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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 265



X.] GRADUAL TRANSITION. 259 of their own. The history of each great nation is a drama by itself; the blending of the several dramas may be so read as to show how the nations were severally being educated for work on a stage in which they should appear together : in the modern life of Europe they do appear together, and take each the part for which it has been educated in the earlier stage. But that early preparation had been carried on, to a great extent, separately. England and France had been no doubt training one another for centuries, but the balance of power between England and France never came into the great plot of later days ; the discipline of Spain had been worked out within the walls of the peninsula ; between France and Germany there had never been a great war; between Germany and Italy, as nationalities, no struggle had as yet been possible ; and the border warfare of the border states had been carried on without any great amount of interest or interference from the greater or growing agglomerations of territory whicli^under the name of nations, states or dynasties, now come to*ifcE. front. The Crusades had been a common field of work-^iid a common stage of action, but the nationalities which in the Crusades had fought side by side in union or in rivalry, had long retired from the uncongenial work, and all the zeal of the best popes and the most heroic kings had been unequal to the task of uniting Christendom again for the common emancipation. There was, however, no great crash at the passing away of the old things and the coming in of the new. The new influences, many and various in character, quickly combine to produce the new actors and to clear the common stage. The concentration of power in the royal hands in France, under Charles VII and Lewis XI ; the creation of a compact and solid kingdom out of a number of rival and hostile feudal provinces or dynastic appanages, a concentration for which, during the whole of the medieval period from Lewis.VI s 2


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