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A30882 A discourse concerning coining the new money lighter in answer to Mr. Lock's Considerations about raising the value of money / by Nicholas Barbon, Esq. Barbon, Nicholas, d. 1698. 1696 (1696) Wing B706; ESTC R12375 47,571 114

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Argument's sake suppose there is a Balance of Trade and that it is or may be cast up every year with every Nation yet it will not follow that the Balance of the Account must be paid in money For if the Balance be paid by Value it is no matter by what sort of Goods that Value is paid For one sort of Wares are as good as another if the Values be equal An hundred pounds worth of Lead or Iron is as good as an hundred pounds worth of Silver or Gold The general way of Balancing all Accompts in Foreign Trade is by Bills of Exchange For Foreign Exchange is the paying a Sum of Money in one Country to be repaid the same Sum in the Foreign Coin of another Country with allowance of Interest for the time of paying it according to the Agreement which is call'd with single or double Usance In the Infancy of Foreign Trade in England all Foreign Exchange was made in an Office set up on purpose to return Bills of Exchange which Office at first was setled by Act of Parliament and afterwards the Kings granted Patents for the keeping of it The last Patent was granted to the Lord Burleigh then Lord Treasurer in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth Those that kept the Office did generally belong to the Mints and were well acquainted with Bullion and Foreign Coins but with no other Commodities In those days being the beginning of Foreign Trade all sorts of Foreign Coins were in all Trading Countries currant In the Vnited Provinces Foreign Coins were currant till the year 1622 at which time a Placate was set out forbidding all Foreign Coins to pass any otherwise than as Bullion by weight except about half a score sorts of Gold Coins and as many Silver therein expressed In France all Foreign Coins were currant till the year 1614 in the Reign of Lewis XIII In those days all sorts of Money being currant the Money was often sent over in Specie from one Country to another to buy Goods and Balance Accompts And therefore in the Reign of Harry VIII the Money in the Kingdom being grown very scarce there was a great Complaint against the Exchangers for sending away the Money of the Kingdom whereupon he ordered a stop upon the Office of Foreign Exchange and prohibited for some time any Foreign Bills to be either accepted or drawn to prevent the sending away of the Money But since Foreign Trade is grown more dispers'd and enlarg'd almost every Merchant accepts and draws Bills of Exchange And since no money now passes currant but in that Country where it is coin'd it is not usual to send over Money in specie to buy Goods or balance the Accompt For the Merchants that draw and accept Bills of Exchange being general Traders and acquainted with the Value of all sorts of Goods and Money being a Commodity and reckon'd as Bullion in a Foreign Country if there be Effects of the same Value to answer the Bill in any sort of Goods it is the same thing as if Money was sent to answer it And if the Merchant has no effects in the Countrey where the Bill is to be paid yet if he has in any Foreign Countrey to which Bills of Exchange are usually drawn he may answer his Bill and pay the Balance of his accompt without Money by drawing Bills from one place to another where his effects are And therefore when Mr. Lock says That the Balance of the Foreign accompt must be sent over and paid in Money he must suppose that the Nation has no other effects in any other Foreign Countrey but that they are at the self-same time even every where else which never was nor never can be as long as a Nation continues in Trade And also that there must be a stop put to Trade till such an accompt be Balanc'd by the payment of the Money or else a Nation that has any effects in Value might send over Goods to balance the accompt without sending over their Money Besides some Nations have little or no Bullion in their Countrey as Denmark Sueden and the Northern parts of the World And yet the Merchants Accompts are as well Paid and Balanc'd as in any other countrey where there is more plenty of Gold and Silver For as the course of Foreign Trade now is there is no occasion to send over Money to buy Goods or Balance the Account for the Money is paid at the time when the Bill is first drawn So that there is no occasion to send Money over where the Bill is to be accepted and repaid and the buying of Goods or Balancing of the Accompt is done by the Foreign Money of the Countrey which is receiv'd from the person that accepts the Bill Money is never carried out of any Countrey where it is Coin'd except it be to those Countries where the Bullion bears a higher price than what the Money is currant at Or when the Exchange runs so high to any Country as it will be more profit to the Merchant to melt down the money and send it over in