Chapter 17Of Contracting with forrein Nations by Ambassadors to keep their Moneys at a certain standard. Amongst all the Remedies propounded against the Alterations of Moneys there is none more specious than this, nor more frequent in mention, both in provisionall Edicts, which are made for the Reformation of Moneys, and in Considerations held for the purpose, for it is said to advance it: That if we contract with other Nations for a certain and stable standard of Moneys which may be equal, than we shall avoid all the Inconveniences that do grow by the raising of Moneys, because we shall never raise them; and we shall avoid all the Inconveniences that do grow by the not raising of Moneys, because other Nations shall not raise theirs. Besides for this Remedy there is alledged the example of former Ages, wherein it appears that in many Treaties with forrein Nations our Kings did contract for the mutual standard of their Moneys. But however the Proposition be specious and frequent, yet, of all other Remedies, if it be throughly examined, it will appear the most difficult, or rather impossible, to be effected; and if it were effected, it would turn to no use, for thus stands the state of this business, Almost all the Silver which is now drawn out of the Earth, cometh from the West Indies, all which intirely aboardeth first in Spain, whence it is dispersed into other Countries Eastward; which do draw it unto them by setting an higher price upon it: for, as if there were no Cloth in all the World but in England, no other country could have cloth except they did pay dearer for it than in England; and by so much dearer by how much it were more remote from England, because to the original price, there must of necessitie be added an increase in regard of the time, the charge, and hazard of transporting it: so fares it with Silver, that all Countries which will draw from Spain, do necessarily set a greater price upon it, by how much they are more remote from thence, and this is the Reason why the sphear of Silver seemeth to roll from the West to the East, until it come unto him, where it seemeth to fall into a Gulph. But of Gold it is not so, because that comes in as great abundance from the East as from the West. Now then it were a great Prejudice for England and France to contract with Spain for a certain standard of Silver, except they could likewise contract for the same standard with the Low Countries, and Italy, who draw part of their Silver from them, as they draw theirs from Spain; for otherwise, they should give a stop to the coming in of their Silver, and should leave the issue of it open. Nor would Turkey contract, unless they could also contract with Persia for the same, where Silver is yet higher than in Turkey, and so forward into China; neither would the Low Countrie men contract, except they could contract for the same with Hanse Towns, where Silver is higher than in the Low Countries; neither would the Hanse Towns contract, except they could contract with Muscovie; neither would Muscovie contract, except they could contract with Persia; and so forward in all such places Silver is still at an higher and higher rate. but suppose it was possible to draw all those Countries to a certain contract, what would be the use of it? I did in a former Chapter observe that most Countries, and particularly France and the Low Countries do seldome or never raise their Moneys: But when People by Custom and general Use have raised the Money before hand beyond the Publick Declaration, and the State is forced to follow the People who in this Case they do not master, to what end is it then to contract with those Nations for that which is not in their Power to observe? And that which is alledged for the course of contracting, with forrein Nations, out of the example of former times, doth clearly convince the vanity of this Proposition, for it is manifest, as I have shewed in the former Chapters that notwithstanding these Contracts, the Money was continually from time to time raised.