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of different signs of value more easy and benefit would accrue, on a much larger scale, accurate.

in the financial and commercial relations of Our own country has hitherto stood aloof this country with foreign nations. If such from any of these combinations, and we are a common basis of numeration and coinage separated from the rest of Europe and were in existence, it would not be difficult America by the duo-decimal system of nu- for the Governments of France and England meration, and by the high value of our to agree upon certain uniform principles of unit,* the pound, almost as much as by the coinage, and to give legal currency respecsea which surrounds these islands. And tively to these foreign coins, which would we do rot anticipate that any change will then represent distinct forms of value, speedily or easily be effected in habits so based on the same standard : thus, the nadeeply rooted amungst a commercial people. poleon would be in England a 16-shilling But it is by no means impossible to bring piece, and the French Government, in conour coinage and our basis of numeration junction with its monetary allies, would into a closer and more constant connexion doubtless not only accept the English soverwith the leading systems of the European eign as a twenty-five-franc piece, but would continent and of India, without any impor- probably strike twenty-five-franc pieces of tant change in its present denomination its own, which would be identical with the and value. The practical method which has English sovereign. been suggested to effect this object is as fol- On the other hand, it would be easy for lows:

the British Government to issue gold pieces The English sovereign contains 123.274 of two florins, or four shillings' value, repregrains troy weight, with Ayth alloy, or in senting two-tenths of a pound, which would other words, 113.002 grains of fine gold, correspond to the five-franc pieces of the representing 7.322 French grammes. The Franco-Belge and Helvetico-Italian Union, French twenty-franc piece, added to the and would thus become a praotical link of French five-franc piece in gold), contains union between the two circulations, whilst 7.258 grammes of fine gold, exclusve of 18th they would offer a means of accord with of alloy. Hence the difference between an those large European and American popuEnglish sovereign and twenty-five francs in lations which use the Spanish piastre or dolFrench gold is 64 milligrammes.

lar. The five-franc piece, whether in gold If these 64 milligrammes (or about 4+ or in silver, may be regarded as the most grains troy) were subtracted froin the sover- familiar unit of monetary circulation in eign, which would thus be reduced 0·825 France and in the countries allied with her, per cent. in value, and if the proportion of and it is not inaccurately described by M. alloy in our gold coinage were raised from de Parieu, in one of his articles in the · Revue Ath to th, the sovereign would be worth a Contemporaine,' as the dollar or crown little less, but it would weigh a little more piece of both hemispheres.* The colonial than it does at present: t it would therefore and commercial interests of this country be more dissimilar than it now is to the are by no means confined to our connexion French napoleon, but it would be precisely with the continent of Europe. It is perequivalent to 25 francs in French gold, and haps of still greater importance to ourselves would in fact be a 25-franc piece. It would to consider, in the adjustment of our moneobviously be a great convenience to travel tary system, the relation it bears to the lers in both countries respectively, and in all coinage of our neighbours, our dependents, the countries which have adopted the mone- and our customers in other parts of the tary system of France, to carry with them globe. The units of value which at present in their own coinage definite representatives play the most important part in the interof value, which would be independent of course of the world are the pound, the the variations of the exchange and the ex- American and Spanish dollar, the rupee, actions of money-changers ; and the same and the franc, and all these coins stand, by

a fortunate coincidence, in relations to each * It deserves observation that as we proceed from other which may be represented by multiPortugal, at the youth-western extremity of Europe, ples of the number five. Thus, the British eign, through Spain, France, South Germany, North sovereign is equal to about five dollars of Germany, Russia in the north-east, and England in the north-west, the value of the coin which serves * M. Dumas, a Senator of France, went so far as as the base of numeration, increases continually, to declare in his report on the Monetary Convention, being least in the south and highest in the north. that the legislature of France had erred by adopting

1 A pound troy at the standard of 11-12ths of fine too low a unit of value in the currency, and that the gold gives 461. 148. 6d. į and at the standard of more enlightened disposition of the present times - 10ths of fineness it would give only 461. 68. 6d. in is to correct this error by substituting

the five-frano piece for it, or the quintuple of the franc itself.

coin.

