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482 book iii: of war that their army should pass under the yoke, &c. but they were not authorised to conclude a peace, as they took care to signify to the Samnites. If a subordinate power assumes an authority which he does not possess , and thus deceives the party treating with him, though an enemy,— he is naturally responsible for the damage caused by his deception, and bound to make reparation. I say “though an ene-my”: for thefaith of treaties is to be observed between enemies, as all men of principle agree, and as we shall prove in the sequel. The sovereign of that fraudulent officer ought to punish him, and oblige him to repair his fault:— it is a duty which the prince owes to justice, and to his own character. Promises, made by a subordinate power, are obligatory on those who are subject to his control, and bind them in every particular in which he is authorised and accustomed to command their obedience: for, with respect to such particulars, he is vested with the sovereign authority, which his inferiors are bound to respect in his person. Thus, in a capitulation , the governor of a town stipulates and promises for his garrison, and even for the magistrates and citizens. chapter iii Of the just Causes of War. Whoever entertains a true idea of war,—whoever considers its terrible effects, its destructive and unhappy consequences,—will readily agree that it should never be undertaken without the most cogent reasons. Humanity revolts against a sovereign, who, without necessityorwithout very powerful reasons, lavishes the blood of his most faithful subjects, and exposes his people to the calamities of war, when he has it in his power to maintain them in the enjoyment of anhonourableandsalutary peace. And if to this imprudence, this want of love for his people, he moreover adds injusticetowardsthoseheattacks,—of howgreatacrime, or rather, of what a frightful series of crimes, does he not become guilty! Responsible for all the misfortunes which he draws down on his own subjects, he is moreover loaded with the guilt of all those which he inflicts on an innocent nation. The slaughter of men, the pillage of cities, the devastation of provinces,—such is the black catalogue of his enor-§22. Their assumption of an authority which they do not possess.§23. How they bind their inferiors.§24. War never to be undertaken without very cogent reasons. chapter iii 483 mities. He is responsible to God, and accountable to human nature, for every individual that is killed, for every hut that is burned down. The violences, the crimes, the disorders of every kind, attendant on the tumult and licentiousness of war, pollute his conscience, and are set down to his account, as he is the original author of them all. Unquestionable truths! alarming ideas! which ought to affect the rulers of nations, and, in all their military enterprises, inspire them with a degree of circumspection proportionate to the importance of the subject! Were men always reasonable, they would terminate their contests by the arms of reason only: natural justice and equity would be their rule, or their judge. Force is a wretched and melancholy expedient against those who spurn at justice, and re-fuse to listen to the remonstrances of reason: but, in short, it becomes necessary to adopt that mode, when every other proves ineffectual. It is only in extremities that a just and wise nation or a good prince has recourse to it, as we have shewn in the concluding chapter of the second book. The reasonswhich may determine him to take such a step, are of two classes. Those of the one class shew that he has a right to make war,—that he has just grounds for undertaking it:—these are called justificatory reasons. The others, founded on fitness and utility, determine whether it be expedient for the sovereign to undertake a war:—these are called motives. The right of employing force, or making war, belongs to nations no farther than is necessary for their own defence and for the maintenance of their rights (§3). Now if any one attacks a nation, or violates her perfect rights, he does her an injury. Then, and not till then, that nation has a right to repel the aggressor, and reduce him to reason. Further, she has a right to prevent the intended injury, when she sees herself threatened with it (Book II. §50). Let us then say in general, that the foundation or cause...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781614878728
Print ISBN
9780865974517
MARC Record
OCLC
466082934
Pages
896
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-27
Language
English
Open Access
N
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