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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 73

III.] THE CRIMEAN WAR. reluctance, but begun because they believed that they ought to keep national promises and to maintain treaties even at the risk of sustaining weak and wicked governments. Why, for all the good that it did, it might never have been fought at all. The treaties that resulted from it are thrown to the winds ; the powers that fought it have resumed that natural attitude which treaties might attempt to modify but cannot alter : the crisis that it tried to avert is approaching more quickly and more certainly, and it is reverted to only because in it an experiment which we thought fit to try was tried in vain. The history of our own times does, whilst the events are in progress, seem more important than any history that has gone before ; greater interests are seen to be involved, greater armaments brought into the field, more critical changes follow, more startling principles are enunciated ; yet after all the proportion of historic incident is scarcely changed. The tide began to roll with greater waves at the Reformation, with higher still during the age of Lewis XIV, deep called unto deep in the upheaval of the French Revolution, and the European wars of 1866 and 1870 have proved that the storms grow wilder as the world grows older. But the results are not, so far as we can see, much more permanent, the rapidity of action keeps pace with the growth of the contending influences, and events which centuries ago would have been regarded as striking the knell of Christendom, form the subject of a hasty telegram which we read and say, It is no more than we expected. But I am not going to philosophise; μη yévoiro. When I say that such books as these are not history, but rather the materials of history, I do not mean to undervalue them, but simply to point by them to the fact that until events have come to be seen in due proportion and in their relative bearing, their full history cannot be written ; and the most perfect memoirs will need reduction and review. But at the risk of F 2

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