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HUGO GROTIUS

WAR.

PEACE.

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From an original painting.

WAR AND PEACE

By Gari Melchers,

From a panel painting in Library of Congress.

Frontispiece

By Gari Melchers,

From a panel painting in Library of Congress.

Frontispiece to a rare edition of Grotius.

(vii)

. 109

. 213

८.

• 307

INTRODUCTION

THE WORK AND INFLUENCE OF HUGO GROTIUS.

THE

HE claims of the great work of Grotius, "De Jure Belli ac Pacis," to be included in a list of Universal Classics, do not rest upon the felicity of style usually expected in a classic composition. His work is marked by frequent rhetorical deformities, tedious and involved forms of reasoning, and perplexing obscurities of phraseology which prevent its acceptance as an example of elegant writing. Notwithstanding these external defects, it is, nevertheless, one of the few notable works. of genius which, among the labors of centuries, stand forth as illustrations of human progress and constitute the precious heritage of the human race.

If it is not literature in the technical sense, the masterpiece of Grotius is something higher and nobler,-a triumph of intelligence over irrational impulses and barbarous propensities. Its publication marks an era in the history of nations, for out of the chaos of lawless and unreasoning strife it created a system of illuminating principles to light the way of sovereigns and peoples in the paths of peace and general concord.

I. THE REIGN OF WAR.

The idea of peaceful equity among nations, now accepted as a human ideal, though still far from realization, was for ages a difficult, if not an impossible, conception. All experience spoke against it, for war was the most familiar phenomenon of history.

Among the Greek city-states, a few temporary leagues and federations were attempted, but so feeble were the bonds of peace, so explosive were the passions which led to war, that even among the highly civilized Hellenic peoples, community of race, language, and religion was powerless to create a Greek nation. It was reserved for

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