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of money, is supposed to know all about it. And a “printer's devil” if asked whether he could write a review of a book on money, or go to Congress to make laws on this subject, would reply as confidently as did the man who was asked whether he could play the piano : “Yes, I suppose so, I never tried.” There is therefore much satisfaction in having to do with so able and well equipped an advocate as Mr. Macleod, even when he exhibits prejudice and want of fairness. He says the object of his book is “to supply the Monometalists a concise but sufficiently full statement of the facts and arguments upon which their system is founded, and upon which they must defend it; and also to show the Bimetalists the facts and arguments which they have to assail, controvert, and overthrow—if they can—before they are entitled to a hearing.” The italics are mine. Bimetallism, so long as the French mint remained open to both metals, was in general use throughout the civilized world until 1873. The difficulty with it was that no plan had been devised to change the coinage ratio when there was a large change in the market ratio. Gold monometallism is the experiment which is being tried with such disastrous results.' Again Mr. Macleod writes: “When the Bimetalists are called upon to substantiate their assertions and allegations, as strictly as they would be in a court of law, they will find themselves very much in the case of Shadrack, Mesheck, and Abednego when cast bound into the burning furnace.” Perhaps no more unfortunate quotation for his purpose could be found in the whole Bible, for those Jewish worthies were put into the burning fiery furnace
* Throughout all Europe the money standard was originally
a pound weight of silver. The name pound, livre, lira, etc.,
has been maintained while the weight of silver in coins has
been greatly reduced by the fraudulent efforts of those in authority to take advantage of the popular error that the value of coins depended to a considerable extent on the stamp. Many writers have exposed this error, but it persists. The only safe course is to have all money based upon gold and silver at their relative market values. Joint-metallism shows how this can be accomplished, homestly and conveniently.
because they refused to worship the golden' zdo/ which Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and it was their adversaries who were destroyed. It is remarkable how many of the choicest weapons of the gold monometallists prove to be boomerangs. Compare with this the noble use made by Oresme of the story of Joseph and the landowners of Egypt and their corn, and of the fable of Midas. Oresme lived at a period when general ignorance regarding “Origine, natura, jure et mutationibus monetarum” had led to general disaster. He felt the need of a thorough study in order to propose a remedy. Copernicus, in ignorance of Oresme's work, applied the great powers of his trained intellect to the same problem and came to the same conclusions. Others, among whom were Turgot and Adam Smith, without knowledge of the work of either Oresme or Copernicus in this field, investigated, and likewise found, that good money is convenient merchandise, the true weight and fineness of * See page 47.
which are certified to by authority; and that the market values of coins must nearly coincide with the market values of the bullion they contain. I add three short quotations, one from Oresme 528 years ago, in his old-fashioned spelling, and two from Copernicus 368 years ago, showing the wonderful grasp these men had of questions which are perplexing so many among us now. It will be seen that their original writings largely sustain much that I have written, although, of course, they did not have joint-metallism in view.
“Le dixiesme chapitre. De la mutacion es proportion de la Monnoie.
“Proportion de l'or a l'argent. Proportion est une comparaison ou habitude faicte d'une chose à ung autre, si comme en proportion de la Monnoie d' or à la Monnoie d'argent, doit estre certaine habitude et proportion en valeur et en pois; car selon ce que l'or est de sa nature plus noble, plus précieux et meilleur de l'argent et à le trouver et avoir plus diffiQuo/a/zoms from Oresme. I 69
cile, certes il convient et est bien raison que le mesme poix d'or doit beaulcopt plus valoir et estre de plus précieuse estime, en certaine proportion, de l'argent, si comme, par aventure, la proportion de vingt à ung, et ainsi une livre d'or vauldroit vingt livres d'argent, ung marc d'or, vingt marcs d'argent ; et ainsi semblablement du grand au petit; et aussi est possible de faire une autre proportion de vingt-cinq à trois ou autre semblable évaluacion; mais toutesfois ceste proportion doit ensuivir le naturel habitude ou valeur de 1'or à l'argent, en préciosité; et selon icelle doit estre ceste proportion instituée, laquelle il ne loist voluntairement transmuer, ne aller contre, ne si ne se peult justement varier, ce n'est pour cause raisonnable, et, par la variacion de celle matière en partie, laquelle advient peu souvant.* Si comme, par adventure,
' “ Verum tamen ista proportio debet sequi naturalem habitudinem auri ad argentum in preciositate et secundum hoc instituenda est hujusmodi proportio. Quam non licet voluntarie transmutare, nec potest jam variari, nisi propter causam realem et variationem ex parte ipsius materiæ : quæ causa raro contingit."—Latim Text.