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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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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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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 9



THE FOUNDER. would say the worst must allow that he was an honest and harmless sovereign, whilst a professed panegyrist would most wisely content himself with saying that his reign is the commencement of an era during which the happiness of the kingdoms he ruled, their progress in knowledge, political intelligence, wealth, domestic and social comfort, have increased in a ratio unprecedented and unparalleled : during which the exertion of English influence in the councils and contests of the world has been effective beyond precedent and parallel, and has been used, if not always in the most enlightened way, always for the end and for the cause that seemed to be just and right. The process of events, and the action of various systems of politics, have in a great measure served to alter the views which at the time were taken of the wars of the last century and of the early years of the present." We have learned some of us to approve, and more perhaps to acquiesce in, proceedings which our fathers looked on as in the last degree unrighteous and intolerable. The days in which men go to war for an idea, and accept subjugation because they cannot afford to be sentimental, can safely smile at the errors of statesmen and the short-sightedness of kings, to whom justice and honesty were still justice and honesty, although disguised in the mock solemnities of dynastic shadows. But we will not deny either to kings or to peoples the credit of zeal for what they believed to be right, and the glory they had, so far as it was real, of counting no cost too great to be incurred for what they saw to be the cause of order and of society. They fought, as they believed, for their own existence and ours. George I, whatever may have been his personal faults, and however little adapted he may have seemed in his own days, or may seem now, to fulfil the ideal character of kingship in a free and enlightened people, comes on the stage of English History as the representative of a principle which has been Β 2


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