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same principles, had almost totally disappeared, aud therefore it was not prudent to risk much with a possibility of the same effect being produced.

In 1797 the mint being found unequal to the conduct of a copper coinage of large extent, Mr. Boulton, of Birmingham was authorized to coin for Government. By this plan the fortune of an ingenious man was made, and the moniers were allowed relaxation from their labours›

of stamping the head of his present Majesty upon the neck of the King of Spain, in order to give his dollars currency here.

It was afterwards found to be expedient to put the dollars also into Mr. Boulton's Mint, in order to efface entirely the Spanish impression, and to convert them into Bank Tokens *. In the following year the subisting Committee of the Council for coins was dissolved, and a new Committee was appointed, whose first determination went to sanction the, currency of Mr. Boulton's heavy cop. per coinage with the lighter Tower half-pennies. About twenty years afterwards they changed their opinion, and all the Tower halfpennies were called in for the purpose of recoinage. (To be continued.)

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I request you to insert a View of this comfortable place of refuge; which is a handsome stone-building, consisting of five houses, in Southgate-street, near the Water-house pump. (See Plate II.) It is partly screened in the view by four neat

* These Tokens were declared by Dr. Darwin to be inimitable, from the superiority of their workmanship, and the power of the coining machine; and I do believe, that, by the help of a statute to protect them, and of steel gauges to detect the counterfeits, they have not been imitated to any very large amount.

GENT. MAG. January, 1820.

dwelling-houses, which bound the street, erected on the spot where Mr. Johnson was born. Each of the almshouses has a room on the groundfloor, and a chamber over it: the rooms are neat and convenient; and the windows glazed with beautiful stained glass. To each inhabitant is given a printed copy of the Rules and Orders *. N. R. S.


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Jan. 2.

THE Coinage of a Nation may be it wears the badge of office, and from called, not unaptly, its Livery: its splendour or meanness, may be judged the wealth or property of the State. Collectively, it is the servant of the whole community to which it belongs, but individually, each piece of coin is the servant of the possessor. Every body has its services, from the prince to the beg gar; and as every one employs it, so every one, according to the use he may be supposed to make of it, ought to contribute towards its formation. As it sustains a most important public function, so it ought, in all naions, to have a salary assigned to


of a material that all men covet, it When nations are once possessed soon becomes obvious, that a convenient form is required for its circulation, and coins called money have been invented for that purpose. The prerogative of coining money, and fixing its denomination, is properly vested in the monarch or ruling power, and the denomination being once fixed, ought, on no pretence whatever, to be changed, because it would violate all contracts; all the transactions of fair dealing between man and man being founded on the invariability of national currency. Yet there have been princes, who, mistaking price for value, have sometimes altered the one in hopes to ob

tain the other; but Providence has placed this beyond the power of man. A King may, by his prerogative, raise the denomination of a piece of coin, but that cannot in the least increase its value, if its weight continues the same.

*These are printed in Nichols's History of Leicestershire, vol. I. p. 528. A com

A commercial people having no mines of their own, and not having by conquest exacted bullion from other nations, can obtain it only by having had something to sell, or having performed some service; hence it is, that the coin of such a nation, is exclusively the property of the people, except only such part of it as the executive Government may periodically require for the exigencies of the State, which again reverts to the people in ceaseless rotation. The coin that each man honestly possessés, be it little or much, is decidedly and distinctly his own; he has given value for it; and he will not part with it but on the same terms. Into such a nation coins must have crept by slow degrees, and being once formed and designated by the ruling power, it becomes the duty of the executive, to preserve them as near as possible in the same state as at their first is sue, which can be effected only by that prerogative, which first established their quality and weight, forbidding their circulation after they have become deficient; which determination of the ruling power involves a question of great magnitude. "Who is to sustain the loss of exchange from old and light, to new and heavy?" The answer of State policy must be, that it should fall upon the individual in whose hands it happened to be found. This, at first sight, will appear not consistent with strict justice, and it can be defended only by the nature of the case; the deficiency when it does happen must fall some where, and how can it possibly be fixed under easier circumstances than amongst the many who will then have to share it? It is a servant who has become disabled, and his cure will cost but little; whereas if the light coins were suffered to continue in circulation, it would encourage further depreciation, and at last, if called in for recoinage, it must be at an expence to be borne by the nation collectively, and thus occasion a careless observ. ance of deficiencies; but if the charge falls individually, every individual will endeavour to guard against it, and thus become conservator of the coinage. Under such circumstances it will always be maintained in elegant purity; the executive power

will be relieved from the necessity of raising supplies for any deficiency in the old coins; and the nation relieved from what is of far greater consequence, the inconvenience that unavoidably must attend a sudden withdrawing and re-issuing a nation's currency. Where there is a settled salary raised for a constant coining, there will always be a supply for that which is continually withdrawing, neither loss nor gain being suffered on either side, nor any charge whatever made at the time of coining.

