Cornhill Magazine,  8 (1863), 250–56.

On a Medal of George the Fourth

[William M Thackeray]


Essay, Drollery


Metallurgy, Analytical Chemistry, Crime, Expertise

    Reflects that 'Before me lies a coin bearing the image and superscription of King George IV., and of the nominal value of two-and-sixpence. But an official friend at a neighbouring turnpike says the piece is hopelessly bad; and a chemist tested it, returning a like unfavourable opinion'. Then asks rhetorically, 'You dare to forge your Sovereign's name, and pass your scoundrel pewter as her silver? [...] This forgery is so complete that even now I am deceived by it—I can't see the difference between the base and sterling metal. Perhaps this piece is a little lighter;—I don't know. A little softer:—is it? I have not bitten it, not being a connoisseur in the tasting of pewter or silver' (250).

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