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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 269



Χ.] HENRY IV. 263 reformation, and to ward off the attacks of the Turks on the side of Hungary. Where her weight is at all operative it is thrown on the side of Spain. Spain is the overshadowing, all-threatening force ; France doing her best to produce the disruption of the Netherlands, Spain doing her best to produce the disruption of France ; again the reformed party, acting as a force rather than a sentiment ; for although on Philip's side the interests of Spain and religion are at one, France is persecuting at home the very ideas for which she intrigues abroad. After a while the balance wavers: the strong hand of Philip II is taken off, the unworthy hand of the Valois lets fall the sceptre which it had held with so weak and vacillating grasp. Henry IV becomes the dominating influence. Henry IV is a man of ideas, a man of sentiment, a man of force ; not of much sense of law and right. T o his mind a reconstituted Europe was the ideal ; not of course to accept as his the minute remodelling of the map which was once ascribed to him and his advisers, we can yet see enough of his design to know that he planned a forcible partition of the Hapsburg inheritances, the erection of a counterpoise to the empire in Germany itself, and the rearrangement of the minor states in a way which would have left France the civil and religious arbiter of Christendom. His day is but a short one, and the ideas which he or his counsellors conceived came to bearing in the struggle of forces which occupied the long reign of his grandson. But the scene of the drama changes at the same time. The United Provinces have gained recognition ; the action of Spain is becoming languid, and its energy bears no proportion to its still subsisting power and mass. The great act is now in Germany, the Thirty Years' War : a war of two forces, two rights, two ideas : Austria against the princes, Catholic against Protestant, ancient territorial right as against


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