Page:Two Introductory Lectures on the Science of International Law.djvu/25

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perhaps, than those of Montesquieu and Smith.” I should myself be disposed to place it above the writings of Montesquieu, but should be content to see it take rank with the great work of Adam Smith, “On the Wealth of Nations.”

“Those who sought a guide to their own consciences, or to that of others, those who dispensed justice, those who appealed to the public sense of right in the intercourse of nations, had recourse to its copious pages for what might guide or justify their conduct.” Numerous editions of the work circulated rapidly throughout Europe. Written originally in Latin, it was speedily translated into various languages. Jurists of note did not hesitate to publish annotations and commentaries upon it; and so numerous were the former, that the work itself during the author’s life was edited cum notis variorum, a distinction hitherto confined to the ancient classics.

King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden is said to have found so much satisfaction in the perusal of the treatise of Grotius, that he slept with it under the pillow of his camp-bed during the Thirty Years War; and his admiration for its author determined him to retain him in his service. The Chancellor Oxenstiern carried out the wishes of that monarch, after his untimely death at Lützen, by sending Grotius, as the ambassador of Sweden, to the court of Louis XIII.

Such success, however, could not be achieved without great opposition; and parties were everywhere arrayed against the doctrines of the new school. To such a height did prejudice and established habit carry learned men, that, as Barbeyrac informs us, it was seriously contended by the opponents of the Grotians,—for his supporters were so stigmatised,—that its maxims went to destroy the three cardinal