THOMAS JOHNES, ESQ.
Memoirs of the life of Sir John Froissart
wMi Ms hand upon a copy from the fame prince, collated by a * TMforier des Chartres/
lff then, the edition of Sauvage be ftiil very imperfeét, it has not any defeéts but what the preceding editions have in common with it; to which, however, it is infinitely fuperior. The editor, well verfed in our antiquities and our hiftory, exaéfc in the performance of his duty, and indefatigable ia the purfuit of his objeéfc, proves, by the confiant ufe he makes of the two manufcripts, by the judgment he gives of their infufficiency, and by the xegret he exprefles at not being able to meet with better,, that he has been-in greater want of affiftance than of good will, good faith, and capacity.
In his time, manufcripts buried in the libraries of ignorant monks, or ins the archives of private perfons, and unknown to their pofleflbrs, were loft to the learned world. Times have fince changed : thanks to the attention of minifters, who negleéfc nothing for the public good, there is fcarcely a man of letters to whom manufcripts of all ages are not become a fort of property^ Nothing would be wanting to the good fortune of this age, if, with fuck abundant fuccours, there could be found men as laborious as Sauvage to. take advantage of them ; for I have not a doubt but that, if he had been able to procure accefe to the manufcripts we poflefs, he would have given* us an excellent edition of Froiflart.
The number of thofe known at this day is fo confiderable that, after the Bible and the fathers, I do not believe there is any work of whichthere have been fo many copies,—which fhews the great efteem it has been held in during every age. In the national library alone there are upwards of thirty volumes In folio, which contain feparatcly fome one of the four books into which this hiftory Is divided. The numbers 6760, 8317, 8318, 831% 8320, 8324, 8331-2, 8332, 8334, 8335 and 36 joined together, 8334^; and the numbers of the manufcripts of Colbert, united with- thofe of the nation, 15, 85, and 231, include the firft volume. The numbers 8321,. 8330, 8333, 8337, and 8338, added together with thofe of Colbert, ia-and 86, compofe the fécond volume. The numbers 8325, 8328, 8337r and 8338, added to thofe of Colbert, 87 and 232, the third volume. The numbers 8329, 8331, 8341, 8S44r added together, and that of Colbert,. L7» ' compofe the fourth volume.