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fortune straitened by them, be a public merit, that deserves a public and signal reward ; this loss of one fifth of their debts and income will sit heavy on them, who shall feel it, without the alleviation of any profit, or credit, that will thereby accrue to the nation, by such a lessening of our coin.
If any one ask, how I, a retired, private man, come at this time to meddle with money and trade, for they are inseparable? I reply that your lordship, and the other great men, that put me upon it, are answerable for it; whether what I say be to the purpose, or no, that I myself am answerable for. This I can answer to all the world, that I have not said any thing here without a full persuasion of its truth; nor with any other motive, or purpose, than the clearing of this artificially perplexed, rather than in itself mysterious, subject, as far as my poor talent reaches. That which, perhaps, I shall not be so well able to answer to your lordship and myself, is the liberty I have taken, in such an address as this, to profess that I
Your lordship's most humble,
and most obedient servant,
THOUGH Mr. Lowndes and I differ in the way, yet, I assure myself, our end is the same; and that we both propose to ourselves the service of our country. He is a man known só able in the post he is in, to which the business of money peculiarly belongs; and has showed himself so learned in the records and matters of the mint, and so exact in calculations and combinations of numbers relating to our coin, either already in use, or designed by him, that I think I should have troubled the public no more on this subject, had not he himself engaged me in it; and brought it to that pass, that either I must be thought to renounce my own opinion, or must publicly oppose his.
Whilst his treatise was yet a manuscript, and before it was laid before those great persons, to whom it was afterwards submitted, he did me the favour to show it to me ; and made me the compliment, to ask me my opinion of it. Though we had some short discourse on the subject, yet the multiplicity of his business whilst I staid in town, and my health, which soon after forced me out of it, allowed us not an occasion to debate any one point thoroughly, and bring it to an issue. Before I returned to town, his book was in the press, and finished, before I had an opportunity to see Mr. Lowndes again. And here he laid a new obligation on me, not only in giving me one of them, but telling me when I received it from his hands, that it was the first he had parted with to any body. I then went over it a second time, and having more leisure to consider it, I found there were a great many particulars in it drawn out of ancient records, not commonly known, wherewith he had obliged the world. These, which very pleasingly entertained me, though they prevailed not on me to be of his opinion every-where, yet, joined with the great civilities he had shown me, left me in a disposition so little inclined to oppose any thing in it, that I should rather have chosen to acknowledge myself in print, to be his conyert, if his arguments had convinced me, than to have troubled the world with the reasons why I dissent from him.
In this disposition, my pen rested from meddling any farther with this subject whilst I was in town ; soon after, my own health, and the death of a friend, forced me into the country; and the business occasioned thereby, and my own private affairs, took up all my time at my first coming thither; and had continued to do so, had not several repeated intimations and instances from London, not without some reproaches of my backwardness, made me see, that the world concerned me particularly in Mr. Lowndes's postscript, and expected something from me on that occasion.
Though possibly I was not wholly out of his mind when Mr. Lowndes writ that invitation, yet I shall not make myself the compliment, to think I alone am concerned in it. The great importance of the matter, made him desire every one to contribute what he could to the clearing of it, and setting it in a true light. And I must do him this right, to think, that he prefers the public good to his private opinion; and therefore is willing his proposals and arguments should with freedom be examined to the bottom; that, if there be any mistake in them, nobody may be misled by his reputation and authority, to the prejudice of his country. Thus I understand his postscript, and thus I shall endeavour to comply with it. I shall, to the best of my skill, examine his arguments with all respect to him, and fidelity to truth, as far as I can discover it. The frankness of his proceeding in particular with me, assures me he is so great a lover of truth and right, that he will not think himself injured when that is defended; and will be glad, when it is made plain, by whose hand soever it be.
This is what has made me publish these papers, without any derogation to Mr. Lowndes, or so much as a suspicion that he will take it amiss. I judge of him by myself. For I shall think myself obliged to any one, who shall show me, or the public, any material mistake in any thing I have here said, whereon any part of the question turns.
RAISING THE VALUE
SILVER is the instrument and measure of commerce in all the civilized and trading parts of the world.
It is the instrument of commerce by its intrinsic value.
The intrinsic value of silver, considered as money, is that estimate which common consent has placed on it, whereby it is made equivalent to all other things, and consequently is the universal barter, or exchange, which men give and receive for other things they would purchase or part with, for a valuable consideration; and thus, as the wise man tells us, money answers all things.
Silver is the measure of commerce by its quantity, which is the measure also of its intrinsic value. If one grain of silver has an intrinsic value in it, two grains of silver has double that intrinsic value, and three grains treble, and so on proportionably. This we have daily experience of, in common buying and selling; for if