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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 116



MEDIEVAL HISTORY. [V. no as to right or wrong, good or evil, acquittal or condemnation, is to be looked for ; and on which we may say that, as often the height of courage is to say I dare not, and the height of love is to say I will not, so the height of wisdom is to have learned to say, I do not know. I will however leave this point, as it is one on which I may have to say a word under my third head. The next point after determining the nature of the disciplinary value ascribed to historical study, especially modern historical study, is the question of method. And as I have already said that it does not follow that the best method of studying History in one aspect is the best way of studying it in the other two, I will, for the sake of simplicity, go directly to our own idea of teaching in this place as exemplified in the Examination Statute. That statute was the result of a good deal of consideration and discussion between men of very different views and extent of experience, and I do not know that I should venture to say that it is incapable of improvement ; but it has worked well, and any improvement that may be made in it must be made on the lines of its own plan, which seem to me complete. I take it, however, as a peg for more general remarks. The main feature of it is, as you are doubtless aware, the threefold division into, first, a continuous reading of our national History, second, an epochal treatment of a portion of general European History, and thirdly, the special study of some character or period in the original authorities. The plan thus aims at realising two of the ideas which I discussed the other day, although of course only by way of introduction to the larger fulfilment of the promise ; it attempts in the continuous reading of one subject to convey the lesson of continuity, and in the special subject to invite the student to see what original sources are like, and what is the pleasurable work of studying them.


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