- a measure

four shillings each; to ten rupees ; and to tern, and that these coins should be made a twenty-five francs. If it were possible to legal tender in Germany, correct the slight variation which exists in which would give legal currency to the these proportions, by adopting a coinage French Napoleon, or its equivalent, in America, India, and Europe, based on a throughout central Europe. M. Soet beer, uniform principle, under the different de- of Hamburgh, is a decided partisan of this nominations familiar to each country, the scheme,, and it is also supported by the mi st arduous part of the question of mone- · Boersen halle' of Hamburgh, of the 17th tary union would be solved. An English July, 1866. Probably one of the first refour-shilling piece, the fifth of a pound, sults of the unification of Germany will be might thus represent the dollar, current in to give an increased impulse to her moneAmerica and in several of our own colonies; tary union ; but with a view to her internait would also represent two Indian rupees, tional relations the extension of the area of and five European francs - conditions which that inconvenient coin the Prussian threewould give it currency in all parts of the shilling thaler is to be deprecated, as it bears world. The five-shilling piece, on the con- no regular analogy to the other monetary trary, which has been abandoned as a cum- systems of Europe. brous and inconvenient coin, has the disad- The result, therefore, of an understandvantage of not being readily convertible ing between England and France on this subinto any system of foreign coinage. The ject would probably be to give their coinage recent introduction of five-franc pieces in an universal acceptance in all the principal gold has been attended in France with great States of this hemisphere, except perhaps in convenience to the public, and we think Russia, where the conditions of the circulathat the British half sovereign is a piece of tion are peculiar, from her vast extent, and too high a value to serve as the lowest gold from her own large metallic productivecoin in our circulation. These gold five- ness. franc pieces at first appeared to be rather The great objection which may fairly be too small, especially to a community which urged against the adoption of a scheme that were previously accustomed to the heavy threatens to modify, in however slight a silver crowns which they have superseded. degree, the established and intrinsic value But use has removed this objection in of ihe English sovereign, is sufficiently obFrance, and would speedily have the same vious. The National Debt is a liability repeffect in this country, though it has been resented nominally by a given number of remarked that northern nations prefer the pounds sterling, equivalent to a fixed and use of coins heavier than those of the south. determined weight in gold. The interest of Thus, in the French monetary conference the debt is paid in sovereigns of the same of 1865, Italy insisted on the reduction of value. All private debts, mortgages, and the smaller pieces of silver to 20 centimes, contracts are expressed in the saine terms; against the wish of Belgium and Switzer- and to reduce the value of the coin in which land.

they may be paid, is to take from the cre tiOn this basis, the monetary circulation of tor and give to the debtor a sum equal to British and Australian gold might be ex- the amount of the difference. If the gold tended to 68,000,000 of inbabitants of con- coin of England were brought into confortinental Europe, and it might be possible, mity with the gold coin of the Continent, as we have indicated, to include India the loss would be, as we have seen, 64 milland America in the same arrangement. igrammes of fine gold on each sovereign, This point being once attained, time would or 0-825 per cent in weight, and about two probably adjust the silver coinage of these pence in value. respective countries to the same system. But this difficulty, formidable as it un

The future effect of this combination of a doubtedly appears to be, is one which has gold circulation between Great Britain and been met and surmounted by other States the Western Continental Union, would prob- of as high credit and probity as our own; ably be further extended by the fact, that, and there appears to be two ways of dealing as Germany and the Low Countries have with it. The first is simply to reduce the no gold circulation of their own, they neces- intrinsic value of the sovereign to this exsarily use a large quantity of the French tent, without taking account of the debts gold coinage. The German Commercial and liabilities contracted before the conver Congress which met at Frankfort in 1865, sion, and this is the course advocated by expressed a hope that Germany might Mr. Hendriks in his pamphlet. It is the strike and issue gold pieces of the value of course which was taken by the Dutch Gov20 Francs, of the French standard and pat-ernment in 1839, when it reduced the Duteh florin from 9•613 grammes of fine silver to one livre three deniers, and the livre was 9.450 grammes, dimishing the coin by about worth 99 centimes: there was therefore a 163 milligrammes, representing two per difference of one per cent. between the two cent. of the original weight, on the princi-coins. To meet this difficulty, the Governple, as we presume, that what was lost by ment published, on the 26th Vendémiaire each member of the community in one ca- An VIII, an official table of equivalents, pacity was gained in another, and therefore and all payments and accounts were subthat the process of conversion did, upon the jected to this process of conversion, accordwhole, compensate itself.

ing to the established scale, until after a Mr. Hendriks remarks in his pamphlet :- certain lapse of time the old livre had fallen

