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


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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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 28

And to do this we must begin at the right end, work from the past forwards, not backwards from the present. Our students ought not to go into the world a prey to newspaper correspondents : they ought not to go into public life ready to be moulded to the political views of the first clique that may catch hold of them. So far as the fundamental principles of politics go, that is indeed impossible, for men are born most certainly with constitutional inclinations, some to order and others to change ; and the power of the earliest education is exerted to direct those inclinations into channels most in accordance with the views of the educators : so by attraction or repulsion, by reaction or by hereditary succession, not by the lessons of books or views of philosophers, young men's sides are taken in life before they know it. But there is still far more in common between the wise and sound of opposing parties than there is between the sound and the corrupt of the same ; between the thinkers of opposite parties and the thinkers and the fools of the same. We should teach both sides to teach themselves. Am I to be understood as stating the purpose of the study of History to be the production of scepticism in politics? Surely not. Rather I maintain that there is so much of good in both the opposing views that good men are pretty equally divided between the two ; and that there is so much, I will not say evil, but questionable and debateable, that thoughtless and interested men make their capital of, that thoughtless and interested men are equally divided too ; and so much that is obvious to the meanest sense, that stupidity and intolerance are in much the same proportion. What we want to see is men applying to history and politics the same spirit in which wise men act in their discipline of themselves : not to cease to be partisans, not to cease to hold and utter strong opinions, but to be as careful in their party behaviour and in their support of their opinions, as they are in their

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