The undertaking, once approved, is regarded as a work of public utility, and the undertakers are invested with all the rights that a public department would have in the case of the carrying out of public works.
Libitina was the goddess of funerals; her officers were the Libitinarii our undertakers; her temple in which all business connected with the last rites was transacted, in which the account of deaths - ratio Libitinae - was kept, served the purpose of a register office."
Here the undertakers (libitinarii), who carried out all funeral arrangements by contract, had their offices, and everything necessary was kept for sale or hire; here all deaths were registered for statistical purposes.
They have now been relegated to the warehouses of undertakers, where they serve as bearers for folks too poor to employ cat~ialques, their place on the roads and in the streets having been completely taken by the jinrikisha, a two-wheeled vehicle pulled by one or two men who think nothing he of running 20 m.
Though now free from constitutional control it was no less subject than before to the influence of corruption, which the English government had wielded through the Irish borough owners, known as the "undertakers," or more directly through the great executive officers.