Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IX.: appreciation of the system which consists in adjourning indefinitely the legislative solution. - On the Probable Fall in the Value of Gold: The Commercial and Social Consequences which may ensue, and the Measures which it invites
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CHAPTER IX.: appreciation of the system which consists in adjourning indefinitely the legislative solution. - Michel Chevalier, On the Probable Fall in the Value of Gold: The Commercial and Social Consequences which may ensue, and the Measures which it invites 
On the Probable Fall in the Value of Gold: The Commercial and Social Consequences which may ensue, and the Measures which it invites. Translated from the French, with preface, by Richard Cobden, Esq. (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1859).
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appreciation of the system which consists in adjourning indefinitely the legislative solution.
I will conclude with a reflection. There are two ways of infringing the prescriptions of the legislator of the year 11, and of drawing upon French society the violations of right, as well as the sufferings and the perturbations of all kinds, of which we have fully sketched the perspective in the course of this work; it may also be said that there are two ways of subjecting the State to those injurious accusations which it would not be easy to refute. The first, more frank or more audacious, would be to lay to-morrow before the legislative body a bill providing that hencefortli silver is deprived of the attribute assigned to it by the legislation of the year 11 (in that respect a faithful interpreter of all the national assemblies which had succeeded since 1789), and that, for the future, gold shall be the standard metal under the conditions which I have just narrated. The other, more timid, would be to remain with our arms crossed, and to leave things to follow indefinitely the course which they have taken for themselves. From that time, our silver money would continue to flow out of the country until the last 5 franc piece had left France. To retain even the smaller pieces it would be necessary to reduce them to the condition of tokens, by withdrawing a part of the fine metal which they contain. The demonetisation of silver would then be an accomplished fact. At whatever point of view I place myself, whether I regard it as a question of interest, of equity, or of honour, I cannot perceive a great difference between the one and the other of these two processes. The effects would be the same, they would be equally disastrous, equally condemnable. On some future day, History, when its pen shall he held by judges firmly devoted to the cause of principle, such as was Tacitus for his time, will visit the one or the other of these projects with its severest condemnation. In many respects omission is almost as culpable as action. This is especially true in relation to that particular social force, the destination of which is to show itself in action, and that force is called the government.
The abatement which has taken place since the commencement of 1858, in the exportation of silver from the French territory, is a fortunate circumstance, inasmuch as it renders more practicable the conservation of the monetary regime prescribed by the law of the year 11; so far we have reason to congratulate ourselves. This must not, however, be made an excuse for inactivity, or for an indefinite temporisation. The current which drew the silver from within our frontiers has not ceased to exist, and nothing indicates that it is likely to cease. On the contrary, it is probable that it will recommence with great vivacity. Let the event then only be taken for what it really isj a respite given to the authorities of France to enable them to act. It would be, perhaps, better to say that it is a pause on the part of the sole authority to which governments own themselves amenable, Divine Providence, to enable every one do to his duty.