2. To assess damages is to ascertain what damages are due to the plaintiff; in actions founded on writings, in many cases after interlocutory judgment, the prothonotary is directed to assess the damages; in cases sounding in tort the damages are frequently assessed on a writ of inquiry by the sheriff and a jury.
2. In actions for damages, the jury are required to fix the amount or to assess the damages. In the exercise of this power or duty, the jury must be guided by sound discretion, and, when the circumstances will warrant it, may give high damages. Const. Rep. 500. The jury must, in the assessment of damages be guided by their own judgment, nd not by a blind chance. They cannot lawfully, therefore, in making up their verdict, each one put down a sum, add the sums together, divide the aggregate by the number of jurors, and adopt the quotient for their verdict. 1 Cowen, 238.