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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 135



V.] SPECIALISED LECTURING. 129 inculcate both patient hearing and the duty of independent reading. But, secondly, historical lecturing to. uneducated people must surely begin by interesting them. And accordingly I would place the plan of lecturing on character and institutions, things in which every Englishman must almost of necessity feel his interest aroused as soon as he hears them, first; before the plan of elementary lectures to the people. Even where they do not see the direct application of the lesson, so offered, to their own circumstances, where there may be no such lesson, and no such application, they may be drawn to further study by a very inadequate exposition of a noble life or of a great battle, or even by a historical survey of some scene with the landmarks of which they are familiar. When they are drawn to history, they will not be likely to wish their elementary lessons to be restricted to twelve or to a single course. Without then at all disparaging such a plan of elementary lecture, I feel certain that some preparation for it must be otherwise provided ; if that is to be by lecture, it must be something more directly addressed to our common humanity than an elementary lesson can be ; but I think that it must have begun at school, and that unless it has begun at school it will not do very much good. This is rather a dispiriting view for people who are too old to go to school ; but then we are not dependent on lectures altogether; there are books enough and to spare, and the man who wants to learn will find time to read. The moment however that people have, whether by reading at home or by hearing lectures, got beyond the elementary stage of historical study, my doubts about the expediency of popular lectures cease altogether ; and I am glad to say this because, in some of the remarks that I have made, you may have thought me unwisely cynical and inclined rather to discourage effort in this direction. Popular lectures to κ


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