Bullion than by Bills of Exchange And in both these Cases it may often fall out that the money may be sent over to a Country and yet no Debt contracted in that Country And therefore the Balancing the Accompt can't be the reason of drawing the money out of a Nation For tho' Spain were not indebted to any Nation yet the Gold and Silver would be brought away For being more plentiful there than in any part of Europe because of the West-Indies that belong to 'em is consequently there of a lower Value And being their chief Staple Commodity having little other Goods of Value if they will Trade with other Nations and have their Commodities they must give their Bullion in Exchange tho' their Laws are Capital that prohibit it And yet every time they Traffick with other Nations there may be no Debts left on either side And the same likewise may be observ'd in the course of Foreign Exchange For the rise and fall of Foreign Exchange is from the difference of the Sums that are to be return'd in the Exchange Just as all sorts of Goods are cheaper or dearer from their plenty or scarcity so the Exchange to any place is either higher or lower according to the greater or lesser quantity of money that is to be return'd by the Exchange Sometimes an hundred pound may be worth five or ten per cent to be return'd and a little while after to the same place may be worth as much to the contrary And if it happens when the Exchange is high that there is as great a conveniency in sending to the same place the Bullion as there is to get a Bill of Exchange the Merchant to save five or ten per cent will send away the money And this may fall out when there is no Debt owing at the place As to instance If a Merchant were to buy Goods at Francfort or Amsterdam at the
with the profit of the Customs to the Government are lost By such Laws several sorts of Linnens and other Commodities are prohibited and the Trade to several parts of Germany Russia Muscovy c. is thereby almost lost A well-regulated and proportion'd Duty laid upon Foreign Wares may be very useful to a Trading Nation but then it must be so proportion'd that it may not hinder the importation of such Foreign Goods nor lessen the make and consumption of the Native Commodities that are for the same uses which may be done by setting the Duties so high as that the Native Commodities may be afforded much cheaper And then the Foreign Wares will only be bought and us'd by the richer sort of People and the Native Commodities will be us'd by the rest which are the great Body of the People that cause the great consumption And that proportion of the Native Commodities which perhaps might have been us'd by the richer sort if such Foreign Wares had not been imported will be exported in Exchange by the Merchant and be consum'd by the richer People of those Countries from whence such Goods were imported So that the same quantity of the Native Commodities will be made and consum'd the Owners of Ships and Mariners will have profit by the Freight the Merchant by his Trade and the King by his Customs For things have no Value in themselves It is opinion and fashion brings them into use and gives them a value And all Foreign Wares especially the dearer sort are us'd chiefly for Ornaments and as Badges of Riches because they are Foreign and rare and not from any extraordinary quality or goodness in the make of them And the same humor and opinion is in all Nations The French value the English Cloth Hats Gloves and other English Wares more than their own as we us'd to do French Stuffs Hats and Jessamin Gloves and other French Goods And this particular humor and opinion of valuing Foreign Commodities is the chief support of Foreign Trade which is so beneficial to all Nations Therefore there is nothing of so great a Concern to a Trading Nation as the well-regulating the Custom House Rates Those Gentlemen that discourse much of the Balance of Trade do often find fault with the wearing and consuming so much Foreign Wares which hinder in their opinion the consumption of the Native And therefore us'd to exclaim much against the wearing of Silk and drinking so much French and other Wines And do believe that if such quantities of Foreign Goods were not imported and worn the Return would be made in Bullion which would make the Nation much richer This is their general Complaint But if it be consider'd it will be found that there is little reason for 't and that the wearing of Silk may be as profitable to the Nation as the wearing of Cloth That the importing of Wines makes the Nation as rich as by importing of Bullion And that if the Inhabitants did not wear Silk and drink Wine they would neither have Silk Wine nor Bullion For this is a certain Maxim in Trade That the foundation of all Foreign Trade is from the Native or Staple Commodities of each Country It is by the Exchange of the Staple Commodities of England Tin Lead and all sorts of Woollen Manufactures that Gold Silver Silk Wines and all sorts of Foreign Goods are imported And as a Nation has nothing else at first to begin Traffick but with its Native