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principles and practice of the different states of America and Europe on various interesting points. In a few instances I have presumed to advance my own opinions, and even in some of them to differ from my author himself; but I have done it, I am sure, in the spirit, and, I hope, in the manner pointed out by the great orator, quærens omnia, dubitans plerumque, et mihi diffidens.*

I have thought that an account of the life and writings of Bynkershoek would not be unacceptable to the reader, and therefore it will be found immediately after this preface. I have added to it a brief alphabetical notice of those writers on the civil law or the law of nations, whose works are not generally known, and are quoted or referred to in this book. A list of the American and English cases cited in the notes, and a table of reference to the books and titles of the quotations from the text of the civil law, which occur in the course of the original work, are also subjoined. I regret that some errors of inadvertence have escaped my attention, particularly in the notes, which I acknowledge, were written with some degree of haste, though they are the result of much previous study and reflection. Such of those errors as I have discovered are noticed in an errata, at the end of the book.t

Being about to commit this work to the candour and indulgence of the public, I have thought it necessary to premise these few observations. It has long been, as I have already observed, an anxious wish of the American jurists to see this celebrated treatise correctly translated into our language, and published in a portable form. It is very difficult to procure in this country a copy of the


* Cic. acad. quæst. 1.

† To which add the following, which was not noticed at the time: page 155, line 1, of the text, dele " whether."

original, which is only to be found in a few of our librą. ries. Nor can it be obtained from Europe, without purchasing at the same time two folio yolumes, which contain a great deal of matter of little interest to those who do not make the civil law the object of their particular study. With the greatest diffidence, therefore, I submit this feeble attempt to the candid and enlightened judgment of my professional brethren; if it shall be thought deserving of their approbation, I shall consider it as an ample and honourable reward of my labours, otherwise I shall endeavour to profit by their censure.

At the present moment, when the fate of Holland creates a lively interest in every feeling mind, the public will be disposed to receive with peculiar indulgence, a work which recals to our memory the brilliant epochs of that celebrated republic, once so famed in arts as well as in arms. She has proved to the world, that the republi. can spirit of commerce, and the honourable pursuits of industrious enterprise are not incompatible with any of those more brilliant attainments by which nations as well as individuals are raised to celebrity. Since her separation from the Spanish empire she has produced more great men, and achieved more great deeds, than all the remainder of that once immense and powerful monarchy.

Holland is no more, but the remembrance of her past glory can never die. The admirers of military exploits will with pleasure and pride dwell on the achievements of her Maurice, her De Ruyters, and her Van Tromps. The statesman will still guide his political bark by the lights which her De Witts, her Van Beuningens, and her Fagels have supplied. The astronomer, the philosopher, will explore the secrets of nature and the heavens, with her 's Gravesandes and her Huygens. The physician will improve his theory and his practice by the discoveries


of her Boerhaaves and her Van Swietens. And the student, who delights in investigating the principles of that law of nations, so much talked of and so little practised, will ever revere the hallowed soil which gave birth to such illustrious men as Grotius and our BYNKERSHOEK.

His saltem accumulem donis & fungar inani

Philadelphia, October, 1810.

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CORNELIUS VAN BYNKERSHOEK was born the 29th of May 1673, at Middleburgh, the capital of the province of Zealand, where his father was a respectable merchant. He received his education at the university of Franeker in Friesland, and his juvenile exercises while there, drew upon him the attention of the celebrated professor Huberus, * who in one of his elaborate dissertations, calls him eruditissimus juvenis CORNELIUS BYNKERSHOEK. On leaving the university, he settled at the Hague, where he exercised with great applause the profession of an advocate, and published from time to time ingenious and learned dissertations on various subjects of the civil, and of his own municipal law. In the year 1702, he published his excellent dissertation De Dominio Maris, and the next year was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Holland, Zealand, and West Friesland, which sat at the Hague. In the year 1721, he published his learned treatise De foro Legatorum, and three years afterwards, on the 26th of May 1724, was appointed president of the respectable court, of which he already was a member. He was now fifty one years of

age. His

* Well known in this country, by his dissertation De Conflictu Legum, part of which has been translated into English, and published by Mr. Dallas, in a note to the case of Emory v. Greenough, in the third volume of his Re. ports, page 370.

+ Huber. Eunomia Romana, ad 1. Lecta, D. de reb. cred.

celebrated Quæstiones juris publici, are among the last works that he produced, as they did not appear until the year 1737, when he was sixty four years old. He died of a dropsy in the chest, on the 16th of April 1743, in the seventieth year of his age. He was twice married. By his second wife he had no children, but left six daughters by his first wife.

His works consist chiefly of dissertations and treatises (which he modestly calls questions) on various subjects of the law of nations, and of the civil law, combined in some instances with the municipal regulations of his own country. They were published separately, in his lifetime, except the Quæstiones juris privati, which appeared only after his death. These are only a part of a larger work, which he did not live to finish. He had however prepared the four first books for the press, when death put a period to his labours. He had not even time to write more than the first paragraph of a preface, with which he intended to usher that work into the world, and in which he appears fully sensible of his approaching end.

Eighteen years after his death, his scattered writings were collected together by the learned Vicat,* professor of jurisprudence in the college of Lausanne in Switzerland, and published in two folio volumes at Geneva, in the year 1761. This edition is the only one, that we know of, of all the works of our author, though we are informed that some of his treatises have gone through several editions in his own country. The Baron Von Omptedat notices a second edition of the Questiones juris publici, Leyden 1752,4to. But this, the best and most complete monument of his fame, was published in a foreign land.

This edition is remarkable for its beauty and correctness, and is adorned with an elegant preface by the learned editor, and an account of the author's life and writings, from which we have in part gathered the information which we now communicate to the American reader.

* M. Vicat is the author of an esteemed treatise on natural law, entitled: Traité du Droit Naturel & de l'application de ses principes au Droit Civil is au Droit des Gens. Lausanne, 1782, 4 vols. 8vo. Baron Von Ompteda calls it a very useful book. Litter. des Vælkerr. p. 389.

Litteratur des Vælkerrechts, p. 420.

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