an ounce, or 4 l. an ounce, or 5 l. an ounce,—but gold of 3 l. 17 s. 10½ d. an ounce only.
Thus is the character of our Gold Standard fixed, and it is of course invariable, until the Sovereign and the Law which formed it, shall alter it.
The Government and the Law may alter the Standard of Gold, as it has recently done the Standard of Silver: but so long as our present Standard remains, the One Pound Sterling is equivalent to 5 dwts. 32740 grs. Gold, at the price of 3 l. 17 s. 10½ d. an ounce, and of this standard the One Pound Bank Note is the counterpart, and passes current in the market at the same value.
Having thus explained the nature of our Money Unit, or Pound Sterling, and shewn it to be fixed on a triple basis of invariable quality, as to Weight, Fineness, and Denomination; and having shewn that our Bank Note is its counterpart, I beg leave to refer the reader, if he has any doubts on the subject, to the Statutes, to the Mint Indentures, and Proclamations upon them.
And if the character of the Standard I have thus given be adhered to in all our considerations, the confusion and perplexity which attends the discussions on our Currency, will be greatly alleviated. These have very much arisen from considering our Standard as merely relating to the quantity and purity of the Gold contained in our Coin, and from not including its Denomination, which alone ascertains its legal rate of value in currency; and renders its value fixed, in contradistinction to Bullion, the value of which is variable with the market.
Having explained the nature of our Money Standard, I proceed to shew the misconceptions which have arisen with respect to the cause of the rise in the market price of gold.—
The Bullion Report of the House of Commons of 1810, was pleased to state at its very outset, thatthe