Imatges de pàgina
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tomers. Does not the customer depend upon the manufac. turer of a commodity., without which the customer cannot live? Were a carpenter deftitute of a plane, or a faw, how could he fubfift? All these terms, therefore, we think are convertible.

In the fourteenth chapter of this second book, this writer fhews that trade and industry are not effential to security and happiness; and by making an analysis of Lycurgus's plan of government, he proves that its 'perfection was entirely owing to the fimplicity of the institution. We have more than once, in the course of this Review, disapproved of all the system of Spantan government, no part of which, we think, is applicable to focial life. They were a nation of brutes, and appear the more so, the more we are conversant with their history. . +

The next chapter of this work treats of the application of general principles to particular modifications of trade. The author enquires into the difference between those branches of foreign trade which make nations depend on each other neces: farily, and those where the dependence is only contingent. The subsequent part of his lucubrations upon trade are really interesting to this nations ; but even his recapitulations, though inftructive, are too copious to be abridged.

The third book, which treats of money, contains fuch vas riety of matter, that the author found advantage in dividing it into two parts. In the first, the principles are deduced and applied principally to the domestic circumstances of Great Bri. tain, in the year 1760, when this book was written. In the fecond, the interests of foreign trade, and the state of coin in the two great commercial nations with whom we are in corre, fpondence, are taken in. As this part of our author's work does not admit of any analysis on account of its intricacy, we thálit present our readers with a general view of it from the introduction.

. In an inquiry like this, where, at almost every step, we find it branching out into new relations, which lead to different chains of consequences, it is of use to have recourse to every expedient for connecting the whole together.

For this purpose, an introductory chapter at the beginning of a new subject seems neceffary.

•The reader will have observed that the last chapters of the preceding book (those I mean which treat of the vibration of the balance of wealth and of circulation) have been writ with a view to introduce the subject of money.

* I thought it better to anticipate fome principles by connecting them directly with those of trade, than to introduce this part of my subject as a new treatise.

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• The affiftance our memory receives from such a diftribution must compensate the inconvenience of a few repetitions.

I have, in the last chapters of the second book here re. ferred to, had occafion to mention, and lightly to point out fome effential differences between coin and paper money.' I have shewn the great usefulness of the latter in supporting circulation.

• Although, in giving the definition of paper money in the twenty-fixth chapter of the second book, I mentioned credit as being a term synonimous with it ; yet this was done only for the sake of simplifying our ideas : one of the best expedients for casting light upon an intricate subject. It is now requisite to point out the difference between them.

• Symbolical or paper money is but a species of credit : it is no more than the measure by which credit is reckoned. Credit is the basis of all contracts between men : few can be fo fimul. taneous as not to leave fome performance, or prestation, as the civilians call it, on one side or other, at least for a short time, in fufpence. He therefore who fulfils his part, gives credit to the party who only promises to fulfil, and according to the variety of contracts, the nature of the prestations, or performances, therein ftipulated, and the security given for fulfilling what is not performed, credit affumes different forms, and communicates to us different ideas. . Paper credit or fymbolical money, on the other hand, is more simple. It is an obligation to pay the intrinsic value of certain denominations of money contained in the paper. Here then lies the difference between a payment made in intrinsic value, and another made in paper. He who pays in intrinsic value, puts the person to whom he pays in the real possession of what he owed ; and this done, there is no more place for credit. He who pays in paper puts his creditor only in poffeffion of another person's obligation to make that value good to himn : here credit is necessary even af. ter the payment is made.

Some intrinsic value or therefore, must be found out to form the basis of paper money : for without that it is impossible to fix any determinate standard-worth for the denominations contained in the paper.

• I have found no branch of my subject so difficult to reduce to principles, as the doctrine of money : this difficulty, however, has not deterred me from undertaking it. It is of great consequence to a statesman to understand it thoroughly; and it is of the last importance to trade and credit, that the money of a nation be kept stable and invariable.

• To circumscribe combinations as much as the nature of this subject will admit, I have in the first part adhered to a de

duction

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duction of general principles, taking by way of illustration, as I go along, the present state of the British currency.

• În the second part, I shall examine the effects of turning coin into a manufacture, by fuperadding the price of fabrication to its value; and point out the consequences of this additional combination upon exchange, and the interest of trading nations.

In the course of this disquisition upon coin (a subject to which this author has paid a very extraordinary attention) he confiders the great difference between the present situation of Great Britain, and what it was at, or foon after, the time of the Revolution. He thinks that the scheme of Mr. Lowndes, which was so solidly refuted by Mr. Locke in the year 1695, was eli. gible in 1760, and consequently is so now ; and perhaps the reader may be pleased to see this writer's general notions upon the subject.

• I. That there was then no possibility of determining what the current value of a pound sterling was. month, and was daily declining. At present it is nearly of the fame standard as it has been for many years.