Commodities so it cannot be continued without And whensoever those are prohibited the Trade to that Country must be lost with the profit that was got by that Trade for there is no Foreign Trade but is profitable to a Nation or at least may be made so and it is not for the Interest of a Trading Nation to use none but their own Native Commodities And therefore if Silks were not worn here then there would be none imported nor no Cloth nor Serges exported and worn in those Countries from whence we fetch our Silk because they have nothing to give in Exchange but Silk which is their Native Commodity And it is more profitable for the Nation that the Woollen Manufactures should be worn in Foreign Countries than in their own because the profit of the carriage which is the exporting of the Woollen Manufactures and importing of the Silk is gain'd by it And the same general Rule maybe observ'd in the Trade for Wines and all Foreign Wares And tho' the importing of Wines be extremely cry'd out against yet it is one of the best Trades to England for being a very bulky Commodity it pays a great Freight And being for the use of the richer People it pays a greater Duty to the King and that without complaint For England being an Island and the Riches and Strength of it being from Trade and Shipping those Commodities that are bulky ought to be valued as most profitable And if some Gentlemen object That the greatest part of the French Wines us'd to be bought with Bullion They will answer themselves if they reflect that we have no Bullion here in England and therefore must have it at first by the Exchange of some of our Native Commodities And if it be fetch'd from Spain by Bays Serges or other Commodities and afterwards carried into France that 's no disadvantage For the Merchants are paid for the double carriage of it in the price of the Wines by those that sell 'em for every Merchant expects profit in making his Bargain But some Gentlemen are of opinion That it is a great disadvantage to a Nation to carry out the Bullion which is a Treasure and not perishable and bring in Wines that are consum'd and the Nation never the richer for them after they are drank And it is by this way that they make up the account of the Balance whether a Nation gets or loses by Trade And for Argument commonly use a Simile formerly publish'd by Mr. Mun in his Discourse of the Balance of Trade and compare the Stock of a Nation to a private person suppos'd to have a thousand pound a year and two thousand pound in his Chest If he spends fifteen hundred a year in four years time his two thousand pound will be spent And so on the contrary if he spends but five hundred pounds a year in the same time he will double his money in his Chest. The same will be to a Nation so much as is imported and consumed more of the Foreign Commodities than is exported of the Native so much will the Stock of the Nation be wasted And so on the contrary by how much less is consumed of Foreign Wares than is exported of the Native so much will the Stock of the Nation be increased because the Balance on either side must be return'd in Bullion Upon this Simile is founded the opinion for the Balance of Trade which is to enquire Whether a Nation gets or loses by any particular Trade from the difference
continuance but has Coin'd their Money lighter then they did at the first beginning of their Coinage The way of raising the Value of the Money is not in all Countries alike In the Vnited Provinces Flanders Germany and the Northern parts of Europe it has been usually by putting in a greater Allay and making of it a little courser and a little lighter The Standard of the Vnited States was at first Nine Ounces and an half fine Silver and Two and an half Allay in the pound Troy But since by degrees their Standard has been brought to Nine Ounces fine and Three Ounces Allay And likewise their new Dollars have been Coined lighter so that the old Dollars that went before at Six and thirty Stivers were rais'd to Forty And the same might be observ'd in all the rest of the Mints of Flanders Germany and the Northern parts In Italy France and England the way of raising their Coin has been generally by keeping the old Standard for fineness and only by altering the weight from time to time Coining their New Money lighter as they had occasion to raise the Value of their Money In Portugal and Spain the usual method of raising their Money has not been by altering their Standard either in fineness or weight but by giving a Rise to their Money by a Computation made from the Value of the Copper Money that is a Riall of Eight which in Spain was formerly of the Value of Three hundred and seventy Malvedies was raised to pass currant for Four hundred Malvedies which is their Copper Money and so higher from time to time And the same is to be observ'd in Portugal They raise the Value of their Money by their Reas which is their Copper Money And the Ducat or Crusado that us'd to pass for Four hundred Reas has been rais'd to Four hundred and fifty and higher The usual Proportion of Value that Princes