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than if it were all new coined, as is proposed, one-fifth lighter. For whence should the profit arise more in the one than the other ? But Mr. Lowndes goes upon this supposition; That standard bullion is now worth six shillings and five-pence an ounce of milled money, and would continue to sell for six shillings and five-pence the ounce, if our money were all weighty milled money: both which I take to be mistakes, and think I have proved them to be so.
3. He says, “ It is hoped that the exchange to Holland may be kept at a stand, or at least from falling much lower." I hope so too. But how that concerns this argument, or the coining of the money upon a new foot, I do not see.
4. He says, p. 73," There is a great difference, with regard to the service or disservice of the public, between carrying out bullion, or coin for necessary uses, or for prohibiting commodities.” The gain to the exporters, which is that which makes them melt it down and export it, is the same in both cases. And the necessity of exporting it is the same. debts, which there is an equal necessity of paying, when once contracted, though for useless things. They are the goldsmiths and dealers in silver, that usually export what silver is sent beyond sea, to pay the debts they have contracted by their bills of exchange. But those dealers in exchange seldom know, or consider, how they, to whom they give their bills, have, or will employ, the money they receive upon those bills. Prohibited commodities, it is true, should be kept out, and useless ones impoverish us by being brought in. But this is the fault of our importation : and there the mischief should be cured by laws, and our way of living. For the exportation of our treasure is not the cause of their importation, but the consequence. Vanity and luxury spends them: that gives them vent here: that vent causes their importation : and when our merchants have brought them, if our commodities will not be enough, our money must go to pay for them. But what this paragraph' has in it against continuing our
For it is to pay
coin upon the present foot, or for making our coin lighter, I confess here again, I do not see.
It is true what Mr. Lowndes observes here, the importation of gold, and the going of guineas at 30s. has been a great prejudice and loss to the kingdom. But that has been wholly owing to our clipped money, and not at all to our money being coined at five shillings and two-pence the ounce; nor is the coining our money lighter the cure of it. The only remedy for that mischief, as well as a great many others, is the putting an end to the passing of clipped money by tale, as if it were lawful coin.
5. His fifth head, p. 74, is to answer those, who hold, that, by the lessening our money one-fifth, all people, who are to receive money upon contracts already made, will be defrauded of twenty per cent. of their due: and thus all men will lose one-fifth of their settled revenues, and all men, that have lent money, one-fifth of their principal and use. move this objection, Mr. Lowndes says, that silver in England is grown scarce, and consequently dearer, and so is of higher price. Let us grant for the present, it is of higher price (which how he makes out, I shall examine by and by). This, if it were so, ought not to annul any man's bargain, nor make him receive less in quantity than he lent. He was to receive again the same sum, and the public authority was guarantee, that the same sum should have the same quantity of silver, under the same denomination. And the reason is plain, why in justice he ought to have the same quantity of silver again, notwithstanding any pretended rise of its value. For if silver had grown more plentiful, and by consequence (by our author's rule) cheaper, his debtor would not have been compelled, by the public authority, to have paid him, in consideration of its cheapness, a greater quantity of silver than they contracted for. Cocoa-nuts were the money of a part of America, when we first came thither. Suppose then you had lent me last year 300, or fifteen score cocoa-nuts, to be repaid this year, would
be satisfied, and think yourself paid your due, if I should tell you, cocoa-nuts were scarce this year, and that fourscore were of as much value this year as a hundred the last; and that therefore you were well and fully paid, if I restored to you only 240 for the 300 I borrowed ? Would you not think yourself defrauded of two-thirds of your right by -such a payment? Nor would it make any amends for this to justice, or reparation to you, that the public had (after your contract, which was made for fifteen score) altered the denomination of score, and applied it to sixteen instead of twenty. Examine it, and you
will find this just the case, and the loss proportionable in them both; that is, a real loss of twenty per cent. As to Mr. Lowndes's proofs, that silver is now onefifth more value than it was, and therefore a man has right done him, if he receive one-fifth less than his contract, I fear none of them will reach Mr. Lowndes's point. He saith, p. 77,“ By daily experience nineteen penny-weights, and three-tenths of a penny-weight of sterling silver, which is just the weight of a crownpiece, will purchase more coined money than five unclipped shillings.” I wish he had told us where this daily experience he speaks of is to be found: for I dare say nobody hath seen a sum of unclipped shillings paid for bullion any where these twelve months, to go no further back.
