Imatges de pągina

longs to the king. The coroner, in that country, is also the sheriff's substitute; and, when an exception can be taken to the sheriff, for partiality, process is awarded to the coroner. In those of the U. States where there are coroners, their principal duty is to inquire into the causes of violent or extraordinary death. Connecticut, the duty is performed by a justice of the peace or a constable.


CORONET; an inferior crown, belonging to the English nobility. The coronet of an English duke is adorned with strawberry leaves; that of a marquis has leaves, with pearls interposed; that of an earl raises the pearls above the leaves; that of a viscount is surrounded with pearls only; that of a baron has only four pearls.

CORPORAL. This word is written in the same, or in a similar, manner in many languages, and, at first sight, would seem to be derived from corps (body); but it originates, in fact, from the French caporal and the Italian caporale, which are derived from capo, the Italian form of the Latin caput (the head). The change of the first syllable, ca, into cor, is of much antiquity. Du Fresne uses the Low Latin term corporalis. From this author it appears, that corporal formerly signified a superior commander; but, like captain and many other words, it has sunk in its dignity. A corporal is now a rank and file man, with superior pay to that of common soldiers, and with nominal rank under a sergeant. He has charge of one of the squads of the company, places and relieves sentinels, &c. Every company in the English service has three or four corporals. In armies in which privates may advance to the highest ranks, as in France, Prussia, &c., great care is taken in selecting corporals. In fact, they are officers of much importance, associating, as they do, with the privates, over whom their superiority of rank gives them much influence. The feeling of military honor, good morals, and emulation in the discharge of duty, are, in a great degree, to be infused into the mass by means of the corporals.-A corporal of a man of war is an officer who has the charge of setting and relieving the watches and sentries, and who sees that the soldiers and sailors keep their arms neat and clean: he teaches them how to use their arms, and has a mate under him.

CORPORATION. A corporation is a political or civil institution, comprehending one or more persons, by whom it is conducted according to the laws of its constitution. It is a conventional and artifi

cial organ, of an integral or individual character, whether it embraces one or more members, and is invested with certain powers and rights, varying according to the objects of its establishment. Its acts, when done in pursuance of its powers, are considered those of the body, or organ, and not those of the member or members composing the corporation. In respect to the number of members, corporations are divided into sole, consisting of one person, and aggregate, consisting of more than one. A corporation does not lose its identity by a change of its members. Hence the maxim, in the English law, that the king never dies; for the regal power is considered to be invested in a sole corporation, which continues the same, though the individual corporator may die. The whole political system is made up of a concatenation of various corporations, political, civil, religious, social and economical. A nation itself is the great corporation, comprehending all the others, the powers of which are exerted in legislative, executive and judicial acts, which, when confined within the scope, and done according to the forms, prescribed by the constitution, are considered to be the acts of the nation, and not merely those of the official organs. Corporations are also either local or at large. A nation, state, county, town or parish, is a local corporation; stage-coach or navigation companies, charitable and many other associations, may be at large and transitory, that is, not restricted as to the residence of their members, or the place at which their affairs are to be conducted; but, whether local or ambulatory, their objects, powers and forms of proceeding must be defined, for by these the metaphysical abstract entity, called a corporation, subsists; and the persons by whom this artificial conventional engine is operated cease to act as corporators the moment they pass beyond the limits of the objects and powers of the institution. Corporations are created either by prescription or charter, but most commonly by the latter. The English government, and, indeed, most of the other governments of Europe, are corporations by prescription. All the American governments are corporations created by charters, viz. their constitutions. So private corporations may be established in either of these ways, and, whether by one or the other, they derive their powers and franchises, either directly or indirectly, from the sovereign power of the state. The improvements, among the moderns, in civil liberty, arts and commerce, took

their rise in private corporations. In the first volume of Robertson's Charles V will be found a very good historical view of the manner in which municipal corporations and communities contributed to the amelioration of the condition of the great mass of the population in the western part of Europe. The several governments, established after the dissolution of the Roman empire, had degenerated into a system of oppression, and the great body of the people were reduced to a state of actual servitude; and the condition of those dignified with the name of freemen was little preferable to that of the others. Nor was this oppression confined to the people inhabiting the country. Cities and villages found it necessary to acknowledge dependence on some powerful lord, on whom they relied for protection. The inhabitants could not dispose of the effects acquired by their own industry, either, during life, by deed, or, at their decease, by will. They had no right to appoint guardians to their children, and were not permitted to marry without purchasing the consent of their superior lord. If they once commenced a suit in the lord's court, they durst not terminate it by compromise, because this would deprive the lord of the perquisites due to him on passing sentence. Services of various kinds, no less disgraceful than oppressive, were exacted from them without mercy or moderation. The cities of Italy, being situated at a distance from their German superiors, whereby the ties of subjection were weakened, found it comparatively easy to extricate themselves from their political and commercial thraldom; and they were stimulated to the attempt by the excitement, revival of trade, and influx of wealth, occasioned by the crusades. The spirit which animated the Italian cities spread itself into Germany and France, where the dilapidation and exhaustion of the wealth of the sovereigns and nobles, occasioned by the repeated and obstinate prosecution of these religious wars, put it in the power of the towns to extort, or to purchase at a low rate, exemption from many species of military oppression, servitude and merciless exaction. In some stipulated composition, the sovereign or baron granted charters of community (see Community), guarantying certain privileges in regard to personal liberty, municipal government and judicial administration. These charters, though on a limited scale, were equivalent, in character, to what are called

