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IF the International Lawyer confines himself Eunction of the to his own proper task, and does not usurp the functions of the International legislator, of the moralist, or of the philanthropist, he is only concerned with War as a means, however violent and irregular, for the support of legal rights, or with the restrictions which civilisation has introduced into the exercise of what are some. times called the extreme rights of War. He is called upon only to register and expound the practical rules, based upon the tacit or express consent of nations and conformable to the dictates of abstract justice, so far as these can be ascertained, and he is not entitled to impair the simple treatment of a subject, engrossing enough in itself, by speculations on a remote future, or even by benevolently suggested reforms for the immediate present.

Not, indeed, that the writers of text-books on International Law have generally exer

Its limits not suficiently observed,

cised the self-restraint here commended. On the contrary, they have all but universally assumed the character of legislators as well as lawyers. Nor have they even confined themselves to the moderate course of hinting at what, in their opinion, the law ought to be, while explaining what it actually is. Their views of what the law is, have been largely coloured by what they have wished the law to be, and, too often, by what they have conceived the interests of their own States demanded it should be. Some writers, indeed, by publishing Codes of International Law, have combined inextricably together the treatment of the law as it is, and that of the law as, in their opinion, it ought to be. They have given definiteness and precision to principles which are, as yet, of most fluctuating authority, and are only creeping on towards general recognition. They have imparted clearness and simplicity to rules, the true import and circumscription of which can only be understood by laying side by side a long series of treaties, despatches, judicial decisions, and desultory utterances of eminent statesmen.. They have everywhere substituted order for disorder, the rule of right for that of might, and the claims of humanity for the traditional assumptions of egotistic self-interest.

But, though the motives of these philanthropic

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