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EMBARGO.-The stopping of ships by order of Govern

ment. ENTREPÔT.-A public magazine appointed in most foreign

countries for the reception of merchandize imported. EXCHANGE (Course of Exchange, &c.)- Exchange is a

term in commerce, signifying the receiving or paying of a sum of money in one country for its equivalent in another, which is commonly effected by means of bills of exchange. The course of exchange is the current price between two places, which is always fluctuating accord. ing to the circumstances of trade, being sometimes below par, and at other times the reverse.

The par of exchange signifies the equivalence of a certain amount of the standard currency of one country in the standard currency of the other. Thus, according to the mint regulations, ll. sterling is equal to 25fr. 20c., which is the par between London and Paris. The true, or mercantile, par, however, is fixed according to the comparative value of gold and silver, and of the coins of different countries. Arbitration of exchange, is a comparison made between the exchanges of different places, for the purpose of negotiating bills to advantage. When the exchanges among three places only are concerned, it is called Simple Arbitration; when four or countries are referred to, it is called Compound Arbitration or the Chain Rule of Three : (see Keith's Arith

metic.) EXCISE.-An inland tax levied upon various commodities. EXPORTS.—Goods sent from one country to another.

The exports from Great Britain, in 1856, amounted to

nearly 120 millions sterling, or 139 millions real value. FACTORS.--Those who are concerned in the sale and

purchase of commodities on behalf of other persons, are either brokers or factors. The former have not the possession of goods, but simply conclude the bargain in the name and on the account of some other person. Factors are distinguished from brokers principally by having possession of the goods, and dealing with them as their own, and in their own names. They are persons specially appointed to receive and make consignments of goods on account of merchants residing at a distance: (see AGENTS, DEL CREDERE.)


FINANCES (Finánze, Ital.)- A term generally applied to

the public revenue. FIRM.—The general meaning of this word is “the name

or style of a partnership;” but it is also of a far deeper import. The “ Firm” is an ideal impersonation or entity (like a corporation), for which the individual partners are agents and sureties. The accounts of the partnership are always those of the firm-never of the partners. It is simply as an agent that each partner contracts on behalf of the firm and binds it, and its existence is in no wise impaired by the death of a part

ner: (see PARTNERSHIP.) FORESTALLING.—Buying goods before they are brought

to market, with a design to raise the price. FREIGHT.-The goods which a ship carries ; also the

money paid for carrying them. In a larger sense it is taken for the price paid for the use of a ship to trans

port goods, and for the cargo, or burthen of the ship. FUNDS (Public.)— The term funds is applied to the

various classes of national debts. The first instance of the funding system is stated to have taken place at Venice in 1170. The national debt of this country dates from 1688. At that period it amounted to about 660,0001., principally in the form of terminable annuities. It was from time to time, on account of the expenditure connected with various wars, raised to 128,500,0001. in 1775, after which, during the seven years of the American War, it was more than doubled. From 1793 to 1815, in consequence of the war with France, it was increased 600,000,0001. The amount is now nearly 800 millions. Taking into account the price of stocks at the different times the debt was incurred, it may be said that for upwards of 200 millions thereof the nation received nothing. The lowest price of Consols was 473 in 1797—the highest, 107, in 1737. Loans are called a Funded Debt when taxes are appropriated for payment of the interest ; but sums raised, for which no such provision is made, are called the Unfunded Debt, such as

Exchequer, Navy, Victualling and Ordnance Biús. GROSS (twelve dozen.)-Gross weight, the whole weight

of goods, including chests, bags, dross, &c. GUARANTEE.-An agreement whereby a person (who is also called the Guarantee) becomes bound to pay (or guarantees, i. e., warrants the payment of) the debt of another person. Under the Mercantile Law Amendment Act (19 & 20 Vict. c. 97, s. 3) it is no longer necessary

to disclose a consideration on the face of a guarantee. IMPORTS.-Goods brought from foreign countries. The imports of Great Britain amounted, in 1856, to upwards

of 150 millions sterling, or 172 millions real value. INSURANCE (Maritime.)—The Lombards are stated to

have been the first people in Europe who practised maritime insurance. According to Gibbon (Decline and Fall of Roman Empire), they conquered Italy in 568, and reigned nearly 500 years over the greatest part of the present kingdom of Naples. In the thirteenth century there were Lombard merchants settled in London (from whom Lombard-street derives its name), and Northouck, in his History of London, states that peculiar privileges were granted to them, in respect to trade, as early as 1404. A policy of insurance made at Antwerp in 1620 is stated to be “according to the custom of the Lombards in Lombard-street, London.” Capmany in his History of Barcelona, mentions the existence of an ordinance of the magistrates of that city, on the subject of maritime insurance, as early as 1435. The earliest Italian law thereon is dated 1523. The merchants of Florence established an insurance of this description in · 1532. There seems no doubt that it was introduced to this country from Italy. In the 43 Eliz. c. 12, it is stated to be according to the immemorial usage of merchantsEnglish and foreign. The earliest marine insurance offices in London were the Royal Exchange and London Assurance (both 1720.) The oldest case on the subject

