A REVIEW OF THE Universal Remedy FOR ALL DISEASES Incident to COIN.

WITH Application to our Present Circumstances.

In a Letter to Mr. Locke.

LONDON, Printed for A. and I. Churchill, at the Black-Swan in Pater-noster-Row. 1696.

Ex Hist. Mat. Paris. Ad Annum 1248.—32 H. 3.

IPsis quoque diebus Moneta Angliae per detestabiles tonsores & falsarios adeo intolerabiliter est corrupta, quod non indigenae vel etiam alienigenae eam oculo recto vel illaeso corde poterant intueri. Circumcidebatur enim fere usque ad interiorem circulum, limbo li­terato totaliter vel delero, vel enormiter deturpato. Praeceptum est igitur voce praeconia in Civitatibus, Burgis, Nundinis, & Foris, ex parte domini Regis, ne quis denarius nisi legitimi ponderis, & circularis formae acciperetur, nec quoquo modo à vendente vel emen­te, vel commutante acceptaretur, punirenturque hujusmodi praecepti transgressores.

In English thus.

IN those Days the Money of England was so intolerably abu­sed, by detestable Clippers and False-Coiners, that nei­ther the English Inhabitants, nor even Foreigners, could look upon it unconcernedly, and without Vexation. For it was clip'd almost to the innermost Ring, and the Border of Let­ters either wholly taken away, or very much diminish'd. Whereupon Proclamation was made in all Cities, Burrows, Markets, and Faires, that no Piece of Coin should be received, or pass, either in buying, selling, or Exchange, unless it were of lawful Weight, and of circular Form; And that the Trans­gressors of this Proclamation should be punished.



I Am assured that amongst the least of your Observations, upon the various Dispositions of Mens Minds, you have oft remarked (nay you have indeed exprest the same thing in the Preface to your excellent Essay) how a little difference in the turn of a Thought, or change in the manner of expressing the same Proposition, is apt to produce a different effect upon our Un­derstandings; and that what appears evident Truth to one Man, in his way of conceiving it, does many times, by the clothing of some Phrase, seem as evident Absurdity to another. It is not only with the Eye of our Mind, as with those of our Body, in that a different situation occasioning [Page 4] a different Reflection of Light from the same Ob­ject, represents it to us under different Colours: But there seems to me a real difference in our in­tellectual Faculties, nay even greater than in our outward Senses. And this, I say, from whence­soever it arises, is certainly within our selves. The same Truth, in the same Point de veiie, does not al­ways (nay perhaps it does very seldom) strike the Minds of different Men in the same manner.

I intreat you, Sir, be not offended at my of­fering you such obvious Considerations, and such as I acknowledg also to be your own, in the en­trance of my Letter. For I intend to do the same thing throughout: Yet nevertheless I premise this as an Apology for the rest.

There is no Man, I think, that wishes well to his Country who is not deeply afflicted with the intolerable Inconveniencies we at present lie un­der, and the yet more threatning Prospect that lies before us, from the late and present disorders in our Coin. But it is not without some wonder, when I consider with what Demonstration you have proposed the only and the infallible Reme­dy for this Evil, that I observe how little that Remedy has been practised; nay how little a great many Men whose honest Intentions for the Weal of England I have no reason to mistrust, are yet sensible of its Virtues. The neglect of that Re­medy, and the Dissatisfaction of those worthy Men about it, makes me think it no improper task for me to try, if by exposing your Thoughts on this Matter in any different Light, I can render them more discernable to such Eyes as were not sitted to receive the Rays of Truth that have is­sued directly from your own Mind. This is the [Page] end of my writing, which I hope all Men will up­on the first proposal of it allow to be honest: How pertinently or impertinently I shall perform what I aim at, must be judged when I have done. In the mean while I presume to address unto you this Letter (which I intend for the Publick) be­cause it is from you that I have received the Ground of all that I am capable to say upon the Subject. And when I make this fair acknowledg­ment, I hope neither you nor any one will call me Plagiary.

The Ground of all I call this Fundamental Axiom, That two Ounces of Silver of equal fineness are intrinsically (I mean without any consideration had of the Workmanship bestow'd upon them) of equal Value. I have indeed received much more than this from you: But this alone careful­ly attended to, I conceive sufficient to guide Mens Thoughts through all the seeming Intrica­cies that perplex this Matter. Yet if, in wri­ting I my self happen not to observe with due exactness, the Rule that I now prescribe to my self, I do by no means intend (by inscribing your Name) to impute unto you my Errors. Those (if I fall into any) will be wholly my own. Your Foundation is sure: And whether my Superstru­cture be strong or weak, it will be easily perceived, by those that take never so little Pains to exa­mine it.

The present Circumstances in which we now stand this Month of August 1696, appear to me to be thus. The greatest part of the Clipt Mo­ney that troubled us some Months ago, has been called in. I am told, that the total Sum hitherto lodg'd in the Exchequer, amounts in Tale to about [Page] five Millions. There has been now coined out of it, in new weighty Mill'd Money, near upon, or much about a Million and a half. The Loss up­on the Reduction of clip'd Money into weighty, has been very near half in half: I will therefore reckon it so. The old unclipt hammer'd Money that was remaining in the Nation at the Time of calling in the Clipt, (if we consider how far it has of late supplied the whole business of Markets and small Paiments throughout all England) we can hardly compute at less than two Millions. The old Mill'd Money, (considering that this hammer'd Money comes out of Hoards, and that who-ever made such a Hoard would certainly make it of the best he could) may very rational­ly be concluded to be more: But because we see not much of it appear (tho I take the Reason of that Obscurity to lie in the inequality yet remain­ing in our Coin, as I shall endeavour all along to make evident) I will reckon it less; And lest I should have exceeded in my first Conjecture, I put for this only one Million. So that, however, these two Species, unclipt hammer'd Money, and old Mill'd Money, yet remaining in England, may very fairly be esteemed to amount to three Mil­lions.

The inundation of Guineas that we had a­mongst us last Winter, whilst they went at 30 s. may be thus computed. It appears by the Regi­sters of the Mint, that since the first striking of that Coin, in 1663, there have been coined of them (I know not the Total Sum exactly, but I am sure) considerably above seven Millions; which reckoning them at 22 s. a piece, makes above eight Millions of Pounds of currant Money. I [Page] take it for granted, that they had not then been much exported in a way of Trade; because it had never been profitable to do it, but always profitable to bring them back. What were ex­ported at any time, was chiefly by Souldiers and Travellers, in small Sums, for their Expences, which could not amount to much. But whatever, were in any manner exported, excepting to Pla­ces very remote, or what have been melted down beyond-sea, we may be assured were all brought back again hither, by the Lure of that imagina­ry Value which we then put upon them. Let us however allow largely (as I would in all Com­putations that are only conjectural) for those that we have been so deprived of: Say it were two Millions; tho that be very improbable. It follows then, that we had the last Winter at least six Millions in Guineas amongst us. The great Flush of them that every Body saw, would make one think there had been more: But this I am sure, they were so many that they alone ser­ved with great Plenty, and even Superfluity, for all our Currant Payments.

That they have not since that time been car­ried beyond-sea in a way of Trade, may be evi­dent to any Man that will take the pains to com­pute their Price in Holland, and the Rate of the Exchange here. I will do it once, for the satis­faction of those that are not accustomed to this sort of Computation. The latest Account that I have heard of the Price of Guineas in Holland (not many Weeks ago) was eleven Guilders twelve Stivers, in their Currant Money, which is about 5 per Cent. worse than their Paiments in Bank. The Rate of the Exchange from hence to [Page 8] Amsterdam, paying the value of the Bill here in legal Money, has of late been between 33 and 34 Shillings Flemish per Pound Sterling, payable there in Bank. Now let us compute one hundred Gui­neas, which are here one hundred and ten Pounds: And let us take the lowest Rate of the Exchange, 33 Shillings.

This 110 l. remitted to Amster­dam by Exchange, at 33 Shillings, will produce there, in Bank10890000
To which must be added the dif­ference between Bank and Cur­rant Money, about 5 per Cent.54900
So that by Exchange, 100 Guineas would make in Currant Money there.1143900
The other way, 100 Guineas sent over in Specie, and changed for Currant Money, at 11 Guild. 12 st. make11600000
But from this must be deducted, for Fraight and Ensurance, at least 3 per Cent.341600
So that by sending thither 100 Guineas in Specie, they would make in Currant Money1125400

Thus it is evident, that he who sends one hun­dred Guineas over into Holland, in Specie, whilst the Price and Rate stand thus, receives 18 Guil­ders 5 Stivers less than he who remits 100 Guineas thither by Exchange; that is, he loses so much by [Page 9] the Adventure. And therefore, I say, it is certain that no Man does now send any thither, upon ac­count of private Benefit. And whoever takes the pains to examine into those Rates and Prices backwards, for all this Interval since last Winter, by the same way of Computation, will find it as evident, that hitherto no considerable Quantities can have been sent. Nay, even without any Computation, all intelligent Merchants were sen­sible all along, by the continued Course of Ex­change, that it was impossible any such thing could have been done. For the Alterations in Exchange are no less sensible upon the Plenty or Scarcity of Money, than the rising or falling of Water in a River is, upon the flowing or ebbing of the Tide.

If therefore no considerable number of Gui­neas have been exported since last Winter, in Trade, for private Advantage; it remains only that we allow for what have been exported for the Charge of the War: Which, considering how little Money the King has really had for Use, out of the Supplies intended him the last Session of Parliament, (whatever be the full Estimate of that Charge) can by no means be judged to amount to one Million: No, nor half a Million; at least, not in Guineas. But however, let us call it a Million: It follows still that we have five Millions remaining in Guineas: Which with the Million and half (or thereabouts) of Mill'd Money newly recoin'd, exceeds the Sum (whatever it was) that no longer ago than last Winter, made all our Payments abundantly easy. Or if instead of this Consideration of our past Ease founded upon the sufficiency of Guineas for all our Payments, we chuse to look back upon the clip'd Money, that [Page 10] not long before supplied all our Occasions (for it is evident it did so; Before the Rise of Gui­neas nothing else appeared, nay nothing but the very worst of it) we may certainly conclude from the Sum carried into the Exchequer (about five Millions) that the Total Sum of what then pass'd, was much short of our present Stock of Guineas and new Mill'd Money. So that either way, the three Millions of old Mill'd Money, and weighty Hammer'd Money, before mentioned, (be it more or less) may be reckon'd, as it is in reality, so much superfluous Treasure.

