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interment in the cemeteries to be established.
This will remove the mortal remains from that
immediate and fatal contactfatal, morally as
well as physicallywhich is compulsory
among the poorer classes under the existing
system of sepulture. It appears that of the
deaths which take place in the metropolis, in
upwards of 20,000 instances the corpse must
be kept, during the interval between the death
and the interment, in the same room in which
the surviving members of the family live and
sleep; while of the 8,000 deaths every year
from epidemic diseases, by far the greater part
happen under the circumstances just described.

If from these causes the necessity for dead-
houses is so great when no inquest is necessary,
how much stronger is it when the
services of the coroner are requisite? The
reason given for the peripatetic nature of the
office, is the assumed necessity of the jury
seeing the bodies on the spot and in the
circumstances of death. But that such a necessity
is unreal was proved on the inquest we
have been detailing, by the fact of the remains
having been lifted from the bed where life
ceased, to a table, and having been opened by
the surgeons. Surely, removal to a wholesome
and convenient reception-house, would not
disturb such appearances as may be presumed
to form evidence. As it is, the only place
among the poor in which medical men can
perform the important duty of examination by
post mortem dissection is a room crowded with
inmatesor the tap-room of the nearest tavern.

To preserve, then, a degree of order, dignity,
and solemnity equal at least to that which
is maintained to try an action for debt, and
to prevent the possibility of any 'private'
dealings, we would strongly urge that a
suitable Coroner's Court-house be attached to
each of the proposed reception-houses. A
clause to this effect can be easily introduced
into the new bill. With such accommodation
the coroner could perform his office in a
manner worthy of a delegate of the Crown,
and no such informalities as tend to intercept
and taint the pure stream of Justice could
continue to exist.


JEFFREY was a year younger than SCOTT,
whom he outlived eighteen years, and with
whose career his own had some points of
resemblance. They came of the same middle-
class stock, and had played together as lads
in the High School ' yard ' before they met as
advocates in the Court of Session. The fathers
of both were connected with that Court; and
from childhood, both were devoted to the law.
But Scott's boyish infirmity imprisoned him
in Edinburgh, while Jeffrey was let loose to
Glasgow University, and afterwards passed up
to Queen's College, Oxford. The boys, thus
separated, had no remembrance of having
previously met, when they saw each other at the
Speculative Society in 1791.

The Oxford of that day suited Jeffrey ill.
It suited few people well who cared for
anything but cards and claret. Southey, who
came just after him, tells us that the Greek he
took there he left there, nor ever passed such
unprofitable months; and Lord Malmesbury,
who had been there but a little time before
him, wonders how it was that so many men
should make their way in the world creditably,
after leaving a place that taught nothing but
idleness and drunkenness. But Jeffrey was
not long exposed to its temptations. He left
after the brief residence of a single term; and
what in after life he remembered most vividly
in connection with it, seems to have been the
twelve days' hard travelling between
Edinburgh and London which preceded his
entrance at Queen's. Some seventy years before,
another Scotch lad, on his way to become yet
more famous in literature and law, had taken
nearly as many weeks to perform the same
journey; but, between the schooldays of
Mansfield and of Jeffrey, the world had not
been resting.

It was enacting its greatest modern incident,
the first French Revolution, when the
young Scotch student returned to Edinburgh
and changed his College gown for that of the
advocate. Scott had the start of him in the
Court of Session by two years, and had become
rather active and distinguished in the Speculative
Society before Jeffrey joined it. When the
latter, then a lad of nineteen, was introduced,
(one evening in 1791), he observed a heavy-
looking young man officiating as secretary,
who sat solemnly at the bottom of the table
in a huge woollen night-cap, and who, before
the business of the night began, rose from his
chair, and, with imperturbable gravity seated
on as much of his face as was discernible from
the wrappings of the ' portentous machine '
that enveloped it, apologised for having left
home with a bad toothache. This was his
quondam schoolfellow Scott. Perhaps Jeffrey
was pleased with the mingled enthusiasm
for the speculative, and regard for the
practical, implied in the woollen nightcap; or
perhaps he was interested by the Essay on
Ballads which the hero of the night-cap read
in the course of the evening: but before he
left the meeting he sought an introduction
to Mr. Walter Scott, and they were very
intimate for many years afterwards.

The Speculative Society dealt with the
usual subjects of elocution and debate prevalent
in similar places then and since; such as,
whether there ought to be an Established
Religion, and whether the Execution of Charles I.
was justifiable, and if Ossian's poems were
authentic? It was not a fraternity of speculators
by any means of an alarming or dangerous sort.
John Allen and his friends, at this very time,
were spouting forth active sympathy for
French Republicanism at Fortune's Tavern,
under immediate and watchful superintendence
of the Police; James Macintosh was
parading the streets with Horne Tooke's

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