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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 131

V.] PARTY-SPIRIT IN BOOKS. 125 such power of portraiture as would make us believe his pictures, if not true, more lifelike and real than if they were true,—where such a man with such knowledge, such memory, such transparent honesty of belief in his own version of history, cannot be relied upon, what shall we poor mortals do ? If all the advance in historical study is to result only in the better presentation of party views and party arguments ; if no one will write even cram-books without cramming his own disproportioned and one-sided theories down our children's throats, it seems as if it were time to turn over a new leaf; reconcile ourselves with party government and organisation and cut ourselves off from shams. Let men cease to pretend to exercise or to prepare to exercise conscientious judgment. Divide the world between Blue and Orange, and nail your colours to the mast. For my own part I do not see why an. honest partisan should not write an honest book if he can persuade himself to look honestly at his subject, and make allowance for his own prejudices. I know it is somewhat critical work, and a man who knows himself in one way, may be quite ignorant of himself in another. I take Hallam as an illustrious example; Hallam knew himself to be a political partisan, and, wherever he knew that political prejudice might darken his counsel, he guarded most carefully against it: he did not ^ claim the judicial character without fitting himself for it; and where he knew himself to be sitting as judge he judged admirably : so admirably that the advanced advocates even of his own views have long ago thrown him over as too timid, and temporising for their purpose. Yet where he was not awake to his own prejudice, in matters for instance regarding religion and the Church, in which he seems to have had no doubt about his own infallibility of negation, how ludicrously and transparently unfair he is ! I do not see any necessity for this. I do not see why a

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