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Elcum.” Of Genoa they are terribly jealous. They are always taking fresh troops into pay-ballistarii and what not-through fear of the Genoese. At one moment orders are sent to all their commanders abroad to seize any Genoese ships that they can meet with ; at another the Genoese are to be treated like friends and brothers (amicabiliter et fraterne) for fear of provoking a war. The Master of the Knights of St. John at Rhodes wants to build a fort on the island of Tenedos, “ for the better defence of the Christian faith against the Turks." The Venetians, suspecting some ulterior purpose, beg him to excuse them from consenting to anything of the kind. They are always ready to act as mediators between the petty powers in their neighbourhood,—taking care that their services are not rendered for nothing. Any injuries to their own lands, or trade, or fisheries, provoke complaints loud and long, and demands for satisfaction proportionate to the strength or weakness of the assailant. Except for the courage with which they faced the Ottoman invaders we cannot feel any hearty sympathy with the cause of the Venetians in Greece. They created and maintained their empire there only for selfish ends. They did not seek the welfare of the Greek population save so far as it tended to their own advantage; they fostered no national life and developed no local institutions. Like the Spartans of old, like their enemies, the Turks, they were to the last an alien power in a conquered country-with this difference only in their favour, that indirectly they diffused a sense of the advantages of civilisation-a sense which helped to keep alive, amid the barbarism and degradation of the Turkish rule, the conception of a nobler life.

WATSON AND BALL, PRINTERS, CASTLE STREET, BIRMINGHAM.

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INAUGURAL ADDRESS

BY

J. R. SEELEY, ESQ., M.A.,

( Professor of Modern History, Cambridge,)

PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY.

October 26th, 1882.

address last year.

On what subject shall I address you? If I had no purpose but to gratify you, if I but asked myself how I might make the hour pass most agreeably, I should look for some new topic, and avoid, as already sufficiently treated, the subject I chose for my

We students of history may assuredly boast that no pursuit affords such a variety of interesting topics; how easy it would be for me to find novelty if I sought it! I might choose some interesting passage of history and endeavour to treat it so, with so much gravity on the one hand, and with such delicate touches of imagination on the other, that you might thank me for a rare intellectual treat. I

say

I might endeavour to do this. If the skill should fail me I might securely calculate that your own love for history, which has led you to establish this society, and your good will to me, which has led you to choose me a second time for its president, would in a great degree supply the deficiency. But I am not here to give you pleasure, and I believe you did not invite me here that I might give you pleasure. The study of history is indeed delightful, but in my opinion it is at the same time so important, so momentously and anxiously important, that I almost cease to find delight in it, and am inclined to envy those who lived when history could be regarded as a fairyland in which

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