chapter 1: By the law of nations navigation is free for any to whomsoever - Hugo Grotius, The Free Sea (Hakluyt trans.) 
The Free Sea, trans. Richard Hakluyt, with William Welwod’s Critiuqe and Grotius’s Reply, ed. David Armitage (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004).
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By the law of nations navigation is free
for any to whomsoever
Our purpose is shortly and clearly to demonstrate that it is lawful for the Hollanders, that is the subjects of the confederate states of the Low Countries, to sail to the Indians as they do and entertain traffic with them. We will lay this certain rule of the law of nations (which they call primary) as the foundation, the reason whereof is clear and immutable: that it is lawful for any nation to go to any other and to trade with it.
God himself speaketh this in nature, seeing he will not have all those things, whereof the life of man standeth in need, to be sufficiently ministered by nature in all places and also vouchsafeth some nations to excel others in arts. To what end are these things but that he would maintain human friendship by their mutual wants and plenty, lest everyone thinking themselves sufficient for themselves for this only thing should be made insociable? Now it cometh to pass that one nation should supply the want of another by the appointment of divine justice, that thereby (as Pliny saith) that which is brought forth anywhere might seem to be bred with all; therefore we hear poets speaking,
- nec vero terrae ferre omnes omnia possunt,
and so forth.
They, therefore, that take away this, take away that most laudable society of mankind; they take away the mutual occasions of doing good and, to conclude, violate nature herself. For even that ocean wherewith God hath compassed the Earth is navigable on every side round about, and the settled or extraordinary blasts of wind, not always blowing from the same quarter, and sometimes from every quarter, do they not sufficiently signify that nature hath granted a passage from all nations unto all? This Seneca thinketh the greatest benefit of nature, that even by the wind she hath mingled nations scattered in regard of place and hath so divided all her goods into countries that mortal men must needs traffic among themselves. This right therefore equally appertaineth to all nations, which the most famous lawyers enlarge so far that they deny any commonwealth or prince to be able wholly to forbid others to come unto their subjects and trade with them. Hence descendeth that most sacred law of hospitality; hence complaints,
- quod genus hoc hominum, quaeve hunc tam barbara morem
- permittit patria? hospitio prohibemur arenae,
and in another place,
- litusque rogamus
- innocuum, et cunctis undamque auramque patentem.
We know also that wars began for this cause, as with the Magarensians against the Athenians, and the Bononians against the Venetians, and that these also were just causes of war to the Castilians against the Americans, and more probable than the rest. Victoria also thinketh it a just cause of war if they should be forbidden to go on pilgrimage and to live with them; if they were denied from the participation of those things which by the law of nations or customs are common; if, finally, they were not admitted to traffic.
The like whereof is that which we read in the history of Moses, and Augustine thereupon: that the Israelites made just war against the Amorites because a harmless passage was denied which by the most just law of human society ought to have been open to them. And for this cause Hercules made war with the King of the Orchomenians, the Grecians under Agamemnon with the king of the Mysians, as if naturally (as Baldus saith) ways and passage should be free, and the Romans in Tacitus are accused of the Germans because they barred the conference and resort of the nations and shut up rivers and earth and heaven itself after a certain manner. Nor did any title against the Saracens in times past please the Christians better than that they were stopped by them from entering into the land of Jewry.
It followeth upon this opinion that the Portugals, although they had been lords of those countries whither the Hollanders go, yet they should do wrong if they stopped the passage and trade of the Hollanders.
How much more unjust is it therefore for any that are willing to be secluded from intercourse and interchange with people who are also willing, and that by their means in whose power neither these people are nor the thing itself whereby we make our way, seeing we detest not thieves and pirates more for any other cause than that they beset and molest the meetings of men among themselves?