• II. The money-unit then had nothing to preserve it at any determinate value. The filver, to which it was affixed, was clipped three times in a year, while the gold fought its value as a commodity. At present the gold cannot vary: the guinea is fixed, and must pass for 21 shillings, let the filver be ever fo light; and this gives a determinate value to the pound sterling.

* III. In 1695, the whole disorder had been coming on with rapidity; at present it has advanced with imperceptible steps: consequently,

• IV. At that time the number of permanent contracts which stretched beyond the æra of the debasement of the standard, were many; at present they are few.

V. In 1695, a money'd interest was hardly known. 'The sich ha their money in their chests ; now they have it in their pocket-book.

• VI. The difference between the currency and the legal standard in 1695, was one half:. at present it is one twen- tieth.

• VII. The debts of the nation did not then exceed 12 millions :

: now they exceed 140 *. • VIII. Many sums then had been borrowed on allignments of certain branches of the excise, the amount of which was uncertain, and deficiencies (which in such cases are unavoidable)

* In 1766.

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were not made good to the creditors. At present all is paid in determinate fums of pounds sterling,

IX. And lastly, the question was not understood. Locke and Lowndes felt, but did not fue distinály, wherein the difference of their sentiments consisted and those who only feel never describe with perfpicuity.

• It was then generally imagined that a pound could never be more than a paund; but at present people know how to reckon coin by grains, and see clearly that 1718 is inore than 1638.

For these reasons I apprehend, that a scheme, similar to that proposed by Mr. Lowndes, may now be mentioned without offence; that the people of Great Britain are just now as good judges of what is for their intereft, as they were in 1695. And if the decision of a former parliament is ailedged in favour of the old standard, I answer, that such arguinents are only good, when people are disposed to pay a greater deference to the sentiments of their fathers than their own; which I am apt to believe is not the case at present."

We shall not forget ourselves fo far as to decide upon the propriety of this writer's notions of a fübject, to which authorThip is very foreign. It is, however, doing him no more than justice to say, that he writes like a ipan entirely acquainted with his subject, which is at present, perhaps, of more importance than any other to the public of Great Britains

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[ To be continued in our next. ]

IV. The Ignorant Philofopher. With an Address to the Public

upon the Parricides imputed to the Families of Calas and Sirven'. Translated from the French of M. De Voltaire. 8vo. Pr.

45. Bladon.

W

HETHER this is really the production of M. De Vol

taire's pen, or whether the foreign booksellers bave chosen to ascribe this piece to him, in hopes of establishing its reputation, we will not pretend to determine , but if he be really innocent of the charge, as he frequently avers upon fimilar occafions, it must be acknowledged that the present writer has been very successful in ijnitating his stile and manner. There is, indeed, a great fimilitude between this and some of M. De Voltaire's pieces, particularly bis Candide ; which every reader must be convinced of, who compares Art. 26. with many passages in that book.

This writer says, “In my various peregrinations in search of instruction, I met with some disciples of Plato. Come along with me, said one of them, you are in the best of worlds; we have far surpassed our master. There were in his time only five possible worlds, because there are but five regular bodies ; but now there are an infinity of pollible universes; God has chosen the best; come and you will be satisfied with it. I humbly replied, The worlds which God might create, were either better, perfectly equal, or inferior. He could not chuse the worst. Those which were equal, supposing such to be, could have no preference; they were ever completely the same; there could have been no choice amongst them; to fix upon one or the other was just the same. It was therefore imporsible that he could avoid chusing the best. But how could the others be poslible, when it is impoflible they can exist?

• He made some very curious distinctions, incessantly afsuring me, without knowing what he said, that this world is the best of all really possible worlds. But being just then tor : tured with the stone, which gave me most insupportable pain, the citizens of the best of worlds conducted me to the neigh bouring hospital. In the way, two of these perfectly happy inhabitants were carried off by two creatures of their own like ness: they were loaded with irons, the one for debt, the other upon mere fufpicion. I know not whether I was conducted into one of the best possible hospitals ; but I was crowded amongst two or three thousand wretches like myself. Here were many defenders of their country, who informed me, that they had been trepanned and diffected alive ; that they had arms and legs cut off ; and that many thousands of their generous fellow-countrymen had been massacred in one of the thirty battles fought in the last war, which is about the hundredth million war since we have been acquainted with wars. One might also meet in this house about a thousand persons of both sexes, who resembled hideous spectres, and who were rubbed with a certain metal, because they had followed the law of nature, and because nature had, I know not how, taken the precaution of poisoning in them the source of life. I thanked my two conductors.

• After a very sharp iron had been thrust into my bladder, and some stones were extracted froin this quarry ; when I was cured, and I had no farther complaints, than a few disagreeable pains for the rest of my days, I made my representations to my guides. I took the liberty of telling them there was fome good in this world, as the surgeons had extracted four Aints from the center of my torn intrails ; but that I would much rather that bladders had been lanthorns than quarries. I Vol. XXIII. June, 1767.

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