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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 125

by beginning at the beginning ; neglecting the due scale and proportion, the student may find that instead of educating himself to take his place in the world, he has disqualified himself for being anything but a student all his life; no bad thing perhaps, but not an educational result. The second and reverse method has strong recommendations to other minds; to take the interesting subject of the day and work back to its beginning, following every branch of inquiry that may present itself, but following it chiefly with a view to the leading idea with which you have started. Here too there is abundant exercise for the historic instinct, the desire of getting to the bottom of everything and looking at it all round; and, regarded as an analytic process, complementary to that synthetic process which I have first stated, some amount of such reading seems absolutely necessary to the education of the student. Still, I question very much whether it is wise to put this idea forward as the best. As the way in which men of modern ways of thinking, and with little time for study, may be invited, tempted to and interested in History, much may be said in its favour, and much has been said on very high authority. But surely it has, unless it be accompanied by some strong corrective, a tendency to educate men for advocates rather than for judges, it leads them into a habit of looking for all that may be said on one side of a subject, rather than for what may be said on both sides; and it certainly leads a man to give to the point from which his investigation started an exaggerated form and influence amongst the earlier competing influences which, as a matter of fact, it has outgrown, or of which it may itself be in some measure a resultant. The occasional use of this method as a means of study is one thing, the exclusive use of it is another ; the use of it as a means of inviting popular attention to history is a

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