into disuse. So too, the Pope has recent'In considering the question of a re-adjust- ly published official tables for the reduction ment of the Mint Exchange or measure be- of the Roman scudo into Pontifical lire. tween coin and bullion, it must be observed tbat This suggestion has found adherents both there is satisfactory historical procedents for such in England and in France, and the practia course. We have remarked that the ratio of cal inconvenience attending it is, perhaps, 31. 175. 101d. per ounce is empirical. It may even less than may be imagined. In England it turn out on inquiry that the alteration to 31. 178. has been associated with a further proposal Id. international standard fineness would be less ompirical, and nearer to the real present for what is called the decimalisation of a ratio of gold, as measured by silver in the open pound, on the pound and mil scheme. To market for bullion. The English standard until us it appears that these plans deserve and 1816 was a silver one, with the collateral alter- require very careful consideration. We native standard of gold coins in a fixed propor- should hail with great satisfaction the adope tion settied by royal proclamations and Mint in- tion of a complete and careful plan for the dentures according 10 i he then assumed ratio of introduction of the decimal system, in the gold to silver. Here we have ample precedent numeration and in the coins, weights, and for re-adjustment, and the gold discoveries of measures of this country, because we are thing of the kind being again considered. The satisfied that this system, in its integrity, is of 31. 178. 10d. per ounce was originally authorised incalculable advantage to science, to trade, by Charles Il. But the government of William and to all the operations of daily life. But and Mary increased it to a larger amount of before the British Government and legislagold coin per ounce of bullion. This, however, ture can be asked to sanction any change as shown by Sir Isaac Newton and others, was in the old-established habits of the people, an overestimation of gold, and made the coined which must always be productive of temguinea (for pounds were not then in existence) porary inconvenience, they must be well silver. Silver coins could not, in this state of assured that the change is to be made once things

, remain in circulation ; they were melted for all; and that it is so contrived as to (just as the French 5-frane pieces have been of embrace all the desiderata of a new and late years), and the government of George I. improved currency. It would unquestionably (A.D. 1717) again changed to the ratio which be a useful work to enable us to assimilate has since prevailed.'

our coinage, under its principal existing

denominations, with that of foreign countries, But, secondly, if the British legislature so, at least, as to render our money conwere resolved to effect this change in the vertible into its precise equivalents and to current coin of the realm, without the slight- give it currency abroad. "But this is only est deviation from those strict principles to one portion of the reforms we should be glad which it has honourably adhered from the to effect in our monetary system; and reign of Queen Elizabeth, and without so whenever the British Government is sufmuch as the appearance of any abasement ficiently enlightened and sufficiently supin the currency, then an allowance must ported by public opinion to undertake the be made in the payment of all existing adjustment of these questions, we trust debts, so as to render the amount paid in that a modification of our coinage would the new coinage exactly equivalent to the not only bring us into closer relations engagements contracted in the old one. with the monetary system of the ContiThis state of things would be productive of nent, but would also establish our own cointemporary but short-lived inconvenience, age and numeration on the basis of the and it would be exactly analogous (though decimal system. The two things are distinct, in the inverse sense), to what took place in and one of them might be effected without France, when the franc was substituted the other; but having regard to the serious for the old French livre at the begining of temporary inconvenience of any modificathe present century. The franc was worth tion in the representatives of 'value, it is

highlyo expedient that if any such charge one of the progressive signs of the age. should be attempted it should be complete. Even in the United States, the House of

One of the chief inducements, however, Representatives has recently manifested a to make an effort to assimilate the gold cur disposition to entertain proposals calculated rency of this country with that of Western to bring their monetary system into a Europe, in the manner we have pointed closer connexion with that of Europe. out, is the minuteness of the change re- Whatever the difficulties may be, it is not quired to effect that object. We are sepa- impossible for the common interest of manrated from the monetary system of France, kind to surmount them; and no common Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland by a very interest is more obvious than that of estabnarrow line of division, and, as we have lishing a similarity or identity between those shown, the double standard still retained in different representatives of value, which some of those countries, and even our own may be described as the very language of duo-decimal system of numeration, present trade; for to use the words of Landyrave no serious obsticles to the desired result. Philip of Hesse at the begining of the 16th To establish a theoretical conformity be- century tween the monetary systems of different nations may be impossible ; but there is a

Hätten wir alln eined Glauben, point of contact between them which may

Gott und Gerechrigkeit vor Augen, be employed to bring about their practical

Ein Gewicht, Maass, Münz und Geld,

Dann stünde es besser in dieser Welt.' union.

It is not unworthy of the attention of the financiers and economists of England to

Which may

be rendered note the important changes which are tak

* Had all men but a single creed, ing place in foreign countries, with a view

Faithful to God and just in deed, to render the means of exchange more sim- One weight, one measure, coin, and gold, ple and universal; for these changes are 'Twere better for all an hundredfold.'