is still retained, on the continent of Europe, in the same application: thus the limitations to which the Bourbons submitted, when restored to the throne of France, are called the charter. As the most important immunities and privileges granted in these charters were, in effect, limitations of the legislative and executive power of the sovereigns, they would very naturally attempt to retract them, when a favorable opportunity offered; and this they did, and sometimes with success; but the corporations had one great advantage, in resisting these encroachments, in consequence of the struggles between the sovereigns and nobles; for the free cities, being very useful allies to either side in these contests, were treated with greater forbearance, so that the general tendency was to the enlargement and establishment of the rights and privileges of the citizen, and the restraint and regulation of the power of the sovereign. This voluntary association of small communities, which proved so powerful an engine in rearing the present political fabrics in Christendom, is no less efficient as an engine of political revolution and demolition; and it may be used with equal success for the best or the most pernicious purposes, as every age and country has frequent opportunity of witnessing. Charters of incorporation for mere economical purposes, as the construction of roads and canals, and carrying on of banking, insurance, manufactures, &c., are more frequent in the U. States than in any other country. Corporations are erected for undertakings which are, in England, conducted by joint stock companies; and, in some of the states, the character of these bodies has been modified by the laws, where their object is the conducting of some branch of industry, so as to render them either limited or absolute copartnerships, in respect to the joint liability of the individual members for the engagements of the company, though they still retain the character of corporations, in respect to the capacity to conduct business, notwithstanding the decease of any members, which, in ordinary copartnerships, usually effects a dissolution. CORPORATION AND TEST ACTS. The corporation act, passed in the 13th Charles II, 1661, prevented any person from being legally elected to any office belonging to the government of any city or corporation in England, unless he had. within the twelvemonth preceding, receivconstitutions in the U. States; and the termed the sacrament of the Lord's supper, ac

cording to the rites of the church of England; and enjoined him to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy when he took the oath of office. The test act, 25 Charles II, 1673, required all officers, civil and military, to take the oaths, and make the declaration against transubstantiation, in the courts of king's bench or chancery, within six months after their admission; and also, within the same time, to receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper, according to the usage of the church of England, in some public church. The corporation act was principally directed against Protestant nonconformists; the test act against Roman Catholics. In the year 1828, they were both abolished.

CORPOSANT, OF CORPO SANTO (Italian, holy body); the electric flame which sometimes appears on the tops of the masts of vessels, and is also called Castor and Pollux and St. Elmo's fire.

CORPS (French for body); a word often used in military language, many of the terms of which are derived from the French, they having begun the organizaLion of armies on the system which now prevails. The term is applied to various kinds of divisions of troops.-Corps d'armée is one of the largest divisions of an army (the German Heeresabtheilung).Corps de garde; a post occupied by a body of men on watch; also the body which occupies it.-Corps de reserve; a body of troops kept out of the action, with a view of being brought forward, if the troops previously engaged are beaten, or cannot follow up their victory, or are disorganized.-Corps volant (a flying body) is a body intended for rapid movements. It is always rather small.-Corps de bataille is the main body of an army, drawn up for battle between the wings.

CORPULENCE; the state of the human body, when loaded with an excessive quantity of flesh and fat. The flesh forms the muscular system; and, its extent being limited by the form of the particular muscular parts, its quantity can neither exceed nor fall below a certain bulk. The fat is much less limited, and the production and deposition of it is confined to no such definite form. The formation of the muscular fibres, or the change of blood into flesh, takes place in the capillary system, formed by the minutest portions of the arteries at their termination in the muscles. (Concerning the production of fat, see Fat.) If blood is copiously furnished with nutritive matter, it is converted readily to muscular fibres and fat.

