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448 book ii: nations in relation to other states All the rules contained in this chapter ought to be combinedtogether, and the interpretation be made in such manner as to accord with them all, so far as they are applicable to the case. When these rules appear to clash, they reciprocally counterbalance and limit each other, according to their strength and importance, and according as they more particularly belong to the case in question. chapter xviii Of the Mode of terminating Disputes between Nations. The disputes that arise between nations or their rulers, originate either from contested rights or from injuries received. A nation ought to preserve the rights which belong to her; and the care of her own safety and glory forbids her to submit to injuries. But in fulfilling the duty which she owes to her-self, shemustnotforgetherdutiestoothers.These two views, combined together, will furnish the maxims of the law of nations respecting the mode of terminating disputes between different states. What we have said in Chap. I. IV. and V. of this book, dispenseswith our proving here, that a nation ought to do justice to all others with respect to their pretensions, and to remove all their just subjects of complaint . She is therefore bound to render to eachnationwhatisherdue,— to leave her in the peaceable enjoyment of her rights,—to repair any damage that she herself may have caused, or any injury she may have done,—to give adequate satisfaction for such injuries as cannot be repaired , and reasonable security against any injury which she has given cause to apprehend. These are so many maxims evidently dictated by that justice which nations as well as individuals are, by the law of nature, bound to observe. Every one is at liberty to recede from his right, to relinquish a just subject of complaint, and to forget an injury. But the ruler of a nation is not, in this respect, sofreeasa privateindividual.Thelattermayattend solely to the voice of generosity; and, in an affair which concerns none§322. General remark on the manner of observing all the preceding rules.§323. General direction on this subject.§324. Every nation is bound to give satisfaction respecting the just complaints of another.§325. How nations may abandon their rights and just complaints. chapter xviii 449 but himself alone, he may indulge in the pleasure which he derivesfrom doing good, and gratify his love of peace and quiet. The representative of a nation, the sovereign, must not consult his own gratification, or suffer himself to be guided by his private inclinations. All his actions must be directed to the greatest advantage of the state, combined with the general interests of mankind, from which itis inseparable.Itbehoves the prince, on every occasion, wisely to consider, and firmly to execute, whatever is most salutary to the state, most conformable to the duties of the nation towards other states,—and, at the same time, to consult justice, equity, humanity, sound policy, and prudence. The rights of the nation are a property of which the sovereign is only the trustee; and he ought not to dispose of them in any other manner than he has reason to presume the nation herself would dispose of them. And as to injuries, it is often laudable in a citizen generously to pardon them: he lives under the protection of the laws; the magistrates are capable of defending or avenging him against those ungrateful or unprincipled wretches whom his indulgence might encourage to a repetition of the offence. A nation has not the same security: it is seldom safe for her to overlook or forgive an injury, unless she evidently possess sufficient power to crush the rash aggressor who has dared to offend her. In such a case, indeed, it will reflect glory on her, to pardon those who acknowledge their faults,— Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos;88 and she may do it with safety. But between powers that are nearly equal, the endurance of an injury without insisting on complete satisfaction for it, is almost always imputed to weakness or cowardice, and seldom fails long to subject the injured party to further wrongs of amore atrocious nature. Why do we often see the very reverse of this conduct pursued by those who fancy themselves possessed of souls so highly exalted above the level of the rest of mankind? Scarcely can they receive concessions sufficiently humble from weaker states who have had the misfortune to offend them: but to those whom they...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781614878728
Related ISBN
9780865974517
MARC Record
OCLC
466082934
Pages
896
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-27
Language
English
Open Access
No
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