But to make up the Computation of our present Stock of National Wealth, I must add also the clipt Money that lies yet in the Exchequer un­coin'd; Which, it is evident by the foregoing Computations, will amount to about one Million more, when recoin'd. The Clip'd Money in pri­vate Hands, not yet brought in, should also here be added. And likewise the Plate of Publick Houses, with no small Quantity in Private Hou­ses too: For if there were a Stock prepared to exchange it, a very considerable Value of Plate would infallibly be brought into the Mint without delay. But as I have no ground whereon to build a Conjecture upon those Heads with any Solidity, I therefore leave them undecided. However, from this whole Computation (tho it cannot be pretended to be exact, yet I think it so near the Matter, that) we may certainly conclude the Stock of our present Coin, (without comprehending our Plate, and Bullion) to be at this Day abundantly more than what might barely suffice for our Com­merce, Markets, and Expences, and might make all manner of Payments easy.

[Page 11]I see here only one Objection. Some may be apt to say, that neither our Clip'd Money, nor Guineas did suffice, either of them alone, for our currant Paiments; Because a currant Credit in Bills of several kinds did then serve for more than both of them together. It is true; but to this I answer, The same Credit ought to be com­puted still: For tho in effect it is at present less, yet before I have done, I shall not spare to offer what in my Opinion would make it as intire and large as ever. And therefore I shall at present go on with what Considerations offer themselves to my Thoughts in relation to our Coin, properly so called.

And thus what I have said, of the sufficiency of our present Stock of Coin for our present Occasions, I think, is unquestionably true: Yet nevertheless we all feel, and deeply groan under the Sense of an Effect directly contrary. Pay­ments are so far from being made easily, that there are scarce any made at all. Some little Money indeed is stirring in this City, which sup­plies the Markets, serves to purchase things abso­lutely necessary, and pays the Price of Day-La­bour, that could not be had without it: But in greater Paiments there is a general Stop. And that Obstruction naturally makes the Money which should circulate in the lesser Channels that I have now named, flow more slowly than were necessary for the general Health of the Body: Nay as those Channels lie some of them at great­er distance than others from this City, the Heart and Spring of Life and Motion, so the Faintness and Want of Spirits in the Counties is still more grievous.

[Page 12]These things, I say, are so very notorious, that it is wholly needless to spend any time in the De­scription of them. The only thing that I esteem useful (worth either my Pains to write, or any Body's patience to read) is what may tend in some manner to their Redress. But that I may be able to propose the Remedy with any Evidence, it is now absolutely necessary for me to examine a little into the Rise of the Mischief.

How the first Rise of all these Inconveniencies was from the Clipping of our old Hammer'd Mo­ney, and the Currency given to it when Clip'd, tho no Body seems to doubt, yet the perplexity Men are in about the Cure, makes it needful for me a little to demonstrate.

This, Sir, was the first infringement of your unalterable Rule. It made an inequality in the Intrinsick Value of different pieces of our Coin, which passed still under the same Denomination: An Absurdity easily remarkable; A Force upon Nature which could not hold. And what were the Consequences of it? Nature wrought still in her own Methods. At Home, whilst no Remedy was applied, the Corruption spread, the Disease in­creased. The observable inequality in the real Value of different Pieces, which had a false (yet currant) Estimate put upon them, made some Men proceed still further in clipping the Broad; others melt down, and every Body hoard up the Heavy: So that in the end, we had nothing but Clip'd Money (I speak all along of Silver) pro­digiously clip'd, to the Diminution of above half the Value, that passed amongst us. And as the Body of the Nation labour'd more and more un­der this Uneasiness, it began to seek for Ease (if [Page 13] I may use the Metaphor) by shifting of Postures. Is there no Remedy (said the Tradesman) to be had from any publick Physician? But must the weight of Sixpence pass to me in Tale for a Shil­ling? I'll find out what shall make me easy, at least, tho it do not cure the Disease. In propor­tion, as ill Men go on in clipping our Money, and all Men in making use of it, I'll endeavour by the same degrees to raise the Price of my Commodities, and so be even with them all at once. He did it so in effect; Every Body did so; And the Price of every thing rose apparently. Even Gold it self, tho it kept its former proportion to Silver, yet rose in the same manner, in propor­tion to the Coin then currant. Nay, what seems very paradoxical, Silver was ordinarily said (and 'tis incredible how ordinarily it was believed) to rise too, in proportion to it self. Thus the Admission of one Absurdity drew on innumera­ble others. But in the mean while, what was our real Case? Since we were so inadvertant as not to understand it our selves, we might have learnt it from our Neighbours.

Foreigners were not imposed upon by our Mis­takes: They considered not the Nominal, but Real Value of our Coin; and sold us their Commodities too at proportionable Rates. But especially they taught us the true Estimate of our imaginary Riches, by the Course of Exchange be­tween their Money and ours. Exchange I may call the Ballance both of Money and Trade, be­tween all Nations that have Commerce with one another. This Ballance may fluctuate a while upon every little jog that it receives; But upon the least Addition of more weight into one Scale [Page 14] than another, it will certainly incline or fall down on the heavier side, and show what the Difference is. Thus by the Course of Exchange between them and us, for a long while together (rating their Money, in the Exchange of it, still more and more, in proportion as they found that we diminished ours) they shewed us as visibly as the Sun at Noon-day, that however we might esteem our selves Rich, and increased with Goods, and to have need of nothing, yet in Truth we were Wretched, and Miserable, and Poor, and Blind, and Naked.

This Scripture-Expression sutes so luckily (I had like to have said unluckily) to our Circum­stances, that it were easy from thence to draw a Comment, with Application to our National Estate, much larger than what I intend to write upon this whole Subject. But I proceed. The Alterations that ever happen in the Rate of Ex­change, between one Nation and another, consi­dered meerly as arising from the different value of their Coin, either in respect of Weight or Fine­ness, I take to be of little consequence to either Nation, any longer than till by Trial and Compu­tations on both sides that difference is found out and known. Till that be done, the quickest Observers on both sides have indeed Opportuni­ties of making Advantages of other Mens Inad­vertency. But this can last but for a small while; nor can it ever amount to so much as to be of any great Moment to the whole. The real value of Coin (that is, the quantity of Silver that is in it) is quickly known, and grows insensibly (even without any distinct knowledg of it in the gene­rality of Traders) to be the Rule of Commerce [Page 15] between one Nation and another. And when that is once in this manner settled, I say the Con­sequence of it seems to me to be no more than as two opposite Looking-Glasses that mutually re­flect each other's Figure. This Nation is made to know the true Value of its Money, by the Esti­mate put upon it by the other: And that other is made to know the same thing, by the Estimate put upon its Money by this. Neither Nation is either richer or poorer by the Denomination they give to their Pieces or Sums. When it is known how many of the lesser value in this Na­tion, are equal to one of the greater in the other, that number is called the Par. There the Bal­lance left to it self will stand; And can only rise or fall, on either side, as it receives accidental Jogs from the change of Circumstances in Trade, State, or whatever else brings Plenty or Want of Money to either side.

This shews (by the way) that neither the clip­ping of our Money (if all had been clip'd equal­ly) would have done the collective Body of the Nation (considered singly as one Man) any great harm; nor would that which some Men call the raising of our Coin have done us any good. Fo­reigners would have estimated it only by its Weight and Fineness; And in all occasions of Ex­change, allowed us more or less of theirs in due proportion. So that however one particular Man amongst us might out-wit, over-reach, rob, or plunder another, the whole Body of the Na­tion (I say) with respect to the rest of the World round about us, would have been neither richer nor poorer by the Matter.

[Page 16]What was it then that has done us the Mischief that we complain of? The thing is so evident, that it is an Astonishment to me how any one can ask the Question. Yet 'tis certain that many do: And as certain that others resolve it, with as lit­tle Reason as these ask it. I would have those that are yet in doubt upon this Point, first, ask themselves if they can conceive any diffe­rence in the intrinsick Value of two pieces of Silver that are of equal Weight and Fineness; abstracting from the consideration of the Work­manship, as I have laid down your Axiom for my Foundation. If they can say to themselves in their own Minds, that they do conceive such a Difference, I would be glad they would tell me wherein it lies: But if they find that difficult to explain, and yet nevertheless persist in fancying that they conceive it still, I advise them fairly to lay by this Paper, and trouble themselves no fur­ther with what I shall write. For their way of conceiving things, and mine, are so very unlike each other, that I am sure it is impossible for ei­ther of us to comprehend what the other means. All our Discourses (tho in never so plain English) would be mutually eternal Gibberish to one ano­thers Understanding. But if they acknowledg themselves convinced, that indeed there neither is nor can be any such Difference; but that one Ounce of Silver will be always intrinsically of the same Value as another Ounce of the same Fine­ness; Then let them go on to ask themselves if two Half-ounces (I mean always of the same Fineness) be not also of equal Value to one whole Ounce. They must of necessity answer this affirmatively: Yet let us put it still plainer. Are not two Six­pences [Page 17] (as first coined) equal in Value to one Shil­ling? Yes. Is not one Shilling, clipt to the weight of a Sixpence, diminish'd half its Value? Yes. Is not one intire Sixpence equal in Value to one such clip'd Shilling? Yes. Is not one intire Shilling equal in Value (neither more nor less) to two such clip'd Shillings? Yes. I hope no Body will be offended with these trivial Questions: If they are, I must desire them to lay the Blame upon those that are yet doubtful about such trivial and clear things. For the whole Mystery of the Mischief we now inquire after, is in effect no more than a false An­swer to those easy demands; and I think can be no way better explained than by laying it barely open.

