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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 22



society, so far as his materials allow him ; he can handle the different parts and form his political hypotheses as it pleases him, according to the various ways in which his skeleton can be put together ; he is little troubled by the fear of new facts, or new developments making their appearance suddenly to put to flight his calculations ; he has all the existing materials for his investigation before him, or within easy reach ; he has for the geographical area of his work a portion of the earth and its peoples that has had, since the roll of its own historians was closed, little to do with the active work of the world. He can work out principles at his will; he can educate his taste and analyse and experiment to the very ne plus ultra of critical subtilty. But the principles he works out and the results of his criticism are alike things that give the world no new knowledge, or exercise no direct influence on the interests of real life. And in this is one of the great incidental uses of classical training as an engine of education. You have in its languages and histories and philosophies, the most elegant, the most compact, the most ingenious systems on which the mind of man can be exercised ; and you have them in such isolation, so set apart altogether from personal or party or national or scholastic propensions, that the lessons to be drawn from them are for the most part as safe, as unexciting, as far removed from the heart and interests of life, as any proposition in mathematics. In Modern History, on the contrary, you are dealing with the living subject: your field of examination is the living, working, thinking, growing world of to-day; as distinguished from the dead world of Greece and Rome, by the life that is in it, as it is in geographical area and in the embarrassing abundance of the data from which only in their full integrity it is safe, or ever will be safe, to attempt to philosophise. England, France, Germany, the East, regions that have but a shadowy existence in the background of the


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