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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 84



8 THE ICELANDIC DICTIONARY. [III. 7 Lord Ashburnham, ransack the muniment rooms of Belvoir and Ripley, and the records of the cathedrals and church courts, before we go to Rome. It is by no means necessary that either should take precedence of the other; but the opportunities for Italian research are enlarging daily, and it is of great importance to catch the chances whilst they are yet new, and engage the co-operation of willing agents before they weary of the work, or fall back into the jealousies and obstructive ways which have so long debarred English students from their treasures. Whilst we rejoice in the prospect that Italian scholars and scholarship, libraries and charter rooms, are likely to be open to us more generally, we may, I think, congratulate ourselves on having been able to do something for our Northern neighbours. The Icelandic Dictionary and the new recension of the Sturlunga Saga, which we have now in hand at the Press under the editorship of our friend Mr. Vigfusson, is surely an earnest of something yet to come. We are not so entirely disinterested in making these offerings to our Scandinavian kinsfolk: true we do not expect to make great discoveries of MS. treasures, although there are far more unlikely places than Drontheim and Upsala ; but we hope to attract new friends to the study of our own history and theirs, the common points of external and internal development which the English here have with their kinsmen and the neighbours of their ancient home. And whilst we look with hope and gratitude to these elder kinsfolk, we look with hope and gratitude too to our more modern cousins across the Atlantic. Why American historians like Prescott, Ticknor and Motley have chosen Belgian and Spanish History as their special field of work, it is not for me to decide. Possibly it is for the best, and the conviction that it is for the best for them to work in fields in which they are less liable to be entangled in the political


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