« ZurückWeiter »
impracticable, under the present circum- of commerce) is in a great measure, if not tostances of the colony-trade; which, as is said tally defeated. above, draws all the cash to Britain, and would On the whole, no method has hitherto been soon strip the bank.
formed to establish a medium of trade, in lieu 2. To raise a fund by some yearly tar, se- of money, equal in all its advantages, to bills curely lodged in the bank of England as it of credit-funded on sufficient taxes for disarises, which should (during the term of years charging it, or on land-security of double the for which the paper-bills are to be current) value, for repaying it at the end of the term; accumulate to a sum sufficient to discharge and in the mean time, made a GENERAL LEthem all at their original value.
This has been tried in Maryland: and the bills so funded were issued without being made a general legal tender. The event was,
On Coin. that as notes payable in time are naturally subject to a discount proportioned to the time; so
The clamour made of the great inconvenithese bills fell at the beginning of the term ences, suffered by the community in regard so low, as that twenty pounds of them became to the coin of this kingdom, prompted me in worth no more than twelve pounds in Penn- the beginning of his majesty's reign to give sylvania, the next neighbouring province; the public some reflections on coin in genethough both had been struck near the same ral; on gold and silver as merchandise : and time at the same nominal value, but the lat. I added my thoughts on paper passing as ter was supported by the general legal tender. money. The Maryland bills, however, began to rise as As I trust the principles then laid down the term shortened, and towards the end re- are founded in truth, and will serve now as covered their full value. But, as a depre- well as then, though made fourteen years ciating currency injures creditors, this injur- ago, to change any calculation, would be of ed debtors; and by its continually changing little use. value, appears unfit for the purpose of money,
Some sections, in the foregoing essay of which should be as fixed as possible in its own principles of trade, might in this appendix, apvalue; because it is to be the measure of the pear like a repetition, have been omitted. value of other things.
I always resolved not to enter into any par3. To make the bills carry an interest suf- ticular deduction from laws relating to coin; ficient to support their value.
or into any minutia, as to accurate nicety, in This too has been tried in some of the New weights. My intention was, and still is, no England colonies; but great inconveniences more than to endeavour to show, as briefly as were found to attend it. The bills, to fit them possible; that what relates to coin, is not of for a currency, are made of various denomi- such a complex, abstruse nature as it is genenations, and some very low, for the sake of rally made: and that no more than common change; there are of them from 101. down to justice with common sense are required, in 3d. When they first come abroad, they pass all regulations concerning it. easily, and answer the purpose well enough Perhaps more weighty concerns may have for a few months; but as soon as the interest prevented government doing more in regard becomes worth computing, the calculation of to coin, than ordering quarter guineas to be it on every little bill in a sum between the made; which till this reign had not been dealer and his customers, in shops, ware- done. houses, and markets, takes up much time, to But as I now judge by the late acts relating the great hinderance of business. This evil, to gold coin, that the legislature is roused: however, soon gave place to a worse; for the possibly they may consider still more of that, bills were in a short time gathered up and as well as of silver coin. hoarded ; it being a very tempting advantage
Should these reflections prove of any public to have money bearing interest, and the prin- utility, my end will be answered. ciple all the while in a man's power, ready for 1. Coins are pieces of metal, on which an bargains that may offer; which money out on impression is struck; wnich impression is unmortgage is not. By this means numbers of derstood by the legislature to ascertain the people became usurers with small sums, who weight, and the intrinsic value, or worth of could not have found persons to take such each piece. sums of them upon interest, giving good se- 2. The real value of coins depends not on curity; and would therefore not have thought a piece being called a guinea, a crown, or a of it; but would rather have employed the shilling; but the true worth of any particumoney in some business, if it had been money lar piece of gold, or silver, is what such piece of the common kind. Thus trade, instead of contains of fine or pure gold or silver. being increased by such bills, is diminished; 3. Silver and copper being mixed with and by their being shut up in chests, the very gold, and copper with silver, are generalend of making them (viz. to furnish a medium ly understood, to render those metals more durable when circulating in coins: yet air 8. 62 shillingsonly, are ordained by law to be and moisture evidently affect copper, whe- coined from 12 ounces of standard silver: now ther by itself or mixed with other metal; following the proportion above mentioned of whereas pure gold or silver are much less af- 15 one fifth to 14 one balf, no regard being fected or corroded thereby.