In the next place, I wish he had told us how much more than five lawful milled shillings bullion of the weight of a crown-piece will purchase. If he had said it would purchase six shillings and three-pence weighty money, he had proved the matter in question. And whoever has the weight of a crown in silver paid him in Mr. Lowndes's new coin, instead of six shillings and three-pence of our present money, has no injury done him, if it will certainly purchase him six shillings and three-pence all unclipped, of our present money. But every one, at first sight, perceives this to be impossible, as I have already proved it. I have in this the concurrence of Mr. Lowndes's new scheme, to prove it to be so. For, p. 62, he proposes that his silver unit,
, having the weight and fineness of a present unclipped
crown-piece, should go for 75 pence; and that the present shilling should go for 15 pence; by which establishment there will be 75 pence in his unit, and 93 pence three-farthings in six shillings and threepence, weighty money of the present coin; which is an undeniable confession, that it is as impossible for his silver unit, having no more silver in it than a present unclipped crown, to be worth, and so to purchase, six unclipped shillings and three-pence of our present money; as it is for 75 pence to be worth 93 of the same pence, or 75 to be equal to 93.
If he means by more, that his sterling silver of the weight of a crown-piece will purchase a penny, or two-pence more than five unclipped shillings, which is the most, and which is but accidental too; what is this rise of its value to 15 pence? And what amends will one-sixtieth (a little more or less) rise in value, make for one-fifth diminished in weight, and lost in quantity? which is all one as to say, that a penny, or thereabouts, shall make amends for fifteen-pence taken away.
Another way to recommend his new coin to those who shall receive it, instead of the present weightier coin, he tells them, p. 77, it will pay as much debt, and purchase as much commodities, as our present money, which is one-fifth heavier : what he says of debts is true. But yet I would have it well considered by our English gentlemen, that though creditors will lose onefifth of their principal and use, and landlords will lose one-fifth of their income, yet the debtors and tenants will not get it. It will be asked, who then will get it? Those, I say, and those only, who have great sums of weighty money (whereof one sees not a piece now in payments) hoarded up by them, will get by it. To those, by the proposed change of our money, will be an increase of one-fifth added to their riches, paid out of the pockets of the rest of the nation. For what these men received for four shillings, they will pay again for five. This weighty money hoarded up, Mr. Lowndes, p. 105, computes at one million and six hundred thousand pounds. So that, by raising our money one-fifth, there will three hundred and twenty thousand pounds
be given to those, who have hoarded up our weighty money; which hoarding up of money is thought by many to have no other merit in it, than the prejudicing our trade and public affairs, and increasing our necessities, by keeping so great a part of our money from coming abroad, at a time when there was so great need of it. If the sum of unclipped money in the nation be, as some suppose, much greater; then there will, by this contrivance of the raising our coin, be given to these rich hoarders much above the aforesaid sum of three hundred and twenty thousand pounds of our present money. Nobody else, but these hoarders, can get a farthing by this proposed change of our coin ; unless men in debt have plate by them, which they will coin to pay their debts. Those too, I must confess, will get one-fifth by all the plate of their own, which they shall coin and pay debts with, valuing their plate at bullion; but if they shall consider the fashion of their plate, what that cost when they bought it, and the fashion that new plate will cost them, if they intend ever to have plate again, they will find this one-fifth seeming present profit, in coining their plate to pay their debts, amounts to little or nothing at all. Nobody then but the hoarders will get by this twenty per cent.; and I challenge any one to show, how any body else (but that little in the case of plate coined to pay debts) shall get a farthing by it. It seems to promise fairest to the debtors: but to them too it will amount to nothing; for he, that takes up money to pay his debts, will receive this new money, and
pay it again at the same rate he received it, just as he does now our present coin, without any profit at all; and though commodities (as is natural) shall be raised, in proportion to the lessening of the money, nobody will get by that, any more than they do now, when all things are grown dearer; only he that is bound up by contract to receive any sum, under such a denomination of pounds, shillings, and pence, will find his loss sensibly, when he goes to buy commodities, and make new bargains. The markets and the shops will soon convince him, that his money, which is one-fifth