Thus it happen'd: We tacitely determined by our general Practice, that a clip'd Shilling was of equal Value to an unclip'd One. Our National Eyes were blinded to that absurd Degree: But some particular Men saw much clearer in their own private Concernments. What follow'd? We have seen already how the Price of all Commo­dities, both Foreign and Domestick, were raised upon it. But how did our Money-mongers, those whose chief Commodity was Money it self, be­have themselves in this Conjuncture? They were acute enough to see the publick Error: Their Furnace and their Scales had taught them the real Value of the Money they managed; so that they could not be deluded with false Names. How far some of them have contributed to the Delu­sion of other People, tho it be past all doubt, yet I cannot say it is too obvious. The honestest among them (for in all Estates of Men, there are degrees of Comparison) since we were Fools [Page 18] enough to accept of half an Ounce of Silver for a whole Ounce, paid away upon all Occasions their Money of that size, and hoarded up the more weighty Pieces to be made use of as future Oc­casions should advise. Had they all stopt here, and gone no further, we could not in those Cir­cumstances have much blamed them; nay per­haps we ought not to have done it at all. But the Ground on which they stood was a declining Plain; and so slippery, that it was hard for them to hold their footing. Who that had a Hoard of weighty Money lying useless by him, and found Chapmen that would buy it of him for a greater Sum in Tale, which he could immediately pay away again as if each Piece had been equal to that of his own in Value; I say, who is it that in such an Occasion would refrain from so profitable a Trade? Very many, I am sure, on less Occa­sions than this, are apt to solve their own Scru­ples, with a Qui vult decipi decipiatur. But who­ever they were that remained thus scrupulous, I am sure the Practice became general: And the facility of it enabled the Clippers (who, by the way, are Money-mongers too, tho I would not confound them with those that I first designed by that Name) to carry on a practice yet more un­justifiable. This practice of buying weighty Mo­ney, (which could not have been done if there had not been Sellers) and then clipping it, grew in the end so notorious, that the Parliament thought fit, in their Wisdom, to forbid the sel­ling of any Species of our Silver Coin for any more (in Tale) than it was first coined for.

But did this Prohibition, tho by Act of Parli­ament, cure the Evil? Alas, no. The forbidden [Page 19] Fruit was of too luscious a Relish to be so easily re­linquished: It was not in the Power of any Paper­spell to stop the spreading Gangrene. The Trade of buying and selling of weighty and clip'd Silver-money slacken'd perhaps a little; but the Ex­change of Gold for Silver came in the Place of it. A Guinea sold for 22 broad Shillings, when it was worth more clipt ones, answered the end of both Buyer and Seller (in which they mutually understood each other without ever a word speak­ing) altogether as well, and was a Practice with­out the reach of the Law. Or however that Trade were carried on, it is certain that the more per­nicious Trade of Clipping increased. Whether any of the former Sellers became Clippers them­selves, or entred only into closer Combination with those that were so before, I cannot tell. But 'tis certain, I say, that clip'd Money daily increa­sed upon us; and that such an increase of it could not be made without great Support, great Dili­gence, and great Numbers both of Workmen and Managers.

Nay, even this is not yet all. When our broad and weighty hammer'd Money, (by the Diminu­tion of all that fell into these artful Mens Hands) became so rare, that there was scarce any mat­ter left wherewithal to carry on the Clipping Trade any longer, then the Art of Coining was taken into Alliance with it. Whatever parity our Laws have made in the Punishment of those two Offences, they were formerly in themselves very different, and (in some sense) even incon­sistent with one another. Not only a Plated piece (which was the chief sort of false Coin) could not be clip'd with any Profit; but if it were so, [Page 20] the second Cheat served to discover the first. But now our Stupidity, in receiving Money that was visibly clip'd, as if it had been intire, taught both these Artists a new Method of improving their own Trade. It was but coining new Pieces (which they could do with all the appearance of Antiquity) either of Standard Silver, or so lit­tle worse, as was not visible to the Eye, and af­terwards clipping them: Their profit was suffici­ent. By this Conjunction of Industry, the Work was carried on more effectually than ever. How much of our old Mill'd Money was melted down for this Service, I know not; but certainly some. And if a more effectual stop had not in the end been put to this rotation of Melting, and Clip­ping, and Coining, and then Clipping, and Melt­ing, and Coining again, we should infallibly by degrees have had all the Silver in the Nation turn'd into Shillings of the weight of Three­pences, or other Pieces in the same proportion. But, now I reflect on't, what a stock of Riches would this have been? Certainly much greater in Tale than ever England was master of. Nay, if once the Arbitrary Denomination of a piece of Silver (as you, Sir, have fully manifested) had had this Charm to make Threepence become a Shilling, it might as well have gone on to convert it into a Crown, or a Pound, nay multiply it in infinitum, more than ever the Cheats of Alchimy it self have pretended to. But every one sees the ridiculousness of this Conceit; and that we should have been no richer in reality for many Millions of Maravedis than for a few Hundreds of our an­tient Pounds Sterling.

[Page 21]However now methinks it should seem evident in a good degree, that the Rise, and Spring, and Root of all this Mischief, consisted singly in the facility given to the Currency of clip'd Money. We forgot that one Ounce was equal to another, and that two Half-ounces were equal to one whole one: And so being content to take halves for wholes, we were put upon accordingly. But if any remain yet doubtful, either of the Thing, or of the Mischief that ensued upon it, let them reflect a little upon the Consequences that this In­equality in our Silver Coin had also upon our Gold; and I hope they will be then convinced.

When our Silver was become generally dimi­nished, and our Gold remained intire; it was a thing too obvious not to be observed by every one, that a piece of Gold (a Guinea) that had been se­veral Years together currant at 21 s. 6 d. whilst our Silver was undiminish'd; I say, it was impos­sible not to observe that this Guinea ought now to bear a greater Proportion in Tale, to our di­minish'd Silver Coin, according as by the Dimi­nution of that Coin, there was grown between it and the Guinea a greater disproportion in real Value. And what could be the Consequence of this Observation? The Nature of the thing shews whither it inevitably tended. The Consequence could be no other but that Men would either hoard up Gold, (as I have shewn they did weighty Silver) or sell it for more diminish'd pieces of Silver than it was worth of weighty ones. And thus in effect it happen'd. Guineas rose by degrees to pass for 25, 28, and 30 s. of our diminish'd Shillings.

Now let us take a general View of the state of our Money-matters at that time. We had Gui­neas, [Page 22] as they were first coined, undiminished. We had also some Quantities of old broad Gold, of several sorts; which being also undiminished, kept its sixt proportion in esteem to the Estimate put upon Guineas, as it had always done. As the one rose, so the other rose; only with this difference: The pieces of broad Gold, of the same sort, being not so exactly equal with one another as were the Guineas; nor the weighty Pieces amongst them knowable by the Eye from the Light; this made the use of Scales necessary in receiving of them. And that trouble of weighing this broad Gold made Guineas a little more acceptable, because Payments were made with them more easily. Yet this alone, though it changed nothing in the real Value of either, (nor could it whilst the use of Scales preserved invio­lably their first proportions) was sufficient to make great Quantities of that broad Gold be car­ried to the Mint, and coined into Guineas. It did it accordingly; not for any real Advantage that accrued to any Body thereby, but meerly for the sake of a little Ease and Conveniency. At the same time, whilst Gold continued thus fix'd, one piece of it in respect to another, the Silver Coin that remained amongst us (as has already been observed) was very different. We may divide it, in our Consideration, into Mill'd Mo­ney, which was evidently in the state in which it had been first coined; and old hammer'd Money, whereof some was a little diminished by wearing, but the far greater part of it very much dimi­nished, tho in very different Degrees, by clip­ping. And now it is time to enquire into the fur­ther Consequences of this great inequality of our [Page 23] Silver Coin, with respect to the first equality of our Gold.

We have seen how in Silver it self, the Inequa­lity caused Culling, and Melting, and Coining, and Clipping; Mischiefs, one would think, bad enough. But in Gold, the Consequences were yet more fatal. When Guineas were risen to 30 s. a piece, and the broad Gold in proportion, then all the old Hoards were brought out; every Bo­dy was ready to put away what Gold they had, at so advantagious a Price. But when that Profit was once made, when the old Hoard was once changed, with most Men there was an end of it. Few understood the Art how to repeat the same Profit in a perpetual Circle. That belonged only to our Artful Money-mongers; and they did it to the purpose. They found that by melting down our weighty Silver Money (cull'd out of the great Sums that pass'd through their Hands) and sending it over as Bullion into Holland, they could either pick up the Guineas that had been formerly transported and scattered there, or buy Gold (in the Ingot) at moderate Prices, and have it coined here into new Guineas; which Re­turn produced them above 30 per Cent. profit. Profit, I say, to them; but in the Consequence of it, when Guineas fell from their imaginary, to their real Value (as it was absolutely necessary they should) a very great Loss (tho I will not say just the same as those Mens Profit) to the Nation. How any Persons managed the matter of melt­ing down Silver Coin, and then exporting it in Bullion, is best known to themselves. My Soul enters not into their Secrets. But that some Persons did transport vast quantities of Silver Bullion, [Page 24] and carry vast quantities of Gold to be coined in the Tower, (all in a few Months time) was mani­fest by a List both of their Names and Sums gi­ven into the House of Commons at their last Ses­sion. This was in a way of Trade, which cir­culated quick: And if by the Reduction of Gui­neas to 22 s. it had not been stopt, we should not have had one weighty piece of old Money re­maining amongst us, that these New-exchangers could have reach'd: Nay whatever has been new-coined since that time, if it had fallen into the same Hands, we may conclude, by parity of Rea­son, would have followed the same fate.