The practice of some nations is, to impose a seignorage to defray the expense of coining; but this certainly is both impolitic and unjust;-inpolitic because it tends to prevent coining at home, and holds out encouragement to foreigners to imitate it abroad; and unjust, because it throws the charge upon him who brings his bullion to be coined, and thereby performs a public service, and who uses each piece but once: for the moment it escapes from his hands, it enters into the service of the public, every one using it according to his dealings. When its career is stopped, it can be no great hardship to throw the loss upon the possessor, whose traffic will enable him to sustain it; but it would be the very height of injustice to throw upon him, at the same time, any loss that might be occasioned by a previous seignorage.

Thus the creation of coins (if I may so express myself) would become the charge of the whole nation: the renovation of them would be sustained by its commerce.

Where coinage is so established, it can scarcely ever happen, that a solvent debtor should not be able to find sufficient full weight coins, to satisfy the demands of his creditor; but if at any time it should so happen, it seems a principle of justice that he ought to have the power of doing it by a full weight of bullion. So on the other hand, it seems equal. ly consistent with justice, that at any time when coins have become diminished below the standard of their currency, the creditor should be left to his choice to refuse the coin and demand the weight in bullion.

There are but three metals which the world has agreed to receive as universal

universal equivalents, and of which coins are made; namely, gold, silver, and copper. But copper, though most used, and most useful, in small payments for the internal traffic of a nation, is not acceptable to fo reigners, and therefore has not obfained sufficient consideration as a legal tender. Silver has been until lately the principal money of all commercial states; but as both that and gold are universally acceptable, and the mines are more productive of silver than gold, the latter has become the superior metal, and hence has arisen a question as to their relative value. On this subject much discussion has taken place, and endeavours have been made to fix a standard between them; but how can that be fixed by art, which is ever varying in nature? The mines themselves vary sometimes in the quantities produced, and nations vary at different times in the quantities they possess. Kiugs may, and ought to establish a relative price between the coins made of each metal; but their relative value is fixed by the dispensations of Providence alone. Should the silver mines become less, and the gold mines productive, then relative value must change, and silver might become the superior metal. The only way that nations can take is to abide by the standard prices they first fix upon, and leave commerce, by the exchange of the two metals, to adjust their value; it will be time enough for particular Governments to interfere, when general acceptance may, by reason of plenty or scarcity, have taken another bias:-if nature ordains a change, Governments will be forced to comply. However, there is not much to be apprehended on this score; for centuries have passed away, and no very material change bas taken place in the production of the mines. The gold and silver coinage of some nations is as fourteen to one; of some, as sixteen to one; and of others (the greater part) as fifteen to one, which seems to be about the average. Those countries which have fourteen to one, must expect to receive their foreign debts in silver; while those of sixteen to one will be paid in gold; and thus are the metals always tending toward a common equilibrium. A little more than fifty years ago, the relative value of silver to gold was as nine to one in China:

consequently silver was continually travelling from Europe and South America to Asia, till, at length, the proportion has become nearly the


In the present state of the world,' when commerce is so much extended, circumstances may occur, in which a nation may not only fabricate her own national coins, but also find it convenient to imitate those of far distant nations, in order to tempt them into some particular branch of commerce. Thus the rude pagoda of the Indians, might be made in the same mint that has produced the most exquisite specimens of European coinage, and where it is done with fidelity, no evil can arise from it,' though it ought to be prohibited to be done by individuals with as much caution as is used in national currency. It was said in Franco that during the last Bonapartean war,


vast quantity of twenty franc pieces, with the head of Louis the Eighteenth, was coined in England, in order to procure sustenance for the troops then serving in countries where that coin circulated, and to the ho nour of Great Britain, they were found to be equally valuable in weight and purity, and are now equally acceptable eveu in France itself. However, an example such as this, points out to all nations the absolute necessity of making and preserving their currency to the full amount of its se veral denominations for, if their currency is depreciated, foreigners will either pay them their debts in their own depreciated coins, or forge am imitation of them; in each case the debt will be discharged at a loss to the native and gain to the foreigner.

