Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter 11: That trading with the Indians is not proper to the Portugals by the right of prescription or custom - The Free Sea (Hakluyt trans.)
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chapter 11: That trading with the Indians is not proper to the Portugals by the right of prescription or custom - 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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That trading with the Indians is not proper to the Portugals by the right of prescription or custom
Prescription remaineth, or custom, whether you please to call it. But that neither the one nor the other have any force among free nations or princes of divers nations, nor against those things which were brought in by the first original law, we have with Vasquius declared.1 Wherefore here also that the right of trading should become proper, which receiveth not the nature of property, no time can effect. Therefore neither could this title be, nor yet honest and plain dealing, which when it manifestly ceaseth, prescription according to the canons shall not be called right but injury.
But even that very possession, as it were, of trading seemeth not to have befallen them of any proper right but by the common right which equally appertaineth unto all. As, contrarily, in that other nations neglected to contract with the Indians they are not supposed to have done it for the Portugals’ sakes, but because they thought it was expedient for them so to do, which hindereth not that they should be less able (when profit shall persuade) to do that which before they did not. For that is a most certain rule delivered by the doctors that in those things which stand in free will and mere faculty, so that by themselves they work an act of that faculty only and not a new right, a thousand years are nothing worth, neither by title of prescription nor custom, which Vasquius teacheth proceedeth both affirmatively and negatively.2 For I am neither compelled to do that which I did freely nor to omit that which I did not.
Else what were more absurd than for that we cannot all at all times contract with all, thereby our right of contracting with them hereafter (if need require) should not be preserved? The same Vasquius, and that most aptly, affirmeth that an infinite time cannot effect that anything should rather seem to be done by necessity than of free will.3 The Portugals therefore should procure the coaction, which thing itself, seeing in this it is contrary to the law of nature and hurtful to all mankind, it cannot do right. Again, that coaction or constraint ought to have continued for such a time of whose beginning no memory remaineth.4 But it is so far from that that scarce an hundred years are run out since all the Indian trade almost was in the power of the Venetians by the passages of Alexandria.5 And the coaction also ought to be such against which there was no resistance. But the French, the English and others resisted. Nor doth it suffice that some should be compelled but it is required that all should be compelled, seeing that possession of liberty in a common cause is kept even by one man not being compelled. But the Arabians and Sinenses from so many ages past unto this day perpetually traffic with the Indians.
Therefore, this their usurpation profiteth nothing.