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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 245



DISTINCTIONS. 239 from it to prevent party views from being predominant. I have said this so often on these occasions that I am almost ashamed to say it again ; I must however go on until I can find some one to believe me. The use to which the trained student may put his judgment when he has educated it is a quite different thing: only I believe that whatever side he may take, or, even if he turn his back altogether on the line of study along which I have tried to lead him, he will approach questions of the day with a more balanced judgment ; he will be less disposed to see all good on one side of the great questions, and all evil on the other ; he will come to the strife o f politics with his weapons more carefully chosen, better handled and better sharpened than if he had never passed through the training. Medieval History is a history of rights and wrongs ; modern History as contrasted with medieval divides itself into two portions ; /the first a history of powers, forces, and dynasties ;1 ^the second, a history in which ideas take the place of both rights and forces. The point of time at which we should mark the separation in the latter is the first French revolution. There is a continuity of life through the three ; the fundamental principle, which still holds its ground in the struggle of ideas, is distinctly traceable in the primitive struggle of rights and wrongs; and far more and more distinctly in the more modern struggle of the balance of power ; but in the first and second period, ideas have little weight compared with rights and forces; in the first rights are more potent than forces, in the second forces are more potent than rights ; and now rights, forces, and ideas are matched in the arena of modern politics in such a way as to make right and force themselves ideas. At this moment—I use an illustration which ought properly to grow out of something that must show further on—Austria may be regarded as representing the more ancient form of right, Russia as representing the


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