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THE

MONTHLY REVIEW.

JANUARY, 1843.

ART. I.-The Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the adjoining Countries. By SIR JOHN FROISSART. 2 volumes. London, 1839.

"THAT the honourable enterprises, noble adventures, and deeds of arms, performed in the wars between England and France, may be properly related, and held in perpetual remembrance,—to the end that brave men taking example from them may be encouraged in their well-doing, I sit down to record a history deserving of great praise; but, before I begin, I request of the Saviour of the world, who from nothing created all things, that he will have the goodness to inspire me with sense and sound understanding to persevere in such manner that all those who shall read may derive pleasure and instruction from my work, and that I may fall into their good graces."

Such is the fitting exordium with which "Sir John Froissart, Priest, Canon, and Treasurer of the Collegiate Church of Chimay. Chronicler and Poet;" and, in the opinion of Sir Walter Scott, "the most entertaining, and perhaps the most valuable historian of the middle ages," commences his celebrated performance. The exordium, promising as it is, is yet no unfair epitome of the character of the work itself.

This recent edition of Froissart's Chronicle, although inferior in typographical splendour to some of its predecessors, possesses the advantage of incorporating into its pages many of their beauties, and is beside illustrated with numerous and well-chosen cuts. His appearance in so accessible a form, speaks well for the continued popularity of the worthy old canon, and encourages us to build some passing comment upon so favourable a text.

The Chronicles of Froissart extend from the events preceding the coronation of Edward the Third in 1326, to the coronation of Henry the Fourth and death of Richard the Second in 1399 and 1400; but of the first thirty years of this period, ending with the battle of Poictiers in 1356, Froissart was not himself the original narrator; concerning the events of this time, he tells us he laid his foundation VOL. I. (1843) No. I.

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