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thoughts on this subject. At the age of eighty years, he
, wrote to Vasari, sending him various spiritual sonnets he had been composing, and tells him “he is at the end of his life, that he is careful where he bends his thoughts, that he sees it is already 24 o'clock, and no fancy arose in his mind but DEATH was sculptured on it.” In conversing upon this subject with one of his friends, that person remarked, that Michael might well grieve that one who was incessant in his creative labors should have no restoration. "No," replied Michael, “it is nothing; for, if life pleases us, death being a work of the same master, ought not to displease us.” nobler sentiment, uttered by him, is contained in bis reply to a letter of Vasari, who had informed him of the rejoicings made at the house of his nephew Lionardo, at Florence, over the birth of another Buonaroti. Michael admonisbes him, that "a man ought not to smile, when all those around him weep; and that we ought not to show that joy when a child is born, which should be reserved for the death of one who has lived well.”
Amidst all these witnesses to his independence, his generosity, his purity, and his devotion, are we not authorized to say, that this man was penetrated with the love of the highest beauty, that is, goodness ; that his was a soul so enamoured of grace, that it could not stoop to meanness or depravity ; that art was to him no means of livelihood or road to fame, but the end of living, as it was the organ through which he sought to suggest lessons of an unutterable wisdom ; that here was a man who lived to demonstrate, that to the human faculties, on every hand, worlds of grandeur and grace are opened, which no profane eye, and no indolent eye, can behold, but which to see and to enjoy, demands the severest discipline of all the physical, intellectual, and moral faculties of the individual ?
The city of Florence, on the river Arno, still treasures the fame of this man. There, his picture hangs in every window; there, the tradition of his opinions meets the traveller in every spot. “Do you see that statue of St. George ? Michael Angelo asked it, why it did not speak. “Do you see this fine church of Santa Maria Novella ? It is that which Michael Angelo called his bride.' ” — “Look at these bronze gates of the Baptistery, with their high reliefs, cast by Ghiberti five hundred years ago. Michael Angelo said, “they were fit to be the gates of Paradise.'” - Here is the church, the palace, the Lauren
" tian library, he built. Here is bis own house. In the church of Santa Croce are his mortal remains. Whilst he was yet alive, he asked that he might be buried in that church, in such a spot that the dome of the cathedral might be visible from his tomb, when the doors of the church stood open. And there, and so, is he laid. The innumerable pilgrims, whom the genius of Italy draws to the city, duly visit this church, which is to Florence what Westminster Abbey is to England. There, near the tomb of Nicholas Machiavelli, the bistorian and philosopher ; of Galileus Galileo, the great-hearted astronomer; of Boccaccio; and of Alfieri, stands the monument of Michael Angelo Buonaroti. Three significant garlands are sculptured on the tomb; they should be four, but that bis countrymen feared their own partiality. The forehead of the bust, esteemed a faithful likeness, is furrowed with eight deep wrinkles one above another. The traveller from a distant continent, who gazes on that marble brow, feels that he is not a stranger in the foreign church ; for the great name of Michael Angelo sounds hospitably in bis ear. He was not a citizen of any country; he belonged to the human race ; he was a brother and a friend to all, who acknowledge the beauty that bearns in universal nature, and who seek by labor and selfdenial to approach its source in perfect goodness.
Art. II. - Elements of International Law, with a Sketch of
the History of the Science. By Henry WHEATON, LL. D., Resident Minister from the United States of America, to the Court of Berlin, &c. Philadelphia. 1836. 8vo. pp. 375.
andre helê Est
This, so far as we are informed, is the first work upon the principles of the law of nations, that has appeared in the English language. Ward's History, though valuable in its way, is of course upon a different subject. Mr. Wheaton is well fitted by bis professional pursuits, and his personal qualities and accomplishments, to supply this deficiency in our literature. As Reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, he had opportunity to familiarize himself with the principles of one of the most important branches of the science; and his subsequent employment in the diplomatic service of the Government, has naturally turned his attention to the whole subject, as it is set forth in other elementary treatises. We may add, that he possesses the literary taste and talent, necessary to give the work the requisite finish in point of style. It is founded, as would naturally be expected, upon the basis of the best preceding treatises, particularly those of Martens and Klüber, which enjoy the highest reputation in Europe. In many parts, our author follows them very exactly. In others, however, he makes important additions; and he infuses into the whole mass the liberal spirit that
revails in the institutions and administration of the government of his own country. It is this last circumstance, which renders the work particularly valuable. The preceding writers on the subject, though mostly liberal in their political opinions, are yet more or less tinctured with prejudices, derived from their training in a school entirely different from that which is afforded by the practical politics of this country. In the discussions which are constantly going on with foreign governments upon the principles of international law, it is of considerable importance that we should have some treatises to refer to, which are written entirely in the spirit of our institutions. We may add, that Mr. Wheaton, though liberal in his views, is at the same time judicious and moderate, in his exposition of them; and lays himself open to no well-founded objection, as a supporter of extravagant and impracticable theories.
