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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 91

VARIETY OF METHODS. »5 is not, as we believe, the greatest and most wonderful of God's works, he is at least the most wonderful that comes within our contemplation ; if the human will, which is the motive cause of all historical events, is not the freest agent in the universe, it is at least the freest agency of which we have any knowledge; if its variations are not absolutely innumerable and irreducible to classification, on the generalisations of which we may formulate laws and rules, and maxims and prophecies, they are far more diversified and less reducible than any other phenomena in those regions of the universe that we have power to penetrate. For one great insoluble problem of astronomy or geology there are a thousand insoluble problems in the life, in the character, in the face of every man that meets you in the street. Thus, whether we look at the dignity of the subject-matter, or at the nature of the mental exercise which it requires, or at the inexhaustible field over which the pursuit ranges, History, the knowledge of the adventures, the development, the changeful career, the varied growths, the ambitions, aspirations, and, if you like, the approximating destinies of mankind, claims a place second to none in the roll of sciences. Arising from one of the first and most anciently cultivated instincts, the desire to know how we come to be what we are, and how the world comes to be what it is, the love of history is certainly second in origin to no other sort of love of knowledge. As a search for truth it tries to investigate matters in which the truth may be more difficult to find than it is in mere matters of observation or deduction, but surely its difficulty is not an argument for its disparagement; as a hoarding up of knowledge, it collects facts and records, the results of which are less exact than those of strict science, but are not less precious even in the eyes of the man who would regard them as mere engines of power. It is not true that written history is a mere tradition

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