necessary as to alloy, 65 shillings should be 4. The quantity of silver and copper so the quantity cut out of those 12 ounces. mixed by way of alloy, is fixed by the legisla- 9. No everlasting invariable fixation for ture. When melted with pure metal, or ad- coining, can be made from a medium of the ded, or extracted to make a lawful proportion, market price of gold and silver, though that both gold and silver are brought to what is medium might with ease be ascertained so as called standard. This alloy of silver and to binder, either coined gold or silver from becopper is never reckoned of any value. The coming a merchandise : for whenever the standard once fixed, should ever be invariable; price shall rise above that medium, so as to since any alteration would be followed by give a profit; whatever is coined will be great confusion, and detriment to the state. made a merchandise. This in the nature of
5. It is for public convenience, and for fa- things, must come from the general exchang, cilitating the bartering between mankind for ings, circulation, and fluctuation in trade, and their respective wants, that coins were in cannot be hindered ; but assuredly the false vented and made; for were there no coins, proportions may be amended by the legislagold and silver might be made, or left pure; ture, and settled as the proportion between and what we now call a guinea's worth of any gold and silver is in other nations ; so as not thing, might be cut off from gold, and a crown's to make, as now is the case, our coined silver worth from silver, and might serve, though not a merchandise, so much to be preferred to the s0 commodiously as coin.
same silver uncoined. 6. Hence it is evident that in whatever 10. What has been said seems to be selfshape, form, or quality, these metals are, they evident; but the following calculations made are brought to be the most common measure on the present current price of silver and gold, between man and man, as serving to barter may serve to prove beyond all doubt, that the against, or exchange for, all kinds of commo- proportion now fixed between gold and silver dities; and consequently are no more than an should be altered and fixed as in other coununiversal accepted merchandise : for gold and tries. silver in bullion, that is to say in an uncoined By law, 62 shillings are to be coined out of mass, and gold or silver in coin, being of equal one pound, or 12 ounces of standard silver. weight, purity, and fineness, must be of equal | This is 62 pence an ounce. Melt these 62 value, the one to the other : for the stamp on shillings, and in a bar, this pound weight at either of these metals, duly proportioned, nei market will fetch 68 pence an ounce, or 68 ther adds to, nor takes from their intrinsic shillings the pound. The difference therefore value?
between coined and uncoined silver in Great 7. The prices of gold and silver as merchan- Britain is now nine and two thirds per cent. dise, must in all countries, like other commo- Out of a pound or 12 ounces of standard dities, fluctuate and vary according to the de- gold, 44 guineas and } are ordained to be mand; and no detriment can arise therefrom, coined. This is 31. s7s. 101d. an ounce. more than from the rise and fall of any other Now the current market price of standard gold merchandise. But if when ined, a due
pro- is 31. 19s. an ounce, which makes not quite portion of these metals, the one to the other, 11 per cent. difference between the coined be not established, the disproportion will be and uncoined gold. felt and proved; and that metal wherein the The state, out of duties imposed, pays for excess in the proportion is allowed, will pre- the charge of coining, as indeed it oughi: for ferably be made use of, either in exportation, it is for public convenience, as already said, or in manufacture ; as is the case now, in this that coins are made. It is the current market kingdom, in regard to silver coin, and which, price of gold and silver, that must govern the in some measure, is the occasion of its scarcity. carrying it to the mint. It is absurd to think
For so long as 15 ounces and about one fifth any one should send gold to be coined that of pure silver in Great Britain, are ordained, should cost more than 31. 178. 109d. an ounce, and deemed, to be equal to 1 ounce of pure or silver more than 62 pence the ounce: and, gold, whilst in neighbouring states, as France as absurd would it be, to pretend, that those and Holland, the proportion is fixed only 14 prices only shall be the constant invariable and a half ounces of pure silver, to one ounce prices. It is contended that there is not a of pure gold; it is very evident, that our sil- proper proportion fixed in the value of one ver when coined, will always be the most ac- metal to another, and this requires alteration. ceptable merchandise, by near five in the hun- 11. It may be urged, that should the legisdred, and consequently more liable to be taken lature fix the proportion of silver to gold as in a way, or melted down, than before it received other countries, by ordering 65 shillings inthe impression at the mint.
