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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 285



xi.l HIS FOREIGN POLICY. 279 which, on all occasions except when money was wanted, her attentions were received by the Imperial administration in Spain and the Netherlands, was quite enough to repel any approach to sympathy. So, as a rule, throughout the reign of Henry VIII, the cool heads among English politicians dreamed of nothing more for their country than the position of an arbitrator^ an umpire between great rival parties on the Continent, from whose humiliation nothing was to be gained, and from whose over-exaltation something was to be feared. Henry VIII might sometimes dream of the Empire, or of the recovery of Normandy and Aquitaine, as Wolsey might dream of the papacy; but the wiser heads contemplated no such shadows ; nor, I think, had those aims more than a slight and momentary influence on the king and cardinal ; the people were not unwilling, up to a certain point, to fight and, up to a certain point, to pay : but they did not care to sacrifice their blood and money, and win neither spoils nor glory. So, although there was much talk of war, and much money spent on armaments, money well spent perhaps in part, for the armed power of England was a not unimportant qualification for her position as arbitrator, there was very little real war ; there were countless treaties, leagues, unions, truces, armistices, sufferances, neutralities and abstentions, but the expeditions of Dorset and Howard to Spain and France in 1512, the king's expedition to Tournay in 1513, the invasion of France by the Duke of Suffolk in 1523, and the expedition of Henry to Boulogne in 1543, are the sum and substance of Henry's military doings outside of Great Britain. A momentary effort, a little advantage gained, time taken to secure it, and the utmost terms exacted for the surrender of it, is the whole story. In spite of many leagues with France, the sword is never really drawn against Charles;


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