But let us not lay all our Mischiefs at our own Door. What we were singly guilty of (I mean the Folly of not observing any difference between a half and the whole, a clip'd and a weighty Piece) was great enough, and the Root of all the rest. But when that Folly was once discovered, Foreigners knew how to take Advantage from it, as well as the cunning Men amongst our selves. The Dutch sent over Guineas too, and Ingots of Gold, upon their own Accounts: But not having the same Opportunity of picking up our weighty Silver Money as some had amongst our selves, they laid out their Gold in Woollen Manufactures, and other of our most staple Commodities; Which when they had carried back into Holland, it was found that (by the Profit they had made upon their Gold hither) they could afford to sell our Commodities in Holland, cheaper than those of our own Merchants, who had carried the same sort of Commodities thither without any such previous Profit.

[Page 25]The Mischiefs of all this management to Eng­land, are too too obvious. I will not trouble ei­ther others or my self with a Deduction of them. The only thing that I desire to inculcate by all I have yet said, is, that the Ground of all these Mischiefs lies in the difference of the intrinsick Va­lue of the several pieces of our Coin that go un­der the same Denomination: That is to say, in the Currency of clip'd Pieces, as if they had had as much Silver in them as the unclip'd.

This I say was the Disease we labour'd under, in our Coin. If any Body can tell me of any o­ther, I desire to learn it. But if they do not, I must take this at least for granted; and then it will be easy to see what is (and what only can be) the proper Cure of it.

Yet if any should alledg, that our National Di­sease is not simple, but complicated; That we la­bour under a consumptive Trade, under an ex­pensive War, and (worse than all) under a ge­neral Corruption of Manners; I enquire not at present what Truth there is in each of these Al­legations; But I answer (upon their Supposition that they are true) let proper Remedies be ap­plied to all those several Indications. The very naming the Diseases denotes the Remedies. Yet those Remedies require the skill of ablest Physi­cians, and particularly experienc'd in each Case, to direct the Application and Use of them.

But however that be, the Disease in our Coin, I think I may say, is unquestionably evident to have been in the Inequality of it. I will not ascribe to my self the Merit of having now de­monstrated it to have been so all along, till the time that the Parliament, the last Session, prescri­bed [Page 26] a Remedy: For the thing is so clear in it self, that as it needs no Demonstration, so neither can it receive any greater Evidence than what every Man will perceive, who opens but his own Eyes and looks upon it. But it is further needful that we now enquire into our present Case, into the Cure or Progress of the Disease, since that Re­medy has been prescribed. Some Symptoms of our Distemper are indeed changed, but we are all sensible that the Publick is far from having re­ceived a perfect Cure. Let us therefore examin a little, what Operation this Parliamentary Phy­sick has had upon the Body of the Nation, and what our remaining Symptoms give us yet reason to hope or fear.

The stopping of clip'd Money, with a Recom­pence established for the Paiment of it into the Exchequer, and no provision made for its useful­ness in any other Method, has carried the great­est part of it thither. The King has his Coffers full; but can make no use of it faster than it is new coined. And for the loss that will fall upon him, (which is computed to be about a half part) he has a Fund settled that every Body agrees will fall vastly short. The charge of this Fund, how­ever, the Nation bears; though, I doubt, not in a very equal Proportion. But who is it that has the Benefit of this Charge which is laid upon the Nation, and the Loss that yet falls upon the King? Certainly, not those for whose sakes the Recom­pence was proposed and given. The poor Labou­rer, the Countrey-man, and the Middling sort of industrious People, were said principally to be ta­ken care of. But those are not the Men that have received it: Nor indeed could they, any more than [Page 27] by the Advance of some part of their Taxes, The great Sums of clip'd Money that have been carried into the Exchequer, have been upon Loans: Which could not come but from the Rich; At least, from such as had opportunities of managing great Sums, whether of their own or other Peo­ples. If these too had carried in nothing but their own, nothing but what had fallen into their Hands without hidden Artifice, I know nothing that could have been objected against it. But those that suspect the contrary alledg this Reason for their Suspicion, viz. Because it is notorious, that they are generally charged with great Debts, and (as they say themselves) uncapable to pay their Creditors, till they receive their Reimbursment out of the Exchequer. By what Practices they collected such vast Sums of Clip'd Money, and upon what Conditions, (for they understood those Matters too well to take them for nothing) is a Consideration that deserves also to be reflected upon: But I now pass it by. I only observe that these were the Men (the very same Men, in great Measure) that had so well understood how to im­prove the first Disorders in our Coin to their own Advantage, who now in like manner ingross unto themselves almost the whole Benefit of the Pub­lick Remedy.

What followed next? When these Masters of Art had thus thrown the Burden they had col­lected, upon his Majesty's Shoulders; And upon Condition too (if I may express it so) that he should pay for his own Pains; (for the Interest he allows answers that Comparison) They then cast about to see what further Advantage could yet be drawn from the Circumstances in which [Page 28] the Nation then stood. The Parliament, in their Provision against the Currency of clip'd Money, had not thought fit to lay any new Penalty upon the uttering of Six-pences clip'd to a certain De­gree, but not within the innermost Ring. This seeming Favour to, or Connivance at so small a Fault, if it could have been restricted to a mo­derate Use, might perhaps, for some little while, have been some little Conveniency to the Nation, in facilitating Change and small Payments. But that was impossible to be done: And we were taught, by the Effect, how dangerous a thing it is to allow the least Transgression in so nice a Mat­ter as this of Coin. Notwithstanding all the Loans into the Exchequer, immediately after the Course of other clip'd Money was stop'd, we had a Flood of these Clip'd Sixpences poured out. The Dealers in Money offered them readily to all that demanded any payment of them. But not a Guinea appeared, tho these Gentlemen had certainly great Sums of them in their Hands. I say this certainly: For it cannot be denied that there were then several Milllons of Guineas in the Nation, and that the great flush of whatever Coin was in the Nation, pass'd at that time through their Hands. Not a weighty Piece of old hammer'd Money, neither, would they pro­duce: Tho it is notorious that many of them had brag'd before-hand, (as the Prospect of the stop of Clip'd Money opened) that they had their Chests well fill'd with Stores of that kind, which had not seen the Sun for several Years. No, no­thing but clip'd Sixpences was left. It seem'd as if by a Miracle all the rest of our Coin had been transmuted into that single Species. Nay if the [Page 29] People themselves had not been wise enough to put a stop to this practice, (by refusing to receive them) it is certain that (without any Miracle) all our Silver Coin would in a short time have been really so transmuted. The Coiners (as I have shewn before) would have found their ac­count by it; And the work would have been done.

Now if any one can shew me any other Reason why these diminish'd Sixpences were so readily produced, and other weighty Silver and Guineas so closely hoarded; besides this that I have all along insisted upon, (viz. because Sums of the same Denomination in Tale, in one sort, were not equal in real Value to the same Sums in the other sort) I desire again to be instructed. But however, I say, this new Danger was obviated by the People themselves. Nay the same sense that taught them to resist this, carried them yet further. They saw, how by a false Gloss upon the Words of the Act of Parliament, relating to Punchable Money, a new Currency was growing upon us for diminish'd Shillings and Half-Crowns also. 'Tis strange how Men could satisfy them­selves with so groundless an Interpretation of plain Words; or think it possible to perswade o­thers to receive it. Could the Parliament, (by requiring that both the Rings, or the greatest part of the Letters shall appear upon all Pieces of unclip'd hammer'd Money) intend to favour the Currency of any sort of clip'd Money; When in the very same Paragraph, nay the same Period, the sense of that Expression is over and over again so plainly limited to unclip'd Money, (unclip'd Money that has those Rings or Letters appearing [Page 30] upon it); And the very end of Punching is ex­plained to be to prevent all manner of clip­ping? This false Interpretation of the Words of the Law is not only a Reflection upon the Wis­dom of the Parliament, but it looks too like a sly endeavour to cast an Odium upon their Pro­ceedings; Which those that sincerely wish well to England should be very cautious how they coun­tenance. 'Tis however an Absurdity so gross that every Body saw it: And so the Attempt of giving a Currency to pieces erroneously called punchable was stop'd, by the general Cry of the People; Which in that occasion we may truly say was as the Voice of God: For it shut up the Flood­gates of Ruin that were again opening upon us.

Thus the Currency of all manner of Clip'd Money was in the end intirely stop'd. But it may here be objected: If that were the sole cause of our Evil, why has not the stop of it immediately wrought our Cure? For the Remedy that I in­tend is so very obvious, that I am sensible my Adversaries, I mean the Adversaries of this Do­ctrine (for I thank God I have no one Adversa­ry in the World, that I know of) will oppose it to me, before I had thought fit to name it my self. Well: I must therefore answer their Ob­jection; And that opens to me a new Scene; But such a one as is not unsutable to the rest.

By Money-mongers all along I have not intend­ed to design any one particular Profession of Men, with exclusion of others. 'Tis not against Gold­smiths singly, Scriveners, Receivers, Banks or Bankers, that I direct any part of what I write; But against All, amongst all Professions, that have defiled their Fingers with the foul Management [Page 31] of Money. Let every Man lay his Hand upon his Breast, and He that is guilty accuse himself: For whoever can, upon reflection, acquit himself from Guilt in these Matters, I acquit him also.

