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"THREE women, three dogs, and three cats,
lived together in this room a week ago." So
we were told the other day of a garret in
Wild Court, which is a court leading out of
Great Wild Street, Lincoln's Inn. The room
was full of amateur inspectors, and Wild Court
down below was full of pale and ragged men,
women, and children. There they were all
standing in a crowd, to talk about and stare
at the twelve or fourteen monsters of civilisation
in broadcloththe said amateurswhenever
for the purpose of passing from house to
house, or holding colloquy together in the
gutter, they came out into what is called by
the people of that district the open air.

"Three women, three dogs, and three cats,
lived together in this room a week ago."

"They have left a strong animal smell
behind them," observed somebody who stood
in the middle of the chamber. They who
chanced to be on the landing, and heard this
observation, hurried in to smell the smell.

"If your lordship will be good enough to
step this way,"—who his lordship was, will
presently appear—"I should be glad to
direct your lordship's attention to one circumstance.
By looking out of this little door that
opens from the roof over the landing, your
lordship will perceive where the inhabitants
of the upper rooms in this house throw their
filth and ordure. It passes from below this
door, as your lordship may observe, along a
trough which is fixed against the wall in the
front room. There is in this room a lid to the
trough, which your lordship can lift up; in
some of the adjoining houses it is not provided
with a cover."

A gentleman lifted up the lid and dropped
it, looking very much aghast. "Incredible!
Why here is an open drain in a living room.
It is full of cesspool matter."

"Stagnant certainly," explained the showman
of this chamber of horrors. "For if you
will have the goodness, sir, to open the small
window and look out, you will perceive
immediately under it an open sewer which is at
the top of the house wihtin the parapet, and
receives filth from the upper rooms of the
whole row. Its contents ought to descend by
the stockpiping, but as they descend with
difficulty, there is a thick pool of ordure
stagnating a few inches under the window, as
you see."

"They must have kept their windows
always shut. They never could have dared
to open them."

"But in so doing they shut themselves
in with the trough of filthiness that passes
through their room."

"Are all the uppermost floors in Wild
Court furnished in this way?"


Ladies of England, think of this sometimes
when you carry water to the laurels or the
roses in your conservatories. Think of it, and
do more than deplore it. Help with your
sympathy the labouring man who seeks to
right himself, and asks, for himself and for
those still poorer than he is, power to inhabit
decent homes. A time must be near when he
will find that of all the allies sought by those
who are struggling against dirt and disease,
he is the one most desired and in the main
most powerful. It is his own battle, which
he should not stand by and see fought wholly
by others. If he be wise, he will bestir
himself, and animate his friends about him.
Masses of men quietly but audibly demanding
what they now have not, liberty to live
unpoisoned, could not be laughed down, or
dubbed theorists. Just now, for example, we
have described plainly and truly a state of
things the existence of which might well
overwhelm a callous man with shame and
horror and disgust. What we have described
will be read carelessly by thousands who
have had much experience in the revelations
made by sanitary advocates, and who,
taking it as so much pleading of a kind with
which they have been for years familiar, will
heed it little. But let the same truth be told
by the man whom it concerns most nearly.
Let the father who from scanty means pays
what is truly the fair price of a wholesome
room for a den of which it makes me sick at
heart to thinklet him stand up and speak.
Let us hear from him of the dead child who,
dying, cried for air and was not satisfied,
because they dared not throw a window open
and let in more fully the stench that
nevertheless did pour in between the rags and
paper that filled up its broken panes. Let
the wife tell how desperately she rocked upon
her lap the single child that was left to her