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A robbery or forcible depreciation on the high seas, without lawful authority, done animo furandi, in the spirit and intention of universal hostility. This is the definition of this offense by the law of nations. The word is derived from peira deceptio, deceit or deception: or from peiron wandering up and down, and resting in no place, but coasting hither and thither to do mischief. Congress may define and punish piracies and felonies on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations.

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