age of which he writes the hiftory that it would, I think, be ungrateful to make any complaints. I have inferted fummarily in this criticifm à fketch of the opinions which?, diffèrent authors have given of him, and they may be confulted. 1 will add*, that of an author who knew better than any other the full value of a ready and natural genius. « * I love,* fays Montaigne, * hiftorians unaffe&ecT or excellent : the unafFe&ed, who have not wherewithal to add of their own, and who are only careful to colleét and pick up every thing which falls within their notice, and to put down every thing without choice and without forting,. give us the opportunity of wholly judging of their truth. Such, for example, is the worthy Froiflart, who has gone on with his work with fuch a frank fimplicity that, having committed a fault, he is no way aframed of avowing it, and corredling it at the place where he is informed of it,—and who tells us the diverfity of rumours which were current, and* the different accounts that were told to him. It is hiftory, naked and* unadorned : every one may profit from it, according to the depth of his* imderftanding.' I come now to the editions of Froiflart. We have three black-letter ones, and two pofterior to them :- that which 1 believe to be the oldeft is by Anthony Verard, at Paris, without a date, three volumes in folio. The fecond is printed at Paris, by Michael le Noir, the 15th July 1505, two* volumes in folio, in a handfbme. type. The third is dated Paris,, by Galliot 50

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