I have collected these pecuniary circumstances from Pachymer (l. xi. c. 21, l. xii. c. 4, 5, 8, 14, 19,) who describes the progressive degradation of the gold coin. Even in the prosperous times of John Ducas Vataces, the byzants were composed in equal proportions of the pure and the baser metal. The poverty of Michael Palaeologus compelled him to strike a new coin, with nine parts, or carats, of gold, and fifteen of copper alloy. After his death, the standard rose to ten carats, till in the public distress it was reduced to the moiety. The prince was relieved for a moment, while credit and commerce were forever blasted. In France, the gold coin is of twenty-two carats (one twelfth alloy), and the standard of England and Holland is still higher.