occupation. Furriers, and fur-dyers and dressers, are a good many of them Germans. Among the wine-merchants are an extra proportion of foreigners; and foreigners almost monopolise the manufacture of many of the wind-instruments of music. Finishers of fine work, in almost all industrial trades, are in nearly every instance London-bred, and are sometimes heard to boast of their London blood. Every morsel of sponge in London passes through the hands of the Jews, who levy a contribution upon it, in some shape or other, before it comes into use. Brewers' draymen, though stalwart fellows to look at, are proverbially short-lived; not a man of them, it is said, ever attaining the age of fifty: from the inflamed state of their blood, accidents, however slight, become fatal to them. Some years back, a case was recorded of one who died in the apparent vigour of manhood, through slightly grazing his finger against the wheel of his dray. Lastly, the omniumgatherum shops, whose stock exhibits as delightful a confusion as the above paragraph, are invariably the property of thorough-bred Cock


We shall conclude with the notice of two facts, worthy at least of a passing remark. Something more than a century ago, there arrived in this country a very little colony of iron-workers from Sweden. They brought with them the art of preparing the Swedish iron, and they settled down in a small village in Northumberland, and began practising it for their own advantage. They throve well; and repudiating all intimacy with the surrounding inhabitants, remained a distinct race, speaking their own tongue, and following their own customs, in a land of strangers. When one had achieved a competence, he withdrew to his native land, and sent over another; and thus their number was kept up for three generations, when their secret having at length exploded or been discovered, they all simultaneously disappeared.-Twenty-five years ago, there were not above

half-a-dozen Greek merchants in London, and these were mostly of small capital and less note, but of indomitable energy, and first-rate business tact. At the present day, they have not only multiplied in numbers, but have succeeded in monopolising nearly the entire trade of the Mediterranean and the East. They have their businesshouses at every port and station upon the coasts and rivers, and realise a profit annually hardly exceeded by that of any class of merchants upon the face of the earth.


Ir was on a bitter cold day in the depth of winter, that I was compelled to make one of a jury assembled to hold an inquest on the body of a man recently and suddenly deceased. The place allotted for the purpose was an upper room in a public-house adjacent to my own residence, whither, at the appointed hour, I repaired, though I must confess with considerable reluctance. The wind blew raw and keen, penetrating to the very bones; a slight, very slight thaw had commenced, just enough to make the snow beneath one's feet sloppy and insinuating, and suggestive of influenza and rheumatism. On entering the room I found some ten or twelve individuals of the respectable class seated on the polished wooden chairs of the place; not round the fire, which, newly lighted for the occasion, and smoking furiously, as if angry at being called to take a part in such a serious business, invited no such intimacy, but each "sullenly apart," muffled and buttoned to the chin, and evidently desirous of dismissal. In the centre of the room stood a small table and an arm-chair, reserved for the coroner, who had not yet arrived; a wine-glass full of ink, and a single pen new from the stationer's, completed the scanty preparation. In the corner of the room farthest from the fire sat a pale, melancholy child of ten or twelve years of age, and an elderly person whom I took to be her mother; both were of the poorer class.

The coroner not arriving at the time specified, considerable dissatisfaction became apparent upon the silent visages of my companions, and very likely upon my own as well.

Here, however, we sat and shivered for a full hour in comfortless speechlessness, strangers, as far as I could judge, to each other, and having, with one exception, apparently, a general determination to remain so. The individual furnishing the exception was perhaps of a lower grade than the rest, and was, besides, constitutionally unfitted altogether for the business in hand. While the rest sat still and motionless as sphinxes, he twisted, wriggled, and turned upon his seat, rubbed his hands and smiled with a cordiality which ought to have been catching, though it was not. All his attempts at conversation, and they were many, met with a freezing and unqualified rebuff; and at length, giving it up as a bad job, he turned his attention to the fire, and I really felt grateful when, by a little judicious poking, he succeeded in eliciting a cheerful aspect from that, the only face in the room in accord with his own. Encouraged by this success, he actually produced a snuff-box from his pocket, and giving it a good-natured tap on the lid, offered it politely to his neighbour, who, however, would not share in the stimulant, but left him to enjoy it alone, and to waste the sunshine of his countenance upon the unresponding company.

How slowly that long hour crawled away, and how I regretted that my pockets were void of books or anything readable! There was one old gentleman behind a pair of goggle spectacles, deliberately spelling through a greasy, beer-stained portion of a weekly paper-even him I envied. At length the rattle of wheels was heard below, and, amidst a general movement and upstanding, the coroner entered the room. My friend with the snuff-box sobered his merry face, took a parting pinch, and addressed himself to the serious business of the hour.

The coroner proceeded immediately to apologise politely for the delay he had unwittingly occasioned us, arising, as he said, from an unexpected mass of evidence to be gone into in another case in which he had been engaged that morning. I could not help thinking that he appeared to be well used

to making apologies, and to having them well received. This done, and the requisite twelve being ascertained to be present, he proceeded to administer the oath usual on such occasions. This ceremony was got through summarily, the elderly gentleman who had monopolised the newspaper being first sworn as foreman. Six of the others, each placing a finger on the gospels, were sworn in at a batch; the same as to the remainder, and the business was concluded in less than two minutes.

The next step was to inspect the body of the deceased, previous to hearing what evidence might have to be adduced. For this purpose we followed our foreman over the melting snow and mingled mud, through a long labyrinth of narrow and half-paved back-streets, to the house or rather hut, where lay the object of our inquiry. It was during this transit that I for the first time heard any of the circumstances attending the death we were called to investigate. It appeared that the deceased was a labouring man, who had returned from his employment unexpectedly in the middle of the day, complaining of indisposition; he had gone to bed, and died in a few hours, without having recourse to medical assistance.

We entered the lowly dwelling, and there, in a small front room on the ground-floor, hardly nine feet square, on a bed that filled half the space, lay (surrounded by a family of small children), as if in a quiet sleep, the remains of one of the sons of toil and privation. He looked old, but not dead; three-score and ten upon the point of waking-such he seemed to me. I was deceived, however, somewhat in re

gard to his age.

When, in separate detachments-for the room was too small to hold us all at once-we had duly contemplated this sad sight, we returned shivering to the inn-room, where we found the coroner, who had not been idle during our absence, engaged in questioning the child I have before referred to. When we were all seated, he read over the evidence he had

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