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After noticing other economists of the XIVth century, Cossa wrote: “Last must be mentioned the most remarkable of them all, Nicholas Oresme, who died in 1382 as Bishop of Lisieux. He wrote his De origine, natura, sure et mutationibus monetarum for his pupil Charles V., and afterwards republished it in French. Here is a simple, well-arranged, and clear summary of the theory of money, together with a masterly arraignment of those who were for debasing coin. Roscher, like all the generations of specialists who had read this brief masterpiece, conceived a high opinion of its merits, and his commendation led Wolowski to prepare an admirable edition of it in Latin and French, which was printed in 1864.” Later on in the same work, after noticing a number of writers who had treated of coinage from different points of view, Cossa wrote: “But none of the authors above mentioned compare in importance with those who dealt with the very same problems from a purely economic point of view.

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Anticipates Gresham's Theorem. 161

Nicholas Copernicus, the astronomer, in or about the year 1526, upon the invitation of King Sigismund of Poland, wrote a pamphlet, De moneta cudendae ratione, which was not published until 1816, and was reprinted and translated into French in 1864 by Wolowski. Copernicus there explains clearly the functions of money, condemning all debasement, as well as the so-called right of dominion (seigneurage) He shows the harm underlying all these practices, while he justifies alloy and anticipates Gresham's theorem, strongly favouring also a concentration and simplification of the uttering of coins; and finally he makes a special application of all his views to the conditions actually existing in certain Prussian provinces

then under Polish rule.”

Macleod prints letters commending his legal ability, etc., from Lords Hatherley, Westbury, Selborne, Coleridge, Penzance, Ardmillan, and Manor, and Lords Chief Justice Bovill, Cockburn, etc., and no more stalwart advocate of gold monometallism

could be selected. That Macleod's book

must be greatly to the taste of those who like their gold monometallism hot, a few extracts will sufficiently show. He writes: “They [Bimetallists] never adduce any real facts and arguments. They do nothing but pour forth torrents of frothy rhetoric and declamation, with abusive epithets on all the solid arguments upon which monometalism has been adopted.” “There is not the faintest shadow of the shade of the ghost of the no differential co-efficient of a pin's point of evidence in favor of the contention of the Bimetalists. It is absolutely ZERO.” If this is so, one is tempted to ask, “Why do you write a book with the title ‘Bimetalism' 2" “Why do you not write a treatise to overturn the ‘Theory that the Moon is made of Green Cheese’?” In the following climax, Macleod appeals strongly to such as have “grasped the great central idea " that whatever is (in British institutions) is right. “And ever since then [1816, when

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England adopted the gold standard], England has enjoyed the most perfect system of coinage ever devised by the ingenuity of man.” Of course it is obvious that a nondecimal system with 4.3 17s. Ioka, the ounce of gold is ideal perfection I need not undertake to reply to some of the strong language used by Mr. Macleod against bimetallists, whom he charges generally with dishonesty and fraud. We are accustomed to such amenities in America also. Here gold monometallists commonly say to their opponents: “You are not necessarily lunatics. You may be only undeveloped idiots. But it is fair to presume that you are rogues.” The problem of the proper relation of gold and silver to coinage is so important and so abstruse that it has interested many of the greatest minds of the last five centuries." * We have records showing the use of silver coins more than 4000 years ago. According to an article in the London Daily Chronicle of

September 25, 1894, Dr. Wallis Budge has lately added to the treasures of the British Museum many clay tablets found at

Charles The Wise referred the question to Oresme, the ablest political economist of his day, and the greatest of all the scholastic writers on economics. Sigismund I. employed Copernicus to investigate it. James I. consulted Bacon and Coke about it. John Locke discussed it with profound ability. The British Government referred it to Sir Isaac Newton. And the principal political economists since then have written about it. But in our enlightened day any newspaper writer or cross-roads politician without knowledge of affairs and unlearned in even the history of the abstruse science

Sippera and Senkereh, about twenty miles from the site of Ur of the Chaldees. Among these tablets are the commercial documents of the firm of Zini-Istar & Sons, who were a large banking and trading firm, and had branches in many towns of Babylonia. The money payments are recorded in silver coin, mostly shekels, but small amounts were paid in “ring money.” Some of these records are of the exact date of the Abramic migration (shortly after the invasion by the Elamites), and Messrs. Zini-Istar & Sons were probably “Abram's bankers.”

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