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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 254



LEGALITY IN WAR. [IX. 248 that could not otherwise have been healed, we cannot deny to it such justification as belongs to men who believe themselves to be the ministers of a higher than human righteousness. But I have no wish to touch more on controversial points : let papal Rome, as the law-giver of the medieval Church, have all the credit of her great achievements : however based, on law or on idea, her position was a standing protest against brutal force, a standing offer of peace and goodwill to those who could pay for it; a great office of incipient diplomacy, a great treasury of legal chicanery, but still a refuge against overbearing violence. The position of both empire and papacy is historically maintained by a public sense of law ahd right. But perhaps the fieîd in which the most abundant illustrations of the thesis will be found is that in which a priori we should be least inclined to look for it ; in the region of war ; in the drum and trumpet territory in which, according to the new reading of history, so little can be found to indicate the growth of human thought or the development of national wars are, as a rule, wars of rights: they are .seldom wars of unprovoked, never wars of absolutely unjustifiable, aggression ; they are not wars of ,idea, of liberation, or of glory, or of nationality, or of propagandisnu) Ah, you will say to me, you are wrong there ; how about the Crusades, how about the Norman Conquest, how about Scottish independence, how about Lewis of Bavaria and John XXII, how about the Hundred Years' War? Not one of these was simply a war of aggression which those who waged it felt it to be without justification, except perhaps the Norman Conquest ; and we all know what an amount of special pleading was thought necessary to justify that. Do not mistake me : if I had meant to say that law and right were the ruling ideas of medieval


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