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abundance of cause to repent of all he had done. His brother Richard, who was engaged in a silk manufactory, was, with all the other weavers, turned out of work. The silk had disappeared. The manufacturers, with ruin staring them in the face, had sent their workmen out upon the wide world. Poor John, conscience-struck, received his starving brother into his house. “ You will see great changes for the better soon,” said he, “and get plenty of work." Where, and how?” cried Richard. But that was more than John would say. Soon after, Jack, his eldest son, returned home from the coachmaker with whom he worked—all the carriages being changed into wagons, carts, and ploughs. “But why not remain with your master, and work at the carts instead of the coaches ?” said the father. “ Nay, but he would not keep me; he had no work for me. He had more carts and wagons than he could dispose of for many a day. The farmers, he said, had more than they wanted, and the cartwright business was at an end as well as coachmaking.”
Johnsighed; indeed, he well-nigh groaned with compunction. “ It is, however, fortunate for me," said he, “ that I earn my livelihood as a laborer in the fields. Corn and hay, thank God, are not our luxuries; and I, at least, shall not be thrown out of work.”
In a few days, however, the landlord on whose estate he worked walked into the cottage. John did not imniediately know him, so much was his appearance altered by a bob-wig, a russet suit of clothes, and worsted stockings. “John,” said he, “ you are an honest hard-working man, and I should be sorry you should come to distress. Here are a couple of guineas to help you on till you can find some new employment, for I have no further occasion for your services.” John's countenance, which had brightened up at the sight of the gold, now fell most heavily. He half suspected that his landlord might have discovered the author of all the mischief (for he could no longer conceal from himself that such the change really was); and he muttered that “ he hoped he had not offended his honor ?" " Do not honor' me; we're all now, methinks, peasants alike. I have the good fortune, however, to retain my land, since that is not a luxury; but the farm is so much larger than, in my present style of living, I have any occasion for, that I mean to turn the greater part of it into a sheep-walk, or let it remain uncultivated.”
your honor, that would be a sad pity !such fine meadows and such corn! But cannot you sell the produce as before ? for corn and hay are not luxuries.” True," replied the landlord ; “but I am now living on the produce of less than half
my estate, and why take the trouble to cultivate more ? For there are no luxuries to purchase. I want no more money than to pay my laborers, and buy the homely clothes I and my family are now obliged to wear. Half the produce of my land will be quite sufficient for these purposes."
Poor John was now reduced to despair. The cries of distress from people thrown out of work everywhere assailed his ears. He knew not where to hide his shame and mortification till the eventful week had expired, when he hastened to the Fairy, threw himself on his knees, and implored her to reverse the fatal decree, and to bring back things to what they had been before. The light wand once more waved in the air, but in a direction opposite to that in which it before moved; and immediately the stately mansion rose from the lowly cottage ; and heavy teams began to prance, and snort, and shook their clumsy harness, till they became elegant trappings : but, most of all, was it delightful to see the turned-off workmen running to their looms and their spindles; the young girls and old women enchanted to regain possession of their lost lace-cushions, on which they depended for a livelihood ; and everything offering a prospect of wealth and happiness, compared with the week of misery they had passed through.
John grew wise by this lesson, and whenever any one complained of the hardness of the times, and laid it to the score of the expenses of the rich, took upon him to prove that the poor were gainers, not losers, by luxuries; and, when argument failed to convince his hearers, he related his wonderful tale. One night, at the public-house, Bob Scarecrow, who was one of the listeners, cried out, Ay, it was all fine talk being turned out of work if there were no luxuries; but for his part, he knew it to his cost, that he, at least, lost his livelihood because his master spent his all in luxuries. The young lord, whom he served as gamekeeper, set no bounds to his extravagance, until he had not
a farthing left ; and then his huntsman, his hounds, his gamekeeper, and his laced livery-servants were all sent off together.
“Now I should be glad to know, honest John," added Bob, “whether we lost our places because there was too much luxury or too little ? ” John felt that there was some truth in what Bob said; but he was unwilling to give up the point. At length a bright thought struck him, and he triumphantly exclaimed, “ Too few, Bob! Why, don't you see that as long as your master spent his money too freely in luxuries, you kept your places, and wlien he was ruined and spent no more, you were turned off ? ” Bob was a sharp fellow, saw the weakness of John's
argument, and replied that it was neither more nor less than a quibble fit for a pettifogging lawyer ;“for,” said he, “suppose that every man of substance were to spend his all and come to ruin, a pretty plight we poor folks should be in!" And John was above disowning it. “I grant you,” said he, “ that there may be too much luxury as well as too little, as was the case with your young lord; but then you must allow that if a man don't spend more than he can afford—that is, if he don't injure himself—we have no reason to complain of his luxuries, whatever they may be, because they give us work; and that not for a short time, after which we are turned off, as was your case, but regularly and for a continuance."