The secretion of fat depends, in a certain degree, on the state of the health. Children and females have a larger proportion of it than adult men. It is promoted by rich diet, a good digestion, corporeal inactivity, tranquillity of mind, &c. There is, however, a certain diseased state of the system, which, independently of all these influences, will increase the production and deposition of fat. We see young people and men, even such as are intelligent, and continually engaged in active business, very corpulent. The enormous corpulence of many men appears to bear no proportion to their food, and is evidently a disease, as many other secretions in the body; for example, the preparation and secretion of the bile, saliva, &c., are augmented by disease. Sandiford mentions an unborn child, in which he observed a monstrous mass of fat. Tulpius saw a boy five years old, who weighed 150 pounds. Bartholini makes mention of a girl, aged eleven years, who weighed above 200 pounds. In the Philosophical_Transactions, mention is made of an Englishman, named Bright, who weighed 609 pounds. Daniel Lambert, of Leicester, in England, was, probably, the heaviest man on record. He weighed 752 pounds. A Canadian, named Maillot, who exhibited himself in Boston, in 1829, weighed 619 pounds. Corpulency is often only the repletion of the cells of the cellular membrane with watery, gaseous and vaporized matter, arising from a marked tendency to disease, and often the commencement of actual dropsy. Moderate corpulence (embonpoint, in French) is consistent with health, and is not opposed to beauty, as it prevents angularity and unevenness in the surface of the body, and gives the parts rotundity. For this reason, moderately corpulent women and men preserve a beautiful and youthful appearance longer than lean persons. But if corpulence is excessive, it becomes troublesome, and, at length, dangerous. Water should then be drank instead of wine; milk, beer and brandy should be avoided; active bodily exercise should be taken, and employment provided for the mind. Anxiety soon takes off superfluous fat, though grief sometimes produces it. In what cases medicine is to be resorted to, and what kinds should be used, must be left to the judgment of physicians. People sometimes resort to violent and injurious means to rid themselves of superfluous flesh. Madame Stich, the best actress in the theatre at Berlin, took poison to reduce her person to the right

dimensions for performing Shakspeare's Juliet, and succeeded, though at the expense of her health. Instances of leanness as remarkable as those of corpulence are by no means rare. In 1830, a native of Vermont exhibited himself in the U. States. He called himself the living skeleton. His legs and arms were almost entirely deprived of flesh. The man was about 45 years old, and weighed 60 pounds.

CORPUS CHRISTI, or corpus Domini Jesu Christi, means the consecrated host at the Lord's supper, which, according to the doctrines of the Catholic church, is changed, by the act of consecration, into the real body of Jesus the Savior. This doctrine, which was prevalent even in the 12th century, caused the adoration of the consecrated host, which, as it was thought, should be worshipped as the true body of Jesus. On that account, the people in the Catholic churches fall upon their knees whenever the priest raises the host; and throughout all countries in which the Catholic religion is the only one tolerated, as Spain, Portugal, Italy, &c., the viaticum (the name of the host when carried to the house of a sick or dying man, that he may partake of it privately) is saluted with the same marks of adoration by every one who sees the priest pass with it, or who hears the bell of the boys of the choir, when they go by. All who are riding dismount or leave their carriages to exhibit this mark of respect. All business, conversation and amusement is interrupted until the viaticum has passed. The Catholic church has ordained, for the consecrated host, a particular festival, called the corpus Christi feast. It owes its origin to the vision of a nun of Liege, named Juliana, in 1230, who, while looking at the full moon, saw a gap in its orb, and, by a peculiar revelation from heaven, learned that the moon represented the Christian church, and the gap, the want of a certain festival-that of the adoration of the body of Christ in the consecrated host-which she was to begin to celebrate and announce to the world! On this account, the archdeacon James went to Liege (the same who afterwards became pope under the title of Urban IV) in order to ordain such a festival; and he was confirmed in his purpose by a miracle. In 1264, while a priest at Bolsena, who did not believe in the change of the bread into the body of Christ, was going through the ceremony of the benediction in his presence, drops of blood fell upon his surplice, and when

he endeavored to conceal them in the folds of his garment, formed bloody images of the host. The bloody surplice is still shown as a relic at Cività Vecchia. This circumstance forms the subject of one of the beautiful pictures of Raphael, in the Stanze di Rafaello. Urban IV published, in the same year, a bull, in which he appointed the Thursday of the week after Pentecost for the celebration of the corpus Christi festival throughout Christendom, and promised absolution for a period of from 40 to 100 days to the penitent who took part in it. Since then, this festival has been kept as one of the greatest of the Catholic church. Splendid processions form an essential part of it. The children belonging to the choir, with flags, and the priests with lighted tapers, move through the streets in front of the priest, who carries the host in a precious box, where it can be seen, under a canopy held by four laymen of rank. A crowd of the common people closes the procession. In Spain, it is customary for people of distinction to send their children, dressed as angels, to join the procession; the different fraternities carry their patron saints, carved out of wood and highly adorned, before the host; astonishment and awe are produced, as well as feelings of devotion, by the splendor and magnificence of the procession, by the brilliant appearance of the streamers, by the clouds of smoke from the censers, and the solemn sound of the music. The festival is also a general holyday, in which bull-fights, games, dances and other amusements are not wanting. In Sicily, all the freedom of a masquerade is allowed, and passages from Scripture history are represented in the streets. The whole people are in a state of excitement. The festival is kept with more simplicity and dignity by the German Catholics. In Protestant countries, they merely go round to the churches in processions, and celebrate their worship with peculiar solemnities. (See Sacrament.)