stead of 62 to be cut out of a pound of stand
ard silver ; yet still there would be 4} per in bullion or in coin, is a very narrow princent. difference between coined and uncoin- ciple; all the republics we know of, wisely ed silver ; whereas there is but about 14 per think otherwise. It is an utter impossibility; cent, difference in gold.
nor should it ever be aimed at; for gold and On this we shall observe that the course of silver are as clearly a merchandise, as lead and trade, not to mention extraordinary accidents, tin; and consequently should have a perfect will make one metal more in request at one freedom and liberty,* coined and uncoined, to time than another; and the legislature in no go and to come, pass and repass, from one one particular country, can bias, or prescribe country to another, in the general circulation rules or laws to influence, such demand ; and fluctuation of commerce, which will ever which ever must depend on the great chain of carry a general balance with it: for we things, in which all the operations of this should as soon give our lead, our tin, or any world are linked. Freedom and security only other product of our land or industry to those are wanted in trade: nor does coin require who want them, without an equivalent in more, if a just proportion in the metals be some shape or other, as we should gold or settled.
silver; which it would be absurd to imagine 12. To return to gold: it is matter of sur- can ever be done by our nation, or by any naprise, that the division of the piece called a tion upon earth. guinea, has not been made smaller than just 16. From Spain and Portugal come the one half, as it now is; that is into quarters, greatest part of gold and silver: and the Spathirds, and two thirds. Hereby the want of nish court very wisely permits the exportation silver coin inight be greatly provided for ; and of it on paying a duty, as in great Britain lead those pieces, together with the light silver and tin do, when exported; whereas heretocoin, which can only now remain with us, fore, and as it still continues in Portugal, pewould sufficiently serve the uses in circulation. nal laws were enacted against the sending it
In Portugal, where almost all their coin is out of the country. Surely princes by enactgold, there are divisions of the moedas, or 27 ing such laws, could not think they had it in shilling pieces, into tenths, sixths, quarters, their power to decree and establish that their thirds, halves, and two thirds. Of the moeda subjects, or themselves, should not give an and one third, or 36 shilling piece, into eights, equivalent for what was furnished to them! quarters, and halves.
17. It is not our intention to descend into, 13. That to the lightness of the silver coin or to discuss minutely, particular notions or now remaining in Great Britain, we owe all systems, such'as “ That silver, and not gold the silver coin we now have any person with should be the standard money or coin.” weights and scales, may prove; as upwards " That copper is an unfit material for moof 70 shillings coined in the reign of king ney." William, or dexterously counterfeited by false And “ That paper circulating as, and callcoiners, will scarce weigh 12 ounces, or a ed artificial money is detrimental.” pound troy.
Yet as these doctrines seem to proceed from 14. All the art of man can never hinder a considering bullion, and money, or coin, in a constant exportation and importation of gold different light from what we apprehend and and silver, to make up for the different calls have laid down, we will observe, and balances that may happen in trade : for 18. That it matters not whether silver or were silver to be coined as above, 65 shillings gold be called standard money; but it seems out of a pound troy weight of standard silver; most rational, that the most scarce, and preif those 65 shillings would sell at a price that cious metal, should be the unit or standard. makes it worth while to melt or export them, 19. That as to copper, it is as fit for money they must and will be considered and used as
or a counter, as gold and silver; provided it merchandise : and the same will hold as to be coined of a proper weight and fineness: and gold.
just so much will be useful, as will serve to Though the proportion of about 144 of pure make up small parts in exchanges between silver, to one of pure gold, in neighbouring man and man. states be now fixed, in regard to their coin, 20. That as to paper money, it is far from beand it is submitted such proportion should be ing detrimental; on the contrary, it is highly attended to in this kingdom, yet that propor- profitable, as its quick passing between mantion may be subject to alteration : for this plain reason, that should the silver inines pro- * As a general principle this is unquestionably true; duce a quantity of that metal so as to make but it must be general, or every nation with whom
commerce is extensively carried on, must alike adopt it, it greatly abound more in proportion than it or the principle immediately assumes an exceptionable now does, and the gold mines produce no character; and nations liable 10 he effected by it must more than now they do, more silver must be provide means to counteract the effects of a sudden drain
of the usual circulating medium, because the absence of requisite to purchase gold.
