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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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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 

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 247



IX.] GROWTH OF LAWS. their better actions defenders of the law, in their worse actions captious defenders of their right. The same is approximately true in other countries ; Lewis IX is not only the great legislator of France, but almost the single example of the period, in which the more powerful sovereign grants to his competitor, even in the hour of his utmost weakness, the full extent of his legal right; the treatment of Henry III by' S. Lewis is a very striking example of the respect for rights that do not happen to be your own. As to generalities, I need only remark that the names of Frederick II and Alfonso the Wise stand by those of Edward and Lewis as the founders of the non-Roman jurisprudence of Europe, and that in Germany in the fourteenth century the two great legislators are the two champions of the rival houses, Lewis of Bavaria on the one side, and Charles the IVth on the other ; the codification of Bavarian law and the issue of the Golden Bull were at all events attempts in the direction of civilisation in accordance with the highest existing ideal. The foundation of legal studies in the Universities, the attempts by legal means to control the customs of private war,—private war being itself an example of the strength of the idea of rights,—the proclamation of the public peace from time to time in Germany by emperors who had the will but not the power to enforce it, and the multiplication of central tribunals in the place of local ones, are examples of the same. No doubt they are developments, evolutions of the unconscious progress of civilisation; that I am not enough of a philosopher to dogmatise about, but if they were, that is the line which the development or evolution took. The middle ages proper, the centuries from the year 1000 to the year 1500, from the Emperor Henry II to the Emperor Maximilian, were ages of legal growth, ages in which the idea of right, as embodied in law, was the leading idea of statesmen, and the idea of rights justified or justifiable by the letter of law, R


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