Page:Two Introductory Lectures on the Science of International Law.djvu/32

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other hand the principles of natural law are so interwoven with those of ethical science, that an entire separation of them was not very feasible, perhaps not altogether desirable.

The criticisms of Paley and Bentham, however, contain very mild censure in comparison with the scornful attack upon Grotius which is to be found in the first dissertation on the Progress of Philosophy by Dugald Stewart. The fame of this writer renders it necessary to vindicate the memory of one still more illustrious in reputation, from the hasty animadversion which he has passed upon him, in ignorance of the contents of his great work. Mr. Hallam, on a careful examination of Stewart’s criticisms, does not hesitate to say, that it is very manifest that Stewart had never read much of his work, or even gone over the titles of his chapters; and he displays a similar ignorance as to the other writers on natural law, who for more than a century afterwards, as he admits himself, exercised a great influence over the studies of Europe.

“I have never read those pages of an author,” writes Mr. Hallam, “whom I had unfortunately not the opportunity of knowing personally, but whose researches have contributed so much to the delight and advantage of mankind, without pain or surprise. It would be too much to say that in several parts of the first dissertation, by no means in the first days of Stewart’s writings, other proofs of precipitate judgment do not occur; but that he should have spoken of a work so distinguished by fame, and so effective, as he himself admits, over the public mind of Europe, in terms of unmingled depreciation, without having done more than glanced at some of its pages, is an extraordinary symptom of that tendency towards pre-