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press, as to embarrass rather than enlighten the reader. To the writings of the late Mr. Walter Bagehot, Mr. H. D. MacLeod, Professor Leone Levi, Professor Stanley Jevons, Professor Bonamy Price, and some others, the author is greatly indebted. These works contain the latest revision of the ideas of mercantile men on banking and mercantile topics, and the definitions which their writings afford are of the utmost value. Where writers of eminence have expressed themselves in language somewhat at variance from that of others, an exception has been made in respect of quotation, and the writer's name has been appended to the words quoted.

Although the primary object of the author has been to produce a handbook of reference for persons engaged in mercantile pursuits, he has never lost sight of a secondary object, which he deemed of scarcely less importance, namely, the presentation of the subjects treated of in such a form as should be intelligible to that large number of readers who, not being professionally engaged in mercantile pursuits, are often at a loss to understand the drift of banking and commercial reports, or of financial treatises, owing to the frequent use of technical terms, which, although clear enough to the initiated, convey to those whose vocations run in a different line, at least a vague, and sometimes a totally erroneous, impression. This, it is hoped, will be accepted as a sufficient reason for the introduction of some words which might have been thought too simple to need explanation. Experience has shown that writers, out of respect to their readers, are apt to assume a more varied knowledge than the latter would like to lay claim to, and the compliment is one, which is rarely very cordially accepted.

A glance at some of the articles contained in this work, will show that a somewhat unusual feature (in books of this description) has been introduced. The history and origin of the words have been traced out in many instances, and in others indications have been given as to the direction in which inquirers may look for further results. Owing to the spread of education, researches of this nature have great attraction for those who combine with the exigences of business a love of intellectual pursuits. Nevertheless, all these portions, which may be called the philological, as distinguished from the commercial, parts of the work, are printed in a smaller and more compact type; so that any one-if such a one can be found-who takes no interest in discussions of this kind, may pass them over, and confine his attention to vhat is, after all, the main purport of each article.

NOTE. In estimating the approximate value of silver coins, the proportion of 15 of silver to 1 of gold has in all cases been adopted.




ANDERSON-History of Commerce.

BANKERS--Journal of the Institute of.

BAGEHOT, WALTER-Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market.

BASTIAT, M. FREDERIC-Essays on Political Economy.

BEAUFOY, HENRY B. H.-London Traders', Tavern and Coffee House Tokens.

BLACKSTONE-Commentaries on the Laws of England.

BROOKE, RICHARD, F.S.A.-The Office and Practice of a Notary in England. Edited by Professor Leone Levi.

BROWNE, W. A., LL.D.-Money, Weights, and Measures of all Nations.

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CAIRNES, PROF. J. E.-Leading Principles of Political Economy. Logical Method of Political Economy. CHURCHWARDENS' ACCOMPTS of St. Margaret's, Westminster.

COIN BOOK, THE-Published by J. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia. (Compiler not named.)

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CUNNINGHAM, DAVID-Conditions of Social Well-being.
FAWCETT, PROF. HENRY, M.P.- Political Economy.
FENN-Compendium of the English and Foreign Funds.
FLÜGEL, DR. J. C.-Commercial Dictionary.

FRANCIS History of the Bank of England.

History of the Stock Exchange.





GILBART, JAMES WILLIAM, F.R.S.-Treatise on Banking.
Logic of Banking.
GOSCHEN, J. G., M.P.-Theory of Foreign Exchanges.
HAM, GEORGE D.-Revenue and Mercantile Vade-Mecum.
HANKEY, THOMSON, M.P.-Principles of Banking.


HEAD, BARCLAY-Ancient Systems of Weight as applied to Money. (Journal of the Institute of Bankers.)


Theory of Political Economy. JUSTINIAN-Institutes of. Edited by Thomas Collett Sandars, M.A. LAWSON, WILLIAM JOHN-History of Banking. LIPPINCOTT-The Coin Book, published at Philadelphia. LIVERPOOL, EARL OF-Treatise on the Coins of the Realm. LEVI, PROF. LEONE-Work and Pay.

Manual of Mercantile Law.

LUBBOCK, SIR JOHN, M.P.-Inaugural Address at the Institute of Bankers.

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MACLEOD, HENRY DUNNING, M.A.-Theory and Practice of Banking The Elements of Banking.

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Economics for Beginners. MADDISON, E. C.-On the Stock Exchange. MARSHALL, ALFRED, and MARY PALEY-Economics of Industry. MARTIN and TRUBNER-The Current Gold Coins of all Countries. MARTIN, FREDERICK-History of Lloyd's, and of Marine Insurance in Great Britain.



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MERREY, WALTER-Remarks on the Coinage of England, 1789.
MILL, JOHN STUART-Principles of Political Economy.

