It is especially necessary that the reader should keep his mind fixed on the methods of consumption and destruction, as the true sources of national poverty. Men are apt to watch rather the exchanges in a state than its damages; but the exchanges are only of importance so far as they bring about these last. A large number of the purchases made by the richer classes are more forms of interchange of unused property, wholly without effect on national prosperity. It matters nothing to the state, whether if a china pipkin be rated as worth a hundred pounds, A has the pipkin, and B the pounds, or A the pounds and B the pipkin. But if the pipkin is pretty, and A or B breaks it, there is national loss, not otherwise. So again, when the loss has really taken place, no shifting of the shoulders that bear it will do away with the fact of it. There is an intensely ludicrous notion in the public mind respecting the abolishment of debt by denying it. When a debt is denied, the lender loses instead of the borrower, that is all; the loss is precisely, accurately, everlastingly the same. The Americans borrow money to spend in blowing up their own houses. They deny their debt; by one third already, gold being at fifty premium; and will probably deny it wholly. That merely means that the holders of the notes are to be the losers instead of the issuers. The quantity of loss is precisely equal, and irrevocable; it is the quantity of human industry spent in explosion, plus the quantity of goods exploded. Honour only decides who shall pay the sum lost, not whether it is to be paid or not. Paid it must be and to the uttermost farthing.