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each other; which relations and rules, if not antecedent to all human legislation, arise from the physical and mental constitution of mankind, and the circumstances in which they are placed, and exist independently of the acts of men; and which, if not intuitively perceived, or immediately felt, are actually perceived and felt, in the course of experience, and admit of being enforced, consistently with justice, individual reciprocity, and general, if not universal, expediency.
Under the latter denomination of positive are comprehended the rules of international conduct which have been actually recognised by nations, and adopted in practice. And this recognition and adoption may be either virtually rebus et factis, by established custom and usage, or totidem verbis, by express paction or treaty. .
Under either of these modes of recognition and adoption there may be comprehended — first, and chiefly, the rules of natural international law, before described ; secondly, modifications of, and sometimes departures from, these rules ; thirdly, rules of national conduct, which may not properly fall under the rules of natural international law, but which, in the course of experience, though otherwise indifferent, it bas been found beneficial or convenient to fix in one way, and to recognise and adopt.
As the stipulations in treaties usually relate to a certain number of points, and are generally similar, the conventional law of nations as a whole admits of systematic arrangement, and is clearly binding on the contracting parties. But beyond the contracting parties
it does not appear to have any obligatory force, or to warrant compulsion, farther than as it may show or prove what were the other rules adopted by nations generally, apart from, and independently of, special treaty; or that other nations, not contracting parties, have long acquiesced in, or acted upon, the rules recognised in the treaty, without any counter stipulations and considerations.
OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW, OR OF THE LAW
OF NATIONS IN THEIR INTERCOURSE IN THEIR COLLECTIVE OR CORPORATE CHARACTER.