PRICE, PROF. BONAMY.-Chapters on Practical Political Economy.
RUDING-Annals of the Coinage.

SANDARS, THOMAS COLLETT, M.A.-Institutes of Justinian.

SEYD, ERNEST-Bullion and Foreign Exchanges Theoretically and Practically Considered; followed by a Defence of the Double Valuation, with Special Reference to the proposed System of Universal Coinage.

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SIDGWICK, HENRY, M.A.-What is Money? (Contemporary Review, April, 1879.)

STEPHEN, JAMES, LL.D.-Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England.

TATE, WILLIAM-Counting House Guide.

The Modern Cambist: A Guide to the Foreign

WALKER, F. A.—Money.

WOOLSEY, THEODORE D.-Introduction to International Law.







A, occurs in several contractions.
A/c, account.

@for the Latin ad at, or to.
A/d, after date.
A/s, account sales.
Alo, account of.

Abassi or Abassis. (a) A Persian silver coin valued at four Persian shahis. It weighs 2:08 grammes, 900 fine, and is worth about 4d. sterling.

(b) The silver 20 copeck piece circulating in Russia. It weighs 4079 grammes, but is only 500 fine: worth 45 French centimes, or 44d. sterling.

Abatement. From the Latin, batuo, to beat, to strike; French, battre, to beat; abattre, to beat down: whence abatement, which signifies primarily a beating down, but is variously applied so as to convey at different times the senses of diminution, deduction, deficiency, &c.


In Commerce, Abatement signifies a deduction from a quoted price or value. These deductions are sometimes systematic, and fixed by the usages of particular trades; in other cases, a deduction is made in respect to a special bargain, and the phrase then used is 3 per cent. off" or 5 per cent. off" as the case may be. The most important form of abatement is that which occurs in the price lists of certain manufacturers, the quotations of which sometimes remain unaltered from year to year in order to avoid revision and reprinting; and the variation of price arising from fluctuations in demand and supply is indicated, by the abatement allowed, and which is announced by a trade circular from time to time as occasion may require.

Abra. A silver coin formerly in use in Poland, value about 18. English.

Abrasion of Coins. Latin, ab, from; radere, to scrape or scratch.

By abrasion, is meant the ordinary and necessary wear and tear of coins, and is thus distinguished from defacement, which may be the result of violence, either intentional or accidental. If a sove



reign is reduced in weight to 122.50 grains or 7.93787 grammes, it ceases to be a legal tender, and if anyone has such a sovereign offered to him in payment o a debt, he is required by the law to cut or deface the coin, when it becomes simply bullion, and the tenderer must bear the loss. If the justice of the proceeding be disputed, and the coin be found to be above the limit prescribed, the defacer must bear the loss. This injunction, however, is scarcely ever observed, except at the Bank of England, and some Government offices; it would be too irksome, and the more usual practice is, to avoid the use of sovereigns except in small quantities, and to make payments in Bank of England notes.


Abuquelp. A silver coin formerly in use in Egypt, value about 18. 6d. sterling.

Acceptance. Latin, ad, to; capio, I take; accipere, to take to one's self; French, accepter; Italian, accettare; Spanish, aceptar.

To accept a Bill, signifies in full, to "accept the obligation of paying the Bill when it falls due." The Acceptor usually notifies his acceptance of a Bill by writing transversely across the face of it the word "Accepted" with the date at which it is payable, followed by his name, or that of the firm which he represents. An acceptance in this form is called General.

If, in addition to the above words, other words are added, making it payable at some particular house, for example, “payable at the Alliance Bank," the acceptance is then said to be Special.

If, further, the acceptor refuses to make himself responsible for more than a part of the sum stated on the Bill, say for £50, when the Bill was drawn for £100, he writes "Accepted for £50 only; or if he inserts any other alteration either in regard to time of payment, or the fulfilment of some condition, the Acceptance is said to be Qualified. (See After Sight.)

Acceptances. Bills accepted by a Banking or other commercial firm, and which take their place among the "liabilities" of the acceptors to the payees.

Acceptilation. From the Latin, acceptilatio. This word is not found in the works of classical writers, but was introduced into commercial language through the works of Justinian, and thus found its way into all the countries of Southern Europe. It is, however, still limited in its use to lawyers, the equivalent in English being "a release."

A Release from a debt or obligation. (See Release.)

Accommodation Bill. French, accomoder; Italian, accomodare; Spanish, accomodar; all from the Latin, accomodare (adcommodum), to adjust, to cause one thing to suit another, to do anything to oblige another.

To accommodate is to do anything to oblige, or for the convenience of another. Hence an Accommodation Bill," is a bill drawn by one person and accepted by another for the convenience of the first. Accommodation Bills have a bad name among commercial men; and justly so, as they have been much abused. Not that there is anything in them essentially dishonest or fraudulent, but


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