It may be observed, in anticipation of some of our future results, that while some conditions of the affections are aimed at by the economist as final, others are necessary to him as his own instruments: as he obtains them in greater or less degree his own farther work becomes more or less possible. Such, for instance, are the fortifying virtues, which the wisest men of all time have, with more or less distinctness, arranged under the general heads of:
or in shorter terms still, the virtues which teach how to consist, assist, persist, and desist. These outermost virtues are not only the means of protecting and prolonging life itself, but they are the chief guards or sources of the material means of life, and are the visible governing powers and princes of economy. Thus (reserving detailed statements for the sequel) precisely according to the number of just men in a nation, is their power of avoiding either intestine or foreign war. All disputes may be peaceably settled, if a sufficient number of persons have been trained to submit to the principles of justice. The necessity for war is in direct ratio to the number of unjust persons who are incapable of determining a quarrel but by violence. Whether the injustice take the form of the desire of dominion, or of refusal to submit to it, or of lust of territory, or lust of money, or of mere irregular passion and wanton will, the result is economically the same; — loss of the quantity of power and life consumed in repressing the injustice, as well as of that requiring to be repressed, added to the material and moral destruction caused by the fact of war. The early civil wars of England, and the existing war in America, are curious examples —these under monarchical, this under republican institutions —of the results of the want of education of large masses of nations in principles of justice. This latter war, especially, may perhaps at least serve for some visible, or if that be impossible (for the Greeks told us that Plutus was blind, as Dante that he was speechless), some feelable proof that true political economy is an ethical, and by no means a commercial business. The Americans imagined themselves to know somewhat of money-making; bowed low before their Dollar, expecting Divine help from it; more than potent —even omnipotent. Yet all the while this apparently tangible, was indeed an imaginary Deity; —and had they shown the substance of him to any true economist, or even true mineralogist, they would have been told, long years ago, "Alas, gentlemen, this that you are gaining is not gold, —not a particle of it. It is yellow, and glittering, and like enough to the real metal, —but see —it is brittle, cat-gold, `iron firestone'. Out of this, heap it as high as you will, you will get so much steel and brimstone —nothing else; and in a year or two, when (had you known a little of right economy) you might have had quiet roof-trees over your heads, and a fair account at your banker's, you shall instead have to sleep a-field, under red tapestries, costliest, yet comfortless; and at your banker's find deficit at compound interest".
But the mere dread or distrust resulting from the want of inner virtues of Faith and Charity among nations, is often no less costly than war itself. The fear which France and England have of each other costs each nation about fifteen millions sterling annually, besides various paralyses of commerce; that sum being spent in the manufacture of means of destruction instead of means of production. There is no more reason in the nature of things that France and England should be hostile to each other than that England and Scotland should be, or Lancashire and Yorkshire; and the reciprocal terrors of the opposite sides of the English Channel are neither more necessary, more economical, nor more virtuous than the old riding and reiving on opposite flanks of the Cheviots, or than England's own weaving for herself of crowns of thorn from the stems of her Red and White Roses.