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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 126

120 READING BACKWARDS. [V. third. And it is perhaps in this its third application that it should be regarded with the most favour, but only as a step towards something deeper and sounder. An audience may be attracted by an able lecturer to listen to him on any subject whatever ; he takes the subject of the day and works back ; Turkey and Russia, we will say. Of course, if his audience is really a popular audience, they bring sadly little information with them to the lecture; a large proportion probably of the elder hearers can go back as far as the Crimean War, most of the audience will have come into this world of trial since that date. Their ideas of right and wrong will be very much prejudiced by the fact that England took a side in that war, and by the grand principle that whatever England does is right ; some may be equally convinced, on equally sound principles, that whatever the Aberdeen ministry—that is supposing them to have heard of an Aberdeen ministry—did must have been wrong: probably some will have imbibed the belief that there is a subtle connexion between Russia and Ritualism, or between Turkey and religious toleration as exemplified in the massacre of orthodox Greek Christians and the protection of Roman Catholics and Protestant Missionaries. Well, fur nished with materials, prepossessions, fixed ideas and ex pectancy, it would be a miracle if they did not come away fully persuaded of their competence to decide on the minutest questions of the last Protocol. Really it does seem to me that this is beginning at the wrong end, and yet I confess it is extremely difficult to suggest anything that is at once theoretically better and practically possible. If it were only for the fact that these questions of the day are to so large extent as they are, doubtful and party, doubtful or party questions; that mat ters on which our acutest and most honourable statesmen feel bound to take sides diametrically opposed, are by this process

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