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restrained, and it will be well, therefore, to consider shortly these cases.
The condition of service can hardly affect the question, fidelity and respect may.
The first right mentioned under the head of international rights is that of legation or embassy. There may be some doubt whether the respect due to the Suzerain is compatible with the representation of the vassal at the Court of the suzerain, or with the direct negociation between the two, but the balance of authority on the subject of the right of legation would seem to negative the doubt.
Grotius admits the right of legislation to those States which are joined by an unequal league, of which vassalage is an instance, cum sui juris esse non desinant.” Lib. I., ch. iii., xxiii., 2. Lib. II., ch. xxviii., ii., 2.
De Wicquefort (p. 16), speaking of“ Princes who possess“their fiefs in full sovereignty. so as to owe only simple homage, notwithstanding it be accompanied with some acknowledgments " adds,“ yet that does not hinder 'em
from sending Embassadors everywhere, even to the Lord of the fiefs,” and he instances the Duke of Parma and the King of Naples, before the Kings of Arragon had annexed the Two Sicilies, sending ambassadors to the Pope.
Vattel (iv. sec. 58) considers that vassals who are not subjects retain, if they have not expressly renounced the right of sending ministers to their suzerains, and of receiving their minister in turn.
Klüber (Sec. 141) only admits to the class of States in which he includes vassal States, a “capacité limitée,” but this evidently goes too far, as it draws no distinction between the right with regard to the suzerain State, and with regard to other foreign States.
Bluntschli refers to treaties made between vassal and suzerain States, and admits the right. (Art. 444).
Most of the other writers on International Law admit the jus legationis to be one of the rights of vassal States generally, but do not refer specially to it in connection with the suzerain; this aspect of the question can, however, hardly have escaped their observation, and their admission may be taken to extend to these relations.
It may be presumed, that what has been said as to the right of legation will apply equally to the right of negociation or of entering into treaty agreement. This, as well as the former, depends chiefly, if not entirely, on the assumption of equality or independence, and if the vassal State is considered so far on a footing of equality with, or independence of, its suzerain that it can be represented directly at the Court of that power, so must it be for the same reason held to be entitled to enter into negociation and conclude treaties with it.
Again, as to the rights of war and alliance. The fidelity owed by the vassal may hinder the exercise of these rights in the case of the suzerain being one of the parties to the war or the projected alliance. In the instance of war, the duty of fidelity would naturally forbid the vassal to take up arms against the suzerain, but the criterion of the justice of a war, is the justness of the cause of war. A war undertaken against the suzerain power, except for the purpose of the preservation of the vassal State, would be a breach both of the obligation of fidelity and of the law of nations ; but as suzerainty gives no right of interference with the affairs of the vassal, but only to certain services, so an attempt to interfere with its freedom or other privileges may, it is presumed, be justly repelled by force. In such a case, it is not the vassal State that first commits a breach of the fidelity it owes, but the suzerain State that first commits a breach of its pledge to protect and defend its vassal, this pledge being the duty of the Suzerain corre
lative to that of the vassal to do due service; the breach of obligation on the part of the suzerain must absolve the vassal from his duty. Where the suzerain is engaged in war with another Power it would appear that the same obligation of fidelity would prevent the vassal combining with the enemy.
Whether the duty of service would on the other hand always require him to take part in the war on the side of his suzerain will be presently con sidered,
Similarly as to the right of forming alliances, the vassal muy justly form an alliance defensive, or even offensive, with a third Power, but it must not be to the prejudice of the suzerain if offensive, and if defensive it must only be directed against the latter, and it could only in fact be so if the suzerain were, as just pointed out, to break its pledge of protection by assailing the independence or other rights of the vassal.
So far as to the rights of the vassal State derived from its rights of sovereignty. One other remains unconnected with the rights of sovereignty, but which has incidentally been already fully commented on-that is, the right of protection. This was one of the most important conditions of every variety of feudal tenure; the lord pledged his faith to protect and defend his vassal in return for the pledge of the vassal to be faithful, and to render service. That the obtaining of protection was one of the chief objects of vassalage is well shown by a curious case quoted by Réal (iv., 163), on the authority of Albert d'Estrasbourg, of two nobles-Humbert, Dauphin of Auvergne, and Simon, Count of Savoye-becoming vassals, the one of the other, obviously solely for the purpose of mutual protection in case of need.
In defining the rights of the State, subject to nude vassal
* As to the mutuality of the obligation see Bracton II., xxxv. (2).
age, the duties have been fully described with one exception. It has been shown that service was always due, but it has not been demonstrated to what extent. Can the suzerain claim assistance as due whenever he elects to declare war against, and for as long as he is at war with, another State ? or, is the assistance only to be rendered when the suzerain is in extremity.
That the assistance is to be always rendered when the suzerain is in extremity is clear
in extremity is clear by referring to the feudal principle: even the “ordinary” vassal, whose service was limited usually to forty days, was not freed by such service, the duty of mutual protection would be neglected if in time of need, even after this limited time the vassal deserted his suzerain, and it is expressly laid down without any limitation that in such circumstances the aid should be continued. For example, Bodin, lib. I., ch. ix., 166, says: “Il n'est licite au vassal de laisser son seigneur au besoin,
le vassal mesmement celui qui est lige doit secours.” That the assistance must be rendered during the continuance of all wars which the suzerain may be waging can be in a similar manner inferred. All vassals owed service, limited or unlimited, personal or by deputy, without reference to the danger to the suzerain, but merely to his need, the service must have been due therefore in every war waged by the suzerains, vassal States should be equally liable, and, as has been shown in the case of Naples, the practice appears to bear out the principle. Also, whatever limit there may have been in the case of an individual vassal, there is no trace of any limit to the time for which a vassal State considered itself bound to render service, and again the principle is in conformity with practice, “Plain ” Vassalage, it has been pointed out, most nearly corresponds to the Vassalage of States, and the service of "plain” vassals was not limited in time.
The next question to be determined is, when is the
vassalage nominal, and therefore possessing all the attrihutes of Sovereignty.
The vassalage is clearly sovereign if so defined by the terms of the first investiture, or by what in modern time generally takes its place, the convention of settlement, when, in fact a sovereignty has been expressly given, “en fief;" it must be so also if the vassalage is not linited by any terms in this investiture or convention Loyseau (II. 49) points out that where sovereign princes established “hautes seigneuries” capable of sovereignty, and they wished to create what he calls “seigneuries Suzeraines,” by which as we have pointed out he probably meant non-sovereign vassal lord ships, they did not content themselves with retaining the feudality, but by express condition they retained to themselves the sovereignty, the inference being that the sovereignty, if not so retained by the suzerain, became by the fact of the simple grant, an attribute of the vassal seignory, and this is in strict accord with the idea of simple vassalage as already described, and might fairly have been presumed. On the other hand, if the suzerain is seen to be in the possession of some of the rights naturally belonging to the vassal State, and which, if exercised by it would be sovereign attributes, it is plain that the vassalage is something more than nude or nominal, and it may be presumed that the sovereignty has been reserved by the suzerain. Many cases may be cited, in which the suzerain has permitted the vassal to exercise some sovereign rights, strictly reserving to itself the abstract sovereignty, not one can be quoted in which the suzerain has retained a single sovereign right, while admitting that the vassal is a sovereign State. From this follows the important deduction, that in all cases where the suzerainty is not plainly nominal, as the abstract sovereignty is in the suzerain, the vissal State cannot exercise any rights not expressly