#### 2101. DECIMAL SYSTEM, Advantages of.—

The most *easy ratio* of multiplication and

division, is that by ten. Everyone knows the

facility of Decimal Arithmetic. Every one

remembers, that when learning Money-Arithmetic,

he used to be puzzled with adding the

farthings, taking out the fours and carrying

them on; adding the pence, taking out the

twelves and carrying them on; adding the

shillings, taking out the twenties and carrying

them on; but when he came to the

pounds, where he had only tens to carry forward,

it was easy and free from error. The

bulk of mankind are schoolboys through life.

These little perplexities are always great to

them. And even mathematical heads feel the

relief of an easier, substituted for a more difficult

process. Foreigners, too, who trade and

travel among us, will find a great facility in

understanding our coins and accounts from

this ratio of subdivision. Those who have

had occasion to convert the livres, sols and

deniers of the French; the gilders, stivers

and pfennings of the Dutch; the pounds, shillings,

pence, and farthings of these several

States, into each other, can judge how much

they would have been aided, had their several

subdivisions been in a decimal ratio. Certainly,

in all cases, where we are free to

choose between easy and difficult modes of

operation, it is most rational to choose the

easy. The Financier [Robert Morris], therefore,

in his report, well proposes that our

coins should be in decimal proportion to one

another.—

Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 163.
Ford ed., iii, 447.

(1784)