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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
This brief exposition of the law of nations was written for the purpose of supplying a practical want, which the author felt for a number of years, while engaged in teaching that science. The want was that of a compendious treatise, intended not for lawyers, nor for those who have the profession of law in view, but for young men, who are cultivating themselves by the study of historical and political science. The plan of the work shaped itself through its relations to those for whose use it was designed. While the state of the law of nations as it is was regarded as the chief point to be secured, it seemed almost equally important to compare the actual law with the standard of justice, and, by exhibiting the
of the science in a historical way,
progress to bring it into connection with the advances of humanity and of civilization. The success of the work, of which the first edition, issued early in the summer of 1860, has been for some time exhausted, shows that a want has been met by it, if not satisfied.
In this second edition the author has done what he could, amid many labors, to purge the work from errors, to improve the arrangement, and to supply what was deficient. Meanwhile a war, as just and necessary as it is vast in its proportions, has burst upon the country, and has given rise to new questions touching neutral and belligerent rights, in discussing which, this nation, so tenacious, formerly, of the neutral ground, has seemed inclined to go over to the other position. Naturally, some of these points are looked at in the present edition of this work, with the feeling, it is hoped, that the law of nations must be represented as it is, and that no temporary bias can be permitted to exert any influence in the statement of any doctrine. May the war end speedily,—if possible, before these words shall appear in print,—but not without the destruction of slavery, the union of the States on a basis of justice and the observance of the rules of international law in the intercourse between all other nations and our republic!
YALE COLLEGE, Jan. 1, 1864.
INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. ,