13 NOVEMBER 1869, Page 23

War Justified. By a Lover of Peace. (Hamilton, Adams, and

Co.)— We imagine this to be a question on which argument has even less practical effect in the way of causing conviction than it commonly has. Most men will think it altogether superfluous ; for them the problem is solved, just as the problem about necessity is solved, that is, so to speak, ambulando. It may be true that men act under the compulsion of an irresistible fate, but you have to act as if they were not. It may be true that war is not justifiable, but you have to fight, nevertheless. And the minority who hold the various theories of which non-resistance is the most extreme, maintain their creed, as not a few other theorists do, under shelter of the system which they condemn. Channel fiesta, armies, and volunteers enable the Peace Society to propound their schemes without unseemly interruptions. Nor must it be forgotten that their theories are, after all that may be said against them, " counsels of perfection ;" that they are much more in the right than the people who talk as if war were the most beneficent of divine appoint- ments. It must not be supposed that our author is one of these ; on the contrary, he is exceedingly moderate and reasonable, and he always argues with admirable temper. He is not sanguine about convincing his opponents, but he certainly gives them some hard nuts to crack. The thoroughly consistent people, who would sit still and see a scoundrel plunder their houses and dash their children's brains out, are the most difficult, logically speaking, to assail. But the advocates of moderate resistance are in a less impregnable position. To those, for instance, who maintain that a wrong-door may be visited by any means "short of terminating life," the case of piracy may be suggested, as it is by our author, with effect. How would one proceed to put a stop to the ravages of a pirate without using means that "might terminate life " ? Surely this is a practical question, for which the encouragement of prize essays, &c., would be very useful.