a great quanuity of the medium alters the price of ex. 15. That the welfare of any state depends change of labour, goods, wages, rents, and the relative
exchange of current money, subsistence; and depreci. on its keeping all its gold and silver, either ates all other property.
kind, instead of telling over, or weighing me- eaten than of others, some being of lighter dital in coin, or bullion, is a gain of what is most gestion than others. precious in life, which is time. And there The difficulty lies, in finding out an exact is nothing clearer than that those who must measure ; but eat for necessity, not pleasure ; be concerned in counting and weighing, being for lust knows not where necessity ends. at liberty to employ themselves on other pur- Wouldst thou enjoy a long life, a healthy poses, are an addition of hands in the com- body, and a vigorons mind, and be acquaintmunity.
ed also with the wonderful works of God, laThe idea of the too great extension of cre- bour in the first place to bring thy appetite to dit, by the circulation of paper for money, is reason. evidently as erroneous, as the doctrine of the non-exportation of gold and silver in bulRules for a Club formerly established in Philion or coin: for were it not certain, that paper could command the equivalent of its
ladelphia.* agreed-for value; or that gold and silver in Previous question, to be answered at every meetbullion or coin exported, would be returned in
ing the course of trade in some other merchandise ; Have you read over these queries this neither paper would be used, or the metals ex- morning, in order to consider what you might ported. It is by means of the produce of the have to offer the Junto touching any one of land, and the happy situation of this island, them? viz. joined to the industry of its inhabitants, that 1. Have you met with any thing, in the those much adored metals, gold and silver, author you last read, remarkable, or suitable have been procured : and so long as the sea to be communicated to the Junto? particulardoes not overflow the land, and industry conti- ly in history, morality, poetry, physic, tranues, so long will those metals not be wanting. vels, mechanic arts, or other parts of knowAnd paper in the general chain of credit and ledge ? commerce, is as useful as they are: since the
2. What new story have you lately heard issuers or coiners of that pa per are understood agreeable for telling in conversation ? to have some equivalent to answer for what
3. Hath any citizen in your knowledge fail. the paper is valued at: and no metal or coin ed in his business lately, and what have you can do more than find its value.
heard of the cause? Moreover, as incontestable advantages of 4. Have you lately heard of any citizen's paper, we must add, that the charge of coin- thriving well, and by what means ? ing or making it, is by no means proportion
5. Have you lately heard how any present ate to that of coining of metals: nor is subject rich man, here or elsewhere, got his estate ? to waste by long use, or impaired by adulte. 6. Do you know of a fellow-citizen, who ration, sweating, or filing, as coins may.
has lately done a worthy action, deserving praise and imitation: or who has lately com
mitted an error, proper for us to be warned Rules of Health.-From Poor Richard's Al. against and avoid ? manac, 1742.
7. What unhappy effects of intemperance Eat and drink such an exact quantity as have you lately observed or heard ? of impruthe constitution of thy body allows of, in re- dence? of passion ? or of any other vice or ference to the services of the mind.
folly ? They that study much, ought not to eat so
8. What happy effects of temperance ? of much as those that work hard, their digestion prudence? of moderation ? or of any other being not so good.
virtue? The exact quantity and quality being found 9. Have you or any of your acquaintance out, is to be kept to constantly.
been lately sick or wounded? If so, what Excess in all other things whatever, as well remedies were used, and what were their efas in meat and drink, is also to be avoided.
fects ? Youth, age, and sick, require a different 10. Who do you know that are shortly goquantity.
ing voyages or journies, if one should have And so do those of contrary complexions ; occasion to send by them? for that which is too much for a phlegmatic
11. Do you think of any thing at present, man, is not sufficient for a choleric.
in which Junto may be serviceable to The measure of food ought to be (as much mankind ? to their country, to their friends, as possibly may be) exactly proportionable to or to themselves ? the quality and condition of the stomach, be- * This was an early performance. The club held in cause the stomach digests it.
