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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 138



LEARNING: AND LITERATURE AT THE COURT OP HENRY IL (June 11,1878.) E are at present suffering, and may for some little V V time to come continue to suffer, from a reaction against medievalism. I call it a reaction, for I think it is only caused by a recoil from modes of thought, art, and action, which have been pressed beyond reality, or have been pressed too rigorously. There are not wanting signs that even in architecture, in which the greatest and most permanent traces of medieval genius are found, the world is growing a little impatient of Gothic buildings, whether as imitative creations or as the claimants of exclusive orthodoxy in their art; in poetry it can scarcely be denied that the Arthurian legend has begun somewhat to pall upon most ears ; in ritual or ceremonial worship we see much of which we are tempted to ask whether it has any meaning whatever for nine out of every ten of those wbo profess to value it. The dear delightful middle ages are unfortunately growing into something like a by-word. We are perhaps witnessing the turn of the tide of fashion which set in with Sir Walter Scott, and found its great triumphs under Sir Gilbert; of which, however, all that is real and natural and free will live, whilst that which is forced, unspontaneous and merely imitative, will not long continue to encumber the ground. If this be indeed the case, it will explain some things that touch the study of history. Three or four years ago I was


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