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THE

FOREIGN

QUARTERLY REVIEW.

Aut. I.—Traite complit de Diplomalie, ou Thtorie ginirale des relations exterieures des Puissances de l'Enrope, dtaprh lesplus celibres autorites. Par un ancien Ministre. Paris, 1838. 3 vol. 8vo.

There may be some doubt whether the author of this work has not assumed a character a little beyond that which properly belongs to him, when he tells us that he has been engaged as a minister in the diplomatic service of his court. But whatever may be his rank, position, or country, it is certain that he has presented the diplomates of Europe with a most useful precis of their functions. We wrong him, indeed, when we confine the utility of his book to those who are actually engaged in diplomacy. It is in truth calculated to be a more popular compendium than any that Germany has produced, of the principles of international law. We say Germany, because it is from German writers that the received epitomes have proceeded. In English, there is not one original treatise of note, or authority, either on diplomacy or on the law of nations. The authors of pamphlets and speeches on foreign policy use Martens's Precis* as a book of reference, and quote Grotius and PuffendorfF, Vattel and Bynkershoek. But, however systematically the first three of these works are arranged, we doubt whether any German jurist or English civilian sits down to read either of them, as a young lawyer reads Blackstone: and we are certain that no diplomatist from Downing Street looks to them for the general principles on which his business is to be conducted. For the defence of a measure on which his court has already determined, he finds, perhaps, by the help of an index, a passage which he triumphantly quotes; but the matter at issue must be one of an unusual character, if an equally judicious selection and ingenious application will not enable his antagonist to cite another, perhaps indeed the same passage differently construed, in support of the other side of the question. The enormous bulk, and the pedantic display .— _—.. ,—.—,—^—^ ,—. -__— .-,

* Precis da Droit des Gens Moderne de l'Europe, fonde sur les Trails et l'Usage. Par G. F. von Martens. 3rue édit.; revue et augmented. Gottingne, tBSl. There is an English translation by Mr. Cobbett, originaliy published at Philadelphia in 1795, and reprinted, with additions, in London, in 1.802.

VOL. XIII. NO. XXV, B

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