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


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 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 423

Λ VI.] FOREIGN POLITICS. 417 probably was instrumental in limiting the sum. Outside of the circle of attainders and restorations very little was done which was likely to excite opposition or obstruction ; and as to the little that was done at all, it seems that Lord Bacon's dictum is too much to say for it : that such was the excellency of the king's laws that he may be justly celebrated for the best Lawgiver to this nation after King Edward I. It is not well to analyse the words of an express panegyric, but Bacon's theory of government must have been, to say the least, peculiar, if he overlooked the great statutes of Edward III on taxation and on church liberties, not to speak of the elaborate legislation of the next reign. Richard II was, however, no great lawgiver, and Edward Ill's good laws were mainly concessions to popular demands ; if the words I have quoted refer to the king's possible personal agency in legislation, they may have a meaning, otherwise not. I have already mentioned Blackstone's very different opinion, that all the laws were calculated for the benefit of the exchequer. I must now pass on to the foreign transactions and negotiations of the reign, which are most important and most tedious ; most important because they are closely connected with the opening of the new drama, the equipment of England for her part on the stage ; most tedious because they go on without crisises and without issues, like a game at chess which has a charm'only for an adept, or a wellcontested game at croquet which never comes to an end. If I cannot help being tedious about this, I will at all risks be brief. At the opening of the reign of Henry VII there were, I think, only two points at which English foreign politics touched the interests of the continent, Brittany and Burgundy. \ Brittany Henry was, for substantial reasons of personal gratitude, bound to help ; and a marriage with the heiress Anne, supposing that he was not obliged to marry Elizabeth E e

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