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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 64



manufcript itfelf, or fome of thofe paflkges which are faid to- have been retrenched. We cannot too eagerly prefs the pofleflbrs of it to allow the public to participate of a tréafure fo infinitely precious to the lovers of hiftory. If, hitherto, we have been in error, we will cheerfully turnback ; and there is not a man of letters poflèfling fenfe who* laying afide all ' national intereft, would not ardently defire to have the Chronicles of ' Froiflart fuch as they came from the hands o£ the author. Many manufcripts of Froiflart are to be found in- the libraries of foreign countries. There is one in the library of the cathedral of Tournay, according to the report of feveral flemifh librarians*; three, in England according to the catalogue of manufcripts in that kingdom, which alfo mentions fome manufcript notes colle&ed by Mr Afhmole ; and otners again which may be feen in the new catalogue of manufcripts by father* Montfaucon. • _ # Befide the ancient abridgments of Froiflart, Sleidanj full of • admiration for this hiftorian, and anxious that the advantages which may be derived from him fhould be common to all ages and nations, made, in 1537, a Latin abridgment, which was afterwards-tranflated into French and Engiifh by P. Golin, in 4to, London, 16Q& In ai preface, or epiftle, which precedes the Latin-edition,, the author recommends the ftudy of the hiftory of France above all others, and particularly that of Froiflart, whofe candour he praifes, and whom he only finds fault with for being fometimes too minute in his military details,, and in. his converfations ^with princes. Foreigners accufc Sleidan of not having eompofed. this abridgment with the difintereflednefs and fidelity to have been expe&cd from a man of fo great a reputation, and of wiihtng to favour the French too much, as well as of pafling over the moft brilliant a&ions of. the Engiifh, where he quits the fenfe of his author, in writing otherwife than Froiflart had done. This laft reproach does not feem to me well founded.. With regard to omiflions, he has taken that liberty which an abbreviator. • M. de St Palayc is igporaat how rich this country is in manufcripts of Froiflart. There aie. many magnificent ones in the Briiiih Mufeum, at Oxford, Cambridge, and in other public and* private libraries. I have in my library not left than fix ; but not one is a complete hiftory.. 61


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