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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 100

WASTE AND MISAPPREHENSION. [IV. map of the heavens. And I think that the somewhat compassionate condescension with which archaeological inquiry is now and then spoken of, and the study of original sources also, is owing to the fact that so many inquirers do stop at some such point : hence it is that people are constantly discovering things which have often been discovered before, and trumpeting as new results of research points of fact that have long been ticketed and set in their places in books where they could easily have found them. The study of original sources is thus taken to mean the study of nothing else ; a pursuit accordingly which has no other result than the gratification, by a laborious process, of a curiosity that might have been gratified by reference to a cyclopaedia, or the amount of training, not itself to be despised if it be regarded merely as training, which makes the fact that one has worked out for himself infinitely more precious than one that he has simply looked out in the dictionary. But I am not speaking now of the educational aspect of the subject. Let it suffice to say, that original sources to be studied remuneratively must be approached with all the apparatus and all the appliances that previous inquirers have accumulated for the illustration of them. If that be not done, we shall share the fate of the astronomer who searches for a new planet with the naked eye, and the mathematician who discovers perpetual motion. And so we may go on to another point. The student of History, for its own sake, may approach his subject with the desire of adding to the mass of human knowledge by the ascertaining of truths hitherto imperfectly apprehended ; the completing of series of developments, or delineations of character, or the explanations of out-of-the-way regions, or the rehabilitation and analysis of traditions. In these points he has a wide field of interest, and a most remunerative sphere of study in exercise and result.

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