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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 134

128 REAL MEANfNG OF LECTURES. history. But I confess that I do not see my way to go much further, unless I may be allowed very much to modify the prescribed idea of a popular lecture. In the first place, as to lectures at all ;—that such oral teaching is an important part of the discipline of education we are all bound to believe ; it is part of the system under which we have all grown up, and in a University course it is that one part of the system which is capable of the most development; an implement which has been growing to perfection by the labours of many generations of tutors and professors. Yef of our best lectures, as well as of our worst, it may be certainly said that that which a hearer carries away with him will be in exact and direct proportion to that which he brings : or that a lecture-system, unless it be added upon and followed up by independent reading, must be a deceptive and even useless system. Of course this is a platitude ; but just consider that, if this be true of us, and true of us in those very subjects in which we have been training ourselves ever since we were seven years old, how much stronger is the point of it when it is applied to lecture-audiences that have not studied their subject, that have not even the elements of the study made accessible to them before they come, and that have not yet the means of following up the lessons that are then first propounded to them. I fail to see that elementary lectures, short courses of elementary lectures, can convey anything to the mind of beginners, besides the most elementary teaching. Twelve lectures on the scale and plan of Mr. Freeman's Handbook of Universal History would no doubt contain the marrow and spirit of Universal History ; but the working-man who could understand them at the first reading would be fit to be Prime Minister after a second course. If, then, elementary lecturing is ever to furnish material lessons to ignorant men, it must, I take it, go on in long and progressive courses, and

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