Page:Two Introductory Lectures on the Science of International Law.djvu/26

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principles of the Civil Law, to wit, “Honeste vivere, neminem laedere, suum cuique tribuere.”

Within thirty or forty years, however, the work of Grotius was generally received as authority in the Continental universities, and deemed to be a requisite preparation for the student of civil law, at least in the Protestant countries of Europe, for it should be mentioned that it was soon placed by the Roman censors in the Index. In 1656, it was taught in the university of Wurtemburg as public law; and in 1661, the Elector Palatine set the example of founding a chair of the Law of Nature and Nations in the university of Heidelberg, the occupant of which was expressly directed to expound the writings of Grotius,—much in the same manner as the chair of Political Economy in the university of Cambridge, has been founded within recent memory expressly for the discussion of the doctrines of Adam Smith.

The subject of the work of Grotius was, as may readily be supposed, far more extensive than the title. Under the modest pretext of discussing the rights of war and peace, he ventured to lead his readers out of the beaten path, and to teach them that there was a law distinct from the Law of Nature, or the Jus Gentium of the Roman system, which was common to all or most nations, which had been tacitly acted upon and generally received by common consent, and which was for the advantage not of one body in particular, but of all in general. To this law Grotius gave, for the first time, the name of “the Law of Nations” by way of distinction from “the Law of Nature;” not that Grotius thereby intended to deny the application of the great principles of natural law to the relations between commonwealths; on the contrary, he expressly declared it to be for the