is in 6 Q. B. Rep. 476. INSURANCE (Fire).—The earliest fire insurance offices

were the Hand-in-Hand, 1696 ; the Sun, 1710; the Union, 1714; the Westminster, 1717. It is stated that the amount of insurable property in this country is about 2000 millions sterling (exclusive of ships and cargoes), and that of that amount there is only actually insured

somewhat upwards of one-third. INTEREST (Interest; Usura, Lat., money taken for the

use of money.)- Under the Mosaic system of political

economy, the Jews were deterred from taking usury in respect of money lent to their poor brethren. It was, however, allowed to be exacted from strangers. The Roman laws on the subject were very fluctuating. Sometimes interest was prohibited, at other times it was very exorbitant, and at length became naturalized. The canon law considered the taking of interest as unlawful, because money yields no natural fruits. All the reformed rations of Europe, however, found it necessary to authorize it at certain rates fixed by statute. By the 37 of Hen. 8, c. 9, all interest ahove ten per cent. was declared unlawful.' In the reign of Edw. 6, all interest was prohibited. The stat. of Hen. 8 was revived by the 13th of Eliz. C. 8, and ten per cent. continued to be the legal rate of interest till the 21st of James 1, when it was restricted to eight per cent. By 12th Anne, stat. 2, c. 16, the legal rate of interest was fixed at five per cent., at which it continued till the present reign. By 17 & 18 Vict. c. 90,

all restrictions as to the rate of interest are abolished. INVOICE.- A paper sent with goods exported, or received

with goods imported, containing the name of the ship, master, place of destination, the name of the person to wbom the consignment is made, and whether on commission or otherwise, and at whose risk, with an account of the nature and quantity of the goods, with the shipping charges, insurance, &c., and accompanied by the trades

man's bills of parcels, or copies thereof. LETTER OF ADVICE.—A letter giving notice of any

monetary or mercantile transaction. LETTER OF CREDIT.-An authority granted to a person

depositing à sum of money with a banker or merchant in one place, enabling that person to receive the equiva

lent in another place. LETTERS OF MARQUE, were commissions formerly

granted to captains of ships and others, in time of war, to

make reprisals on the ships of the enemy. LIEN (Fr.).- A claim on any property which a person has

in his possession, for a debt due to him from the owner ;

and it implies a right of retainer till the debt is paid. LLOYDS.—This place derives its name from that of the

person who first kept it as a coffee-house. Many years

ago it became the resort of merchants and other commercial men, brokers and underwriters interested in shipping business. It is now, through those connected with it, possessed of incalculable resources and influence

in connection with mercantile affairs. LUB, or LUBS.-A term applied to the money of Lubeck

and Hamburgh, as sterling is to that of Great Britain. MANIFEST.-A paper containing the particulars of a ship

and cargo ; which paper must be signed by the master

of the vessel before any of the goods can be landed. MART (Märkt, Ger. ; Mercato, Ital.)-A great market,

or other place of public traffic or business. MERCHANDIZE.-All sorts of goods that are bought and

di sold by merchants. MERCHANT (Mercator, Lat.).—A person who traffics in

the way of commerce by importation or exportation of goods, wares and merchandise. The earliest mention made of merchants is in Gen. xxiii. 16. Of the Lawmerchant all nations take special notice. The custom of merchants is part of the common law of this kingdom. The Lex Mercatoria is allowed, for the benefit of trade, to be of the utmost validity in all commercial transactions. That law, however, is much modified by several statutes passed in relation thereto. By Magna Charta and several ancient statutes, favourable provisions are made with respect to merchants. Two late acts passed with reference to mercantile affairs are The Mercantile Law Amendment Acts, 19 & 20 Vict. c. 60 (Scotland)

and c. 97 (England.) MINT (Monetarium, Lat.):- The place where money. is

coined, now on Tower Hill, formerly, for a long period, in the Tower of London-though it appears by various statutes, that in ancient times, the mint has also been at Calais and other places. By stat. 18 Car. 2, c. 5, gold and silver delivered into the mint was to be assayed, coined and delivered out, according to the order and time of bringing in. Before 1816 very little silver was coined. By the act 56 Geo. 3, c. 68, (passed in that year) a lb. of silver of 12 oz. troy weight, was directed to be coined into 66 shillings, and silver, as a legal tender, was limited to 40 shillings-formerly allowed to the extent of 251. The

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