This Objection of theirs leads me to enquire into what ensued upon the intire Stop (as I then reckon it, at least in this City) of clip'd Money. It must be acknowledged that our Disease was so far from being cured, that in truth it redoubled upon us, and grew yet more insupportable. Now, if my Doctrine be true, how came this to pass? I must desire the Objectors to observe, that be­sides our several Species of Silver and Gold, we had yet another sort of Money that had been currant amongst us for several Years. Notes or Bills of Credit, I mean, given out by Goldsmiths, and others, and in the last place by the Bank of England: Which Notes, so long as the Subscri­bers of them were known to be able, and either willing or compellable to pay upon demand, were some of them really more valuable, at least more valued, than such Money as was currant amongst us, whilst this sort of Credit took Root. But when these General Cashiers of the Nation begun once to hesitate upon their own Conduct (whe­ther this happen'd through any Jealousy, Envy, and Malice amongst themselves, through the real Impotency of some, or Knavery of others, or through a Concurrence of all these Causes, I will not now determine;) But, I say, when once some of these principal Sources began to stop their Course, and issue only in little Driblings, not ca­pable to satisfy the wants of those that had re­course to them, then there arose a plain Distin­ction, in real Value, between their Bills and Cash [Page 32] in Specie. Paper, in little bits and scraps, had no Value at all but from the Writing that was upon it: And that Writing received its Value on­ly from the Credit of the Person subscribing it. When that Person, by any miscarriage whatso­ever, forfeited his Credit, (as now by demurring upon Payment) the value of the Paper sunk in exact proportion with his Esteem. I pass over the minute Degrees of Difference between one Man's Reputation and another's. The thing of most consequence, which fell all together under one sort of Estimation, was the Credit of the Bank. Their Bills and Notes were dispersed amongst us to a very great Value: And by their Stop of Payment, when demanded, this Paper of theirs which had before been esteemed more valuable than Money, became now to be less va­luable. It became, in effect, neither more nor less, but perfectly a new Species of Clip'd Mo­ney, which has revived and augmented our first Disorders; And how long it will continue them, God knows.

But here another Objection, or rather a par­ticular Apology of these Money-mongers, crowds in it self upon me. They offer against the Blame I seem to cast upon them, such sort of Reasons as these: That the Money which they owe to o­ther Persons, was generally out upon Loans to the King; And that therefore it was impossible for them to pay all their Debts, till they received it back from the Exchequer, new coined: That, in such a scarcity of Money as then reigned, if any one of them had begun to pay, Necessity would have forced his Creditors to fly to him all at once, and thereby to have opprest him more than his [Page 33] Neighbours: That it was reasonable, in a gene­ral Calamity, that every Body should bear a share of it: And that People ought the rather to for­bear them, because every one might be satis­fied it would be only for a little time, and that their Security in the Bottom was good. All these Excuses put together, discover a Root of Corruption that lies very deep. What! Is the Morality of all Men grown to this pass, that People can (without any sense of Shame) have the Confidence to own that they employ other Mens Money to their own Profit, with so little Restriction, as to hazard their Credit by a Disappointment; The Consequence of which has been ordinarily ruin to themselves, and loss to their Creditors? Is this the common and sure way to raise great Estates in a little Time? I am sorry to observe it: For I am sure it is not honest, Tuta frequens (que) licet sit via, Crimen habet. And whoever it be that had un­warily brought himself into such a Condition, ought to have exerted his whole Power to free himself from it at what price soever. Should not the Bank, in such a Distress, immediately have call'd in the 40 per Cent. that is yet ow­ing by every Member of it to their general Fund? Nay should not every particular Member (if they had been but so Wise as the Children of this World ordinarily are in such Concerns) have put his Shoulder to the Burden, and en­deavoured to support their publick Credit by the conjunction of his own private Strength? Should not other particular Money-mongers (as well as the Bank) have pawn'd whatever [Page 34] they had in the World, Plate, Tallies, Bonds, Lands, Any thing, Every thing, rather than have wronged all Mankind, and suffer'd the Infamy they have lain under? Honour, Honesty, and Interest, obliged them to this Course. I say, even Interest it self obliged them to it: For whoever had shewn but such a willing Mind to do Right to his Neighbour, would have im­mediately raised a Reputation by it, that would have given him Advantages much superior to whatsoever price it might have cost him.

But the true reason of their Backwardness in this matter is yet worse. The generality of the Practice took away their sense, either of Guilt or Shame; and a present Interest made them uncapable of considering another Interest more remote. O how are our Manners depraved! If there be but a Door open to Wealth, we rush in at it, without the least Demurre; Tho up­on never so nasty a Prospect of the Passages through which it leads us. Lucri bonus est Odor ex re qualibet. The first Principle in the Rules of our Commerce is, Rem facias. — We over-look the Condition, Si possis rectè: — And take the Conclusion (quocun (que) modo Rem) for a positive Duty. And thus, with Men that had no Checks either of Modesty or Conscience, the present In­terest that determin'd their Practice, was the Hopes of screwing exorbitant Advantages out of the Publick Necessities of the Nation. They knew that both King and People wanted Money extreamly: And therefore they resolved to pay no Debts, but lock up their Chests, (which some of them had by this time well fill'd with [Page 35] vast Sums of new Mill'd Money out of the Ex­chequer) and make all that would have any thing from them pay soundly for it. O detestable Mankind! There is no sort of Beasts that does not afford examples of an Inclination to suc­cour one another in Distress. But we distin­guish our selves from them, by our Human (not inhumane) Practice, of oppressing those whose Weakness or Want obliges them to fly unto us for Relief. I am grieved at the Severity of these Expressions, which the Malignity of some Men forces from me. Others there are, tho very few, whose contrary Practice now ought to res­cue their Reputation from the general Blame in which their first Hesitation involv'd them. But I leave every Man to make Application of my Censures, according as he finds in himself a greater or less sense of Guilt: And I suppose all Men will conclude that whosoever complains at what I have said is, in some Degree touched with it.

But I beg your pardon, Sir, that I have let my Thoughts be carried away by this Objection, from the Point that I was pursuing. What I have said on this is now sufficient, to those to whom it appears reasonable: And to whomso­ever it appears unreasonable, it is already too much. I return therefore to consider how Bank­bills, (and all other Bills of the like Nature) when they ceased to be currantly paid, became a new Species of clip'd Money amongst us, and what were the Consequences of it. They lost their first Value (as I have already shewn) when the Subscribers of them made stop of Payment. [Page 36] Yet the Belief we have that they will still be paid in the End, gave them a Currency liable to all the changes of Estimation that can happen in Mens Opinions about the secure or doubtful Estate of those Subscribers. Thus they have at different times been esteemed at 5 or 6, at 10 or 12, and at 16 or 18 per Cent, worse than Legal Money. But the least evident Difference in the Esteem of these Bills, from the real Value of Coin, was sufficient to make all Men that dealt in Money lock it up still closer, and pay nothing but this new deficient sort. (Nay this has given Opportunity to a great many new Tricks of sor­did knavery. What can I call it else, when some Men refusing to pay their own Bills, and not having impudence enough to ask allowance for such Payments from their Creditors, have imployed other Persons, and furnished them with Money, under-hand, to buy them up upon Discount? Nay when others (without any Front) have refused to pay, but themselves impudently offered to discount them? Nay further yet, when some (after having obstinately persisted in denying they had so much as one Guinea in their Chests) have immediately, upon threats of Prosecution, produced and paid above a Thousand? What Credit can be given to these Mens Words? What Respect is due to their Pretences? If this be not true, a great many Men are belied. But some of these Instances are too well attested to admit of any doubt, and will carry with them a great Probability. And besides these too, it is certain that Retailers of all sorts that deal for considerable Sums with other Wholesale [Page 37] Traders, though all their Receipts are in Le­gal Money in Specie, yet seldom pay their Debts in that manner. But they first buy up Bank or other such like Bills, at 10 or 12 per Cent profit (as it happens) and force them upon their Credi­tors for good Payment. Thus the first Leaven has diffus'd it self through the whole Lump, the In­fection is spread, and we have very few Mem­bers left in our whole Body that are intire and sound.

Now I beseech you, Sir, if I am mistaken in this Deduction of the Circumstances that we have gone through by occasion of the Inequality of our Coin; I mean, if the Mischief we have suf­fered in all these Circumstances have not origi­nally proceeded from that Inequality; let me know it. The view, I confess, that I have now taken of the whole Matter does so strike me, that I am amazed at the Doubt that some Men are yet in about it. I could hardly believe any Man, that barely and cursorily said he was not satisfied that in Truth things are as I have re­presented them. But the Arguments and En­deavours that are used in favour of pretended Remedies, which I think infallible means of per­petuating the Evil, shew me that all Men are not of my Mind, and that our Danger is not yet over. I must therefore, in a few words, expo­stulate yet a little with those that think of any o­ther Remedy for these Evils than that which I design. What that is, I scarce need name. Eve­ry Reader sees, that if our Disease be the Ine­quality of our Coin, the Cure of that Disease must consist in its Equality. The speediest and [Page 38] the surest Means, therefore, of procuring that Equality is the Remedy that we want, and the best that can possibly be prescribed.

This perhaps no Body will resist. Yet never­theless some may, possibly, think that (in the mean while) till all our old Money can be per­fectly equalized by the recoining of it at the Mint, a temporary Connivance at the Currancy of some that is not too much diminish'd (which they call Punchable) may be of some present use to us, by increasing the number of Currant Pieces.

If the Experiment had not been made already, I should not wonder at this Proposition. There would have been some Colour for offering it to the Trial. But when it has been already tried, and in every Degree and Circumstance found not only insignificant, but pernicious, methinks Men should at last give up so exploded a Notion. If the Currancy of clip'd Money hath already had the ill Effects that I have represented, the only thing that I can conceive possible to be said in fa­vour of this new proposed Currancy, is, that it should be pro tempore, and strictly limited to clip­ping in a less proportion than what has been for­merly practised: Which (may these Proposers say) tho it be indeed of a mischievous Nature, yet being thus limited, the Mischief will be so small as to be much over-ballanced by the Conveniencies it will bring along with it. This, I say, seems to me the utmost that can be said in the Case. But what does this amount to? Experience (the best School-master) has taught us. The Conve­niency pretended is (nor can it be any more than) that this Method furnishing us with more [Page 39] Species, will make Payments that are now so dif­ficult become more easy. But do we forget what we have all been so long learning, and what we yet feel; That every Degree of Currancy given to defective Coin, is a new Lock put up­on the Good? Has it not been so all along with us, and do not the Bank and other such like Bills make it so still? If this important Truth were slip'd out of Mens Memories, I hope what I have now said may be sufficient to remind them of it.