and States give to their Silver and Gold Money when they Raise the Value of them is generally betwixt Ten and Fifteen per cent above the Market-price of Silver and Gold The French Crown was Raised from Sixty Sous to Sixty five which is about Ten percent And about three or four Years since the Crown was Raised to Seventy two Sous which is near Fifteen per cent The Rix-Dollar Coin'd at Fifty Stivers was Raised to Fifty five Stivers and since to Sixty which is about Ten per cent The Kings of England have Rais'd their Money from Twenty to Twenty five Thirty Thirty seven c. whch is after the same proportion as the Emperor the French King and other Princes and States have done The Dutch raise the Value of their Money by adding a greater Allay as has been observ'd which is less taken notice of and so does not disturb the minds of those persons who think the value of Money is solely from the quantity of fine Silver in each piece The Reason why Princes and States do observe to give no greater Proportion of Value to their Money when they new raise it than betwixt Ten and Fifteen per cent above the currant price of Bullion is to prevent counterfeiting For tho' there are Laws in all Countries with severe Penalties to prohibit the counterfeiting of Money yet none are kept and observed where there is great Profit to be got by breaking of them And no persons will counterfeit the Stamp and make the Money the same both in weight and fineness for only Ten or Fifteen per cent Profit For they must Coin a great quantity to make their Profit considerable if they make the Money of the same weight and fineness it will not be One hundred and forty pound clear Profit in Coining of a Thousand pound at Fifteen per cent because of the charge of Coinage And none but the rich man can vent a great quantity and he 'll not hazard the loss of his Life and Estate for such small Gain The poor man cannot attempt it because he can neither get Bullion to Coin nor vent a quantity after 't is Coin'd And why should any man venture his Life for such small Profit when every Merchant and Tradesman gets more without any such hazard Therefore those that coin false Money counterfeit the Metal as well as the Stamp to make it profitable But then it is much easier discovered and they are often punish'd with death For they must counterfeit the weight colour and size of the Piece as well as the Stamp which is much more difficult than only to counterfeit the Stamp So that the Princes and States may as safely coin their Money Ten or Fifteen per cent above the price of Bullion without danger of counterfeiting as if they should coin it exactly to the Market-price The Reason why the Princes and States when they have rais'd the Value of their Money have not coin'd it nearer to the price of Bullion than about the difference of Ten per cent is to avoid the too often raising the Value of their Coin which when ever it is done is apt to create some little murmur and discontent amongst the People And if they should coin it near the Value they would be forced to raise their Money as oft as Silver rises in its price above the Value of the Coin which would be every Five or Ten Year whereas by raising of it betwixt Ten of Fifteen per cent they have not usually rais'd it but once in Fifty or Threescore Years As to instance from Edward the Third's time to Queen Elizabeth which was betwixt Two hundred and fifty and Three hundred Years from the first raising of the Money from Twenty pence in an Ounce of Silver to Threescore pence is betwixt Ten or Twelve per cent for every Fifty Years And the like might be observ'd if it were necessary in all the Mints of Europe In the Reign of Edward VI. when there was so great an Allay put into the Money as rais'd it to Forty or Fifty per cent profit above the price of Silver there were Barrels of counterfeit Money seiz'd at the Custom-house that were sent from Foreign parts The knowledge of that created so great a jealousy and disturbance in the minds of the People that scarce any Money would pass for fear of receiving that which was counterfeit For the knowledge of the goodness of Silver is a Mystery that few are acquainted with and when there is so great an Allay put into the Money those that counterfeit may make the Metal as good if not better than the true Money because there 's profit sufficient by only counterfeiting the Stamp And that may be so well imitated as not one in a thousand may discover the difference betwixt the true and the false Stamp And tho' the Metal may be as good or better than the true Money yet it being counterfeited it 's none of the Government 's Money And wanting their Authority by which it is made currant no man is oblig'd to take it and therefore