A London correspondent of the New York The statue of George II. in Leicester-square, T'imus writes :-“We have another new Month- of which so much fun has recently been made, ly which may not reach you, being mostly in- is to be removed. It was originally at Canons, tended for home circulation. It is the Aldgate near Edgeware, the seat of the sumptuous Duke Magazine, published to give away by a large of Chandos commemorated by Pope, but has clothing house. It is full of the sensation stories been in the square for the last one hundred and which delight the miliions. You open it and twenty years. read :' This man, so tall, so graceful, dressed in one of Mills & Co's elegant black suits, at 50s., was approaching her. She trembled! It was he - it could be no other! She recognised Some clergymen at Gravesend, who visit him by the glossy hat, bought of Mills & Co. for the ships there, undertake (says the Athenæum) 7s.6d., by the exquisite fit of his handsome boots to receive old books and periodicals, and get 148., and that most gentlemanly of overcoats, them bound and made up into ships' libraries. sold only by Mills & Co., at 35s. Her heart beat These are put on board ships not otherwise proaudibly; her limbs bent beneath her; she was vided with books, or reading of any kind, for about to fall upon the greensward, when,' &c., the sailors; many ships are totally unprovided. &c. Each story is written so as to include a com- All this is done without any charge on board, plete catalogue of goods and prices, which are and no subscription is solicited from either ofso impressed upon the reader by the thrilling in. ficers or men. Parcels of books addressed by cidents and exquisite sentiments of the tale as goods train to the St. Andrew's Waterside never to be forgotten." It is said we must go Church Mission, Gravesend, are carried free from home to hear home news. This is certainly from London by the railways on both sides of the first we have heard of the Aldgate Magazine. I the Thames.

CHAPTER XII.

elated, perfectly satisfied; for Fontaine, like

a wise man, regarded the outside aspect of PLASTIC CIRCUMSTANCE. things, and did not disturb himself concern

ing their secret and more difficult complicaONCE long afterwards, Catherine, speak- tions. She had promised to be his wife. ing of the time before her marriage, said to She was a charming person, he required po Reine, -“ Ah! Reine, you cannot imagine more ; he had even declared that for the what it is to have been afraid, as I have present he would not touch a single farthing been. I am ashamed, when I think of my of the small yearly sum which belonged to cowardice and want of trust; and yet I do her. It was to be expended as heretonot know that if the time were to come fore upon the education of her sisters. In again, I might not be as weak, in my foolish, the holidays they were to find a home in the wicked longing for a fancied security.”. châlet. Fontaine felt that he was behaving

" I don't know whether strong people are liberally and handsomely, and it added to more or less to be pitied than weak ones, bis satisfaction. Madame Mérard groaned when they are in perplexity,” Reine an- in agony over her snuff-box at his infatua. swered, brusquely." You are much mista- tion. That her son-in-law should marry ken if you think I have never been afraid. again, she had always expected. But I tell you, there have been days when I never, never, Monsieur Mérard, did I think have been afraid of jmmping over the cliff him capable of a folly like this !” cried the into the sea, like the swine in the scriptures, old lady: Monsieur Mérard, who was an to escape from the torments of the con- extremely fat and good-humoured old gentledemned. But we take things more at our man, tried to look as if the matter was not ease now,” said Reine, with a sigh. " One perfectly indifferent to him. There were would soon die of it, if one was always to be but three things in life that really mattered; young. And yet, for the matter of that,” all the rest must be taken as it came; this she added; glancing kinilly at Catherine, was his experience :-. "you look to me very much as you did when I. Your coffee should be hot in the mornI knew you first." And as she spoke Reine ing. sent her shuttle swiftly whirling, and caught II. You should have at least five trumps it deftly, while Josette, who bad grown up between you and your partner. tall and pretty, stood by, scissors in hand, III. Your washerwoman should not be cutting the string into lengths.

allowed to starch your shirt collars into But

this was long years afterwards, when uncomfortable ridges. Catherine looked back, as at a dream, to That very day she had sent them home the vague and strange and unreal time in this horrible condition. Monsieur Méwhich had preceded her marriage. There rard could not turn his head without sufferhad been a quick confusion, a hurry, a coming. That Fontaine should marry more or ing and going; it seemed to her like a ka- less to please Madame Mérard 'seemed a leidoscope turning and blending the old ac- trifle in such an emergency. customed colours and forms of life into new Dick was the only person who doubted combinations and patterns. Catherine had the expediency of the proposed arrangewatched it all with a bewildered indiffer- ment, or at least who said as much to Cathence. She had taken the step, she was start- erine herself. He found a moment to speak ing on the journey through the maze of the to her alone in the Hall. labyrinth, she had not the heart to go back. " Forgive me,” he said. “I know I of all There had been long talks and explanations people bave the least right to speak; but which never explained, and indecisions that have you thought well over the tremendous all tended one way, and decided her fate importance of the step you are taking. You as certainly as the strongest resolves. Once are young enough to look for something she had been on the very point of breaking different from . . . . If you wanted a home, everything off: and, looking back, she Reine is always there. Fontaine is an seemed to see herself again by the seaside, excellent fellow; but your tastes are so unwatching the waves and telling them that like; your whole education and way of they should determine; or téte-à-téte with thinking." Fontaine, silent and embarrassed, trying to “ You don't know what it is,” said Cathmake him uuderstand how little she had to erine, controlling herself and speaking very give in return for all hie attentive devotion. gently; " I shall have a home and some one He would not, perhaps he could not, under. to look to," but her heart sank as she stand her feeling for him ? Why was she spoke. troubling herself. He looked conscious, Butler himself was one of those weak

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