Philadelphia, was composed of men considerable for That quantity that is sufficient, the stomach their influence and discretion, the chief measures of can perfectly concoct and digest, and it suf- this club, it existed thirty years without the nature of ticeth the due nourishment of the body.
its institution being publicly known. This club gave A greater quantity of some things may be postering to the American Philosophical Society now er
12. Hath any deserving stranger arrived Is self-interest the rudder that steers manin town since last meeting, that you heard kind, the universal monarch to whom all are of? and what have you heard or observed of tributaries? his character or merits ? and whether think Which is the best form of government, and you, it lies in the power of the Junto to oblige what was that form which first prevailed him, or encourage him as he deserves ?
among mankind ? 13. Do you know of any deserving young Can any one particular form of government beginner lately set up, whom it lies in the suit all mankind ? power of the Junto any way to encourage ?
What is the reason that the tides rise higher 14. Have you lately observed any detect in in the Bay of Fundy, than the Bay of Delathe laws of your country, of which it would ware? be proper to move the legislature for an Is the emission of paper-money safe ? amendment? or do you know of any bene- What is the reason that men of the greatest ficial law that is wanting ?
knowledge are not the most happy? 15. Have you lately observed any encroach- How may the possessions of the Lakes be ment on the just liberties of the people ? improved to our advantage ?
16. Hath any body attacked your reputation Why are turnultuous, uneasy sensations, lately? and what can the Junto do towards united with our desires ? securing it?
Whether it ought to be the aim of philoso17. Is there any man whose friendship you phy, to eradicate the passions ? want, and which the Junto, or any of them, How may smoky chimneys be best cured ? can procure for you?
Why does the flame of a candle tend up18. Have you lately heard any member's wards in a spire ? character attacked, and how have you defend- Which is least criminal, a bad action join. ed it!
ed with a good intention, or a good action with 19. Hath any man injured you, from whom a bad intention ? it is in the power of the Junto to procure re
Is it inconsistent with the principles of lidress?
berty in a free government, to punish a man as 20. In what manner can the Junto or any a libeller, when he speaks the truth? of them, assist you in any
your honourable designs ?
Sketch of an English School, for the consi21. Have you any weighty affair in hand,
deration of the Trustees of the Philadel. in which you think the advice of the Junto may be of service?
phia Academy. 22. What benefits have you lately receiv
It is expected that every scholar, to be aded from any man not present ?
mitted into this school, be at least able to pro 23. Is there any difficulty in matters of nounce and divide the syllables in reading, opinion, of justice, and injustice, which you
and to write a legible hand. None to be rewould gladly have discussed at this time?
ceived that are under years of age. 24. Do you see any thing amiss in the pre
First, or lowest Class. sent customs or proceedings of the Junto, Let the first class learn the English gramwhich might be anended ?
mar rules, and at the same time let particular Any person to be qualified, to stand up, and care be taken to improve them in orthography. lay his hand on his breast, and be asked these Perhaps the latter is best done by pairing the questions, viz.
scholars : two of those nearest equal in their 1. Have you any particular disrespect to spelling to be put together. Let these strive any present members ? - Answer. I have not. for victory; each propounding ten words every
2. Do you sincerely declare, that you love day to the other to be spelled. He that spells mankind in general ; of what profession or re- truly most of the other's words is victor for ligion soever?- Answer. I do.
that day; he that is victor most days in a 3. Do you think any person ought to be month, to obtain a prize, a pretty neat book harmed in his body, name, or goods, for mere of some kind, useful in their future studies. speculative opinions, or his external way of This method fixes the attention of children worship? - Answer. No.
extremely to the orthography of words, and 4. Do you love truth for truth's sake, and makes them good spellers very early. It is a will you endeavour impartially to find and re-share for a man to be so ignorant of this litceive it yourself and communicate it to tle art, in his own language, as to be perpetuothers ?- Answer. Yes.
ally confounding words of like sound and different significations; the consciousness of
which defect makes some men, otherwise of Questions discussed by the Club.
good learning and understanding, averse to Is sound an entity or body?
writing even a common letter. How may the phenomena of vapours be Let the pieces read by the scholars in this explained ?
class be short; such as Croxall's fables, and Vol. II. ...3 L