Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/49

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39
THE PAST AND FUTURE OF GOLD.

trouble. Cleanliness of habit and thorough disinfection of sputum must largely depend upon the conscientiousness of consumptives themselves. All these precautions involve a great amount of self-sacrifice on the part of those affected with this terrible disease; they necessitate the realization of certain facts which we would gladly keep from the sufferer; they demand a sacrifice of sentiment on the part of those near and dear to the patient. To this extent the attempt to exterminate the greatest plague of civilization is cold-blooded. But a worse alternative confronts us. So long as we neglect to consider tuberculosis as a contagious disease, though not so conspicuously so as the eruptive fevers; so long as we occupy homes in which the germs of this disease linger, neglecting to disinfect, repaint, and repaper; so long as sick and well mingle without an effort to destroy the virus, so long will the great white scourge shorten valuable lives and bring mourning on millions. Because its foulness is concealed, because it strikes painlessly and its wound is not felt for weeks or months, because it does not mark its victims in letters of red or choke them in a week with a visible mass of poison, shall we ignore the fact that this insidious, relentless foe is the chief lieutenant of Death?


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THE PAST AND FUTURE OF GOLD.

By CHARLES S. ASHLEY.

IT is, I think, universally claimed by advocates of the free coinage of silver that the so-called demonetization of silver has led to an appreciation in the value of gold; and that this appreciation has worked grievous hardship to the debtor, or, what is largely the same, the producing classes, who are thus obliged to pay in a more valuable currency than that in which their debts were contracted. The claim is that, by an artificial change in the value of the dollar, the farmer has to produce twice or three times as many bushels of wheat as formerly to pay off his mortgage. The resulting embarrassment of the debtor classes has, in this view, spread among other classes, and has led to panics and long-continued depression in business. Aside from the natural desire of the silver miners to have their product doubled in debt-paying power, this is the whole basis of the silver agitation.

If one were to say that for this theory, upon which an international agitation has been built, and which is countenanced by a large number who have given the matter considerable investigation, some of whom are generally reputed to be competent for the purpose, there is absolutely no foundation in fact, and that, so