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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 141

VI.] HENRY Π. · 135 which I have uttered, and the subject which I have chosen for these two lectures, are alike suggested by the discussion which we have seen recently carried on by Mr. Freeman and Mr. Froude on the subject of Thomas Becket. I am not going to interfere in a struggle between two such combatants, nor shall I again refer to either of them, but the opposite lights in which those two champions approach the common subject, shed some rays on the fashion of thought which marks not only the two writers, or the two schools of which they may be supposed to be the disciples, but the two ways of looking at the middle ages which divide cultivated men of the present day. And J have thought that I might, in attempting to sketch the literary life of an age, on which so many lights from various sides are now brought to bear, contribute somewhat, not perhaps to the true estimation of that age, but to a realisation of, and sympathy with, the life of it, without which no estimation or even understanding of it can be thought possible. But the men of whom I am going to speak lived 700 years ago—700 years; as long a time as separated them from Hengist and Horsa, or Hengist and Horsa from Alexander the Great, or Herodotus from the Trojan war; or us ourselves perhaps from the New Zealander, who, on London Bridge, is to draw the conclusion that Thucydides ascribes to the rois (κητα and to recognise the disproportion between our ruins and our glory. It is true ; but the only thought that this suggests to me is that, if the New Zealander finds in the ruins of the British Museum half as many of the literary productions of our time, as we now possess of the reign of Henry II, the shades of the Victorian literati may, in the Elysian fields of the period, feel a thrill of satisfaction, and say that a great part of their life has escaped Libitina.

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