every body refuses the Money in general for fear the loss should fall upon him that last takes it so that the Money becomes useless having lost the currancy and quality of Money and all the murmur and disorder ensues that usually attends a Nation that want Money to drive their Trade and Commerce Other Instances might be given but this with the common usage of not exceeding Ten or Fifteen per cent when the Money is rais'd may be sufficient to answer Mr. Lock 's Objection That the Governments cannot raise their Money as high as they please nor make themselves as Rich as they please The great Objection that Mr. Lock makes against the raising the Value of Money is That if the Government have a Power to give a Value of Ten per cent to their Money why not Twenty Fifty or as high as they please And then it would be in the Government 's Power at any time to make themselves as rich as they please Such a Power at this time were to be wish'd for when the Nation is engag'd in so chargeable a War But that 's the misfortune that attends us that such a Power can be only wish'd for For tho' Princes and States have a Power to give a Value to their Money yet that Power is limited And when ever they have attempted to exceed those Limits which upon an extraordinary emergency they have sometimes done they have fallen under greater mischiefs by reason the Money has been always counterfeited than the advantages they propos'd to themselves amounted to by doing of it and have always been forc'd to call in such Money and reduce the Value within its usual limits and bounds There are two Causes why Princes and States raise the Value of their money the one is Ordinary and the other Extraordinary The Ordinary and Common Cause of Raising the Value of the Coin is the Rise of Bullion Gold and Silver are Commodities for other Uses besides the making of money as for making of Plate Lace Gilding c. And besides it 's scarcer in some Countries and more plenty in others And the Value of all things arising from their Occasions and Plenty and Scarcity making things cheap and dear when ever the Goldsmiths and the Makers of Plate Lace c. and the Merchants to export it to the Indies or those Countries where 't is more scarce will give more for Bullion to supply such occasions than the Mints can afford to do according to the Value the money is at the Princes and States have been forced from time to time to raise the Value of their Coin to prevent it from being melted down and carried away The knowledge when Bullion is risen above the Value of the money is discover'd by the Mints For the Mints are the common Shops and Market place for the Merchants to carry in their Bullion And when ever they forbear the bringing of it thither it is certain it will yield them a better price in another place For Bullion never continues long in a place unalter'd because it yields no profit while it continues so But if it be carried to the Mint to be Coin'd it becomes useful for Trade and Commerce and saves the charge of borrowing money or else may be put out to Interest And if it be wrought into Plate Lace c. it pays for the fashion and workmanship And if it be transported to the Indies or some Country where it 's dearer it produces profit by the exchange of those Goods that are bought with it When ever any of the Princes and States in Europe Raise the Value of their Coin the rest generally follow It were too long to give particular Instances but if it be examin'd by the Records of the Mints of the Kings of France with those of the Mints of the Kings of England it will appear that they have Rais'd their Money from time to time as the Kings of England have done or rather higher For that since the time of St. Lewis who was co-temporary with Edward the IIId the Sols and Crowns contained then near six times more of fine Silver than the Sols and French Crowns do that are lately Coin'd which is a greater proportion than the Money has Risen in England since Edward the Third's Time being not quite four times lighter The reason is it 's almost a hundred years since the English have Raised the Value of their Silver Coin and in the same time the French have Rais'd theirs twice which would have made the English Money much of the same Rise with giving of allowance to the custom of the English who have always undervalued their Silver Money and overvalued their Gold in respect to their Neighbour Nations and have since twice Rais'd the value of their Gold to wit in King Iames the First 's time who Coin'd a twenty-Shilling-piece of Gold lighter by Two shillings than that which he Coin'd in the beginning of his Reign which rais'd the value of his first Iacobus's to Two and Twenty Shillings And in King Charles the Second's time who Coin'd the Guinea Two shillings lighter han the Broad-Piece So that when the Guinea was currant at Twenty shillings the Broad-Piece went for Two and Twenty There seems to be an absolute necessity for the Princes aud States of Europe to Raise the value of their Money much about the same time or else they cannot preserve it in their Countries notwithstanding any severe Laws to prohibit the Melting and Exporting of it For there being a constant Commerce and Traffick betwixt all the Countries of Europe If one Prince sets a much higher value on his Money than another the Merchants whose business it is to observe where they can get most profit will melt down the Coin of one Countrey and carry it to the