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: 1120. As a general proposition, no vessel on the open sea is liable to search, by the ship of any nation except her own, on the suspicion of offence against the revenue laws. '
1121. Nations however claim, and to some extent concede, to each other a degree of jurisdiction on the sea beyond the presidial line, for the protection of their revenue. The United States asserted such a jurisdiction by the Act of Congress of 2 March, 1799, the English by the hovering Act, 9 Geo. II. c. 25; and by the 16 & 17 Vict. c. 107, the English assumed to deal with vessels on the open sea, in a mode which, except so far as it is warranted by treaty or acquiescence, is, with respect to foreigners and their property, hardly reconcilable with international rights. · 1122. This Act is, with the 23 Vict. c. 22, and 25 & 26 Vict. c. 63, a consolidation of the law relative to the customs, and contains numerous provisions, in no less than sixty-four sections, for the prevention of smuggling. We have space only to refer very briefly to the more material of those which particularly affect the conduct of the ship.
1123. Vessels and boats not exceeding 100 tons are placed under the regulation of the Commissioners of Customs, as to their tonnage, build, and description, the limits within which they may be employed, their mode of navigation, the arms they may carry, and various other particulars (s. 199– 207). Such vessels, if used in the importation, removal, or conveyance of uncustomed or prohibited goods, are liable to forfeiture (s. 203), as are all vessels, belonging wholly or partly to British subjects, having false bulkheads, false bows, or other places in which goods can be secreted, or derices for running goods (s. 208).
1124. This Act declares liable to forfeiture any ship or boat, wholly or in part belonging to a British subject, or of which half the persons on board are British subjects, found to have been within four leagues of the coast, between the North Foreland and Beachy Head, or eight leagues of any other part of the United Kingdom, and any foreign ship or boat having a British subject on board, within three leagues of the coast of the kingdom, or any foreign ship or boat within one league of the kingdom, or any ship or boat within one league of the Channel Islands, having on board spirits, tea, tobacco, or certain other specified articles liable to duty, in such small cases or parcels as therein mentioned; also vessels of the like description, of the cargo of which any part is thrown overboard to avoid seizure; and also all vessels arriving in the ports of the kingdom having prohibited goods on board (ss. 212, 213, 216).
1125. This Act also declares forfeited any ship or boat, wholly or in part belonging to British subjects, or of which half the persons on board are British subjects, which, within 100 leagues of the coast of the United Kingdom, on the signal from a vessel of war or the Revenue service, does not bring-to, and if, being chased, any part of her cargo is thrown overboard or destroyed; and it declares that all persons escaping from the vessel during the chase shall be deemed British subjects, unless the contrary is proved (s. 217). And ships of war and of the Revenue service are authorized, after exhibiting a proper pendant and ensign, and firing a signal-gun, to fire upon any such ship as shall not lie-to for the purpose of search (s. 218). Any persons shooting at any vessel or boat of the Navy or of the Revenue service within 100 leagues of the kingdom, or maliciously shooting at, maiming, or wounding any officer of the Army, Navy, or Marines employed in the prevention of smuggling, or any officer of the Customs or Excise, is declared guilty of felony (s. 249). Ships and boats employed in the removal of goods liable to forfeiture are declared forfeited (s. 219).
1126. The officers of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Preventive Service, are authorized to search any ship in a British port for uncustomed goods (s. 219).
THE LAWS OF WAR.
1127. We now approach the miserable and desolate region of war. The sunshine of peace still lingers upon the devoted countries, but black clouds are lowering, and throwing their shadows across them. Two mighty nations are gathering their strength. The hills are white with tents, and glittering with the panoply of battle. The drum and the clarion sound through their limits, calling the myriads to their standards. The roar of the engines, and the noise of the hammers, inform us that the arsenals are in fast and hurried employment. The ships are stealing by ones and by twos into the harbours, where hundreds are already assembled, or steering forth in squadrons suspiciously to unknown destinations. There is still menace, protest, asseveration. The buccaneer captains are calculating their resources, arming their fast schooners, collecting their ruthless retainers, preparing for murder and rapine with commission or letter of marque, or without. The citizens and husbandmen of the angry countries, and the merchants of the peaceable nations, in groups and in councils, in amazement and pale consternation, inquire when havoc will begin ? what are the rights of neutrals ? what are the laws of war ? how the bristling belligerents will accept them ? and how even their version will be observed ? what will be the limits of ravage, of carnage, and conflagration ? what the pretences for capture and plunder ? whether their ships and cargoes will be confiscated, or whether they will only be sold to pay the costs of acquittal, and the expenses of detention ?
1128. What are the laws which are to insinuate them. selves in whispers while the cannon are thundering around them ?-especially, what are those laws.so far as they regard the wanderer upon the sea ?
1129. There are whispers which affect the hearts of men, there are spectres which haunt their consciences even while they deal the thunderbolts of battle. Their vaunts, their manifestoes, their proclamations cover with a transparent veil their atrocities, even while they commit them. We must search the heart and the conscience for the dictates of reason, and not be guided by the acts wbich they perpetrate in passion. We must endeavour to mollify their ferocious sentiments, and make them amenable to the arbitration of nature, and teach them what reason has prescribed as the laws of war.
1130. We must consult history for its occurrences ; we must consult the prize courts for events, and watch how partiality has quailed under a sensation of justice, and concealed itself in precedents and quotations.
1131. We cannot learn science from barbarians, or civilization from savage hordes. We can learn little from conquerors who set forth to ravage and subdue. We must not be content with the authority of legists, who, rejecting the worst, and selecting the least objectionable of violent precedents, have founded upon them improved and progressively improving systems; resting there, because their contemporaries were unprepared for further advance.
1132. The laws of nature, and among them the laws of nations, are not of the ordination of man, they are the prescriptions of the Great God; they are active principles, which, by methods beyond our comprehension, inscrutable to our intelligence, work their own course, and achieve their, to us unintelligible, designs.
1133. Because it has not been enunciated in thunders or written in letters of light, because there has been no Amphictyonic council to proclaim it, because the nations are not confederated to maintain its decrees,—let not any state, in the pride of its power, believe that there is no avenger, that there is no chastisement for the violation of international law. The Avatar will assuredly come, and vengeance will be inevitably dealt by insulted Nature on those who transgress her law. Let him who dares to doubt it look around. Let those who invoke the horrors of servile insurrection expect a terrible retribution.
“He who holds no laws in awe,
Ay de mi Alhama.”—Byron. 1134. War, in his least terrible aspect, is an invader of the domains of nature; but we must allow the monster some prerogatives, that we may control, as we cannot enchain him.
1135. The human intellect and human sentiment are not adapted to Utopia; we must admit that the privileges which reason reluctantly concedes to war are not inconsistent with, and even that they are to be treated as within, the ambit of the laws of nature. But there are sanctuaries which war dare not violate; there are still Elean regions which it may not profane. .
1136. THE LAWS OF WAR involve a fourfold consideration : —First, the law of nature; secondly, the rights as between the belligerents ; thirdly, the law of nations as between the belligerent and the neutrals; and, fourthly, the policy of all or any of these parties.
Policy will not justify the violation either of the law of nature or of the law of nations, or a transgression of the rights of the antagonist or neutral; but it authorizes a departure by a nation on its own part from its extreme assumptions against others, although it may operate to its advantage and to the detriment of the opponent.
1137. To illustrate these propositions : First, there are trangressions against the law of nature which are not transgressions of international law; for instance, if one of the belligerents sell his prisoners of war as slaves, it is not a breach of the law of nations. Yet a nation sensitive on the subject would have at least as good a right, if it thought fit,