Occasionally, when t...
Occasionally, when there was some more than usually interesting inquest
upon a parish child who had been overlooked in turning up a bedstead,
or inadvertently scalded to death when there happened to be a
washing--though the latter accident was very scarce, anything
approaching to a washing being of rare occurrence in the farm--the jury
would take it into their heads to ask troublesome questions, or the
parishioners would rebelliously affix their signatures to a
remonstrance. But these impertinences were speedily checked by the
evidence of the surgeon, and the testimony of the beadle; the former of
whom had always opened the body and found nothing inside (which was
very probable indeed), and the latter of whom invariably swore whatever
the parish wanted; which was very self-devotional. Besides, the board
made periodical pilgrimages to the farm, and always sent the beadle the
day before, to say they were going. The children were neat and clean
to behold, when _they_ went; and what more would the people have!