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nothing we have occasion for, but at four times the rate of what is paid in England. And therefore,
Whilst we plead, though under the most specious pretences, having regard barely to the theory and notions of things taken up thence, or from vulgar misapprehensions, for the inhansing of our silver or gold, to above the par, intrinsick value, and ancient meteyard of traffick, between us and other nations, we are, in truth and reality, steering by the same needle, or common politicks of Pen. sylvania ; and discern it not. Which will, in time, be alike ruinous to us.
Nor is it any answer to our assertion, to tell us, our servants, &c. need nothing that comes from beyond sea; which may be as truly predicated of ourselves too, could we be contented, with sobriety, to use our own products, and manufactures : for what does that avail? Such do not observe or consider, that the prices, even of our own products, and manufactures that are necessary, as well as foreign, that are less necessary, are raised alike upon us all, since our coin bath been at this pass.
Nor do such give us any estimate of the height, to which ser. vants, as well as their masters, are grown, since the last act of state for inhansing the value of silver and gold, in their expectations, and deportments. Which yet can no more be reformed, ihan the nation converted from their atheistical prophaneness, and impieties, &c. till their superiors and masters set them better copies to write by.
There is, then, a necessity of putting a stop to the inhansing of our monies: and, if any easier, safer, more probable, or advantageous means, ways, or methods of doing it to general satisfaction, than these afore-mentioned, and humbly proposed, be offered; I shall readily receive my dismiss from this controversy, having offered my poor mite. But,
There remains yet one stumbling-block, in the minds of some, who do not duly weigh and consider, that there is no perfection attainable under the sun, &c. It is this, viz. The danger of counterfeit bills. Touching which, I shall offer some considerations, viz.
I humbly proposed,
1. That the said bills of credit should be printed or impressed on paper, from engraven copper-plates, and gave reasons for it. Which, together with a specimen of such bills, being uncounterfeitable, i shall readily evince, when required.
2. That the said paper should be of a different make and mark from any yet extant in the world.
3. That the indented counter-parts of each bill should be filed up, and kept in a publick office, or offices, to be erected for that purpose, in order to the discovery, and preventing of damage thereby, to the publick.
4. That the printing or publishing such bills, to any greater number, value, or proportion, than shall be allowed and appointed by act of parliament, though by the persons that shall be there
unto authorised, might be made as penal, as coining or counterfeiting the current monies of the kingdom. Or, that the same: and particularly,
5. That the engraving all such plates, and making, having, or keeping undiscovered any such paper, so made and marked, as from time to time shall be made use of upon this occasion : or bringing the like into this kingdom from beyond the seas, by any other person than by order of such as shall be by such act of par. liament appointed and authorised thereunto, might be punished with great severity, both corporal and pecuniary, in terrorem, viz. Being convicted thereof, may be branded in the right-hand, and forehead, or cheek: so, as to be known thereby ever after; and thenceforth kept strictly to the most severe, servile, constant, hard work and labour : enjoined a daily task; and, on failure of doing it, have correction at the keeper's or work-master's discretion : never to be pardoned, remitted, or mitigated, but upon the discovery and producing of other his partners, accomplices, associates, or other offenders in like nature, and proving the same. Which, undoubtedly, if pursued, will deter and keep all men, who have the least spark of ingenuity, or humanity, from attempting to counterfeit these bills, if any thing will. And,
6. That, though it is impossible in nature these bills should be so counterfeited, as to deceive the office; or that, in twenty millions of them, printed off from the same copper-plates, any two should agree [as hath been acknowledged by several engravers and other counterfeiters of writings, critically skilled in such affairs, and called together for advice in the like case] yet, that persons abroad may not, in all cases, be so critical, as to discern true bills from false, through the niceties of them. It may be therefore queried, viz. Is there any course to be prescribed, by way of remedy, for avoid
ing false bills? I answer, 1. Where the distance is not great, persons may repair to the office, where the counter-parts of all true bills remain; and have them examined, as exchequer tallies, by applying the counterparts: and, if remote, they may be sent up per post, &c. Or, the person who offers them may be put upon the proof of them; or, if suspected, give security. And being made to continue but for a year, from the respective dates of them, as is proposed, they will then be certainly detected, and the values of them known.
2. Suppose that there should be some bills counterfeited, which may be thought fit to be repaired, to the person deceived thereby, by the publick: it would, in the whole, be far less, being thus annually detected, than the twentieth part of the interest money, hitherto allowed for monies, borrowed upon the funds settled, and laid upon the nation, according to Mr. Brisco's computations, in his printed treatise. Besides, the repaying of them might be by other bills, which would cost nothing. But,
3. The risque of such is no greater, than of gold and silver coin, of which the nation has been, and daily is, and will be deceived: nor than that of all merchants bills of exchange, and letters of advice from foreign parts: all which may be more easily counterfeited. Besides,
4. There are no sorts of deeds, conveyances of lands, or bonds given for monies, but, they, also, are more liable to be counterfeited, both as to the hands and seals of the granters, obligors, and witnesses : all which, &c. may be so counterfeited, that the parties themselves will not be able to deny them to be theirs. Yea, even exchequer tallies are liable to be counterfeited, so that persons may be doubtful, till they come to the office, &c. Yet, by these more uncertain methods of common dealings, and dangers, we are not affrighted, or taken off from our correspondencies, and businesses, as men.
