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cautions, which would be productive of great additional security and convenience. By making severe examples in cases of fatal accidents, the chances of accidents at all would be materially diminished, and this I think could in no way be so effectually accomplished, as by the process of a coroner's inquest. It is a prompt inquiry by those who have the best means of judging, and the strongest inducements to do what is right.
I subjoin a passage from Blackstone's Commentaries, showing what kind of officer it was originally intended the coroner should be. With the latter part of the passage, notwithstanding the authority of Sir Edward Coke, I cannot agree, as I am of opinion that it is expedient that those who serve the public should be paid by the public.
“ The coroner is chosen by all the freeholders in the county court, as by the policy of our ancient laws the sheriffs, and conservators of the peace, and all other officers were, who were concerned in matters that affected the liberty of the people. For this purpose there is a writ at common law for the election of coroner, in which it is expressly commanded the sheriff to cause such an one to be chosen, as may be best qualified for the office; and in order to effect this the more surely, it was enacted by the statute of Westminster, (in the time of Edward I.,) that none but lawful and discreet knights should be chosen. But it seems it is now sufficient if a man hath lands enough to be made a knight, for the coroner ought to have an estate sufficient to maintain the dignity of his office, and answer any fines that may be set upon him for his misbehaviour; and if he hath not enough to answer, his fine shall be levied on the county, as the punishment for electing an insufficient officer. Now, indeed, through the culpable neglect of gentlemen of property, this office has been suffered to fall into disrepute, and get into low and indigent hands ; so that, although formerly no coroners would condescend to be paid for serving their country, and they were by the aforesaid statute of Westminster expressly forbidden to take a reward, under pain of a great forfeiture to the king, yet for many years past they have only desired to be chosen for the sake of their perquisites; being allowed fees for their attendance by the statute 3 Henry VII. c. i., which Sir Edward Coke complains of heavily, though since his time those fees have been much enlarged.”
CHANGE IN COMMERCE.
I have by tradition the following particulars of the mode of carrying on the home trade by one of the principal merchants of Manchester, who was born at the commencement of the last century, and who realized a sufficient fortune to keep a carriage when not half a dozen were kept in the town by persons connected with business. He sent the manufactures of the place into Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and the intervening counties, and principally took in exchange feathers from Lincolnshire, and malt from Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire. All his commodities were conveyed on pack-horses, and he was from home the greater part of every year, performing his journeys entirely on horseback. His balances were received in guineas, and were carried with him in his saddle-bags. He was exposed to the vicissitudes of the weather, to great labour and fatigue, and to constant danger. In Lincolnshire he travelled chiefly along bridle-ways through fields, where frequent gibbets warned him of his perils, and where flocks of wild fowl continually darkened the air. Business carried on in this manner required a combination of personal attention, courage, and physical strength, not to be hoped for in a deputy; and a merchant then led a much more severe and irksome life than a bagman afterwards, and still more than a traveller of the present day. Competition could but be small; but the returns from capital were not so high in reality as in appearance, because the wages of labour ought to be deducted, and probably the same exertion now would produce from the same beginnings ten times the fortune. The improvements in the mode of carrying on commerce, and its increase, may be attributed in a great degree to the increased facility of communi. cation, and the difference between the times I have alluded to, and the present, is nearly as great as that between a pack-horse and a steam-carriage. What will be the progress fifty years hence defies calculation. I lately heard a striking instance of the advantages of steam in towing vessels. An Indiaman used sometimes to lie at Blackwall six weeks before she could get to Gravesend, because she had to wait for the combination of spring tides and a favourable wind. Now the same sized vessel could get down with certainty in three hours.
Before I conclude this article, I will relate, that in the earlier days of the merchant above mentioned, the wine merchant who supplied Manchester resided at Preston, then always called Proud Preston, because exclusively inhabited by gentry. The wine was carried on horses, and a gallon was considered a large order. Men in business confined themselves generally to punch and ale, using wine only as a medicine, or on very extraordinary occasions ; so that a considerable tradesman somewhat injured his credit amongst his neighbours, by being so extravagant as to send to a tavern for wine even to entertain a London customer. Before Preston itself existed, in the time of the Romans, the only port in Lancashire was a few miles higher up the river Ribble, and was called Rerigonium, of which there is now scarcely any, or no trace. If I rightly recollect my reading, the chief exports to Rome consisted of willow baskets, bull-dogs, and slaves. Rerigonium was the Liverpool of the present day.
Many people give themselves great uneasiness respecting the treatment they meet with from acquaintance; and that which should be a source of pleasure, is rather one of continual mortification and disappointment. This arises from a want of reflection, or want of knowledge of the world, or from not taking pains to strike a balance, or not knowing how to do it. The strongest, and, at the same time, the rarest reason for acquaintance, is sympathy of disposition, and that operates under all circumstances. Other reasons are merely accidental, and it requires judgment and temper to understand their force; as they seldom equally affect both parties, and, consequently, one party is very apt, on any change taking place, to feel aggrieved. Accidental reasons for acquaintance, are neighbourhood, equality of station or fortune, similarity of trade, profession, or pursuit, the connecting link of a third person, a common interest on some particular occasion, temporary residence, and others not necessary to be enumerated. When a change takes place with respect to one party, and that party either is the superior, or, by the change, obtains any advantage of position, it is difficult, except amongst the very reasonable, to regulate future intercourse. There is danger of too much being expected on one side, and too little, either from apprehension or disinclination, being accorded on the other. For instance, if two people are acquainted from living in the same neighbourhood, and one quits for a better, the other will probably, without sufficiently adverting to circumstances, fancy neglect; if they both quitted for a better, the balance would adjust itself, and their intercourse would continue, cease, or be weakened, according to mutual convenience. The same may be said of equality of station or fortune. Similarity of trade, profession, or pursuit, are great causes of acquaintance; but, being subject to change, the intercourse arising from them is liable, in like manner, to change. People are acquainted because they are merchants, lawyers, geologists, or fox-hunters, and their acquaintance varies with their occupation. New pursuits bring new connexions, and almost necessarily weaken the old ones. Acquaintance, arising from the connecting link of a third person, may very often be reasonably discontinued by the link being broken, though the inferior party may not be reasonable enough to admit it. A common interest on some particular occasion, as on an election, causes acquaintance, which it is frequently a matter of some difficulty to arrange after the occasion is over. That arising from temporary residence is the most subject to produce dissatisfaction in its continuance under altered circumstances; as, to put one of the strongest cases, if a person, distinguished or sought after in London, visits some remote part of the country, where society is scarce, and the means of hospitality abundant, the mode of return is not very easy, from a want of knowledge of the world on one side, and an apprehension of annoyance on the other. The truth is, the society of the stranger ought to be considered as balancing, or nearly so, the cordiality of his reception ; but his fear that it will not be so, prevents him from being commonly civil when he meets his entertainers on his own ground, and bitter are the mortifications in consequence. I could enlarge upon these instances, or add to them, but I think they are sufficient for illustration, and my purpose is, to turn the attention of those of my readers, who have been sufferers, to the subject, in order that they may revolve in their minds how much of what they have attributed to want of consideration, or to slight, has been the almost necessary result of circumstances, and I hope that in consequence they may be able to enjoy the advantages of acquaintance without any painful drawbacks. I will conclude with an anecdote in point, but which I do not recommend for imitation. A distinguished ornament of