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chapter xxiii 249 use of its former owner. If the lake penetrates by an opening into the low lands in its neighbourhood, and there forms a permanent inundation , this new lake belongs to the public, because all lakes belong to the public. The same principles shew, that if the lake insensibly forms an accession of land on its banks, either by retiring or in any other manner, this increase of land belongs to the country which it joins,whenthatcountry has no other boundary than the lake. It is the same thing as alluvion on the banks of a river. But if the lake happened to be suddenly dried up, either totally or in a great part of it, the bed would remain in thepossessionof thesovereign of the lake; the nature of the soil, so easily known, sufficiently marking out the limits. The empire or jurisdiction over lakes and rivers is subject to the same rules as the property of them, in all the cases which we have examined. Each state naturally possesses it over the whole or the part, of which it possesses the domain. We have seen (§245) that the nation, or its sovereign , commands in all places in its possession. chapter xxiii Of the Sea. In order to complete the exposition of the principles of the law of nations with respect to the things a nation may possess, it remains to treat of the open sea. The use of the open sea consists in navigation, and in fishing; along its coasts it is moreover of use for the procuring of several things found near the shore, such as shell-fish, amber, pearls, &c. for the making of salt, and, finally, for the establishment of places of retreatand security for vessels. The open sea is notof sucha natureastoadmittheholdingpossession of it, since no settlement can be formed on it, so as to hinder othersfrom passing. But a nation powerful at sea may forbid others to fish in it and to navigate it, declaring that she appropriates to herself the dominion§276. Land formed on the banks of a lake.§277. Bed of a lake dried up.§278. Jurisdiction over lakes and rivers.§279. The sea and its use.§280. Whether the sea can be possessed, and its dominion appropriated. 250 book i: nations in themselves over it, and that she will destroy the vessels that shall dare to appear in it without her permission. Let us see whether she has right to do this. It is manifest that the use of the open sea, which consists in navigation and fishing, is innocent and inexhaustible; that is to say—he who navigates or fishes in the open sea, does no injury to any one, and the sea, in these two respects, is sufficient for all mankind. Now nature does notgive to man a right of appropriating to himself things that may be innocently used, and that are inexhaustible, and sufficient for all. For since those things, while common to all, are sufficient to supply the wants of each,— whoever should, to the exclusion of all other participants, attempt to render himself sole proprietor of them, would unreasonably wrestthe bounteous gifts of nature from the parties excluded. The earth no longer furnishing without culture the things necessary or useful to the human race, who were extremely multiplied, it became necessary tointroducethe right of property, in order that each might apply himself with more success to the cultivation of what had fallen to his share, and multiply by his labour the necessaries and conveniences of life. It is for this reason thelaw of nature approves the rights of dominion and property, which put an end to the primitive manner of living in common. But this reasoncannot apply to things which are in themselves inexhaustible; and consequently it cannot furnish any just grounds for seizing the exclusive possession of them. If the free and common use of a thing of thisnaturewasprejudicial or dangerous to a nation, the care of their own safety would authorise them to reduce that thing under their own dominion if possible, in order to restrict the use of it by such precautions as prudence might dictate to them. But this is not the case with the open sea, on which people may sail and fish without theleastprejudicetoanypersonwhatsoever,andwithout putting any one in danger. No nation therefore has a right to take possession of the open sea, or claim the sole use of it, to the exclusion of other nations. The kings of...


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