Why then, in this case only, and upon this urgent occasion; wherein, if now we become so singularly wise or cautious, as to stumble at the threshold, we endanger ourselves, and these nations and government, to all our unavoidable ruin, rather than run the hazard of, probably, some small inconsiderable sum, per annum, which will certainly come to be discovered, at each year's end, at farthest, and cancelled? This were to be penny-wise, but poundfoolish, according to our English proverb.
Containing an Abstract of the foregoing Treatise; erplaining, also,
some Particulars therein : and humbly proposing a more particular Fund, for paying off the Bills of Credit, viz.
First, the Abstract. §. 1. Contains the reasons given for new coining our silver monies.
§. 2. Shews how the clipping thereof, and suffering it to pass, has occasioned the raising our gold, to half as much more as it was coined at.
§. 3. That our trade is lost; our merchants having, too generally, withdrawn their stocks, and disposed them in more profitable present adventures.
Pag. 371. Four questions are proposed to be answered for remedies, viz. Question I. How shall our clipped silver be new coined, so as to
become a due measure and standard for traffick, without obstructing our present markets, &c. and without decrease of our stock?
§. 4. It is proposed, that all the clipped silver may be called in, by a time to be limited ; and new coined as fast as may be, according to the ancient standard. And that the damage by such coinage thereof may be made good to the parties, bringing in the same, by bills of credit, made current, as monies, by act of parliament. And that for the rendering thereof practicable, so as there may be a full supply of the tale thereof, for carrying on the trade and markets, until the monies can be so coined, and delivered out: that at the time of each person's bringing in his monies for coinage, he may receive the full sum, according to the tale th=reof, in such bills, to traffick and trade withal. That upon notice, by proclamation or otherwise, that the coin is ready, one half thereof may be delivered to the respective parties, who brought it in; they delivering back respectively one half of the bills they received for the said new coined silver, to be concealed, or made void : and retaining the other half of the said bills, for answering the deficiency of their clipped monies brought in.
Question II. How shall the gold be reduced to its coined value ?
§. 5. It is proposed, that all the guineas, &c, in the nation, may be also called in by a time to be limited, and each piece punched, so as it may be known, and declared thenceforth, to pass for no more than twenty shillings, each guinea, &c. And that, at the punching thereof, like bills of credit, to the value of ten shillings, each guinea, and so proportionably, to the respective persons, who bring in their gold, may be given forth; also, that no other, or more guineas, &c. be coined, till after the day is past, for bringing in the same: nor any be suffered to be brought in from beyond the sea, or past here at any other value than twenty shillings, from thence forward. And, thus, the nation will be supplied for carrying on their trade and markets, to as great extent as heretofore; and this, without loss or damage to the parties concerned, and without any interest, or present charge to the nation.
Question III. How shall the war be carried on abroad?.
§. 6. It is proposed, that a tax, of four shillings per pound, being laid on lands, &c, may be made payable quarterly, as heretofore, in ready monies, or silver plate, at five shillings and three pence, per ounce.
§. 7. That it be provided therein, and enacted, that in case the party taxed shall voluntarily advance, and pay in his whole year's tax, at one intire payment, within a month after demand of his first quarterly payment, he may have like bills of credit delivered to him, for his reimbursement, at the time of his payment thereof, for his full sum taxed, whereby, in effect, he pays nothing.
§. 8. That in case the party taxed shall not so do, if any other person shall do it, within a month after that, such other person may have half so much, in like bills delivered to him, as the taxed party himself should have had, for his encouragement; and may
also receive his quarterly payments for his reimbursement, as the same shall grow due.
ş. 9. That the like method may be pursued from year to year, during the continuance of the war, if the parliament shall see cause to pass acts annually for that purpose, and not otherwise.
$. 10. That in case the four shillings, per pound, shall not amount unto two millions, whosoever shall voluntarily supply and make it up, may have like bills of credit, to the value of one hundred and twenty pounds, for every hundred pounds so advanced by him; and so proportionably. On which terms no doubt but his majesty will be supplied with iwo millions of the best silver and gold, that shall be in the nation, at the beginning of the next year. And what his majesty shall further want, as §. 21. viz.
His majesty may be supplied with such further numbers and values of these bills, as added to what other present taxes the condition of the nation will bear to have imposed, upon the terms aforesaid, may compleat the sum needful for carrying on the present war, this next year; and so much longer, as that shall continue: and also pay off the debts contracted last year, &c. through the deficiency or falling short of the sums, or funds, settled for the same.
ş. 11, 12, 13, 14. Contain the answer of an objection, touching the disrepute of passing bills. To which might have been added, the reason of making use thereof, especially during the new coinage of our monies.
Question IV. How shall our trade be recovered; and what is the
necessity thereof, as to the getting and increasing of monies? &c.
§. 15. It is proposed, that there be an encouraging and countenancing of the royal fishery company and trade, by act of parliament, &c.
§. 16. That both guards and convoys be seasonably afforded, &c.
s. 17. That bills of credit will carry on our home-trade, fishery, and manufactures, as well as monies in specie.
§. 18. That if we had twenty times as much in bills, as ever we had in monies, they will proportionably increase our manufactures, fishery, and exports of both; and consequently our wealth; for that the balance must come back in monies or bullion.
§. 19. An instance thereof is given : and it is further shewed, that whatsoever other means may be suggested, for the furnishing or keeping monies amongst us, must and will be fruitless.
$. 20. Another instance, taken from the late experience we have bad of the usefulness of bills, issued by goldsmiths, and by the several banks erected amongst us: which have eeked out our monies, for answering our markets at home, and paying off bills of exchange from abroad; which could not else have continued thus long