O but methinks they bid me observe, That this Currancy is proposed but for a short Time; sup­pose, till so much can be new coined as will suf­fice our currant Occasions. I answer. Have we forgot again how evidently it has been proved that there is abundantly sufficient Legal Coin al­ready in the Nation (Gold or Silver) to answer all those Occasions? And that it is chiefly, if not only, the Currancy of Defective Species that de­prives us of the Use of it? Have we forgot how the Conjunction of Clippers and Coiners is apt to multiply such defective Species in infinitum? Have we forgot how difficult a Matter it was, what strugglings it cost us, after Clipping was once introduced, to get any manner of stop put to it? And can we, upon these Reflections, sa­tisfy our selves so thorowly in these Computati­ons (of how much, and how long,) as to be willing to renew the Hazards we have already gone through?

Yes, say they, in the How much of clipping, at least, there will be no Danger: For the Parliament has prescribed the bounds of it. The greatest [Page 40] part of the Letters, or both the Rings, remain­ing upon old hammer'd Money▪ decides the Con­troversy. Still more forgetfulness. The Parlia­ment, I say, has not prescribed those Bounds to Clipping, but only described by that Paraphrase what should be really unclip'd. But admit the Parliament hereby intended what some contend for; He must be very acute, that can decide any Controversy about those punchable or unpuncha­ble Pieces, by that Rule. The daily Contests, whilst their Currancy was first offered at, shew that it is impossible.

Well, say they, however, if these Parliamen­tary Bounds of Clipping (for so however they are called) be not easily discernable to the Eye; The Scales (at least) may shew what Pieces come within moderate and tolerable Bounds, and what not; So that by their help we may securely avoid that Extremity from which we have been lately delivered. I answer again. The Scales indeed will determine the Matter of Fact: They will shew what is the weight of any Piece. But who is it that will settle the Law; That will determine precisely the just Measures and Boundaries of Clipping, those allowable Diminutions of Weight which the Nation is obliged to admit, as mode­rate and tolerable? The Parliament has given no such Rule, no such Standard; No Standard at all but that of the Mint: And that (God be thanked) they have taken care to perpetuate as it now is. I know no Body, therefore, that has any Autho­rity to prescribe any Bounds to me, but what the Law of England has established. And I cannot but think them blameable, that either directly or [Page 41] indirectly go about it. But without considering the Law, let any one try, if they please, in any Market, if by a common Consent of Buyers and Sellers, they can find out these nice Boundaries between punchable and unpunchable Pieces▪ Mo­ney that appears very tolerably large to him that is to pay it, will appear intolerably clip'd to him that is to receive it. Since therefore this Project is neither Lawful, nor Profitable, nor Practica­ble, I know no reason at all why it should be any ways entertained.

I am glad, however, that these Enquiries do in the End bring our Antagonists to mention Scales; And hope in time they will learn the true use of them. Let them weigh their own Propositions in the Scales of Justice, and they will see that all sorts and Degrees of Clipping (whether it be by raising the Value, as they call it, or diminishing the weight of Coin) are mani­festly injurious and unjust. If we had any sense of Morality left amongst us, that Consideration ought to have a greater weight with all Men than we find it has. But I only now pursue the prudential Topicks of Interest and Conveniency. If Scales would be useful in this Case; As it is certain they would, upon supposition that the Parliament had determined to what degree each piece of Coin might be clip'd; (But for want of that Determination are wholly useless;) Then they will always have the same usefulness, in every case where the weight of Money is by Law determined. That is to say, in all our old hammer'd Money, where the Form of it cannot assure the Eye (as in Mill'd Money) that it is [Page 42] undiminish'd. In much of it, the Eye is com­petent Judg; And may determine clearly whe­ther it have been diminish'd or no, by File or Sheers; (tho where it has been diminish'd, the Eye alone can never determine how much that Diminution has been). In these Cases, let it pass without further Examination, de bene esse. But where-ever that Determination by the Eye is difficult; where any the least Doubt remains; bring all to the Scale, without any regard to the Tale of it; Let it pass in payment exactly for what it weighs; It will be then exactly equal in value to our Mill'd Money; An Ounce of the one equal to an Ounce of the other; All our Money will be equal all at once; And the Dis­ease in our Coin, that we have so long labour'd under, will be perfectly cured.

But here, I am apt to think, some Persons that are convinced of the Excellency of this Remedy, may have yet some Scruples about the Practicableness of it. Objections of that kind are ordinary, and therefore must not be omit­ted. Yet before I enter upon them, let me observe that this Practice (the Use of Scales) is established through all the known World, and every where found highly useful. Besides the Inequality in many particular Coins that requires it, the Spanish Coin both Gold and Silver (which is the most generally spread of any) does all of it require that Examen, and in most places (if weighty) is admitted at some fix'd and currant Price. Ireland at this Day has little other. But in all Places, even here in England, the Stamp being a Security to the Buyer [Page 43] of its Fineness, it is so easily exchanged by weight either in great or small Sums, that whoever has any of it can be in no want of any thing so far as its Value extends. I need not mention the Practice now frequent amongst our selves, of weighing even Guineas, for the Discovery of such as are counterfeit. The Usefulness of that Practice forces it upon us whether we will or no. Let us but cast our own clip'd Silver Coin into the Scales, as we do the Spanish Pieces of Eight, and we shall immediately find an unspeakable Ad­vantage by it.

I beg the Objectors Pardon. For I am sensi­ble they will grow impatient at this Propositi­on, and tell me that the People will neither ever be perswaded to follow it, because of the fur­ther publick Recompence, which they expect for the clip'd Money that yet remains in their Hands; Nor if it were followed, would it cause any greater Currancy of Coin amongst us, than do the Spanish Pieces of Eight that lie use­lesly exposed to view on Goldsmiths Stalls. Here then, at last, the Matter sticks: Let us try if we can remove the Obstruction.

The Hope of Recompence is too flattering an Entertainment for Mens Minds, to be easily relinquish'd. Hope is the last Anchor that Men naturally hold to. But when Hope of As­sistance from others, is an occasion to any Man of slackening his own private Endeavours, even that Hope also ought to be destroy'd.

I have hinted before, that the Recompence already given, neither did nor could extend to those for whose sakes alone it was reasonable [Page 44] to grant it. Is there any Reason to expect that any future Recompence (if it should be grant­ed) either would or could be more duly distri­buted? Those that have most need of it, are not at all better capacitated than before, to comply with the Terms upon which the first was settled. But those that ingrossed that first Advantage, are now better skill'd, and every way better capacitated than before, to ingross the second also▪ This Consideration, methinks, should be no Inducement to the Parliament to repeat the same Practice. But if it be consi­dered also, how much of the Loss upon our re­maining Clip'd Money is already born by those who had most need to be relieved from it; That, I think, ought to determine the Parlia­ment's future Deliberations against any thing of that kind. The Necessitous have already chang­ed away what they had, at 15, 20, 25, and 30 per Cent loss; And since that, at 5 s. 2 d. or 5 s. 1 d. per Ounce. This has been done, though I say by the Necessitous, (for I compre­hend all under that Word whose Occasions urged them to do it) yet in very great Sums. So that this part of our remaining clip'd Silver Coin, whatever proportion it bear to the whole, (I am sure great) being now in the Hands of the Rich, such as since the 4th of May, have received it against the direct Rule of the Law, and so deserve rather Punishment than Recom­pence, ought not to be had in the least Consi­deration. Indeed the great Bulk of that Mo­ney▪ must of necessity be in such Hands: For the Poor are not able to keep Hoards. Must [Page 45] the whole Nation then be taxed anew, to make up to them the Profit of 30, nay of 50 per Cent, that they are gaping and reaching after? I hope not. Some Rests of that Money (to suppose the most favourably that I can) I must reckon to be in the Hands of the Countrey­man: If so, his Circumstances make him unca­pable of receiving the expected Recompence. I might offer at other Conjectures where some other scatter'd parcels of it lie. But the whole I believe will be found upon Examination to fall into these three Divisions; Lodg'd [...] with Men that deserve no Recompence, that need none, or that can receive none. Why therefore any such Recompence should be given, I am not able (to conceive: But why the Hopes of it should not be entertained, our present Sufferings (the whole subject of this Letter) ought abundantly to teach us.

The Expectation of a Recompence, it must be confest, does hinder Men from uttering it by weight, as I propose. The Benefit of that Ut­terance (if it could be obtained) I shall consider by and by. But whom is it that this Expecta­tion thus hinders? It hinders those Money-mon­gers (where-ever they are dispers'd) that have hoarded up clip'd. Treasures. It has not hin­der'd the Necessitous, as we have seen. If it hinder the Countrey-man, I know no Body more fit to set him right than his Landlord: Not if the Loss be too heavy upon him, is any Bo­dy more obliged to bear share of that Burden. But in truth this Expectation would not hinder any one, whose particular Sum is not very great; most [Page 46] If these Men of deeper Interest did not very artfully spread and keep up the Rumour of it, that they may thereby be able (when time shall serve) to raise a general Clamour where­withal to serve their own unreasonable Ends. Let this Expectation be once dampt, nay let Men but cease to sooth it, and clip'd Money will immediately issue by Ounces, Penny-weights, and Grains; not Pounds, Shillings and Pence. The Computation will indeed be new, but it will be soon learnt: And every thing will be infinitely more easy than now it is.

