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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 23



MODERN HISTORY. pictures in which living Egypt, Rome, and Asia stand before us, after thousands of years of death, in the bright colouring and life-like grouping of yesterday; these are the area in which the modern historian seeks and finds the interests of his pursuit. Italy, the common ground of the sister studies, the strange borderland between light and darkness, in which alone the past seems to live and the present for the most part to be a living death, has a double existence that fits and unfits her for the free handling of either. And in this new and modern and living world there has been since the era began, such a continuity of life and development that hardly one point in its earliest life can be touched without the awakening some chord in the present. Scarcely a single movement now visible in the current of modern affairs but can be traced back with some distinctness to its origin in the early middle ages ; scarcely a movement that has disturbed the world since the invasion of our barbarian ancestors but has its representative in the chart of law or thoughts or territory to this day. Not a dynasty that is trembling out its little span of days now, but represents in its shattered tottering throne some great hero, some great heroic movement, that has won the gratitude of-the medieval world. Not a country revolutionised and levelled until it hardly knew itself, until it scarcely remembered the names of its rivers and mountains, has been able utterly to obliterate the boundaries, or the customs, or the affinities of its old divisions. The dynastic traditions of Europe are rooted and grounded in the distant past : the principle of nationalities, new in its fashion of announcement and most unlucky in its prophet, is rooted and grounded in a past more distant still; the principle of freedom, in their effect on which only the dynastic and national ideas have their true political value, rests on a yet more ancient foundation, but on one that is peculiar to the modem field of study, for it was brought c


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