Mint of another Countrey where the Money is Rais'd and will yield the greatest price This will appear plain by an Instance here in England For the Kings of England having not Rais'd their Silver Money since the Reign of Queen Elizabeth which is about a hundred years ago and the rest of the Princes and States of Europe having since that time twice rais'd their several Coins to wit in the Reign of King Iames the First and about Four or Five years since That although there has been since that time Coin'd in England with allowance of what was Coin'd in Queen Elizabeth's Reign the Sum of 19429061 l. 19 s. 6 d. as appears by the Records of the Mint yet by the Computation that Mr. Lownds makes there is not above Five Millions Six hundred thousand pounds remaining which in my opinion is more than will be found to be upon the new Coinage of the Money by the calculation he makes from the Worn and Clipp'd Money So that there has been near Fourteen Millions melted down and carried away within this space of time And had it not been for some accidental causes that brought Bullion to the Mint since the Foreign Princes have rais'd
the value of their Coins there had been very little Silver Money Coin'd and much less to be found now in England For in King Charles the First 's time by the Civil Wars of England the Plate was brought to the Mints to be Coin'd which was the cause of the great sum of Silver Money Coin'd in his Reign The Calling in the Parliament-Money in King Charles the Second's time and new Coining of it The Two or Three hundred thousand pounds that were yearly sent into England from France upon some particular occasions during his Reign with the Money that Dunkirk was sold for And the Act of Parliament for giving away the charge of Coinage to incourage the Merchants to bring Bullion to the Mint being almost Three and an Half per cent were the occasion of the Silver money Coin'd in his Reign And if the two Sums Coined in these two Kings Reigns which make about Twelve Millions with the Money that was Coin'd in Queen Elizabeth's Reign and a Million that was Coin'd in the Reign of King Iames the First before the Foreign Princes Rais'd the value of their Coins be put together they will make near eighteen Millions So that were it not for these accidental Causes there had not been Coin'd in the Mint of England Two Millions of Silver Money since the Foreign Princes Rais'd the Value of their Coins And had it not been for the wearing of some of the old Money lighter by often telling it over and Clipping of the rest by which they were made unprofitable to melt down by this time in all probability there had scarce been a Silver piece of Money to be seen in England And that the Raising the Coin in Foreign parts and the not Raising the Silver Coin in England was the cause of melting it down and Transporting it will plainly appear from the plenty of the Gold here compared with the Silver For since the Forty third of Queen Elizabeth being the last time that the Silver Money was rais'd here in England the Gold has been twice greatly rais'd by which means there is here double if not treble the quantity of Gold for Silver whereas in all other Kingdoms and States in Europe there is ten times more Silver Money than Gold For in the Forty third Year of Queen Elizabeth according to Mr. Lownds's account from the Records of the Mint which all men agree is very exact a pound weight Troy of Gold of the Standard of Twenty two Carats fine and Two Carats Allay was Coin'd into Thirty three Soveraigns and an half at Twenty shillings a piece making Thirty three pounds ten shillings In the Reign of King Iames I. the Gold was rais'd and the same pound weight and standard of Gold was coin'd into as many Units Double-Corowns and other pieces of Gold as made up Forty pound eighteen shillings and four pence And in King Charles the Second's time the Gold was again rais'd and the same standard and weight was coin'd into Forty four Guineas and an half at Twenty shillings a piece So that from Thirty three pound ten shillings in Queen Elizabeth's time to Forty four pound ten shillings in King Charles's Reign the Gold was rais'd near Three and thirty per cent since the Silver money has been rais'd which is the reason of the great plenty of Gold and scarcity of Silver What was the reason that these two Princes rais'd their Gold and not their Silver is not to be imagin'd unless it was from some powerful Argument offer'd by the Guiney Company whose Interest it is to have Gold rais'd which does not appear And that this raising the Gold is the cause that it is more plentiful here in England than Silver will appear yet more plain if the Records of the Mint be examin'd since King Charles the Second's Restauration For since that time there has been coin'd in the Mint of England 7263836 l. 1 s. 5 d. and in Silver but 4319585 l. 9 s. 5 d. which does not want much of double the quantity of Gold Money that has been coin'd more than Silver And when the Guineas had an extraordinary Rise here in England as to be currant at Eight and twenty and Thirty shillings