John now went home, satisfied that the expenses of the rich could do no harm to the poor, unless the expenses first injured the rich themselves. No bad safeguard, thought he; and as he trudged on, pondering it in his mind, he came to this conclusion:
Why, then, after all, the rich and the poor have but one and the same interest. That is very strange. I always thought they had been as wide apart as the east is from the west. But now I am convinced that the comforts of the poor are derived from the riches of the rich."
Mrs. Marcet's Story Book.
The directors of industrial operations produce commodities with a view to obtain other commodities in exchange. Laborers dispose of their labor to their employers with a view to obtain a small portion of a great many articles of wealth. Landlords let their farms and houses, also with a similar object in view. The most cursory observation of what is involved in the undertaking and fulfilling of all the engagements between these several parties, must satisfy everybody of the difficulty, if not of the impossibility, of meeting the wishes of all without adopting something which, being given and received in exchange, should enable the possessor of it to obtain the commodities for which he felt a preference.
Two examples will illustrate the kind of difficulty against which this "something” is meant to provide. A grazier possessing an ox, needs bread, groceries, clothing, and many little requisites for domestic comfort. A butcher would gladly have the ox, but can give in exchange none of the commodities which the grazier wants; and not one of the proprietors of those commodities is at all inclined to receive an ox in exchange. A house proprietor wants a tenant for one of his houses, the rent of which is to supply him with victuals and clothes. An ironmonger offers himself as tenant; he is satisfactory in all other respects, but can only pay his rent in nails, screws, and other articles of iron, which, although much needed in a populous neighborhood, would neither furnish pantry nor wardrobe for the landlord. What is needed in these cases is, evidently, “something” that everybody should be willing to receive in exchange for the commodities he was prepared to part with, kuowing that, in his turn, he could obtain in exchange for it commodities of equal value to those he had parted with. In other words, there is needed something suited to act in the double capacity of a medium of exchange and a measure of value. Not only has this want been felt, it has been supplied; and to that by which the want is supplied a name has been given -“money." Any remarks that might suggest themselves in regard to the qualities required in the material out of which money is to be made, will be advantageously deferred till we have before us a description of some one of the many systems of money prevailing in different parts of the world. The system which we will select for description is the one in which we are the most interested, that of our own country.
The unit standard measure of value, as by law established in this country, is made of gold; not of pure gold, but of gold mixed with copper, in the proportion of eleven-twelfths of pure gold to one-twelfth of copper, or, as it is sometimes called when used in this way, alloy. The gold so alloyed is commonly spoken of as gold of the mint standard of fineness. This unit measure is a trifle more than a quarter of an ounce troy in weight; it is of a circular form, is stamped in a peculiar manner to mark its authenticity, and is called a sovereign, and also a pound sterling. For a perfectly accurate statement of its weight, we need but to know that forty pounds troy weight of gold of the mint standard is divided into eighteen hundred and sixty-nine equal parts, or sovereigns, which gives for the weight of a sovereign 5.136 dwts. troy.
The operation of turning metal into money is performed at the mint, and is called coining; and the metal so turned into money is called coin.
Every person who possesses uncoined gold is entitled by law to take it to the mint, and to receive back, after the lapse of a few days, the same weight
coined gold. Hence it follows that the coined and uncoined gold must always be of the same value; unless, indeed, we take into account the trifling deduction that ought to be made from the latter, to compensate for the few days necessarily occupied by the process of coining
The sovereign, or pound sterling, is made, by addition and multiplication, to serve as a measure for the largest values; and in the statements of accounts of extensive industrial concerns, millions of pounds are frequently to be met with. In the daily interchanges of industrial life, values of considerably less than a pound need to be provided for. The pint of milk, the loaf of bread, the pound of meat, the day's wages, the week's rent, may be cited as instances in which values estimated in gold require the use of fractional parts of a sovereign or their equivalents,