count for but little, against any new onset of popular passion, or in the face of a sudden exigency of the Government. From this danger a people receiving into circulation an inconvertible paper-money can never escape. A single weak or reckless administration, one day of commercial panic, a mere rumor of invasion, may hurl trade and production down the abyss."
This and Part III., on "Convertible Paper-Money," are able discussions, and timely, for we fear they are over-sanguine who think that the day of our danger from paper inflation is past.
Mr. Walker discards altogether the word currency, for reasons which he gives fully, and which are not without force. He also substitutes the term "common denominator of exchange" for "measure of value," in defining one of the functions of money—a change which we indorse without reservation. There is a copious index, and the book is in all respects well gotten up.
Money and Legal Tender in the United States. By H. R. Linderman, Director of the Mint. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 173. Price, $1.25.
There is given to the public in this little book a brief but comprehensive history of American coinage, by a man thoroughly conversant with his subject, and competent to point out clearly the lessons' to be drawn from our experience.
The various laws regulating the coinage and the workings of the mint are given. The terms used in treating of bullion, coinage, and money, are defined. A short chapter states what constitutes a legal tender.
Accounts are given of the paper-currency since 1863, of fractional notes, coin-certificates, funding operations, etc.
Beginning with page 100 is a discussion of the proposition to remonetize silver. It is a straightforward, common-sense statement of the question, stripped of illusions and technicalities, that we should be glad to see widely circulated.
In the appendix are conveniently tabulated useful statistics concerning the production of silver, its use, movements, and prices, the ratio between it and gold, the coinage of the United States mints, etc.
It would be hard to find a book better adapted to clear away the fogs, which just now beset the subject of currencies and standards, than this volume of Dr. Linderman's, if the public could only be induced to read it.
An Epitome of the Positive Philosophy and Religion explanatory of the Society of Humanity in the City of New York, together with the Constitution and Regulations of that Society; to which is added an important letter of Harriet Martineau in regard to her Religious Convictions. Second edition. Pp. 59. Published by the Society of Humanity, 141 Eighth Street, New York.
This pamphlet will interest many as an exposition, in brief, of the religious basis of positivism. A society has been formed in New York devoted to these ideas, and this is its platform or confession of faith, various points of which are elucidated, and numerous authorities quoted, who have expressed sentiments in sympathy with the ideas here presented. It is an earnest and well-written document, evidently by a thorough-going adherent of the system, and is by no means strictly confined to the considerations of religious questions. It contains some new schemes or charts, presenting classifications and methodical arrangements of scientific and philosophical ideas that are filled out with a symmetrical completeness which seems to leave no room for improvement. The blank squares are all filled up so that the system looks finished, and there seems to be a perfect correspondence between the geometrical spacings of the map and the divisions of human knowledge. These tabular arrangements are, however, undoubtedly not designed to be final, but to be open to future revision, and they are of a very suggestive nature. Into the theological questions raised by this brochure we cannot now enter, but may note the manifest humility of the new sect, as there is not a name to be found of anybody connected with it, or of the authorship or publication of the manifesto, or of any human personality, representative of the "society." This is somewhat remarkable, as the propagandists of the new faith of Positivism 'are somewhat notorious for their free handling of personalities with whom they differ; and it seems still more surprising when we remember that the religious polity of positivism is so