a piece there was above Seven hundred and twenty thousand pounds in Gold coin'd in little more than Nine months time which was more than was coin'd in six or eight Years before which shews plainly that the raising the Value of the Gold money here in England is the cause that so much is imported and coin'd here And on the contrary the not raising of the Silver money in proportion as the Foreign Mints have done is the cause of its being cons●●ntly melted down and carried away notwithstanding the many Laws to prohibit it For there are severe Laws in all Kingdoms and States that prohibit the counterfeiting clipping melting and exporting the money In all Countries 't is death to counterfeit and clip the money In France England and several other Countries it is a high Crime to melt it down and forfeiture of the money to export it and in Spain 't is death to transport it And yet when ever it has been profitable it has been always melted down and carried away So that by experience Princes and States have found that there is no other way to preserve it in the Country but by raising the Value of their money so much above the price of Bullion that the Merchant may get more by carrying away the Bullion than the Money The cause of raising the Money here in Europe will always continue as long as the Europeans continue in Traffick and Commerce for Trade makes a People rich and Gold and Silver are Badges of Riches and therefore as the People grow rich the price of Gold and Silver will rise because the occasions for Gold and Silver will still increase Especially as long as the Trade continues to the Mogul's Country in the East-Indies For the Princes and great People there believe that the possession of Gold and Silver is not only an Honour to them while they are alive but that they shall have a Respect in the next World according to the quantity of Gold and Silver they die possess'd of And therefore what-ever Gold and Silver they get more than is absolutely necessary for Commerce and Traffick they from time to time melt into a Mass or Tank which is buried with them so that great part of what 's dug out of the West is buried in the East And altho' there have been great quantities of Gold and Silver brought into Europe since the Discovery of the West-Indies yet the price of them has always risen and will always continue so as long as the People grow rich by Trade which will make the occasions for them greater than the quantity which is the Rule by which all things are made dear This continual Rise of Gold and Silver will be no prejudice to the Princes and States if they do but observe to
Silver in it By this Argument in my opinion they seem to be but young Courtiers and make an ill sort of Compliment to His Majesty by giving a greater Value and Respect to the Metal than to the Effigies of the King when they won't allow that the Stamp and Effigies upon the Coin gives a Value to the money and that the King's Authority makes it currant when all the Coins of his Predecessors were no otherwise made the current money of England but by their Proclamation These are the chief Objections against Raising the Value of the Money which I hope I have fully answer'd and shewn That they are only imaginary Mischiefs But if the Money be not Rais'd the Mischiefs will be real and Consequences very fatal to the Nation For if the money be new-coin'd according to the old Standard it will be certainly melted down and carried away as fast as 't is Coin'd notwithstanding all the Laws that can be made to prevent it and the Nation be left without money The Consequence whereof will be That Trade will be at a stand The prices of all Commodities will fall And a general Poverty and Clamour over the whole Nation ensue For Money is the measure of Commerce And for a Nation to be without money is the same thing as if it were without measures and had neither Yards Scales nor Bushels in the Country without some of which no Bargain can be made In those Countries where the Inhabitants do not live upon Trade but a Country-life every man having always Provisions suf●icient to sustain life they may shift without money and barter one Commodity for another But in England where the great Body of the People depend upon Trade and that by selling of such Goods the greatest part of which the People are under no great necessity of having but may shift without and have no way of feeding themselves but ●y the profit of such Bargains they cannot ●ive without money and if there were no money would starve because no persons will ●arter for those Goods that they have no ab●olute occasion for if they want money Besides the want of money in a Nation will bring down the price of all Commo●ities for according to the Consumption of ●l Goods and the occasion there is for 'em ●he price will rise When money is wanting men consume less They are better Hus●ands and make every thing last longer which lessens the consumption of the Native Commodities and makes the price of them ●o fall and if the price of the Native Commodities fall the Rents of the Land will ●●nk For the Tenants