« PreviousContinue »
PREFACE TO THE TRANSLATION.
THE following translation of the celebrated work of
Grotius, De Jure Belli et Pacis, was made with the intention of its being printed side by side with the original; and contains numerous references to quotations given in the original, but omitted in the translation for the sake of brevity and convenience. It has been thought that several persons might wish to have the translation alone, and therefore it is here so published. In doing this, the references have been retained unaltered; since, though the translation has thus necessarily an aspect of incompleteness, the reader has thereby an indication of what is omitted or abridged. It is hoped that, notwithstanding these omissions, the translation conveys a clear and correct view of the reasonings and discussions of the work.
The style of Grotius is concise, and in some degree technical, as the nature of the work requires : and this character it has not been attempted to avoid in the translation, except so far as to make it intelligible to ordinary Readers.
The Preface to the Edition, and the Latin Index to the Work, have been annexed to the translation, as likely to be useful to the English Reader. Even where they contain references to passages which do not appear in this volume, they will convey information respecting the original work.
T is acknowledged by every one,” says Mr Hallam,
" that the publication of this treatise made an cpoch in the philosophical, and we might almost say in the political history of Europe.” This opinion of the importance of Grotius's work De Jure Belli et Pacis, prevailed from the time of its first appearance, and was exemplified by all the marks of honour with which such a book can be grected. Numerous editions in various forms circulated rapidly : copious comments of several annotators, translations into several languages, speedily appeared; the work was published in the author's life-time, cum notis variorum, a distinction hitherto reserved to the ancient classics: and it was put into the Index Expurgatorius at Rome. Gustavus Adolphus carried it about with him and kept it under his pillow : Oxenstiern appointed its author the ambassador of Sweden at Paris : the Elector Palatine Charles Louis established at Heidelberg a Professorship of the science thus created; and the science has been promoted by the like means in many other places up to the present time.
Nor has it, at this day, ceased to be a book of the firstrate importance in this science. It is spoken of with respect and admiration by the principal modern writers on International Law: a knowledge of it is taken for granted in the discussions of questions belonging to that subject; and it is quoted among the cardinal authorities on such questions. And treating, as it does, of the fundamental points of Philosophical Ethics, as well as of their applica