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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 143



VI.] THE FAMILY TASTE FOR LEARNING. I37 reading and discussion—discussion which threatened now and ^ then to go beyond the bounds of orthodoxy. Peter of Blois gives a similar character of Henry, and in words so nearly resembling those of William of Tyre that the two writers notably confirm one another's probability. And in Peter's sketch this feature comes in quite by the way, for he is describing Henry as a great huntsman. 1 He has always in his hands bows and arrows, swords and hunting spears, save when he is busy in council or over his booksA For as often as he can get breathing time amid his business cares, he occupies himself with private reading, or takes pains in working out some knotty question among his clerks. Your king,' he is writing to the Archbishop of Palermo, ' is a good scholar, but ours is far better; I know the abilities and accomplishments of both. You know that the King of Sicily was my pupil for a year; you yourself taught him the elements of verse-making and literary composition ; from me he had further and deeper lessons, but as soon as I left the kingdom he threw away his books and took to the easy-going ways of the court. But with the King of England there is school every day, constant conversation of the best scholars and discussion of questions.' ~* He had indeed been well taught; notwithstanding the troubled times in which his youth had been trained, he had learned literature at Bristol Castle in the household of his uncle, Robert of Gloucester; his tutor Matthew, who probably was identical with the officer entitled, in a few records of his reign, his chancellor, took him in charge when he was nine and kept him close at work for four years ; there doubtless he had the acquaintance of Gilbert Foliot, then Abbot of Gloucester, certainly one of the ablest politicians as well as of the best scholars of the time; whilst, when political affairs allowed it, he might learn somewhat more under the eye of Archbishop Theobald


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