But our Adversaries here bid me not be too hasty. The second part of their Objection to my Instance of Spanish Coin is not yet answered. Though Spanish Money (say they) be bought and sold by weight in Lumbard-street; Our Payments neither in City nor Countrey are a Iot the easier for it: Nor would the sale of our own clip'd Mo­ney, in the same manner, facilitate those Payments one Iot the more than do the Pieces of Eight. To the first Branch of this Objection, I reply: Those that have Spanish Money, being in no expectation of any further Advantage by it, sell it without more ado for what it is really worth, and receive English Coin for it, Gold or Silver, to supply their Occasions; Which is so far at least a Help to those particular Per­sons — Hold, say our Adversaries, That Spa­nish Money, when thus bought, lies either buried in the Goldsmiths Chest, or is converted in his Melting-pot to some other use, and does not furnish us with more pieces of Coin than we had before to circulate in our Payments. This is true: Except when [Page 47] from the Goldsmith it goes to the Mint; And then it does increase our Species of Coin, tho after some Interval of Time. But neverthe­less, even in this manner, it produces us (I speak of what is sold so at this Time) a pre­sent Advantage, proportionable to its Quanti­ty: For it draws just so much Legal Money out of the Hoarders Chests. And if our clip'd Mo­ney were all sold in the same manner, it would not only draw out so much more of it, (and if the whole were thus drawn out, I think I have sufficiently proved already that it is more than barely sufficient for our Currant Payments) but it would it self circulate also (or might be easily made to do so) and set us at perfect Ease. For the People being better acquainted with our own than with Spanish or any other Foreign Coin, would more easily fall into Computations of the Value of diminish'd Pieces, and so without car­rying all directly to the Melting-pot, pass them away from Hand to Hand in ordinary Payments. This they have shewn a strong Inclination to; Nay they have actually done it in many Places: And this they ought by all means possible to be incouraged in. For were this throughly practised, it would very much facilitate small Payments: But in greater Payments, any Sum being thrown together into the Scale, and pass'd by weight (no otherwise) all our Coin would at once be equal. Then Legal Money, Gold or Silver, would infallibly come abroad: For no Man could have any Interest to keep up one sort rather than another. And our clip'd Money would insensibly slide into the Mint (just as our [Page 48] broad Gold did some while ago) without any the least Trouble or Inconvenience: From hence therefore I conclude, that it is the general In­terest of England (the present Ingrossers▪ or Possessors of the most considerable Sums of clip'd Money being a very slender and very implausible Exception) that all Expectation of a Future Re­compence for what clip'd Money remains in private Hands be utterly quash'd; And that the passing of it immediately in payments by weight be incouraged.

This all honest Men (that are of my Mind) will certainly in their several Stations contribute their Endeavours to promote. But all Men are neither of my Mind, nor are all Men honest. We have seen That, abundantly, in the fore­going Account both of our past and present Cir­cumstances. And if I should flatter my self that I had now perswaded any to change their Opini­on; yet the Crafty Knavery, and Strength too, of those who intend not England's, but their own Advantage, may, I confess, give us some reason to doubt, that the Success of what I have hi­therto proposed, will not so fully rectify all our National Disorders as I have asserted it would.

This obliges me to take notice of a Distincti­on that I have mentioned before, and pass'd o­ver▪ Tho the Disease in our Coin be simple; And, in that sense, may certainly be cured by the Methods that I have proposed; Yet our Na­tional Disease being complicated, we may still fall short of a perfect Recovery. The Corrup­tion of our Manners is so great, that there is no­thing [Page 49] so mischievous that we ought not to ap­prehend. Tho our Coin were thus equalized, yet I cannot deny but there are two other obvi­ous Reasons which we may justly fear would make ill Men still loth to part with it. The One; The Expectation of having it yet raised in Va­lue (as they phrase it) the next Session of Parlia­ment: The other; The Advantages they may be able to screw both out of Publick and private Necessities, by keeping up a Scarcity. To the first of these Evils, besides all the Absurdity that is in the Proposition, and all the unjust and per­nicious Consequences to particular Persons that would attend the Execution of it; (both which You, Sir, have so fully demonstrated already as to make any further Illustration of them wholly needless;) And besides the Fence that the Par­liament have provided against all future Attempts of this kind, (not only by declaring that the present Weight and Fineness of our Silver Coin, according to the Indentures of the Mint, is the just Standard by which that Coin is made lawful, but also by enacting that the same shall be, and re­main to be so, as much as Laws can ascertain it, for ever;) I say, besides all this; I oppose to that Design, the Consideration of those Mens Merits to the Publick who now endeavour to a­muse us with the Buzze of it. The Advantage that can be received by such a raising of our Coin (suppose it were to be done) will only accrue to those that have laid up vast Treasures of it, and thereby put us into all the Difficulties that we at present labour under. For the pretended Ad­vantage to any other particular Persons, that [Page 50] have but small Sums in their Hands, will be much out-ballanced by the manifold Prejudices that will ensue upon it. And to the Nation in gene­ral (considered as one single Person, with respect to the World abroad) it is no less than Demon­stration that no Advantage at all can possibly accrue by so Chimerical a Project. Let us take Courage therefore, and raise up our Spirits against this Fear. The Parliament of England is too wise and too just an Assembly, to be ever capable of gratifying those Men (those I mean, whoever they are, that ruin England by hoarding up her Publick Treasure for sinister Ends) with so un­reasonable, so unjust, and so pernicious a Thing.

Our Confidence thus far, I think, is very well grounded. But will this Confidence of ours oblige those officious and uncommission'd Trea­surers, that I speak of, to change their practice? I am yet afraid of the contrary. The Advan­tages they daily screw both out of publick and private Necessities, (which is the second Reason I even now hinted at) by their abominable ways of introducing and continuing a real Scarcity of Money, in the midst of a real Plenty, will un­doubtedly prevail with them to go on as long as possibly they can. How shall we help it? I know but one way; And that is by putting the Law in Execution: I mean, by every Creditor's strict­ly requiring payment from every Debtor that is able to make it. I am far from intending to promote any Methods of Rigour, against such as have innocently fallen into Incapacity of making Payment. Lenity in those Cases is the unaltera­ble Law of Nature, and of God. But where [Page 51] there either is a Capacity; or where People have drawn upon themselves an Incapacity, by such unjustifiable Practices as I have represented; there it is fit that Men should either pay, or suf­fer for their Misdemeanours. The general Re­misness and Indulgence that Men have now for one another (in such cases where every one knows that the other deserves it not) is the thing that at this Day does more Injury to the Nation, than an Excess of Severity in that kind can ever do, in any occasion whatsoever. The seeming ease it gives to any one does but palliate, not cure the Wound: Nay it not only hinders the Operati­on of that only Remedy which (left to it self) would perfectly cure us; But it increases that Corruption which (if not purged out) must in­fallibly in the End work our utter Destruction.

You will ask me perhaps more particularly what I mean by putting the Law in Execution? In plain Terms, I would have every Man exact Payment of his Neighbour according to the Terms of the Contract from whence his Debt arises. If that be refused, or eluded, by the offer of any sort of Payment of less value than the real Money that is due, I would have such Debtor prosecuted as the Law directs. But a­bove all, I would have no Respect, no Indulgence, shown to those who are notoriously known to receive Legal Money, (whether it be Retailers in their Shops, or any more considerable Dea­lers in greater Sums out of the Exchequer) and yet either make no Payment at all, or insist up­on making it in a manner that answers not the Legal Value. There is no Remedy, but where [Page 52] Honour and Conscience do not regulate Mens Actions, the Law must do it.

This is all that occurs to my Thoughts, as sit to be offer'd upon that Point. There remains yet one other Point (before I conclude) which tho it have too much Affinity with this last, de­serves however to be noted more particularly. 'Tis to the Bank of England, or at least concerning it, that I would now add a few Words. I have mention'd their Bills, since they ceased to pay them, as a new sort of Clip'd Money, which (since the first was stop'd) have continued or even increased our Disorders. But in arguing upon the Cure of our Disorders, I have hitherto in­sisted only upon the Reformation of the other Causes, and from thence drawn my Hopes of a Recovery, without taking these Bills into my Calculation. 'Tis an Omission, I confess: But I have cast it so, designedly, for these two Rea­sons. The one, that the particular Cure of Clipping, by Weight and Scales, not being in­termixed with any other Matter, might appear more evident and clear. And so I hope it has done. Scales would make all our Coin equal: And Equality would cure all the Diseases of it. The other Reason for my omitting to say what I thought was necessary for the Reformation of Bank-Credit, was the Respect I bear to so consi­derable a Body, and particularly to many Wor­thy Gentlemen that are Members of it. If the Subject I have in hand would possibly have given me leave, I would have pass'd them over in Si­lence. But the Matter is too important to al­low of any Palliation. Their Ways must either [Page 53] be reformed as well as others, or all our Endea­vours after a Reformation will remain very im­perfect and insignificant.

Let us lay open their Case, therefore, in two Words. The Usefulness of Bank-Bills to the Publick, (that which first gave them the nature of Money amongst us,) was founded in Credit. That Credit rose from the knowledg Men had of their Fund, and an Opinion both of the Ca­pacity and Integrity of the Managers of it. Whilst their Management answered Mens Ex­pectations, by a currant Compliance, upon all Demands, with their Ingagements, their Credit remained intire, and their Bills were reputed good Payment. When they faultered in their Payments, whether it were through Impotency, or ill Management; (or admit it were Impo­tency, and That the Effect of ill Management, 'tis all one); That failure in the performance of their Promises was a Disappointment to those that depended upon them, and thereupon their Bills became of less Esteem than they had been before: They were really less in Value, for they answered not the End that they were given out for: Something of the nature of Money they retained still, because the Security of the Fund upon which they were established gave them still a Real Value, tho diminish'd; That is, (as I have exprest it before) they became a new Spe­cies of Clip'd Money amongst us. I will add nothing to what I have said already of the Consequences attending the Currancy of this (or of any) Species of clip'd Money: Nor will I make any more particular Enquiry into the Ma­nagement [Page 54] that occasion'd it. The only thing that I am concern'd for is the Cure.