CORPUS DELICTI (literally, the body of the crime or offence). It is a figurative expression, used to denote those external marks, facts or circumstances which accompany a crime, and without the proof of which the crime is not supposed to be established. We have no correspondent expression in English, and the preceding exposition is peculiar to the civil law of continental Europe. We should say, that certain proofs are indispensable to establish a crime, and that, unless they exist, there is no legal ground to convict the party; so that corpus delicti is equivalent

to the proofs essential to establish a crime. The following observations have reference to the jurisprudence of Germany. The marks of guilt, which constitute the corpus delicti, are, in many cases, perceptible in the traces remaining (facta permanentia); for instance, the wounds inflicted upon a man; a lampoon posted up; written or printed words; counterfeit writings: in other cases, such traces exist only in the memory (facta transeuntia); as words merely spoken, &c. A criminal trial must always rest upon a corpus delicti clearly substantiated. Unless the death of a man is fully proved, and shown to have been occasioned by the coöperation of another, no sentence of homicide can be passed. An inspection of the body, in case of murder, or the statement of the injured party, in less heinous offences, confirmed with an oath, &c., is, accordingly, the first condition of a criminal process. Entire deficiency of the corpus delicti can be supplied by no confession; and the latter remains without any effect; as, for instance, if a person should accuse himself of having stolen something from another, or of having killed some one, and no person could be found from whom such thing had been stolen, or who had been killed. In the cases where the corpus delicti cannot be discovered by means of immediate examination, because the doer has destroyed all traces of it (for instance, by a total burning of the corpse of a murdered person), other circumstances must be sought for, which can afford certain proof of the crime; and without them punishment cannot be legally pronounced by the court. It must further be ascertained, in a case of murder, that death has ensued in consequence of the wound; or, rather, that the wound inflicted was, in itself, a sufficient cause for the death. In this respect, the courts in Germany often go too far, by seeking for the most remote possibility, by which the corpus delicti may be rendered uncertain. In the famous trial of Fonk, in Cologne, it was one of the greatest faults, that the corpus delicti (the wounds in the head of the dead man, Cőnen) had not been examined with sufficient medical accuracy, and that there was a search for a murderer before the murder was ascertained. It has happened more than once that a person has been executed as a murderer of a missing person, who, after some time, has reäppeared. No reliance ought, in most cases, to be placed upon the circumstance, that several persons pretend to have seen the corpse of the individual believed to have

been murdered, until the corpse has actually been discovered, or until infallible evidence of the murder has been adduced. In crimes which leave no traces, the whole possible proof rests on witnesses and confessions. Even a confession of guilt by an accused party must be supported by other circumstances; e. g., actions which have been observed by other persons, and which have a bearing on the crime, and render it probable. In the investigation of the corpus delicti, in a great many cases, the science of medicine must assist the law. Nevertheless, great uncertainty often remains, after all the aid which can be thus attained; for instance, in poisonings, and in cases where the point in question is, whether an infant was born alive or not. Frequently, questions are proposed to the physicians, which they cannot answer at all. In such cases, nothing is required of them but the declaration that nothing can be said with certainty. It is a very important question, whether preference ought to be given to the testimony of the physician who has attended the deceased till his death, or to the opinion of the physician of the court at the official examination.* In a famous case, in Germany, the inquest found traces of poisoning by arsenic, though not the arsenic itself, whilst the physician attending during the last illness of the deceased asserted that no symptom of poisoning had shown itself, and that the disease had taken its natural course. another case, the physician declared that the deceased had died of the lock-jaw, occasioned by a wound, whilst the legal examiners maintained that the wound had been without influence upon his death.


CORPUS JURIS (body of law) is a name given to the Justinian code and collections, in the 12th century, when the separate portions began to be considered as one whole. Under this name are included the Pandects, in three parts; the fourth part, containing the nine first books of the Code; the fifth part, called the Volume, containing the Institutes, the Novels, or Authentics, in nine subdivisions or collations; in addition to which, the collections of feudal laws, and the modern imperial edicts, forming a tenth collation, and the three remaining books of the code, are

* In many parts of Germany, a physician, in the employ of the government, is attached to each district, who sees that proper health regulations are &c., inquires into the causes of deaths which are atobserved, makes reports respecting births, deaths, tended with suspicious circumstances, and is, ex officio, the medical adviser of the judicial courts.

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