coin and gold in bullion are of the same value and the same quality, and gold of any given alloy is always equal to the same quantity of gold of the same alloy.
Surely it might strike these arguers that such reasonings upon the sameness of the value of gold are mere identical propositions: the same is the same: equals are equals: a quantity of gold of any given purity is equal to the same quantity of the same purity. All these are identical propositions wherein the predicate and the subject is the same. But what have these assertions to do with price? which is the result not of comparing a thing with itself or its equal, but the comparison of any given article, whether bullion or coin or corn or cloth, with other articles.
The purchase of a lump of gold with an equal lump of gold, or of a guinea with a guinea, is a mere nullity: it is no purchase at all. Gold, or any other metal when raised from the mine and purified, converted into Coin, Dollars or Doubloons, is purchased with other articles deemed by the proprietor equivalent, and though one piece of gold of any given purity must be always equal to another piece of gold of the same purity and weight, it does not follow that they will be of the same value when measured by other, articles: when in the same day and the same place bullion will be .often dearer in the morning than in the evening, like three per cents, and will follow the demand of the market. We have suffered enough already by the misconceptions on this head—even Mr. Locke was deceived by it; and by carrying this reasoning too far, a large silver coinage was issued, which in a few years disappeared with a loss to the Nation of I think 2,700,000l.—The late Lord Liverpool made an attempt on a similar principle in regard to a copper coinage. As soon as it was issued, copper rose in value17 per