The subject is introduced by a sketch of the history of international law, occupying sixteen pages.
This is necessarily, from its brevity, a somewhat meagre and unsatisfactory account of the science, and perhaps might as well have been omitted ; especially as the subject had been so ably treated, in an abridged and accessible form, by Sir James Mackintosh, in the celebrated Introductory Lecture to the course which he delivered on the law of nations.
The treatise itself is divided into four parts, which treat respectively of the Sources and Objects of International Law, of the absolute International Rights of States, of the International Rights of States in their pacific relations, and lastly, of the International Rights of States in their hostile relations.
In the first chapter, which treats of the sources of internaVOL. XLIV.-NO. 94.
tional law, Mr. Wheaton, in conformity with preceding writers, finds them in the general principles of the law of nature, regulating the relations of all moral agents, as applied to the intercourse of independent states. Though the principles are the same, whether applied to states or individuals, the difference between the characters of the subjects in the two cases, occasions great differences in the modes of applying these principles ; that is, in the rules of practice. Hence, the law of nations constitutes a distinct and separate chapter of the law of nature. It derives its obligatory character entirely from its being a part of that law. The principal difference between them is, that while the evidence of the law of nature as applied to individuals, is sought for practical purposes in the civil law of each separate country ; the evidence of the same law as applied to nations, is sought for practical purposes in treaties, conventions, decisions of admiralty courts, and in history, which may be regarded as a sort of collection of reports, showing how the law of nations has been understood and practised upon, at different times and places throughout the world. But the civil law in each country is binding, as such, on the indidividual, while the treaties, decisions of admiralty courts, and examples from history, which form the evidence of the law of nations, have, as such, no obligatory character upon the parties subject to that law. Hence, the law of nations resolves itself, for practical purposes, into the usage of nations, which is obligatory only so far as it may be conformable to the law of nature, of which conformity each nation remains for itself the sole and independent judge. It is only, therefore, as Mr. Wheaton rightly observes, in a peculiar and figurative sense, that we apply to the mass of particulars which makes up the evidence of this usage, the name of Law.
Upon these preliminary matters there is little dispute, at least among intelligent men, although the principles involved in them are far from being stated with perfect clearness by all the elementary writers. In his second chapter, entitled Sovereign States, Mr. Wheaton enters on a topic of a more debatable character. We may remark en passant, in reference to the title of this chapter, that the epithet sovereign, notwithstanding the contrary usage in this country, cannot perhaps with strict propriety be applied to a state. The correlative of sovereign is subject; but a state, as such, is entirely independent of every other moral person, and can have neither
master nor subject. In its political sense, the word sovereign is properly applied to the highest or supreme power in a State; and in this sense it is habitually applied to the kings of Europe. In this country, the supreme or sovereign power is supposed to reside in the body of the people, who may called with propriety sovereign, in contradistinction to the individual citizens, whether in or out of office. But the state, considered in its relation to other states, bas no character either of sovereignty, that is, superiority, or subjection, that is, inferiority. All states stand, as such, on a footing of perfect equality. The idea intended, is properly expressed by the word independent. This may, perhaps, be thought a rather minute criticisin; but perfect clearness and propriety in the use of language are absolutely indispensable to correct reasoning. The inconvenience of using the word sovereign in relation to states, is apparent occasionally in the work before us; as in the following remark.
“Sovereign states may be either single, or may be united together under a common sovereign, or by a federal compact."
States, which are at the same time sovereign and subject, must have a rather anomalous existence. The phrase sovereign states, as here used, means merely political societies, or in one word states ; and the idea is, that states may be either entirely independent, or united under a common government, or by a federal compact. The use of single in connexion with state, instead of independent, is an innovation, and we think not a happy one, on the usual forms of language.
In this chapter, Mr. Wheaton gives a succinct account of the nature of the union between Prussia and Poland, of the confederations of Switzerland and Germany, and of the Federal Constitution of this country. In speaking of the latter, , he takes the true and only tenable distinction, between a league or confederacy of independent states, and a union of states into one body politic or people, like our own ; which is, that in the former case, the acts of the body, representing the confederacy, are in the nature of requisitions on the members, and have no direct application except through the agency of the state governments. Whereas in the latter, the laws enacted by the federal government operate directly upon individuals, without the intervention of the states. This condition of things cannot be reconciled with any correct notion of entire independence, or in the common phrase, sovereignty. Hence,