Now the only Cure of clip'd Coin of any sort has been fully proved to consist in the Reduction of it to its first Standard. Nay the thing is e­vident of it self without any Proof: That, and that alone, can do the work. A Partial Refor­mation of any one sort (suppose the coining of a new Set of Sixpences, whilst a Currancy were left for clip'd Half-Crowns) signifies nothing to the Cure of a Nation labouring under that Di­stemper: It must be all, or none. Nay the Re­formation even of all the Coin, whilst any thing else remains unreformed that retains in any degree the nature of Coin, is not only useless but prejudicial. All Paper-Money therefore whatsoever, (that of the Bank as well as that of any particular Person) must either be reformed as our Coin has been, by reducing it to its Stan­dard, or England will never be at Ease.

What shall I say more? Does not the thing that I would say (or rather, if it were possible, that I would not say) speak it self? If the neces­sity of reforming Paper-Money be clear, can any one doubt of the manner of it? Was it not a Legal Security, confirm'd by a settled Course of Payment upon Demand when due, that convert­ed Paper into Money? Was it not the faultering in that Payment that diminish'd its Value, and made it become Clip'd Money? Can any thing, but a Return to the first settled Course of ready Payment, restore its Value? Is not that the Standard to which it must necessarily be reduced? Will any other Artifice, will any Indulgence to [Page 55] the Coiners or Subscribers of Paper-Money do any manner of Good to the Nation? Or would they (in the last place) be indulged, at the price of the Nation's Sufferance? I thank them kindly. If that be the Case, I am sure they de­serve no Indulgence at all. But I hope better things of them. Tho they have been stunn'd with the Blow that lately hit them; Yet the Symptoms do not appear mortal; It is not im­possible but they may return to their Senses, and act as becomes Men.

But do I not hear some languishing Voice, that on pretence of absolute Impossibility to perform what I point at, bespeaks yet longer Forbearance and Fa­vour? If indeed any such Voice be heard in our Streets, we are there so accustomed to those artful Tones that no Body is much touched with them. And therefore, as we usually bid Beggars work, so I must still bid these Men pay. Let them not be offended with the Simi­litude, for I am far from thinking them in the Case of Beggars. They are Opulent, and can do it: But if they have mistaken (I will not say perverted) their Course, let them not dis­dain to receive Advice, tho from never so mean a Hand. I remember what one of our Poets pleaded for himself, in a like Occasion of offer­ing unaskt Advice to a Superior, and I offer it for my Excuse to them.

Kings in the Country oft have gone astray;
Nor of a Paysant scorn'd to learn the Way.

[Page 56]I have said before, that they ought, upon the first sense of this Distress, to have call'd in the 40 per Cent, that is due from each particular Member. This would then infallibly have saved their Reputation: But they neglected the Op­portunity. What have they done since, for the Recovery of it? Instead of calling in 40 per Cent, as due; They have only borrowed 20 per Cent of their Members, as a Favour. If they intend no more, I am sure this is to no pur­pose. But what then shall they do further? I think they have given the World to under­stand, by some late publick Advertisement, that the 20 per Cent is now paid: And therefore if I do them no good, I shall do them no harm, by what I am going to say. Let them keep the 20 per Cent, as they have it, upon Loan: And let them, besides that, call in the 40 per Cent, that is due to them; And which (I suppose) they have Power to compel their Members to pay. O, but this looks like Trick. No, I dare swear they never designed it so. The World will acquit them from any such Imputation. Ne­cessity now forces it, and therefore either That or something equivalent to it must be done. If they like any other Method better, that can as ef­fectually raise so considerable a Sum, or bring in so many of their own Bills, (which is to them, or ought to be, the same thing) let them find it out and practise it. I will not officiously ob­trude my Advice upon them any further. But it would straiten, or perhaps ruin some of their Mem­bers. Vain Subterfuge! Their not doing it does now straiten, and threaten manifest Ruin to all [Page 57] England. And besides too, the Suggestion is false: There is to them no such Danger. Those that cannot pay more, can (if they please) sell part of what they have, and so make to them­selves an Honest (which is better than a Legal) Title to the Remainder. Whether the want of that Paiment do not make a Flaw even in the Le­gality of their Title, appears yet to many a moot Point. What Colour of Pretence they have to the other more equitable part of a Title, let the World judg.

But (admit this were practicable, that they could yet call in the 40 per Cent proposed) it will do them no good. Four hundred and eighty thousand Pounds (I think that is the Sum) will fall vastly short of paying their Debt. They know their own Accounts best: I can but conjecture. But if this be true, (however dreadfully it looks) yet methinks 480000 l. should stop a great Gap, and make their remaining Creditors easy towards them; and their Burden less troublesome. Let them not banter us with vain Objections. If they are Honest, let them heartily apply them­selves to do whatever they can, towards the paiment of what they owe. When they have done that, no body will have reason to complain of them: Nay when they have raised the 480000 l. they will thereby have given such a Pledg of their Integrity to the Nation, that eve­ry body will return to trust them with new Cash as at first: And their latter End will be more glorious than their Beginning. This ap­pears to me reasonable to be expected: I desire it: And I believe it.

[Page 58]But if They themselves believe otherwise, and are of Opinion that all this will not retrieve their Credit; yet however, let them try. I can allow no Apology for any Man's lying still, and crying out, God help him; when he is in a con­dition to rise and help himself. This that I pro­pose will certainly help them in a great Measure: I believe it will do it fully. But admitting the worst of their Despondency; What will then be their Case? What must they do further? What must any one do that is involved in many Intri­cacies, oppressed with the Weight of many In­gagements, and desires to get honourably out of them? Let him sit down and make up his Accounts, set down what he owes, examine how and when he can pay it, and accordingly promise; And till he have made Performance, let him allow Interest to his Creditor for his Forbearance. Will they say that this Allowance of Interest is too hard? Narrow-spirited Men that say so! Nothing is too hard a Condition for the purchase of their lost Credit. Let them recover that first, and they will quickly recover the Price it cost them. But who can say it is too hard for them to allow other Men Interest, when at the same time they receive Interest for those other Mens Money? However some Men may be apt to shuffle, surely no body can have the Con­fidence to maintain directly so unreasonable a thing.

I have supposed much worse of the Bank in e­very respect, than I believe of them; Only that I may examine what the Issue will be, upon the worst that can be supposed. Let us say then that [Page 59] they will pay no Interest; but only (upon a Computation of their Income) fix and promise at what certain Times, and in what Proportions they will pay the Principal. Let them not straiten themselves neither, in the Terms of these Promises; But, however they make them, let them be sure to keep punctual Touch with all Men (and with all Men equally) in the Performance. What Consequence can this pro­duce? I can see no other but that it will occa­sion a certain fixt Difference of Estimation to be settled, between their Bills and running Cash; Not fluctuating as it is now, up and down, in uncomputable Uncertainties. Then, every bo­dy will know, pretty near upon a Matter, what Allowance is reasonable upon Bills payable in such a manner. That Allowance will be what other Nations have termed Agio; which often varies a little, but never much. Yet tho in some respects this Agio of ours will agree with theirs, in others it will differ. One necessary Agree­ment will be, in that He who is obliged to make any Paiment in the more valuable way, if he do it in the less valuable, must allow or pay so much more as the Course of the Difference then goes at. The Payer, I say, in this Case, must always allow this Agio here, as he does it there. And by that means, it must be confest, our Bank and Currant Payments will be in some sort equali­zed, as theirs are. The Difference will always unavoidably cause some little Trouble; Just as it is with clip'd Money brought to the Scale, no more: But the great Disorder in our Coin will be in a good measure redress'd, by this way even [Page 60] as by that. One Disagreement between their Agio and Ours, will be, that the Disadvantage lies there upon Currant Money: Here it will lie upon the Bank. An Ignominy indeed; Tho less than what that Body now lies under. But the great and happy Difference between Foreign Agio and Ours will be, that theirs (being founded upon a real Difference in the several Species of their Coin) must of necessity continue as long as their Coin continues in that State: But ours (being founded only upon the forbear­ance of a little Time) will of necessity grow less and less, as that Time draws nearer and nearer to an End; And, when that expires, in­tirely cease.

These are the Measures (some better, some worse) by which it seems to me that the Bank of England may yet save themselves, and the Nation: And I heartily wish they may take the best; But any, rather than fail. If they will take none, or none that can be depended upon, the Consequences of that Doubt and too dismally obscure for me to penetrate into. A Resolution any way would help. But whilst they neither pursue Methods for the clearing of their whole Debt, nor settle invariable Rules for the pay­ment of any proportionable part of it, how­ever the Disease of our Coin might be cured by the equalizing of it either by the Mill or Scales, yet the irregularity of their Conduct does and will breed us perpetual Inconveniencies. I know not if it would not be better, in respect of the Publick, that they paid nothing; Nothing, I would say, but Interest (for in such a Case, In­terest [Page 61] is indispensably necessary) and that the Course of their Bills in paiment were entirely stop'd. For as in the Stop of clip'd Silver, we have seen how many Hoards were opened; This being the last Species of Clip'd Money left a­mongst us, I see no reason to doubt but that it would unlock them all. And that All, at this present, if it were duly disperst, has been shewn to be abundantly more than what might barely suffice for the Occasions of our Commerce, Mar­kets, and Expences; And might make all man­ner of Paiments easy.

The procuring of that happy Effect, is the only thing that I had in my Eye when I began this Letter. It is time therefore that I now put an End to it. If what I have done, (by any Ope­ration upon the Minds of any Readers) has the least tendency towards what I aim at; The Sa­tisfaction I shall find in having contributed even in the least degree to so publick a Good, will be an abundant Recompence to me for the Pains I have taken in it. And I hope the same Conside­ration will also procure my Excuse with those Readers (and with your self in the first place) to whom by the brighter Light of their own Judgment, this Candle of mine is made very su­perfluous. I am,

Your most humble Servant.
August the 31th, 1696.

Errat. Page 23. line 1. for first read fixt.

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