cannot pay the same ●ent when the Corn and Wooll and other Commodities which are the Product of the and fall to half the Value To conclude There is nothing so much the Interest of the Nation as at this time to raise their Money It will increase the speties of the Coin and save the Nation near a Million of Money now they are engag'd in a chargeable War And if there were no other Reason but this which has been the cause that several Prince and States have rais'd their Money and have found great Success by 't it were an Argument sufficient For if all the money should be new-coin'd to th● old Standard it would not produce much above ha● the quantity of the money before it was new-coin'd And there might be several Instances given beside that of the Romans and French where Princes and States have Rais'd their money in time of War o● purpose to increase the quantity of it But not on President where by new-coining of it in the tim● of War the quantity has been made less Besides There is a greater Reason for Raising th● money while the War continues in Foreign Part because during the continuance of the Army i● Flanders the Exchange to those places will he high because of the constant occasion to remit mon●● to those Parts to pay the Army But if the mon●● be Rais'd above the price of Bullion the Dutch 〈◊〉 Flemish Merchants that pay the Bills of Exchange 〈◊〉 Flanders with their money with which the Army 〈◊〉 paid will send for their Effects in Bullion or the N●tive Commodities of England because it will 〈◊〉 more profitable to them if the money be Rais'd b●● if it be not Rais'd it will be more profitable to me●● down the money and send it away than Bills of E●change By which in a short time there will be 〈◊〉 money left in the Nation For the Merchant is paid for the remitting t● money at the first making of the Bargain and no● ever expected to make an advantage by melting do●● the money of the Country and sending it away F●● if so the Merchant need not pay for the Bill of E●change But he proposes to have his Return made of his Bill by the Goods and Effects of the Country from whence the Bill was sent and that will be much more for the advantage of the Nation for the Stock of the Nation is perpetual There is a new Crop of Corn and Wooll every Year and the Mines are never to be exhausted And the paying of the Foreign Bills with the Native Stock of the Country which is the usual way that all Foreign Bills are paid can never prejudice a Nation Besides If it were not in a time of War the Silver money ought to be Rais'd because the Foreign Princes have Rais'd their money twice since the Silver money has been Rais'd in England And 't is the constant usage of all the Foreign Princes and States in Europe to set a pretty equal Valuation upon their money above the price of Bullion and to Raise their money much about the same time or else the money of the Country where 't is not Rais'd would be melted down by the Merchants and carried to the Mints of those Countries where it is Rais'd and the Bullion yields a greater profit and so in a short time there would be no money left in that Country The truth of which has been sufficiently shewn from the great quantity of Silver money being above Fifteen Millions that has been melted down since the Silver money was Rais'd in England and there will be the same Consequence if the money be now coin'd to the old Standard because the money is of more Value when 't is melted into Bullion than in Coin Some are of opinion that the way to keep the Silver Money in the Nation is to sink the price of the Gold And would have Guineas brought to Two and twenty believing that the Silver Money will be bought up by the Gold and exported By this way of arguing they must agree that Silver is of a greater Value in another Country or else there would be no advantage got by exporting it And if the Gold be set at Two and Twenty or Five and twenty it won't preserve the Silver because every Merchant and Trader may take the Silver Money by the Sale of his Goods and need not buy it with the Gold And if Guineas be sunk to Two and twenty it will be a severe Loss to those People that have taken them at higher Rates And a damage to the Nation by lessning the quantity of the Coin and by low'ring the price of them may cause them to be exported So that there will be neither Gold nor Silver left in the Nation To conclude this Discourse If nothing in it self has a certain Price or Value If Gold and Silver are Commodities of uncertain Values If Money has its Value from the Authority of the Government which makes it currant and fixes the price of each piece of Metal Then the Money will be of as good Value to all intents and purposes when it is coin'd lighter For the Authority being the same the Value will be the same It will buy as much Goods The Landlord will have as much Rent And the Nation will save a Million of Money at a time when they have so great occasion for it Besides the preventing those fatal Consequences that follow the Coining the Money too weighty As The Loss of the Money Decay of Trade The Fall of