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

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 78



1% ORIGINAL MATERIALS. [III. I could not help thinking that, if he was not really wasting his powder and shot upon a class that could not appreciate him, he was doing something that I should like to see done here. And, within a very few weeks after, my aspirations were gratified by finding the Corpus Professor lecturing on the Salian law, going further back, and taking probably a more remunerative subject than my American friend. Well, perhaps I am prejudiced by my own especial line of study in favour of such speculations, but I will go still further and say that the devotion with which, since the days of Grimm, the local and municipal institutions of Germany have been studied sets us a fine example. The publication of Grimm's collection of Weisthiimer has been followed by a great and general exploration of local archives. Now in England we' do not possess one single complete and detailed monograph on town life; Drake's Eboracum, published a century and a quarter ago, is perhaps the best, but in the lapse of many years a vast amount of new matter has turned up, by which Drake could be enlarged and improved. Medieval London still waits for its constitutional historian. The history of the Cinque Ports, and of the mercantile communities on the coast, lie at the root of our naval history, and contain the germs of our international jurisprudence. On them we have a few law-books which are the peculiar domain of a few legal offices in London ; but their history has yet to be explored. Every year perhaps we are drawing nearer, for the discoveries of the Historical MSS. Commission are richer in this than in any other region ; but for the successful investigation, for the comparison of materials, and for the systematic use of them, we must look to the association of such labourers as are now in Germany employed on the history of the Hanse Towns. Even the Scottish boroughs are in this particular ahead of us; there is a society


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