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696 book iv: restoration of peace; embassies ion of the majority prevailed, and at length they all yielded, on being assured that the embassadors of their nation had not worn their hats in presence of Henry the Fourth. Allowing the fact to have been true, the argument was not unanswerable. The Switzers might have replied, that in Henry’s time their nation was not yet solemnly acknowledged free and independent of the empire, as it had lately been by the treaty of Westphalia in 1648. They might have said, that, although their predecessors had not been duly attentive to support the dignity of their sovereigns , that gross error could not impose on their successors any obligation to commit a similar one. At present, as the nation is more enlightened, and more attentive to points of that nature, she will not fail to support her dignity in a more becoming manner. Whatever extraordinary honours may in other respects be paid to her embassadors, she will not in future suffer herself to be so far blinded by those empty marks of distinction, as to overlook that peculiar prerogative whichcustom has rendered essential. When Louis the Fifteenth visited Alsace in 1744, the Helvetic body declined sending embassadors to compliment him according to custom, until informedwhethertheywouldbeallowed to wear their hats: and on the refusal of that just demand, none were sent. Switzerland may reasonably hope that his most christian majesty will no longer insist on a claim which does not enhance the lustre of his crown, and can only serve to degrade an ancient and faithful ally. chapter vii Of the Rights, Privileges, and Immunities of Embassadors and other Public Ministers. The respect which is due to sovereigns should redound to their representatives , and especially their embassadors, as representing their master ’s person in the first degree. Whoever offends and insults a public minister, commits a crime the more deserving of severe punishment, as he might thereby involve his country and his sovereign in very serious difficulties and trouble. It is just that he should be punished for his fault,§80. Respect due to public ministers. chapter vii 697 and that the state should, at the expense of the delinquent, give full satisfaction to the sovereign who has been offended in the person of his minister. If the foreign minister is himself the aggressor, and offends a citizen, the latter may oppose him without departing from the respect due to the character which the offender bears, and give him a lesson which shall both efface the stain of the outrage, and make the author of it blush for his misconduct. The person offended may further prefer a complaint to his own sovereign, who will demand for him an adequate satisfaction from the minister’s master. The great concerns of the state forbid a citizen, on such occasions, to entertain those thoughts of revenge which the point of honour might suggest, although they should in other respects be deemed allowable. Even according to the maxims of the world, a gentleman is not disgraced by an affront for which it is not in his own power to procure satisfaction. The necessity and right of embassies being established (see Chap. V. of this Book), the perfect security and inviolability of embassadors and other ministers is a certain consequence of it: for if their persons be not protected from violence of every kind, the right of embassy becomes precarious, and the success very uncertain. A right to the endinseparably involves a right to the necessary means. Embassies then being of such great importance in the universal society of nations, and so necessary to their common well-being, the persons of ministers charged with those embassies are to be held sacred and inviolable among all nations (see Book II. §218). Whoever offers violence to an embassador, or to any other public minister, not only injures the sovereign whom thatminister represents, but also attacks the common safety and well-being of nations: he becomes guilty of an atrocious crime against mankind in general.* * An enormous infraction of the law of nations caused the ruin of the powerful empire of Khovarezm or Kakesm, and opened a door to the Tartars for the subjugation of almost all Asia. The famous Gengis-khan,wishingtoestablishacommercial intercourse between his states and those of Persia and the other provinces subject to Mohammed Cotheddin, sultan of Khovarezm, sent to that prince an embassador accompanied by a caravan of merchants. On the arrival of that caravan at Otraw...


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