chapter  XXVI
Pages 16

Cobbett had always, in all his writings, a definite and practical purpose. His history was always pamphleteering. " History," he said, " like all other writing, is valuable in the proportion in which it is calculated to produce good effects; in proportion as it is calculated to stimulate men to useful exertion, or to make them shun that which is mischievous; in proportion as it is calculated to have a practical effect in the affairs and on the condition of men." 2 In accordance with this precept, he could use historical illustrations to excellent purpose; but he could not carry his precept into the writing of sustained history.