Nations who had heretofore accnmulated large quantities of coin, may, by reason of a great dearth of bread corn in their own land, or in support of a foreign war, be compelled to spend the whole of their coinage, and thus be reduced to the necessity of substituting an artificial currency and the promise to pay must, for a time, supply the place of actual payment. When thus reduced, nothing but time can restore to the people their antient standard; they can reobtain it only by the same means by which it was originally gained ¡— if the nation has mines of its own, it must wait the supply that the mines


afford-if their war should be suc-
cessful, they may recover a part of
their expenditure; if they are a mer-
cantile people, they may re-establish
another coinage by the profits of
commerce, and must wait for its ope-
rations, which, though slow, are cer-
tain; for commerce must inevitably
obtain bullion,and consequently coins;
and these will be retained by the peo-
ple, if famine or war does not make
a new draught. The balance of trade
must always be in favour of a trad-
ing people, because they import more
than they export; for goods will not
be sent if they cannot pay for them,
and they cannot pay for them, unless
they have obtained money by former


Jan. 3.
AVING been for some years

tionaries, and used in other places by Sir Thomas More (vide his General Works, p. 1403.) but I find the same adjective jeopardous, as likewise the adjective jeopardless, and the verb jeopard in the following places (and in many others infinitely too numerous to be set down), vide Erasmus's Paraphrase on the Testament, 1 Corinthians 18, 21, and 22 (reverse of each page). The Bishop's and Cranmer's Bibles are quite full of those words; but see only 5 Judges, v. 18. 3 Daniel, v. 28. 13 John, v. 37 and 38. 15 Acts, v. 26, and 27 Acts, v. 9.

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The Ship of Fools (by Cawood), p. 15, 16, has within his mouth is venim jeopardous and "vile," and in the same trranslation the verb jeoparde frequently occurs. "For her he jeoperdeth his life,' is in Munday's Banquet of Dainty Conceites "The waye of Honestie is uneasie, painfull jeoperdouse," &c. is in Taverner's Adagies of Erasmus (1569.) "Jeoparte his person for to slee the Kynge" is in Lydgate's Bochas (1558), p. 43.

H greatly addicted to the perusal ( Harl. Misc. 244.)

of our antient English Authors (as well those who disperse their thoughts in lofty rhime as in humble prose) I have acquired a partiality for antiquated words and phrases; and perhaps (as a direct consequence), some degree of astonishment that other Readers either do not understand, or do not relish the use of them as I do-and I was particularly struck on finding, by a late perusal of the Utopia (edited by the learned and agreeable bibliomaniac Dibdin), that even this deep-read Antiquary has been sometimes thrown out in his conjectures; and that, in places where I thought there was little difficulty either in the passages themselves, or in supporting and illustrating them by examples of frequent use amongst contemporary authors; not that I have in every case of doubt been able to find a corresponding or even synonimous word, or have at all times discovered the precise meaning of the word or phrase made use of. But I have been surprized, as well with respect to some of the words observed upon by Mr. Dibdin, as by others, that the frequent usage of the same word has not familiarized it to them.

To begin with the second volume of Mr. Dibdin, p. 5. In his note upon the word "jeopardous", used by Sir Thomas More as an adjective, he says, that such use of it is of rare occurrence among our old Authors. Now, I not only find the same adjective admitted into Bailey's and Ash's Dic

Page 6. Here I agree that the word" translating" is now rarely used in the sense of removing or taking away (the translating of a Bishop from one See to another excepted), but I must refer your Readers to Bailey and Ash; and to the following passages, "The portion of my people is translated;" vide Bishop's Bible, Micheas 2. v. 4. "Because of unryghteous dealing a realme shall be translated," &c. Ditto 10. Son of Sirach, 8. "The bones of our father shoulde be translated out of their places." Do. 2 Baruch 24. "He translateth the mountains or ever they be ware," Do. 9 Job. 5. And "Covetousnesse will translate the hearts of men to infidelitie," is in Fenton's Christian Policy, 1574.

Page 11. The word Pullein or Pullen will be found in the Life of Esope, B.L. "He bought capons and many other pullen." Vide also Bailey aud Ash.

Page 16. The word "skills" was in more common use than Mr. Dibdin supposes. "Jesus did make plain the things which he spoken for two skills," &c. Vide Erasmus's Paraphrase, 10 John, v. 71, 72. "It is little force to thee-it skills thee nothing." Vide Fisher on the seven penitential Psalmes (1555), sheet N. 4.

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