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FLORENTINE HISTORY. UNIVERSITY LECTURES AT RHYL. The second course of lectures arranged to be d-)! i vered in connection with the Oxford University Extension Scheme was commenced on Monday, t ie subject beingFloientine History," and the lecturer the Rev. W. Hudson Shaw, M A., late Exhibitioner of Balliol College. To an ordinary reidcr the subject of this course will possibly not p msess the attraction which was attached to the first course of lectures, on English Social Re- formers. Still Florence has a charm for the student of history, and to live with consciousness in that city is to a cultivated man nothing else than the study of a free people in its very purest instincts as all that happened in Italy between 12;)0 and 1530 is colourless when placed side by s'dlj with the history of this one city the events, through the intricacies of which she wotked her way with vigorous determination, and the men wiiom she produced raised her fame above that of the whole of Italy, and placed Florence as a vonnger sister by the side of A tbeus" By his first lecture Mr Shaw gave ample proof that it is not difficult for him to create a deep interest in he history of such a city among those who have joit.ed the extension movement at Rhyl. There WHS a SR'^d attendance, especially of ladies and • school pupils. Air Hugh-Jones, local secretary, siid it was his pleasure to announce that the Bishop of Ss Asaph kid consented to be their president, and had ex- pte>sed great interest in the movement at Rhyl. (Applause.) His lordship, however, w <s unable to be present that evening, as he was at Cardiff, to be present that evening, as he was at Cardiff, -attending the Church Congress; but he had written to say thiiot he hoped to be able to attend some of the Ie tures. There were two points whi, h he (the speaker) wished to bring before the notice of the members. Most of the subscriptions for the year were still unpaid, but he hoped those who intended attending would get their tickets and pay before the next lecture. The next point was that he hoped they would have more students for this course than they had last year, the few- ness of students being their weak point in connec- tion with the last course. Financially they were as successful as they could desire. Reading circles in connection with the lectures had been proposed, and about which he would be glad to give the necessary information. He scarcely had need to say on his own and their behalf how glad they were to see Mr Shaw there again, and how fortu nate they were in securing his services for a second course of lectures. (Applause). The. ccturer, who was very cordially received then proceeded to speak of his subject. At the outset he referred to the reason which led the committee and himself to propose -nch a subject, and to explain why the claims of vast empires and mighty kingdoms were set aside for the study of the history of a small European city. He hoped they would not regret their attention beill di- verted for a time from their own country to a foreign people, for, as Rut-kin had said, such a course fonm-d au essential part of a wise and liberal education and they would be none the worse for paying more regard generally to the histories and acquainting thcmseiws with the education of other nationalities, as W" lived iu an island, and our ideas tended to insularity, we had many points to learn from oU" neighbours. In reply to a question that might be asked—Why choose the history of Florence—a mere town of the size of Bradford or Leeds? he would reply that the test of siz,, or mere number wa. a fal- lacious one. Greece, the mother of all European civilization, had a population less than Liverpool yet its sway over educated men was still in force. And although Florence had not a 100,000 people within its walls in the middle ages, it was better that they should be a'-qua ntpd with its history for the brief space of 300 years than that they should study the history of China, with its extensive territories and teeming millions for a period of from 1800 years before Christ to the present era As to the claims of Florence there could be no dispute: it could boast the best histoiy of all modern bistoiy. It was the history of culture and civilization. Whilst mighty countries re- mained in a state of feudalism, Florence and other little Italian commonwealths held aloft the standard of culture and progress Italy being the true centre of history in Europe, and Florence its true heart and centre. No place in the world, Athens excepted, had produced such a number of men in such a short space of time Her extra- ordinary wealth of great men included Dante, Giotto, Lorenm de Medici, Donatello, Savonarola, Machiavelli, Michael Angelo, Galileo, &c. For two centuries all the brain of Europe seemed to be concentrated in Florence and Tuscany. The lecturer then proceeded to deal in an interesting manner with details, and after the close of the lecture several views of the city were depictrd on canvas. The oxy-hvdrogen lantern was kindly lent by Mr Goronwy O. Jones, who with Mr Wil- liams, Magnet Buildings, manipulated the slides, which were explained by the lecturer, who afterwards conducted a class for students.