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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 101

ÎV.] WHAT HISTORY IS BEST WORTH'READING? But here we come upon another primary question, Is all History equally valuable ? You may say to me, we have accepted your assertion that no knowledge is useless, except by the fault of the person who possesses it ; but it does not follow that all is equally useful or equally valuable in itself. What history is the best worth studying for its own sake? Now to answer that question fully would take a long time, and involve a discussion, not only on the nature of History; but on its co-ordination with other branches of human knowledge, such as moral philosophy and theology, carrying us into regions into which I cannot offer to guide you, and must refer you to the philosophers. But if you will be satisfied with a simple answer, I will say that the true field of Historic study is the history of those nations and institutions in which the real growth of humanity is to be traced : in which we can follow the developments, the retardations and perturbations, the ebb and flow of human progress, the education of the world, the leading on by the divine light from the simplicity of early forms and ideas where good and evil are distinctly marked, to the complications of modern life, in which light and darkness are mingled so intimately, and truth and falsehood are so hard to distinguish, but in which we believe and trust that the victory of light and truth is drawing nearer every day. The most precious Histories are those in which we read the successive stages of God's dispensations with man, the growth of the highest natures, under the most favourable circumstances, in the most fully developed institutions, in the successive contributions which those natures, regions and institutions have furnished to the general welfare of the whole. But I can hear at least one critic say, Is not this assuming the truth of a doctrine that you are always practically denying, that the very designation of your professorship, your very raison (Ffire, forces you to deny—the Unity of History;

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